By most estimations, the United States is the serial killing capital of the world. However, every once in a while, we get eclipsed by a regional rival. In this case, it’s Canada.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a pair of serial killers rocked the nation. Their crimes were so shocking, in fact, that after their arrests, there was a media blackout to prevent jury bias.
Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo met in 1987 when Paul was 23 and Karla was just 17. Despite the age difference, the two immediately found comfort in each other’s psychopathic tendencies.
Bernardo had a long history of abuse and sexual deviancy, while Homolka was by most accounts a model teenager. According to police records, the former was responsible for, or at least suspected of, 19 molestation cases in the Toronto area.
Despite their difference in background, they turned out to be a perfect match. Unlike his previous partners, Homolka encouraged Bernardo to indulge in his sadistic fantasies.
The two hit it off and quickly became seriously involved, despite Bernardo’s regular verbal and physical abuse of Homolka.
While the pair went on to commit at least three murders, the most disturbing killing was that of the woman’s younger sister, Tammy.
As Bernardo spent more time with the Homolka family, he became enamored with young Tammy. It got to the point where his partner (who was still living with her parents at the time) would sneak into Tammy’s room after she was asleep and open the window for Bernardo. He would then climb in and masturbate next to the sleeping girl.
One day before Christmas in 1990, Homolka decided she was going to give her boyfriend Tammy’s virginity as a Christmas present.
She stole a sedative from the vet’s office where she worked and dosed Tammy with it. When she was unconscious, the pair took her to the basement where Bernardo proceeded to rape her. During the act, Tammy began to choke on her own vomit. Bernardo stopped and Homolka called the paramedics. When they arrived, there was nothing they could do for Tammy and she died. Strangely enough, no foul play was suspected.
Not long after, the couple married. They would go on to repeat the same scenario as they practiced on Tammy with at least three other girls.
Finally, in 1993, the law caught up to them. A DNA sample from an earlier rape had landed Bernardo under 24-hour surveillance. It was only a matter of time until he was arrested.
During the trial, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In exchange for her testimony, Homolka pled guilty to manslaughter charges. She was released from prison in 2005.
That is utterly disgusting. The fact that she was even allowed to plead to lesser charges makes no sense at all. It’s kind of crazy that two people this sick even exist, but here we are.