Paul Bernado & Karla Homolka A.K.A.: "Ken & Barbie Slayings" - "The Scarborough Rapist" - "The Schoolgirl Killer"
Number of victims:
Date of murders:
December 1990 - April 1992
Date of arrest:
February 17, 1993
Date of birth:
August 27, 1964
Victims profile: Tammy Homolka, 15 / Leslie Mahaffy, 14 / Kristen French, 15
Method of murder:
Poisoning - Strangulation
Sentenced to 25 years in prison on September 1, 1995. Later, Bernardo was also declared a "Dangerous Offender", making it unlikely he will ever be released.
Karla was obsessed with Paul’s happiness. Her greatest fear was that she would not be able to hold onto this wild and thrilling man who was to become her husband. When he would become bored or distracted, she would either do something to excite him or find another person for him to get excited about.
Paul harped continually that Tammy was no longer available to him for his sexual pleasure and blamed Karla for causing her death. Karla searched for a replacement for Tammy – someone very young and virginal. Karla knew just the right person, a teenager named Jane, who looked very much like Karla’s dead sister Tammy. Jane would be Karla’s wedding gift to Paul.
Jane idolized Karla as a beautiful, sophisticated role model and gratefully accepted Karla’s invitation to the Bernardos’ new home they rented at 57 Bayview. The first evening, Karla took Jane to dinner and spent hours talking to her and plying her with sweet alcoholic drinks. Jane passed out and slept deeply.
After Jane had passed out from the Halcion tablets that Karla had put in her drinks, Karla called Paul over for his surprise gift. He was thrilled when he saw how much Jane resembled Tammy and she was a virgin as well. He was a bit concerned that Karla was using the same halothane that killed Tammy to subdue Jane, but Karla convinced him that she was in control of the situation this time around.
Once they undressed Jane, Paul videotaped Karla as she made love to the sleeping girl. Then Paul took her virginity. With that accomplished and memorialized in the videotape, he moved on to his favorite fun – a brutal kind of anal sex. Jane was so drugged that she did not wake up during the whole ordeal.
Karla was left to clean the blood off the fifteen-year-old girl and put her to bed for the night. The next morning, Jane, who was very sick to her stomach and understandably sore, met Paul, -- she thought for the first time. Jane had no idea what had really happened to her.
While Paul seemed very grateful for the gift of Jane's virginity and was continually amazed at the things Karla would do for him, he was having second thoughts about marrying her. She was, after all, getting old, having already passed her twenty-first birthday and she was a far cry from being the virgin for which he lusted.
Despite his concerns, he went through with it and married Karla in a huge, lavish wedding. "Their wedding was going to be perfect. The historic church in Niagara-on-the-Lake with the white horses and the carriage, champagne, a sit-down dinner for one hundred and fifty guests with veal-stuffed pheasant at Queen’s Landing, no expense spared." (Stephen Williams)
Paul had carefully controlled every detail of the wedding from Karla’s $US 2,000 wedding dress to her hairstyle to the menu and to the inclusion of "love, honor and obey" in Karla’s wedding vow. He would not allow the minister to pronounce them "husband and wife." It had to be "man and wife."
"If it was to be a grand wedding, then people could be expected to donate money and gifts on a similarly grand scale. Paul viewed the entire process as a great business opportunity. 'If I spend fifty dollars a plate, I expect to get a hundred dollars a person,' the junior accountant proclaimed. He told them he’d set a goal of realizing $50,000 from the wedding." (Burnside and Cairns)
Leslie Mahaffy was a troubled youngster. Her strong, independent personality seemed to be at the root of the problem, which manifested itself in ignoring her curfews, engaging in promiscuous sex, skipping school and even shoplifting. Her parents responded by getting tough on Leslie when she broke the rules.
On Friday, June 14, 1991, Leslie went out for the evening with her friends and stayed out well past her curfew. At 2 A.M., she found herself locked out of her house. She called her girlfriend to ask her if she could spend the night with her, but the girlfriend didn’t think that her mother would allow it at that hour. Leslie told her girlfriend that she was going back home to wake up her parents.
Her friends and family never saw her alive again.
Leslie had actually gone back to her home to see if there was any way to get in without waking her parents. With the worst possible luck imaginable, she encountered Paul Bernardo who was prowling around the neighborhood looking for license plates to steal. Paul had begun augmenting his income by smuggling cigarettes across the border and needed the stolen license plates to disguise his frequent visits across the American-Canadian line. He pulled a knife on Leslie Mahaffy and forced her to go in his car.
