Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka are also known as the “The Ken and Barbie Killers”. They started their crimes in 1990 before they got married and were arrested February 1st, 1993. The Ken and Barbe killers is notorious because of the media attention it attracted across the nation. They are also a part of a select few that killed as a couple.
The couple started with Karla’s sister, Tammy Homolka. They invited her over for dinner but put valium in her supper and then Bernardo raped her before she woke up, this is in July 1990. Later Dec.23, 1990 they drugged Tammy with animal tranquilizers and the two raped her while she was unconscious. She later choke on her own vomit and died, her death was ruled an accident. The second victim was 2 weeks before their wedding, 14 year-old Leslie Mahhafy. She was blindfolded and was raped for hours. The couple again videotaped the crime to relive their fantasies. Bernardo then snapped and strangled Leslie to death. Later they dismembered her body and dumped in Lake Gibson. The third victim is 15 year-old Kristen French, whom they met on the side of the road. Karla got out and asked her for directions and then she threatened her with a knife to get into the car. She was tortured and raped for three days, and was also shown the video of Leslie’s rape. The couple then strangled Kristen with the same cord as Leslie. The couple also raped at least two unnamed girls who survived.
Following a severe attack from Bernardo in January 1993, Homolka realized they were going to be caught so she confessed that Bernardo was a serial rapist and murderer. She got herself a lawyer and started making plea bargains in exchange for her testimony. Bernardo was then arrested on February 17, 1993. During the investigation, Homolka told investigators that Bernardo had abused her and she had been an unwilling accomplice. Homolka had confessed to her uncle and aunt about the rapes and murders and that they were recorded. They obtained search warrants with many limitations after Bernardo was arrested but they did not find the videotapes. The search of their apartment lasted 71 days. On May 5th, 1993 the government offered Homolka a 12 year sentence plea bargain, in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo. She claimed to be the abused wife that was forced to help him. Once the videotapes were discovered they found that this was not and Homolka had true involvement in the crimes. By this time it was too late to retry Homolka so she was left with her 12 year sentence. After the trials the six videotapes of torture and rape was destroyed.
Homolka was tried on June 28, 1993 but limited details were released because of the publication ban. Bernardo’s trial started on May 18th, 1995 and on June 29th, 1995 Homolka testified against Bernardo. The videotapes were brought to the trial but they weren’t shown due to the graphic and violent nature but the judge, jury, prosecution, and defense did get to view the tapes. On September 1, 1995 the jury decided that Bernardo was guilty of nine counts. On September 15, 1995 Bernardo was sentences to life in prison without parole. In November 1995 Bernardo is declared a dangerous offender. In July 1996 Bernardo has a six month long inquiry into the police investigation. He concludes that the investigation is hampered and has many mistakes. In March 2000 the Ontario Court of Appeal dismisses Bernardo’s request for a new trial. On October 9th, 2000 Homolka is transferred from Quebec to Saskatoon maximum security prison for psychiatric examination. In January 2001 Homolka is transferred to Montreal psychiatric hospital to undergo treatment. On December 16, 2004 the national parole board rules that Homolka must serve her full term. On June 2nd, 2005 Homolka appears in court to discuss any restrictions that should be placed on her after her release. The next day she has several restrictions placed on her including:
- She is to tell police her home address, work address and who she lives with.
- She has to notify police as soon as any of the above changes.
- She will also have to notify police of any change to her name.
- If she wants to be away from her home for more than 48 hours, she will have to give 72 hours notice.
- She cannot contact Paul Bernardo, the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French or Jane Doe. She also may not contact any violent criminals.
- She also will be forbidden from being with people under the age of 16 and from consuming drugs other than prescription medicine.
- Continue therapy and counselling.
- Provide police with a DNA sample.
Bernardo and Homolka were the type of serial killers that were driven by power and control along with lust. There signature varied each time but was usually between drugging and luring them in.
Karla Homolka left Canada for the Caribbean after being released from prison. She has resurfaced in a suburb in Montreal. She know goes by the name Leanne Teale and two of her children are attending a local public school.
The pair left a chilling photo in Tammy’s casket. The photo was found in the coffin by police during the exhumation.This is a photo of Tammy Homolka at the hospital after Bernardo and Homolka murdered her.