Finding—and photographing—Karla Homolka

Finding and talking to Karla Homolka was hard enough. Taking her picture was a whole other challenge.

Left: Cover of the ebook: 'Finding Karla: How I tracked down an Elusive Serial Killer and Discovered a Mother of Three' by Paula Todd. Right: author Paula Todd photographed by Andrew Tolson/Maclean's

It is destined to be an iconic image: Karla Homolka, the woman who served just 12 years for her part alongside Paul Bernardo in the sexual torture and murder of three young schoolgirls, picking up a child of her own. She is on a veranda somewhere in the Caribbean, amidst a swirl of jungle; she wears a floral summer dress, her arms toned, the arms of one of her three young children raised up to her.

With its subject depicted in stark profile and engaged in a ritual of motherhood, the photograph amounts to a diabolical re-enactment of the Madonna and Child—heart-wrenching, disturbing, utterly arresting. “She helped kill the children of three families, including her own, and now she has three dependent kids,” says Paula Todd, the freelance journalist who last month discovered and confronted Homolka, in hiding in Guadeloupe. “It’s an important image that’s going to make us really think hard about what we’ve done.”

What is it we’ve done? Todd, a lawyer and former TVO and CTV news broadcaster and legal analyst, insists Canada’s judicial system caused an injustice by allowing Homolka to spend scant time in jail in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo—despite the later surfacing of video evidence demonstrating her active participation in the crimes. Together the couple committed the sex slayings of Kristen French, 15, and Leslie Mahaffy, 14, and Homolka orchestrated the fatal drugging of her sister Tammy, 15, so that Bernardo could rape her. Her testimony helped put Bernardo in prison for life, with no chance of parole, but Homolka’s plea bargain, Todd argues in turn, unleashed a potentially dangerous killer upon the world.

It was that injustice, as well as Internet rumours suggesting Homolka had become a schoolteacher in the Caribbean, that convinced Todd to take a week’s vacation and, financed by a line of credit, track down Homolka. Later, she commissioned a photojournalist to stake out Homolka’s residence and, under cover of jungle and in the most uncomfortable circumstances, capture her image. “When I discovered she might be teaching children—she had killed children, and that she might be teaching them—I felt there was a public interest in finding out what Canada and our judicial system had done, potentially, to other countries,” Todd says. “When she disappeared in 2007 there were some people, including lawyers, who said, ‘Good, that’s great she’s gone and not in this country anymore because she’s dangerous.’ I find that difficult to swallow—that’s the biggest international case of NIMBY.”

Todd went armed with the barest toehold of evidence suggesting Homolka’s whereabouts: “a routine administrative certificate” containing the vaguest suggestion of an address. Yet the gamble worked, and Todd’s hour-long encounter with Homolka is described in her ebook, Finding Karla: How I Tracked Down an Elusive Serial Child Killer and Discovered a Mother of Three, released this month. In it she writes of stumbling across Homolka “bent over the sink . . . a petite woman with light hair.” She is married to her lawyer’s brother, Thierry Bordelais, and has two sons and a daughter. At one point during the surprise meeting, while Homolka briefly loses herself in nurturing her youngest son, Todd asks if she can take her photograph. “No way in hell,” Homolka says, according to the book. “But, then, just for a second, she arches slightly into an S-curve, baby at her breast, and lifts her face to me. The pose is slightly sensual. It reminds me of something.”

Not long after that confrontation, Todd returned to Guadeloupe with former Life photographer Zoran Milich. The pair were committed to getting that photograph—the one Homolka wouldn’t permit. “Traditional journalism is solid reporting backed up with photographic evidence,” Todd argues. “If I was going to do a full report here, photographs would just be a traditional part of the story.” She knew Homolka would prove a difficult subject: “One thing I noted is she didn’t have a deep tan, and it’s really hard in that country to not get tanned—the sun is so bright, the temperature is high. So my conclusion was she stays inside quite a lot.”

They rented a car and drove past Homolka’s small apartment building dozens of times, scouting for a suitable vantage. But the area presented a small, tight-knit community that took notice of any novelty—especially two prowling white foreigners. “I realized this was going to be a hell ride,” says Milich. “Not being a paparazzo—and this felt paparazzo.” As it turned out, the project morphed into something more akin to a National Geographic wildlife shoot. Milich discovered that behind Homolka’s residence, above the lush, thick jungle and a pack of angry wild dogs, a rocky mountain rose. There he spoke to two elderly, good-natured women who owned a section of land on the mountainside: they were mother and daughter and had strung up around the property images of Caribbean saints, a fusion of African and Christian. Milich asked permission to take photographs from the land, explaining he wanted to shoot a local sporting event. He brought the women wine, gave them some money and set up camp for four days.

