JOYCE NAPIER: Journalist, Radio-Canada: Your relationships with family are difficult?
In what way?
In the sense of what happened with your sister. You had a little sister.
You took part with Paul Bernardo in the death of your little sister and in the rape of your little sister. Hence my question as to whether your relationship with your family is difficult.
No, my family loves me, and my family has also lived with my ex-husband and my mother had no idea what happened in my relationship with him. My parents’ friends had no idea. Everybody thought he was number one. My family has never rejected me for what I did. My mother only said that she hates what I did, but she loves me and we have a very beautiful relationship. I am very lucky.
And with your father too?
Yes, the same thing.
Well, where will you settle down?
I’m not answering this question.
“We did something a few days ago. We raped a little girl down here in my room. You went out and you found her. Got her. Brought her back to the house, brought her downstairs. I was shocked. I gave you that. I let you do that because I love you. Because you’re the king.”
A 2008 photo of Karla Holmolka
Karla Homolka in prison
Remembering Tammy Homolka:
Unfortunately, there was and is no victim impact statement regarding the manslaughter death of Tammy Lyn Homolka. The author feels it appropriate to say that the impact of the death of Tammy Lyn Homolka was felt by her immediate family and relatives, by friends, school-mates, and, in particular, fellow soccer players and coaches.
There was a time, following Tammy’s death, when the health programme at Sir Winston Churchill used Tammy’s death, then thought the result of excessive drinking, as an example of what may happen to those who abuse alcohol. It was, considering what we now know, an unfair example that tarnished the memory of Tammy Lyn Homolka. Tammy’s cousin, Christine Homolka, said, “Our family always thought there was something odd about the way she died. We were never really satisfied with the coroner calling it an accident. She was a good athlete. An excellent soccer player. Very healthy.”
Christine was correct.
Perhaps none felt the loss of Tammy more acutely than the young lady identified in this work as Chesney Bradson. Chesney wrote, on the first anniversary of Tammy’s sudden death:
“This month brings back with sad regret
It brings back a day we shall never forget
You fell asleep without a goodbye
But my love for you will never die.
- Never to be forgotten by best friend, Chesney Bradford .”
On the second anniversary of Tammy’s death, Chesney wrote:
“I think of you in silence
I often speak your name,
I have so many memories
And your picture’s in a frame. My heart still aches in sadness
In silence my tears still flow,
For what it meant to lose you
No one will ever know.
- Loved forever by her best friend, Chesney Bradson.”
Source: Bernardo: The Scarborough Rapist by G. Michael Wass
Victim Impact Statement from the family of Leslie Mahaffy
When Donna French left the stand, eleven-year old Ryan Mahaffy, younger brother of slain teenager Leslie Erin Mahaffy took her place. All legal parties agreed to waive the taking of an oath. The spunky blond haired child settled his innocent blue eyes on Paul Bernardo, stared into the eyes of the murderer, and pronounced his own judgement.
“I was born January 6, 1984 when my sister, Leslie, was seven and a half years old. Today, November 3, 1995, I am eleven years old.
When my Mom and Dad told me Leslie had died and was never coming home again - that she was in a much more beautiful place - I do not remember them telling me that she had been murdered, and her body was found in Lake Gibson. I guess I hoped she was still alive and living somewhere on this Earth. I hoped she would come home soon. Sometime later, my Mom and Dad told me that I had inherited everything that Leslie owned, if I wished it and when I was ready for it. I now have Leslie’s bedroom, her furniture, her keyboard, her ghetto-blaster, her gymnastics medals, her gold chain and her perfume. But, I’d rather just have her back.
I miss Leslie the most first thing every morning, and at Christmas when we are travelling on vacation and when she was sun-tanning - at home or at the beach. When she was laying down on her stomach, I’d take her bathing suit top or spray her with a hose or spritz bottle. She’d yell at me, but I just laughed. It was fun. In the mornings, it was fun to mess up her sink with toothpaste and put soap or shaving cream on her mirror. She’d always do it back to me and we’d both be laughing until we both had to clean our sinks and our half of the mirror. Sometimes she’d even clean the top of my mirror that I couldn’t reach. At Christmas, Leslie always came downstairs early with me to see what Santa had brought. She would read Santa’s letter to me; usually there was a special surprise in it for us. I always threatened that I’d bought her underwear from By-Way and she threatened that she’d bought me a set of encyclopaedias: We never got the chance to actually do it because of you! Christmas has been a very sad time without Leslie. It used to be a great time at home together. Now we go away for Christmas - trying to find some Christmas spirit again, I guess. Travelling without my companion (as I called her after she was dead) is very boring. We used to have fun listening to songs, reciting movies from memory…or pretending to argue to raz Mom and Dad.
