Citing the need to protect Bernardo's right to a fair trial , a publication ban was imposed on Homolka's preliminary inquiry. Homolka, through her lawyers, supported the ban, whereas Bernardo's lawyers argued that he would be prejudiced by the ban since Homolka previously had been portrayed as his victim. Four media outlets and one author also opposed the application.
Some lawyers argued that rumours could be doing more damage to the future trial process than the publication of the actual evidence. American journalists cited the First Amendment in editorials and published details of Homolka's testimony, which were widely distributed by many Internet sources, primarily on the alt.
Information and rumours spread across myriad electronic networks available to anyone in Canada with a computer and a modem. Moreover, many of the Internet rumours went beyond the known details of the case. Newspapers in Buffalo , Detroit , Washington , New York City and even Britain , together with border radio and television stations, reported details gleaned from sources at Homolka's trial.
The syndicated series A Current Affair aired two programs on the crimes. Canadians bootlegged copies of The Buffalo Evening News across the border, prompting orders to the Niagara Regional Police Service to arrest all those with more than one copy at the border.
Extra copies were confiscated. Copies of other newspapers, including The New York Times , were either turned back at the border or were not accepted by distributors in Ontario.
Little was known about the respective roles Homolka and Bernardo played in their actions and the killing of their victims. By spring, , it was clear that the Crown's case against Bernardo depended on Homolka's evidence. In simple terms, to secure a conviction against him, her story had to be believed. Yet on no view of the facts then known could she be exculpated; by casting her as a victim of his predatory behaviour, her responsibility for the crimes that were committed could be diminished and her credibility as a witness preserved.
Bernardo was charged with two counts each of kidnapping, unlawful confinement , aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder as well as one of dismemberment.
Coincidentally, that day Bernardo's original lawyer, Ken Murray, first watched the rape videotapes. Murray decided to hold onto the tapes and use them to impeach Homolka on the stand during Bernardo's trial. Neither Murray nor Carolyn MacDonald, the other lawyer on the defence team, were deeply experienced in criminal law and it was only over time that their ethical dilemma showed itself also to be a potentially criminal matter, for they were withholding evidence.
By October , he and his law partners had studied over 4, documents from the Crown. Murray has said he was willing to hand over the tapes to the Crown if they had let him cross-examine Homolka in the anticipated preliminary hearing. Hearing[ edit ] Homolka was tried on June 28, , though the publication ban the court had imposed limited the details released to the public, who were barred from the proceedings. He consulted his own lawyer, Austin Cooper, who asked the Law Society of Upper Canada's professional-conduct committee for advice.
The law society further directed him to remove himself as Bernardo's counsel and to tell Bernardo what he had been instructed to do," Murray said in a statement released through Cooper in September Rosen argued that the tapes should have been turned over to the defence first.
Murray handed the tapes, along with a detailed summary, to Rosen, who "kept the tapes for about two weeks and then decided to turn them over to the prosecution.
The tapes were not allowed to be shown to the spectators; only the audio portion was available to them. Moreover, Bernardo has always claimed that, while he raped and tortured Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, Homolka actually killed them. After the videotapes had been found, rumours spread that Homolka was an active participant of the crimes. The public grew incensed as the full extent of Homolka's role in the case was finally exposed and the plea agreement now seemed unnecessary.
However, as was provided in the plea bargain, Homolka had already disclosed sufficient information to the police and the Crown found no grounds to break the agreement and reopen the case. Appeal and inquest[ edit ] Homolka's plea bargain had been offered before the contents of the videotapes were available for review.
Speculation was fed by a publicity ban on the plea bargain which stood until Bernardo's trial. The gaze centres, always, on Homolka italics added That [Bernardo] would be incarcerated for his mortal lifespan seemed a foregone conclusion.
Homolka, in the popular view, should have taken her seat beside him in the prisoner's box and seat of ultimate evil Homolka promised full disclosure and testimony against Bernardo in return for reduced charges In so doing, she escaped central blame for the deaths. Galligan, reporting to the Attorney General on the matter, indicated that in his opinion "the Crown had no alternative but to The six videotapes depicting the torture and rape of Bernardo's and Homolka's victims were destroyed.
The disposition of the tapes of Homolka watching and commenting on the tapes remains sealed. Prison[ edit ] After her testimony against Bernardo, when Homolka returned to Kingston's Prison For Women , her mother started to suffer annual breakdowns between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The collapses were severe enough that she was hospitalized, sometimes for months at a time. Homolka, reported one, "remains something of a diagnostic mystery.