The property, on high ground opposite Homolka’s veranda, just happened to be the site of a goat farm. The animals would become part of Milich’s daily routine: he walked up one side of the mountain, then tumbled down the other on a cascade of small stones to reach his hiding place across from Homolka’s building. “The goats were really upset I was there,” he says. Soon they formed a phalanx directly above him, an apparent attempt to force him from his spot. “I never heard a goat snarl before,” says Milich, who could hear Homolka’s voice from his vantage calling to her children in English. “I was afraid the goats would give me away.”

As these goats continued to nip at Milich, he trained his camera, equipped with a 600-mm-equivalent lens, through thick foliage toward the veranda, perhaps as far as two city blocks away. Temperatures soared to 40° C, the humidity was oppressive, the bugs fierce. “It was like Heart of Darkness,” he says. At night, “everything started singing and chirping and there were things eating at your ankles.” Four days went by: no sign of Homolka. “I was beside myself,” he says. Then, on the fourth day, “I saw what I thought was her—my heart started going, you start sweating.” He struggled to contain himself, gripping the manual focus. “All of a sudden, here’s the miracle: a light wind blows just enough to do this,” and Milich demonstrates by parting his fingers in just the way the leaves parted to reveal Homolka reaching for her child. Milich unleashed a barrage of exposures, the shutter firing.

She had been on the veranda all of four seconds. And he had got her. “The way I look at it she’s just another subject matter for the eye of this merciless camera,” says Milich, who the following week went on to shoot I’ll Have Another, the Canadian-owned Triple Crown hopeful.

Moments later, one of Milich’s hosts called to him: “Monsieur! Monsieur!” She was agitated and speaking quickly. Milich does not understand French but recognized one word: “Rapide! Rapide!” She led him to his car and he took off—convinced his quarry had been alerted to his presence and was poised now to become his hunter.

Finding—and photographing—Karla Homolka

  1. Continues to perpetuate the myth that Homolka told a different story than what was revealed on the tapes. She is the one who told authorities that tapes existed and revealed fully what was on them, including her own role and actions. If this is going to be the poster child for justice gone awry in Canada, somebody, somewhere – some publication – needs to let it be on the facts of the case, not mythical hysteria. I would have thought MacLeans would be a good candidate, but not so.

    • I have never heard this before, and so if you are correct, then indeed you should continue to correct the misinformation. Maybe you should write the article or book and have it published.

      • It’s absolutely the truth. Canada is full on stupid about this case and it’s not our fault. Given the tens of thousands of words printed about this woman over 20 years I find it completely shocking that the media has failed so badly in providing people with the information they need to judge this chapter of Ontario legal history. We have made laws in this country in her name – not least the rushed pardon legislation. There were only two articles I could ever link with these truths – two! Out of thousands. I don’t want to seem paranoid, but they were recently shared in the reader comments on the Globe and Mail as part of the coverage about this book, and the one that was on the CTV website for 7 years undisturbed now fails. It’s been removed and can only be recovered from Google Cache dated June 20. Read it while you can: http://tinyurl.com/72c3pqm

        There is also the Galligan Report, the independent inquiry ordered by the Mike Harris government into the plea bargain. Long, but worth the read for anybody who wants to understand the full facts of this case. Can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/clx7avg

        A excerpt from it relevant to this discussion: “I hold no brief for Karla Homolka. Nevertheless, fairness demands that it be recognized and accepted that from February 14, 1993 on, she completely and fully disclosed her complicity in the crimes she and Paul Bernardo committed on these three yound women”

        • Thank you for the links; I read the LaFlamme interview but of course, have not gotten into the inquiry report yet (it is indeed lengthy). But having accepted this information, and I do, as truth, I still cannot agree with OntarioCanuck that this article perpetuates a myth. All the article says is that the author/journo Todd believes she should not be free, that she is dangerous. And I cannot for the life of me get to a point where I think she should not be rotting in jail with Bernardo. So I accept this truth, that she gave full disclosure of her involvement for the plea bargain. I just am stuck on another fact: that Bernardo raped women without covering his face but never beat or killed them afterward, just drove away in his gold car — only when Homolka was involved were the victims killed. Far be it from me to defend the likes of Paul Bernardo, but I believe Karly Kurls was the killer, as Bernardo testified. It may be because my daughter was the same age as the girls when they were killed, just a real emotional response, but I wish Karla Homolka was imprisoned or dead. She does not deserve to be the mother of vulnerable children. And I cannot imagine what kind of person would want to procreate with a monster.

          • He didn’t have the gold car early in his Scarborough rapist days. He committed those crimes on foot. A profiler predicted that the crimes would eventually escalate to kidnapping, and once victims were kidnapped they would be killed. Victims were deliberately murdered when Paul started kidnapping them and bringing them home. Could not have continued without Homolka’s silence and the final murder could not have happened at all without her direct participation, so she is guilty, guilty, guilty. But that is a different thing than her being the catalyst for murder or the person who actually ended life.