When you!, Paul Bernardo, murdered my sister when I was seven, you have changed my life in so many ways that are too personal to talk about. There are feelings too far over the line to say out loud, even to my psychiatrist. I am now an only child and sometimes that’s very lonely. I have had terrible nightmares and horrible thoughts, about Leslie, that scare me. I want these thoughts to stop. Because of what you! did, I have to go to counselling and it seems to me, by far, that you are the one that needed counselling. Now it’s too late.
My life will never be the same without Leslie. Leslie and I loved the ocean and beaches. I am continuing her collection of sand from every beach in the world. One of the things Leslie wanted to be was a marine biologist, and now, so do I, because I love dolphins as much as she did and I am especially interested in Orca whales. It is sad they are called ‘Killer Whales,’ because their behaviour is not at all like yours - as a killer! You purposely hurt and then killed Leslie and cut her and put her in cement blocks. That is disgusting! I don’t like going to the cemetery with Mom or Dad because I have the feeling that not only Leslie is there, but there are so many other people there. Maybe someone else is there who died because of a freak like you!
I wanted a Dove on Leslie’s gravestone and so Mom and Dad had one put on.It is rising in flight to heaven. I always make sure that there is a white Dove in Leslie’s Christmas Wreath - some Christmas present! Birds are free - not like the way you trapped Leslie - and white Doves mean Peace. Leslie has a place in heaven, but Mom and Dad and I need peace from missing Leslie, and peace from thinking about you and what you did to Leslie. I invited nine friends to come to the cemetery to see Leslie’s gravestone. It was a small Memorial Service with only MY friends. We played two of Leslie and my favourite songs,and we all sang and then my Mom read a poem and said a prayer. This is not a normal thing for nine-year old’s to do. But that’s your FAULT!
There are many things that make me think of Leslie and make me feel sad or scared. Just some of these things are:
1) Going to the basement of our house alone at night.
2) Putting my bike away in the garage at the side of our house.
3) Reaching into a dark room to turn on a light switch.
4) Looking into a dark room when I’m trying to get to sleep.
5) When I asked Mom to show me Dad’s power saw and blade. Even though Mom explained that the blades are always separate from the saw so that no-one can break into our house and murder us and cut us also. I still worry, sometimes, about that.
6) Presenting or watching my Mom or Dad present the curling or gymnastics trophy in Leslie’s Memory.
I think we should present trophies to people because they are special and should never be forgotten before they die or are killed. Some people call you a monster and evil. I agree! I think Darwin would be wondering how and what you ever evolved from on the evolutionary scale!
Leslie taught me so many things and would have taught me a lot more if you had let her come home to us. She taught me how to electrify myself by putting my tongue on a battery and she also taught me some great dance moves. Leslie protected me on the rides at Canada’s wonderland, Marineland or wherever we went. She protected me when we were allowed to go to Mac’s to get junk food. And when bullies on the court teased me, she sent them home in a hurry. I wish someone could have protected her from you.”
It was at this time that Ryan - along with almost everyone in the courtroom broke down; sobs wracked his small body and tears filled his eyes. Mr.Justice LeSage asked Ryan if he needed a break. Ryan shook his head no. Justice LeSage asked the youngster if he’d like his Mother by his side. Debbie Mahaffy stood by her son and held his hand as he continued in a hurried, trembling, voice. Ryan was determined that the court, and Paul Bernardo, would hear him finish telling of the impact of his sister’s death.
“Before you took Leslie and murdered her, my Mom and Dad had a great sense of humour. Now they have lost it. You are the cause of ALL the anger in our house. Going to the beach without seeing Leslie lounging in a chair or lying in the sun is sometimes just too sad to go at all. She would help me build sand castles, she had some good ideas, but the waves would come and demolish it…Just like you demolished her. Except I can always build another sand castle, but there is no way Leslie can be here with me again. My Mom used to remind Leslie, when she would lose her temper with me because I was bugging her or her friends, that she better consider that one day I would be bigger than she was, and look out! Because you killed her, you stopped all the crazy and fun things we would have probably done to each other.”