Despite her ability to present herself very well, there is a moral vacuity in her which is difficult, if not impossible, to explain. The psychiatrist mentions in his report that under the circumstances, the relationship was not abnormal. Her former veterinary clinic co-worker and friend, Wendy Lutczyn, the Toronto Sun declared, "now believes Homolka's actions were those of a psychopath , not of an abused, controlled woman".
Lutczyn said she did not want them any more. I tried so hard to save her. Homolka took correspondence courses in sociology through nearby Queen's University  which initially caused a media storm.
Concepts of remorse, repentance, shame, responsibility and atonement have no place in the universe of Karla. Perhaps she simply lacks the moral gene," wrote another Globe columnist, Margaret Wente. Graham Glancy, a forensic psychiatrist hired by Bernardo's chief defence lawyer, John Rosen, had offered an alternative theory to explain Homolka's behaviour, noted Williams in Invisible Darkness, his first book on the case.
In her letters Homolka also disparaged a number of the professionals who had examined her and said she did not care "what conditions I would receive upon release. I would spend three hours a day standing on my head should that be required.
Homolka participated in every treatment program recommended by prison authorities, until she was asked to participate in a program that had been designed for male sex offenders. She refused, on the grounds that she was neither male nor a convicted sex offender. During Homolka's release hearing under section If she posed any kind of danger, said Dr.
Hubert Van Gijseghem, a forensic psychologist for Correctional Services Canada, it lay in the ominous but not unlikely possibility of her linking up with another sexual sadist like Bernardo. It's not for nothing that she did what she did with Bernardo," he told the National Post after reviewing her file. A scheduled newspaper interview with Homolka was quashed by her lawyer.
Her demeanour on the witness stand had been at times "indifferent, haughty and irritable". In , the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation noted that "The National Parole Board has ruled that Karla Homolka must stay in prison for her full sentence, warning that she remains a risk to commit another violent crime.
As a result it decided to keep her in prison. Meuneer recalls Homolka saying, "I don't let go right now because I want my clothes and I want my computer. She said one game seemed to simulate rape," the Post reported. A rumour that Homolka intended to settle in Alberta caused an uproar in that province. Another rumour suggests she will flee overseas, restarting in a country where her case is unknown.
Or sneak into the United States, using an illegal identity to cross the border and living out her life under a pseudonym. These conditions are not allowed under Section because they cross the line between preventive justice versus punitive measures, but "that's why [Toronto lawyer Tim Danson, acting on their behalf] believes the families want the government to amend the Section.
Beaulieu in June He ruled that Homolka, upon her release on July 4, , would still pose a risk to the public-at-large. As a result, using section She was to tell police her home address, work address and with whom she lives. She was required to notify police as soon as any of the above changed. She was likewise required to notify police of any change to her name. If she planned to be away from her home for more than 48 hours, she had to give 72 hours' notice.
She could not contact Paul Bernardo, the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French or that of the woman known as Jane Doe see above , or any violent criminals. She was forbidden to be with people under the age of She was forbidden from consuming drugs other than prescription medicine.
She was required to continue therapy and counselling. She was required to provide police with a DNA sample. While this reassured the public that Homolka would find it difficult to offend again, it was felt by the court that it might be detrimental to her as well, because public hostility and her high profile might endanger her upon release.
She granted her first interview to Radio-Canada television, speaking entirely in French. She said that she had likewise found Quebec to be more accepting of her than Ontario. She affirmed that she would be living within the province but refused to say where.
She said she had paid her debt to society legally, but not emotionally or socially. She refused to speak about her alleged relationship with Jean-Paul Gerbet, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence at Ste-Anne-des-Plaines. Homolka's mother was also present but off-screen, and was acknowledged by Homolka. Lawrence River from Montreal. She had attempted to change her name legally to Emily Chiara Tremblay Tremblay being one of the most common surnames in Quebec.
Several nurses had refused to care for Homolka before she gave birth. Homolka was reportedly angry with reporters' attempts to speak with her. If she is successful her criminal record will not be erased but will be covered up in background checks, except those required for working with children or other vulnerable persons. The Canadian government introduced legislation later in the year to make pardons more difficult to get.
On June 16, , Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said an agreement had been reached between all federal parties to pass a bill that would prevent notorious offenders like Karla Homolka from obtaining a pardon.
After systematically analyzing the couple's crimes it provided an examination of the cultural effects of the shocking revelations and controversy surrounding their trial.