          • In Stephen Williams’s book on the murders, he says that Bernardo’s gold car was seen and described by one or more of the rape victims, and they had the drawing of him, as described by the victims — the drawing is also included in the book. I remember being struck by how closely the drawing resembled him. The police arrived to his front door, saw the gold car in the driveway, saw the young man who looked exactly like the image they had, but they also saw the wedding pic of him and Karla displayed and did not believe a young man married to a pretty blonde would be a rapist. Had they gone even one step further, all three of those young girls would be women today — heck, maybe they would even have their own children, just like Karla. But she killed their futures, didn’t she?

          • Exactly, bad police work and a lack of evidence forced a terrible deal. A quote from the Galligan report which OC continues to mischaracterize: “The first matter is that if the videotapes had been available on or beofre May 14, 1993, the Crown would have never entered into this resolution agreement with Karla Homolka.”

          • Small detail patchouli and not hugely important in the grand scheme, but that is just not accurate. Bernardo got the Nissan in 1989 and the four rapes in 1989 were all committed on foot as far as the approach to the victim, and none reported seeing a vehicle. The final Scarborough rape in 1990 was the one that yielded the composite that led to Bernardo being questioned, but no mention of a car once again. Women who were later stalked by Bernardo in the car reported it, but no rape victims ever noted the gold Nissan. Interestingly, the only two victims who could have described Paul’s car, who saw it clearly and were transported in it, were both murdered. She was a part of destroying their futures, absolutely. I never, ever want to minimize or forget that, ever. But she went to prison for those crimes for what was an effective 18 year sentence – the standard 2/3 makes 12 full years – and she grossly distorted the possibilities of her own future. It’s not perfect justice, but whether it’s the complete failure of justice as most Canadians believe deserves better debate and better facts.

          • They spent years looking for a Firebird or Camero, when he drove a Nissan 300 ZX.

          • actually is was a Nissan 240sx

          • she killed her sister.u idiot ….. thats murder from a very sick woman

        • What about the luring, druging and raping of “Jane Doe”, the girl that Karla be-friended at the animal hospital where she worked and then brought home on several occasions so she and Paul could drug and rape her? She claimed she “forgot” about that girl and there was question in the Galligan Report whether the plea bargain should have really covered that incident…..given that Jane Doe was a “4th young women”….only 15 years old…..the same age as Karla’s sister Tammy. Ironically Jane Doe stopped breathing just like Tammy did after Karla and Paula drugged and gave her booze…gosh that Karla had quite a conscience! Didn’t occur to her that she killed her sister so maybe she shouldn’t give anothr young girl the same potentially lethal cocktail…oh, I forgot Paul made her do it.

          • The Galligan report considered the issue and determined that the plea bargain did cover one attack on Jane Doe but not the other. It went on to conclude that while Karla could have been prosecuted for that offense that it was not in the larger interest of justice to do so. Jane Doe Was truly victimized and revictimized in this case and never got the justice she so deserved. I feel for her immensely. In relation to the plea bargain though it was absolutely not in Homolka’s interests to deiberately hold that back. Her recollections came 10 months before the tapes were found and as the Galligan report lays out she actually tried to talk to detectives about the fragment of tape with Jane Doe that was available early in the investigation and was rebuffed more than once because of jurisdictional issues.

          • Yes, I read the Galligan report and what he had to say about Jane Doe. Her story is SOOOO telling of who Karla really is. You can claim spouse abuse when your husband brings home a young girl and rapes and murders her in front of you but when YOU yourself falsely befriend a 15 year-old girls and “groom” her so that she will trust you and then you obtain drugs and alcohol and feed to that child when your rapist husband is not even present so that you can offer this child up to him as a sacrificial lamb, knowing that your own sister died from the same horrible cocktail…… That is a conniving, devious plan made and executed by someone who is a true sociopath. The loss of memory, the supposed “memory flashes”…..”is that a picture of my sister?”, knowing that Jane Doe is on the video and you are going to get busted so you are best to cop to things are your terms before that happens, itsn’t about making restitution, it is about cutting the best deal you can before the tapes are found and the jig is up.
            OC, you seem invested in believing the best of Karla. I’m sorry as a psych nurse, the bells are going off all around. Even with PTSD, battered wife syndrome, good people are good people. They don’t usually plan, participate in and conduct torture especially when the aggressor is not present. She completely lacked empathy for her sister Tammy. She lacked empathy for her parents. She wasn’t living with Paul at the time of Tammy’s death. She was living at home with her parents.