Ryan was persevering on sheer determination by this point. In a hurry to finish and unburden himself while staring down the monster that had taken his sister’s life, he deviated from his prepared statement. His tiny face was soaked with tears, but then that was the case with almost everyone in the courtroom. Ryan composed himself, needing only another moment or two in which he would immortalize his sister. He again stared into the eyes of the monster. The eyes of Mr. Justice LeSage joined Ryan’s own, seeming to radiate hatred towards Paul Bernardo.
“I wrote, in 1993, on her Memorial Board, given to us by her friends, ‘I will always be with you, I will always care, your little bro.’
When I have a nightmare or I can’t get to sleep because of sad or frightening thoughts about Leslie, Mom, Dad, or Nana, I wonder if you ever have trouble sleeping. If you do, or ever have a headache, you must know it is just Leslie and our family returning a little of the pain you have caused us. Leslie looked so beautiful at her graduation, then a year later, she said goodbye and my Mom drove her to be with her friends, because four of their friends -and Leslie’s special friend Chris Evans- had died in a car accident earlier in the week. The very last time I saw her, Friday, June 14, 1991, she looked the most beautiful I had ever seen her…and that’s the way I will always remember her.”
Ryan composed himself and walked from the witness box, then, reaching the rear of the courtroom, he burst through the doors and escaped the ongoing horror inside courtroom 5-1. Ryan returned to the courtroom at 11:00 a.m. -a victim impact videocassette tape, World’s Apart, composed by his Mother Debbie, was being played for the court.
World’s Apart was created in response to the pornographic videocassette tape that Paul and Karla had filmed of Leslie Mahaffy. It was timed, at approximately forty-minutes, to coincide with the play time of Bernardo’s tape
“This videotape does not show Leslie as depicted on your tapes,” Debbie Mahaffy’s accusatory voice emanated from the tape. “This video portrays a chronicle of Leslie’s life as she was, a special person. It is nothing like the pornographic and obscene video’s you directed and produced. They show the worst of humanity:They show evil. They show you! You denied Leslie her right to live. You robbed our family…of the right to love and hold Leslie. Your ugliness contaminated my world. You destroyed all of Leslie’s life, her dignity. Even after death. We were denied the [due to the dismemberment, Leslie was laid in a capsule in a closed casket] opportunity to see Leslie and say good-bye. Leslie’s voice, screams of pain and horror, will abide in the darkest part of my soul. Leslie’s screams, that filled this courtroom, echo the screams that have filled my heart and soul every night since the day her body was found.
Leslie was a very special person - a gift. Born like no one else. No one saw things, first, the same way she did. She was wise beyond her years. To all of eternity, no one will do things like she did. Leslie touched many people in her short life. Leslie was our future.
You chose to be a predator, stalking Leslie and Kristen. You will now experience the degree of pain and fear that you caused Leslie to experience. You will never be a sexual predator again. I will forever think of you as devoid of feelings and humanity. You have crawled from the lowest level of the evolutionary scale. You have been exposed for what you are - for what you did to Leslie. You will now pay for that.
The Leslie that you thought you defeated has defeated you. Her beauty and soul can never be defeated. You must never forget, it is Leslie who is truly victorious. She’s free. She’s at peace with her God.”
World’s Apart was composed of hundreds of photographs of Leslie’s short life. Pictures of Leslie as an infant: pictures of Leslie at play with her baby brother Ryan; Leslie in a prom dress; and finally, a newspaper displaying a picture of Leslie - after she’d been murdered. When the videocassette tape ended, the lights inside courtroom 5-1 were brightened. Red circles rimmed the eyes of stunned victims, their families, veteran journalists and spectators alike. Dry eyes were the exception. Dan Mahaffy submitted a written statement to the court. Dan did not take the stand and read his statement. A further statement from Debbie Mahaffy, a supplement to World’s Apart, was also submitted, but not read.
Dan Mahaffy’s statement, submitted but not read, detailed his own tragedy over the loss of his daughter.
“Leslie was, is and shall always be my daughter. I loved her and I will always love her, with the special love that only a Father can have for his children. Death does not change my love or my responsibility and desire to protect her. I was with Deb when Leslie was born. I remember the joy and pride I felt at seeing Mother and daughter together for the first time. Nor shall I forget the feelings that overwhelmed me.
When I held her for the first time I had intended to take pictures of this occasion, but the moment was so intimate and precious, it would have been an intrusion, even if I had remembered. The joy of telling friends and family how wonderful I felt being a Dad are still fresh in my mind. I remember the joys of seeing Leslie grow up and felt her pain when I saw her sad. I will always remember her as the mature young woman that she seemed to become so quickly, all her dreams yet to be dreamt.
