Karla Homolka

DENIED: Serial killer rapist Paul Bernardo begs for leniency during parole hearing, but board rejects his request

Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo, part of the infamous “Ken and Barbie” serial killer duo, has been denied parole after pleading to a parole board while exclaiming he’s a changed man.

CBC reports that on Wednesday afternoon, the mother of one of Bernardo’s victims announced to the parole board in eastern Ontario that the fact the notorious killer was up for parole has been an “emotional hell” for her.

“I don’t want to be here,” Debbie Mahaffy, mother of victim Leslie Mahaffy, said. “I do not want to be in the same room [with Bernardo]. I do not want to participate. Yet, here I am.”

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As CrimeOnline previously reported, Bernardo kidnapped, raped, and killed Leslie, 14, in the summer of 1991. While his then-wife and partner in crime, Karla Homolka, claimed Bernardo strangled the girl and hid her in a basement, Bernardo said it was Homolka who killed Leslie by giving her a lethal dose of Halothane. Both admitted to participating in the kidnap and rape of the girl.

“We have to relive Leslie’s pain and horror,” Mahaffy continued. “Our pain and horror … as if it happened yesterday.”

Bernardo also kidnapped, raped, and killed 15-year-old Kristen French in April 1992. Homolka lured the girl to Bernardo’s car, where Bernado shoved her inside and drove her back to their Port Dalhousie, Ontario home.

For days, both Homolka ad Bernardo videotaped themselves sexually assaulting, beating, and humiliating Kristen. Police found the teen’s naked, lifeless body on April 30, 1992, thrown into a ditch in Burlington, after the couple beat her with a metal brush then strangled her with a noose.

Kristen’s mother, Donna French, also attended the parole board hearing. She explained that time hasn’t lessened the pain of losing her daughter.

“How does one describe such immeasurable pain so as to give even the slightest understanding of the overwhelming sadness, the emptiness, and pain we feel even after 26 years of dealing with our loss?”

One of Bernardo’s surviving victims was just 14 when he dragged her in the woods and raped. “Jennifer” appeared before the parole board and said she has never gotten over the attack, which left her as a shell of the person she once was.

“After the assault, I really became a shell of a person,” she said. “He should never be considered for any freedom for the rest of his life.”

Bernardo, seated at a table beside his lawyer, kept his head down as the grieving mothers and victim took turns speaking. CTV News reports that he showed little emotion.

Upon his turn to address the parole board, the serial killer pleaded for leniency, claiming that he lives daily with the pain he caused and is now a changed man.

“What I did was so dreadful. I hurt a lot of people,” Bernardo said. “I cry all the time.”

Regardless, the National Parole Board panel denied Bernardo’s request and returned him to the maximum security Millhaven Institution.

From a span of 1986 to 1992, Bernardo went on a spree of kidnapping young girls and raping them. He eventually began killing the ones that didn’t get away. Several girls were lured in by Homolka, who set up her own little sister, 15-year-old Tammy Homolka, in an attempt to please her husband’s sadistic sexual fantasies.

In addition to the deaths of Leslie and Kristen, Tammy also passed away after a night of rape and abuse.

While at Homolka’s parents’ Ontario home in December 1990, Homolka laced her little sister’s drink with Halothane sleeping pills that she stole from the Martindale Veterinarian Clinic, where she worked part-time. The couple then supplied the teen with alcohol and when she passed out, Bernardo sexually assaulted her. Homolka would later say she wanted to “give Tammy’s virginity to Bernardo for Christmas.”

The pair brought an inebriated and unconscious Tammy into the basement of her parents’ home, where Homolka filmed as Bernardo raped the girl. When Tammy began vomiting profusely, they allegedly tried to help her. When their efforts failed, Bernardo and Homolka began hiding evidence before calling 911. By the time first responders arrived, it was too late. Tammy passed away shortly after at St. Catharines General Hospital.

The teen’s initial cause of death was listed as accidental choking, but Homolka, after numerous years of beatings and abuse by Bernardo, eventually turned on him and told authorities what happened to her sister.

As part of a plea deal, Homolka served 12 years behind bars. As CrimeOnline previously reported, she was released from prison in 2005. She has since remarried.

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[Feature Photo: Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka/Handout]