        • The facts are that for Karla drugging her sister with the intent of allowing Bernardo to rape her and her sister Tammy dying due to the over dose of veterinarian drugs in her system is enough for a life sentence alone. Let alone the torture and murder of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. The system failed to bring about justice for those three murdered women. Justice was not even seen to be done in this case with such a light sentence handed down to Karla Homolka. People can hash over this case ail they want, but at the send of the day a very dangerous person is now free in society that should have received the same sentence as her former husband, or at the very least a deal of 25 years minimum rather than 12 years.

    • She presented herself to the authorities as an abused woman. The extent of her complicity in the crimes committed by Bernardo and herself did not become apparent until Bernardo’s lawyer turned the tapes over to the crown. Then, and only then, did it become apparent that Karla Homolka was every bit as guilty of murder of not only French and Mahaffey but also of her own 13-year old sister, Tammy. But then it was already too late–a deal had been cut with her to testify against Bernardo for a reduced sentence.

      • She was an abused person. There is no doubt about that. It is in simply a myth that the tapes revealed anything more or anything different than she said they would. At any point the tapes could have surfaced so she would have been a fool to lie about their contents in any way. The degree to which a person was abused or manupulated into cooperation over time, or the degree to which they are choosing participation for their own gratification can’t be determined just by viewing tapes. Cooperation and even the appearance of enthusiasm does not alone prove enthusiasm. The victims were forced to appear enthusiastic for the camera, which clearly meant nothing. It’s my view that Homolka chose herself over the victims to avoid facing consequences for her escalating crimes, but with diminished capacity to act in what was truly her best interests and the interests of the victims.

        • You are a very forgiving person, perhaps far too forgiving. I don’t feel the same. And I despise the fact that her gender and prettiness are likely why some are so forgiving with her.

          • What in my post appears to be forgiving?

          • For one, your contention of diminished capacity is not shared by the psychologists who worked with her. Psychologist, Dr. Long, who worked along with Dr. Malcom stated and agreed that despite depression, emotional withdrawal, severe remorse and dysthymia, Karla Homolka
            was “technically of sound mind and free of disease of the mind of sufficient severity to cloud her awareness and cause her to be unable to appreciate the nature and quality of her acts”

          • Sorry – meant to add if her gender and appearance helped on the way in, it hurt a great deal on the way out. There is a particular brand of public viciousness that has been reserved for women since the Salem witch trials. I wish I could articulate that better. This is not some sort of cry of feminism so please don’t interpret it that way. I think it’s just true. The way the public falls on attractive violent female criminals has a unique quality and breeds feeding frenzies. Think of Casey Anthony for example, vs any father accused of killing his children. So many other examples.

          • I just don’t buy your completely unfounded premise that there is hysteria when women are involved in violent crimes. Since women make up almost a quarter of violent criminals in Canada, how many of your “so many other examples” apply? Your position is just as emotional as any one else’s, so your tone of objective concern is off-putting.

          • He needs a course on basic debating for starters. Indeed, he picks a strange example with which to try to further his case that women are treated unfairly by the justice system.

            I’m personally very opposed to the death penalty. But you can bet I would not EVER choose David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) or Gary Leon Ridgeway (Green River Killer) or Charles Manson as examples of how the death penalty isn’t needed.

            It is established fact that Karla, while admitting to the crimes, very much posed as the abused woman who had no choice. In this she was aided by the FBI profile which pegged her as exactly that. It is also an established fact that the tapes showed otherwise. OntarioCanuck argues that it’s just so much more “complex” than that. That the tapes only “appeared” to show that. The tapes showed what the tapes showed. And according to those who have seen them, and according to the transcripts I have seen, she was not only willing, but giddily so. I require no further “complexity” to decide that justice was not served in this case.

          • You’re trying to turn this into some sociological thesis, and you’re failing miserably. She’s a monster. Give it up. If we’re harder on some monsters than on others, oh well, I guess we’re just unfair that way. Maybe we’re very upset over Holmolka and Casey Anthony because they got away with it? (Karla got 8 years for the deaths of 3 people. Casey got “time served” plus community service. That’s getting away with it in my books.) Perhaps because their sociopathy was so public and so obvious? Anthony partying in clubs days after her daughter went missing; Karla whining about her parents refusal to pay for her wedding, even though they had just paid for an unexpected funeral for her sister – whom she killed. You can paint it as gender bias all you want, but that silliness belongs in the classroom of some obscure second-year sociology course. Out in the real world, it just doesn’t have a trace of relevance.

    • She may have told the police of her role in the rapes and murders but it was always with the caveat that “Paul made me do it”. Not until people actually reveiwed the tapes did it become apparent that Karla was such an eager participant in the rape and torture of the victims, including her own sister. Paul had also beaten and raped a previous girlfriend. She didn’t participate in the luring, raping and murder of any of his victims. Rather, she escaped.