I love Leslie and will cherish her memory for as long as I live. We will never know what Leslie would have become because her life was terminated prematurely. The terrible tragedy in Leslie’s death is, that we, her parents, grandparents, cousins, and especially her brother Ryan, will never know what Leslie’s influence on our lives would have been.”
Victim Impact Statement from the family of Kristen French
Bernardo was led into courtroom at 9:45 a.m. He wore his usual olive green suit. Rows of Bernardo’s victims and their families lined up behind Bernardo; at least one, four rows behind his personal prisoner box, cried upon his entrance. Thirty-five seconds later, Mr. Justice Patrick LeSage, the man who had presided over the Bernardo proceedings for the past two years, entered his court. Raw emotion saturated the air inside the courtroom.
Over the next ninety minutes to two hours, - an eternity for those present - media and spectators listened to, and watched, the victim impact statements of the survivors of Bernardo’s murder victims.
Donna French, Mother of slain teenager Kristen Dawn French was the first to take the stand. It was gut wrenching testimony, on behalf of herself, her husband Doug, Kristen’s brothers, Darren, Brian, Dwayne and Brad, her sister, Pam, sister-in-law, Rita and brother-in-law, Bill.
“The first thing which must be realized is that there are no words, no concepts, and no comparisons that can adequately describe the effect this has had upon Doug and me and our family. Each idea, multiplied by a thousand-fold, would still come painfully short. The second fact is that there isn’t, and never will be, any outcome that will compensate for the loss we feel - for the loss of an innocent human life is the greatest heresy of all.
The loss of Kristen has had a tremendous impact on so very many people. Not only has her loss had a damaging effect on her family and relatives, but on her boyfriend, her best friend, all her many close friends, as well as her school-mates and team-mates. Her death has had a devastating effect, not only on our community and the Niagara Region, but it has effected people across Canada: In fact, world-wide - as thousands of letters we have received will confirm. Letters, including the elderly, who are totally despaired at this tragedy, and young children, who are filled with fear since this nightmare. Only a parent who has lost a child through an act of violence could possibly understand the pain. It’s as though the hand of evil has reached in and ripped away a part of your heart and you’re left with this huge, gaping hole that throbs, and aches, and refuses to heal.
The morning of April 30, 1992, the two detectives on Kristen’s case came to out house to inform us a young girl’s body had been found in Burlington: No identification was available at that time. They stayed with us awaiting news. Those hours of waiting were the most terrible hours of our lives. They were hours filled with dread that this might be Kristen: hours of prayers, hours of fear. We were informed, later that afternoon, that the girl they found was Kristen. I remember shaking my head and saying ‘No!’. I didn’t want to believe that my beautiful daughter could be dead; not Kristen! I looked over at Doug and I saw an old man - he had aged in moments. Doug has lost his baby girl. Kristen kept Doug young, she made him laugh, she gave him purpose, she made him proud. She had a way of tugging at his heart strings that made him smile. Knowing he will never see Kristen accomplish her objectives and reach her goals, knowing he will never be able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, is a heartbreak in itself - but to never feel her arms around his neck and hear her say ‘I love you Dad,’ leaves a void that can never be filled.
For me, her Mother, I have tried to keep as busy as possible and as long as I’m occupied, the pain gets pushed towards the back of my mind, but the very moment my mind is not occupied, the pain rushes back. It’s overwhelming, it’s all encompassing. It blots out every other emotion. All I feel is pain and emptiness. When it rains, I think of the day Kristen was abducted. It rained for days on end, and I remember thinking the angels were crying. When it’s warm, I think of Kristen, a laughing child with long brown hair tied back into pig tails, dancing through the water sprinkler. I remember a beautiful teenager as agile as a dolphin, as graceful as a nymph, playing in our pool - totally unaware what a beautiful picture she made. Everywhere I go, everything I do, everything I see, reminds me of Kristen. It hurts so much when I see other teenagers laughing together, or a boy and a girl walking hand-in-hand, or when I see a young girl with long dark hair. All I can think of is, ‘that should be Kristen!’, and pain rips through me as I realize it will NEVER be Kristen!
