This week, Drewby and Yergy discuss Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka, a seemingly unlikely pair of Canadian killers. Known as the “Ken and Barbie Killers” for their good looks, the young couple induced fear throughout southern Ontario in the 1990s with a string of sex attacks and killed at least three minors between 1990 and 1992 before they were arrested.
Bernardo is known for initially committing a series of rapes in Scarborough, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, between 1987 and 1990. While he was at large, he was dubbed “The Scarborough Rapist” and these went unsolved for over five years until his capture.
Homolka attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain to serve only 12 years in the rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and killing of her sister Tammy. Homolka and Bernardo were arrested in 1993. Bernardo was convicted of what became known as the Schoolgirl Murders and received life imprisonment.
Homolka stated to investigators that Bernardo had abused her and that she had been an unwilling accomplice to the murders. As a result, she struck a deal with prosecutors for a reduced prison sentence of twelve years in exchange for a guilty plea to the charge of manslaughter. However, videotapes of the crimes surfaced after the plea bargain and demonstrated that Homolka was a more active participant than she had claimed. Public outrage about Homolka’s plea deal continued until her high-profile release from prison in 2005.
Following her release from prison, Homolka settled in the province of Quebec, where she married Thierry Bordelais, the brother of her lawyer Sylvia Bordelais. She briefly lived in the Antilles and Guadeloupe but by 2014 had returned to Quebec.
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