      • “Eager participant” is another one of the terms one sees ad nauseum in this case with only a passing and fragmented connection to reality. The tape transcripts simply don’t support that throughout, though there was the appearance of it at times. “Paul made me do it“ is a deliberate oversimplification of a complex set of circumstances designed to be rejected. And Paul wasn’t living with his girlfriend who eventually left only after extended extreme physical, sexual and emotional abuse. He had no place to bring kidnapping victims to and hadn’t yet escalated to that. Whether she would or would not have can’t be known. The parallel to focus on there for me is the manipulation of the girlfriend into suffering escalating and eventually severe abuse over time.

        • Well OC, I took your advice this morning and read the Galligan Report, and it casts a far different hue than you describe. My takeaway was this line “All of the persons involved told me that if the videotapes had been available at that time, Karla Homolka would have found herself in the prisoners’s box beside Paul Bernardo.” Persecution was difficult because of a lack of police cooperation across jurisdictions, so they made a distasteful deal with Karla despite her “monstrous” behaviour, including a letter to a friend in which she whines that her parents were mourning too long for her sister and were not paying enough for her wedding. You’re way off base OC, and your views amount to little more than deliberate contrarianism.

          • The ONLY reference I have made to the Galligan Report was to point out that she was forthright about what was on the tapes from the beginning. How can that cast a “far different hue” than I described when it’s the only thing I’ve described? Your quote on the other hand relates only to the issue of whether she would have been prosecuted if the tapes had been available to the investigation from the beginning. Justice Galligan concludes that she would have been, but interestingly the architects of the original deal say that’s not true. They would have needed her testimony anyway. See
            http://osgoode.yorku.ca/media2.nsf/releases/47F95C9CE0CAE54385257011007096CA . Regardless, Galligan makes no conclusions, and could make no conclusions, about what she would have been convicted of and indeed noted regarding the deal that in charging her with manslaughter they had to consider what she realistically could have been convicted of. Remember Homolka never had a real trial. I personally think she would have been far better off in the long run in taking no deal at all. The incontrovertible evidence of severe spousal abuse, her lesser role, the clear evidence that all this was in service of Paul Bernardo and not her, her character and clean record before Paul Bernardo, the fact that she is not psychopathic and doesn’t suffer from any other significant personality disorder – all of this almost certainly would have mitigated her sentence. As her sentencing judge ruled in accepting the plea deal ‘she committed the worst crimes but was not the worst criminal’ (paraphrased). The Galligan Report is a treasure trove of information from source documents, trial transcripts etc. that shed a much brighter light on so many aspects of this case from Bernardo’s horrific violence to the truth of her deal and the proceedings. To boil it down to the quote you’ve chosen grossly misstates the full picture. My motivation is NOT deliberate contrarianism, not in the least. As I stated initially we do a lot as a country in this woman’s name. We create laws, we dredge her name up every time there is a remotely similar crime as a template for understanding and action, we embolden stalkery quasi-journalists to chase her down a world away in rural Guadeloupe and photograph her from the bushes, and we normalize that very sordid act so much that it breathlessly appears in a publication like MacLeans. This case has always deserved more debate, but the media essentially shut it down in 1993 when they decided the facts for us. Frank Davey made an interesting case in ‘Karla’s Web’ that is was more the publication ban than Homolka’s actions that was the source of the media’s entitled outrage.

          • The architects of the original deal would rather not admit to their mistake. The rest of your post is just chasing your own tail.

        • Karla wasn’t living with Paul when she obtained drugs, helped him drug and rape her 15 year-old sister Tammy and then didn’t disclose any of these actions to her family who had asked him to leave their home so they could mourn privately. Paul moved into a motel in St. Catherines. He wasn’t living with Karla. She was FREE. This information is all in the Galligan Report. Karla moved in with Paul AFTER her sister’s death and then complained that her parents were too busy mourning her sister and had put restrictions on the amount they were willing to pay for her and Paul’s wedding. Karla didn’t seem to be feeling much guilt or responsibility herself for her part in her sister’s death.

    • WHAT ARE U TRYING 2 SAY ???? THAT U SUPPORT HER??? SHE MADE A DEAL WITH THE CROWN BEFORE THEY HAD SEEN THOSE VIDEO TAPES.

      • Your cap lock is still on.

    • She played the “abused woman” card for all it was worth, and the high-priced FBI profilers (John Douglas, Robert Ressler & others) who had been brought in on contract by the OPP convinced the police and prosecutors that Holmolka was an abused, easily-dominated shrinking violet who posed no threat when not in the presence of her dominant husband. When the tapes were found they revealed not a scared, abused woman following her husband’s orders, but a gleeful, willing participant, who often controlled the scene. Coincidentally or not, it was those same FBI profilers, in another famous Ontario case, whose profile lead the police to focus on Guy Paul Morin. We all know how that turned out.