Kristen loved her dog, Sasha - they were inseparable. Her nickname for the dog was ‘Blue Eyes’. Every morning, as we would leave for school, Kristen would give the dog a treat and say ‘Bye pretty Blue Eyes’. Now, every time I leave for work, I can almost hear her saying, ‘Bye Pretty Blue Eyes’ and my eyes fill with tears as I realize I will never again hear her voice. It has now been three years since our daughter’s murder. Not a day goes by that we don’t have thoughts of Kristen. Kristen a baby: Kristen a little girl; Kristen, the hope filled teenager, on the verge of blossoming into a young lady. Sweet gentle, happy Kristen - the sweetheart of our family. We mourn the graduation we’ll never attend, the marriage we’ll never plan, the grandchild we will never hold. There are times that the very thought of life without Kristen seems more than we can bear: it takes every ounce of strength to carry on. When Kristen was a preschooler, she had trouble saying any word that began with ‘th’. She was quick to learn that daddy would sometimes come back with a quick ‘no’ when she asked for something. So, she got into the habit of, when asking for something, she would follow with a quick, ‘just sink about it daddy, just sink about it.’ ‘Just think about it’ is a common saying, and whenever I hear it, the picture that flashes through my mind is our sweet little girl dashing into the house, brown pony tails flying, chocolate brown eyes filled with anticipation as she would breathlessly ask for something - quickly followed with a, ‘just sink about it daddy, just sink about it.’ And once again that vise squeezes my heart and tears stream down my face.
Paul Bernardo took Kristen away from us physically. He took her youth, her innocence, and finally, her life. Thankfully, we know he could not take her spirit, her courage, or her soul: In that he failed - as he will fail to take ours. Still, for a grieving family, he took too much. Everyday I have to force myself to wake up in the morning because even though sleep is filled with nightmares that terrify me and fill me with anguish and despair, it is still better than facing another day of reality - the reality that my beautiful Kristen is gone forever. Reality is stark! The pain is there every moment; it’s constant, it’s enveloping, it’s all consuming - it’s so intense it feels like physical pain. Kristen wasn’t just my daughter, she was my baby: She was my best friend. The most overwhelming fact is that my daughter is NEVER coming back; I’ll NEVER be able to hold her, NEVER be able to kiss her, NEVER be able to see her beautiful face again. Not in five years, not in twenty-five years: We have been handed a life sentence.
One of the most major impacts this has had on our entire family is the feeling of ‘incompleteness’. Our family has always been a very close and loving family and the joy and solidarity we feel when we are all together is an important factor in our lives. The loss of Kristen has left a hole, not only in our hearts, but in our lives. Our family tree is missing one of its limbs. When the verdict for Paul Bernardo came in as ‘Guilty of First Degree Murder,’ which was followed by an automatic life sentence, it brought a closure to a part of this nightmare - it brought relief. When someone is so evil that evil has consumed his very soul, that individual is no longer human and as such there simply is no significant penalty that can ensue - for the value of Paul Bernardo’s life is a total of nothing.”
Figure 1: Those were the blocks of concrete that Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo’s victim Leslie Mahaffy was encased in after she was raped and cut up by Paul in 1991.
Figure 2: Police inspect victim Kristen French’s body, after she was raped, killed, and dumped in a ditch in 1992. Notice one detective holding Kristen’s hand.
I just wanna say that I admire your blog. Nice to see how informative your posts and sources are, without 'glamorizing' the crimes or the criminals. Glad that we can share information on this case, since those two definitely aren't the last of their kind, and any/all information we have to study how these people come to be and how they did what they did, might help us identify other monsters like them. And the fact that one of them is still walking amongst us, makes me bit uneasy.
Thanks for the kind compliment :) I didn’t make this blog to glorify Paul and Karla, I just wanted to share some precious info about the two with other people who are fascinated by them too. Learning about criminals like them and studying their motivations is a useful task, and I’m happy to know that other people feel the same way.
who killed her
Who killed who? That is the most vague statement you could possibly have made. If y’all are gonna ask me questions, please make them coherent.
so this may seem like a pretty stupid question, but are the rape tapes that were made anywhere on the internet? like have they been released or anything?
Like I already answered before, nope, those 6 tapes were apparently destroyed in December 2001.
I just found your blog and I love it. I'm always interested in stories like this one. Any blog suggestions to any that are similar to yours?
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy this blog! :) Some similar blogs I suggest would be the typical serial killer ones, like these for example:
Those are also very informative and thorough, and have info about a variety of serial killers. This Youtube channel uploaded some great Paul and Karla videos too:
61 Bayview Drive, Port Dalhousie, Ontario (the lot upon which 57 Bayview Drive previously stood)
61 Dundonald Road, St. Catharines, Ontario.
Where monsters lived.