Paul took his catch home. While Karla slept, he began to videotape the fourteen-year-old Leslie naked and blindfolded. When Karla woke up, she was very angry that Paul had used their best champagne glasses to entertain his new toy. Finally, Karla came around and started being the obedient wife that Paul demanded.
Paul gave Karla elaborate instructions on how to make love to Leslie. It was the voice of a director in an important film. Every moment had to be just perfect for the videotape he was making. After the prelude with Karla, Paul went in for the rough stuff, while his wife held the camera. The brute force of his anal penetration caused Leslie to scream in pain.
On the evening June 29, 1991, a man and his wife were canoeing on Lake Gibson when they came across a concrete block with some pieces of animal flesh encased in it. Later, he went back to the spot and, with the help of a fisherman, pulled out the concrete block and looked at it closely. Inside the block was the calf and foot of a young woman.
Soon, the place was alive with cops, who found a total of five concrete blocks that had been dumped there in the shallow water. Police theorized that whoever dumped this body in Lake Gibson was not familiar with the area or he would have dumped the concrete blocks over the bridge where the deep water may have kept them a secret forever.
Not long afterwards, the torso of a young woman was found in the water. The body parts that had been found in the concrete block had been cut from her torso with a power saw. Leslie’s distinctive braces provided the clues to her identification.
Paul deprived of his eccentric entertainment was prone to ill humor. This simply would not do. Karla, the ever-dutiful wife called Jane back into service. But Jane was far from the ideal sex slave. First of all, the girl upset them both by refusing to let Paul have intercourse with her (Jane thought she was still a virgin). Oral sex was all she would agree to. Then she told her riding instructor about Paul and the instructor told Jane’s mother. The result was that Paul and Karla had less opportunity to enjoy themselves with Jane. One night, things got out of hand again with the halothane and Jane stopped breathing for awhile. This scared the daylights out of Paul and Karla.
Not only that, Paul was become annoyed with his new wife. He questioned her competence with the halothane. Karla was frantic. She had to do something to put some new romance back into their relationship.
November 30, 1991, pretty and vivacious fourteen-year-old Terri Anderson disappeared.
For a while, another willing girl satisfied their needs, but eventually she moved back to Youngstown, Ohio, and the Bernardos were bereft once again for entertainment. This always created tensions in their marriage – tensions that were unbearable to Karla.
On April 16, 1992, a very popular and attractive teenager named Kristen French was abducted from a church parking lot. Karla had lured the pretty girl over to their car on the pretense of asking directions. When Kristen stood by the car looking at Karla’s map, Paul forced the girl into the backseat with his knife.
At the outset, both Paul and Karla knew that Kristen would have to die. She had clearly seen them, knew where they lived and had seen their dog. Even so, they didn’t want Kristen to figure this out, particularly since she was bigger than Karla was and fairly strong despite her youth.
Kristen, who was a smart girl, did everything she could to cooperate with this depraved couple and their outrageous and humiliating demands. She believed that cooperation was her only chance for survival. The ordeal became worse and worse. The more she cooperated, the more sadistic Paul became.
"’I’m going to piss on you, okay? Then I’m going to shit on you.’ Paul said in a whisper…Kristen did not move, even when he slapped her face with his semi-erect penis.
"’Don’t make me mad. Don’t make me hurt you,’ he said, urging her to smile when he rubbed his groin into her face.
"’Don’t worry, I won’t piss in your face.’
Finally, he stood over her and urinated. Then he moved. Turning his buttocks into her face, he squatted over her face and tried to defecate on her without success.
"’You’re a fucking piece of shit. But I like you,’ he told her. ‘You look good covered in piss.’"
The indignities went on for a day or two, all meticulously captured on video for the future enjoyment of the newlyweds. Then came the final and worst indignity of all for Kristen French, but her death was not captured on film.
On April 30, 1992, Kristen’s body was found in a ditch. Her naked body had not been dismembered like Leslie’s, leading the investigators to erroneously conclude that the murders of the two teenagers were not connected.
On May 23, 1992, the body of Terri Anderson, who had been missing since the previous November, was found in the water at Port Dalhousie. The medical examiner saw no evidence of foul play, despite the difficulties of determining such factors in a body that had been in the water for six months. The coroner ruled that her death was by drowning, probably as a result of drinking beer and taking LSD.
"Inspector Bevan and the coroner were asking Mr. Anderson to accept that his daughter, who had been an excellent student, cheerleader and a generally well-adjusted child, had, under the influence of a few beers and a hit of blotter acid, gone out and in a stupor neither he nor her friends had perceived, walked into the freezing November waters of Lake Ontario and drowned."