    • no one died until she knew what was going on she is on tape saying that they had to do something with kristen cause they were going to her parents for easter dinner, she should never ever been able to make that deal

  2. She is trying to turn her life around give her a break

    • Give her a break…right…what about the break Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy and Tammy Homolka deserve? Oh! Thats right! Because of this sick and twisted woman those three young girls are gone! What they suffered for this woman and her husband! May they rest in peace and may Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo pay the full price when their time comes…as it does for us all.

      • I KNOW HUN CAN U BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE WOULD WRITE THAT

      • Yea i would write that she is turning her life around o n i have the movie so im on carlas side u dumb snobs

    • Yah, because sociopaths can suddenly develop a conscience in their late 30s and early 40s. Perhaps we’ll be reading about her killing her own kids one day. Her sister could tell you about Karla’s chances for recovery… if she were still alive. She’s not of course. Karla killed her.

      • IT IS SAD THAT SHE COULD THAT TO HER 15 YEAR OLD SISTER, SO WHAT MAKES THOSE KIDS SAFE. WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN WITH SUCH A MONSTER

        • Yes, you have to wonder about her husband. Who could really be with a woman like that? Maybe him and Karla are doing the same stuff as her and Paul did..Guadalupe is the kind of place where they could get away with alot.

          • I am curious to know about her husband, what kind of man he is, what is background is.

          • Apparently he comments under the name ‘ash’, though his ability to articulate himself in English is questionable. (See below).

      • She’s not a sociopath. Revealed in transcripts in Quebec Superior Court and other sources that she was administered the gold standard PCL-R test independently by two professionals – a prison psychologist and a consulting psychiatrist – in 1996 and 2005. On both occasions she scored a 5 out of a possible 40, a totally normal score any one of us might get. Paul scored 34 or 35. Whatever drove her crimes it wasn’t psychopathy/sociopathy.

        • Not a sociopath, just a killer.

          • A sociopathic, narcissistic killer, incapable of remorse and empathy.

        • Anyone who is miffed that her parents are spending too much time grieving for her dead sister and not enough money on her upcoming wedding has STRONG sociopathic tendencies. She also falsely be-friended and recruited young (15 year old) kids to be victims of her husband. She gave one the same cocktail that killed her sister. I am willing to believe she isn’t particularly smart but goodness don’t tell me that she has a CONSCIENCE. NOTHING that she did ever indicated she had a conscience. She only came to police because she was afraid Paul was going to kill her, not because she was afraid for anyone else or because she felt guilty about her part in what happened. Of course she confessed. It was inevitable that Paul would disclose her part and the tapes existed somewhere in their house. She knew that. Better to have her spin on the story before it all came to light.
          You act as though these tests are never wrong. I can tell you that a person’s actions speak much more clearly to their personality than any testing. Tell me one incident in any of her behavior toward any of the 4 victims that showed an ounce of human decency or after the fact that she felt remorse.

          • HI, you and I are rarely on the same page in politics, but I agree with every word you’ve posted on this so far. Every word (plus I believe you’re a psych nurse, right? So you know a little about sociopaths).

          • I am a psych nurse.
            I read once a very telling interview from a police officer who was walking through the St. Catherine’s house with Karla. She was pointing out where the two young girls had been held prisoner. During the tour, Karla spotted a bottle of her perfume and she wanted to take it with her. The officer explained it was a crime scene so she couldn’t. She said she understood but that she wanted him to make a note that she really wanted her perfume.
            You are walking through your home where two young women were brutally raped and murdered by your ex-husband and your big concern is that you get your perfume….That is what someone with no empathy is like. They are self-absorbed and emotionally detached. They have no conscience. They really cannot feel bad for someone else. Maybe Paul “wanted” the girls but it was no skin off Karla’s nose to help him get them. Only when Paul snapped and started hurting her badly did she come in to police…for her own safety.

          • “I can tell you that a person’s actions speak much more clearly to their personality than any testing.”

            Right, of course, you definitely know better than the scientists who conducted decades of research in psychology and personality disorders.

            The brains of clinical sociopaths are literally wired differently from “normal” people. They demonstrate a lack of empathy towards human beings, and an inability to form meaningful social connections. That has nothing to do with “having a conscience”. Having a conscience means being intellectually aware of a set of moral standards, and adhering to it. The reporter claimed that Karla didn’t exhibit the kind of intelligence and self-awareness that (high-functioning) sociopaths usually do.

            What does that mean? Well, it means Karla is a short-sighted individual whose empathy only extends to specific people. She could be the best mother in the world, and care deeply for her 3 kids, and not give a f**k about her dead sister. That doesn’t make her a psychopath. that makes her someone who is very selective about who she cares for.

            So, not a clinical psychopath by any means. Is she a monster? I wouldn’t say so, since she’s obviously capable of empathy. Did she commit monstrous acts? Yes.

        • A sociopath can only be deemed as such by their behaviour. Her complete and total lack of conscience in her sisters’ death, as Healthcare Insider has detailed, is all the proof I need. She is not only a sociopath, but a complete narcissist as well. I’ll take my queues from her behaviour and her actions over a quiz any day. If she walks like a duck and talks like a duck… she’s not a chicken.

          • The scariest part about all of this is that she now has 3 children that will forever be effected by their mothers actions! Now how irresponsible is that?. Once again she is harming the innocent and only thinking about herself because if she wasn’t, she never would have brought these children into this scenario! So lets get real, no matter what, she is a cold blooded serial killer like her ex husband. How would she feel now that she is a mother if something happened like this to them?……Just a thought!

    • GIVE HER A BREAK…… WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU. OH THIS MUST BE 1 OF HER SICK FRIENDS OR MAYBE THIS IS KARLA HERSELF. MAYBE IT WOULD TAKE SOMETHING TO HAPPEN TO UR CHILDREN THEN I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOU SAY “WELL JUST GIVE THEM A BREAK“

      • No im just a fan u stuped hoe get a real life u should b glad nothing ever happend to u thats howi look at things she is a beautifull person who did her time and allnu idits do is slam her like really go fuck urselfs it was carlas b.f who made her do stuff watch the movie dummys

        • “Watch the movie dummys”. You’re either spoofing a complete idiot (an illiterate one), or you are one. Either way, you’re funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Seriously!……Turning her life around by what? Bring 3 innocent children into the world so that when they grow up they will be forever plagued by the actions of thier sick mother! It will only take one reporter to get ahold of thier pictures and then what?

  3. I agree with the basic premise that Hamolka’s plea bargain was a failure of the justice system, and that her heinous crimes warranted a far greater punishment – but still this tale of stalking her, lying to her neighbors, and invading her privacy seems somewhat sordid to me.

    • She stalked her prey, she also lied, and she tortured and murdered children. Surely she should be hounded for the rest of her life.

      • But I can’t really accept that any more than I can accept that she should be drugged, raped and murdered.
        I don’t disagree that there’s a public interest in knowing where this person is. It’s stalking for the purposes of profitting from the morbid curiousity she engenders that doesn’t feel quite right.

        • But how is the public to know where she is if nobody tracks and finds her? It WAS an investigative journalist, who better? And she honestly and openly told homolka who she is right away, she didn’t try to pretend she was someone else and make friends. And I want karla homolka to know that she can run, she can hide, she can live her happy little home life, but Canadians will never forget, and will never forgive, her inhumane brutality. Yes, indeed, it IS all sordid, isn’t it?

        • When the system can’t (or refuses) to do its job, people will go vigilante. Just the way it is.

  4. I LIVE IN ST CATHARINES ONTARIO WHERE PAUL AND KARLA LIVED AND IT STILL GLOOMS OVER THE CITY….ST CATHARINES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER THE SICK AND TWISTED STUFF THAT THEY DID TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT SHE IS ABLE TO HAVE THREE CHILDREN IN HER CARE. I REALLY JUST DON’T GET IT!!!! THERE ARE CHILDREN THAT GET TAKEN FROM THERE PARENTS IF THEY LIVE DIRTY OR SUCH AND SUCH BUT KARLA IS ABLE TO KEEP HER KIDS!!! THIS MAKES ME SO SICK AND ANGRY!! WHY WERE THOSE CHILDREN NOT TAKEN AWAY FROM HER? I UNDERSTAND THAT SHE DID “HER TIME” BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENCE TO ME! WHEN SHE WAS IN JAIL SHE GOT LETTERS FROM MEN THAT WERE ATTRACTED TO THAT SICK SHIT AND SHE ACTUALLY WROTE THOSE SICK MEN BACK. WHEN THOSE KIDS GROW OLDER, THEY WILL ONE DAY FIND OUT……
    JESSICA PLAYBOYBUNNY_905@HOTMAIL.COM

    • Your cap lock is stuck.

    • Doesn’t it strike you as UNACCEPTABLE that GOOD PARENTS are having their kids STOLEN by CAS….. because of such a trivial thing – as you yourself have confirmed yourself – ((as having a dirty / messy house / etc…))?

      THIS IS REALLY WEIRD. It’s as though you CONFIRM that KIDS are being ABDUCTED / STOLEN from their loving and caring parent because of such stupid things as a dirty home (which no-one can always keep super clean etc…) – but you seem to be BLIND as to the pain that these families suffer on a long term basis due to the state’s (from Canadian province to province a new business has been developed – THE NEW AGE CHILD PROTECTION INDUSTRY – which simply cannot be scrutinized – because with a name like that – WHO WOULD EVER THINK ANYTHING WRONG WAS GOING ON?).

      Doesn’t make any sense to you……… try quitting your job as a CHILD PROTECTIVE INDUSTRY DELEGATE – change your email address to something more appropriate – and GET A LIFE!

  5. Justice may well be served but not the building of a better world. I am disturbed and certainly disappointed that Macleans would stoop to include ‘Chasing the killer photo’. To give the blow by blow of how Karla Homolka was stalked like an animal slides into the realm of tabloid journalism. I don’t care what she’s done, she’s still a human being and to treat her as less demeans us all. Don’t get me started on the exploitation of her innocent children in this.

    • I on the other hand, am completely satisfied that it was worth the effort to reveal the true circumstances behind the fate of one of Canada’s worst known killers.

      • Yes, a killer. Three innocent lives were brutally stolen in part because of her choices and her actions. Again, that should never be anywhere but front and centre in any discussion about Karla Homolka. But the law allows significant latitude in the assessing of killers and the nature and the circumstances of their crimes. People who kill others can get anything from probation in some circumstances to a one way ticket to the penitentiary for the rest of their lives. Homolka landed in the vast middle and in my thinking better debate is needed to assess whether it’s the gross miscarriage of justice people believe it to be.

        • Well, we obviously disagree as to our assessment of whether Homolka was credible or not. Let’s not forget the political dimension of this. At the time, the media was under constant attack for “pack journalism” when frankly, lousy coordination among police forces was a major factor. There was clear political pressure to put Bernardo away, and that contributed as much to the high-pitched emotions of the time, as much or more than any anti-Karla sentiment might have had after the fact. That affected the decisions being made at the time, which by all accounts were difficult decisions precisely because everyone (at least according to Galligan) wanted to see her charged with first degree murder if they could have. I remember Christie Blatchford writing about the “kissy-face” deal with the arch-feminist Attorney General at the time, whose explicit political agenda was to promote the cause of the battered women defence. I just don’t think that it is a fair charge that everyone else is hysterical for believing (like Alan Young does and did) that Karla lied and manipulated the system.
          Can we agree that this was at best complex, that her behaviour was, even in the minds of her greatest apologists, completely reprehensible, and that the lawyers and prosecutors did the best they could with the case they had? If so, perhaps your vehemence against those who remain disgusted with her actions would be quite so condemnatory.

      • Sorry keyman, below (or above – it’s a bit confusing where these things will end up!) meant to be in reply to your “not a sociopath but a killer” post in another spot.

    • Sociopaths are human in biology only. They lack a conscience, which is the one real thing that separates us from animals.

    • the three girls who were murdered weren’t innocent?

  6. She was made FAMOUS by her killings. Wonderful, maybe I should do the same.
    Some one should do her in and get rid of one more Evil entity of the world.

  7. This is intresting this very sick person can have kids can work and let me get this right live in another country i did one break and enter 32 years ago and i cant get a job i cant go to the states and i cant afford a pardon love canada

    • People like you are EXACTLY who are collateral damage when we rush legislation on the back of emotion and public hysteria. If you couldn’t afford a pardon before, you sure can’t afford one now. All because Karla Homolka could have applied for one. Which she wouldn’t have, because of all her problems, being retarded isn’t one of them. The Conservative government saw a seedy opportunistic little chance to advance their agenda, and took it. And because we’ve never been able to discuss Homolka entirely rationally, it worked. Pardons are meant to further rehabilitation in service of not just the offender, but society as a whole, not to punish people some more after they’ve already been punished. Sorry for your situation. Hope things evolve for you in such a way that things can change in your life.

      • Oh I don’t know, didn’t Graham James get a pardon and go to another country? Obviously the so-called emotion and public hysteria didn’t stop that travesty.

      • JUST KEEP VOTING FOR THE CONSERVATIVES – TILL WE HAVE NO MORE SOCIAL RIGHTS OR PROGRAMS LEFT…………..

  8. Why does some scumbag reporter have to dig so deep and lie to get a story that most honest people would prefer not to have to see. Why try and destroy her and her new family when they are trying to lead a quiet life away from the paparattzie. What a poor choice for the magazine to print or was it just to sell more.

    • Cuz she deserves it. Justice failed. Vigilantism will take over. Someone must see to it that Karla never has a “normal” life. Glad this lady is doing it.

    • My guess would be that the families of the two murdered girls are relieved to know where Karla is living and what she looks like. It would be pretty awful for them not to be aware of her comings and goings and constantly worry that they might run into her on the street. They saw the videotapes. They know what Karla did to their daughters. The same with Jane Doe and her family. I can’t believe they feel really secure knowing Karla is walking around free.

  9. Oh please! Enough already. Enough with the sensationalism and chasing” down a woman who does not want to be photographed. I have no use for Karla Homolka and wish that she was still in prison, but reads more like a cheap tabloid story than news. I think Maclean’s would have more pressing stories to pay reporters for.

  10. They, being the “Law” lost any and maybe all respect from hard working Canadians that not only live by the law but help uphold it.Then Karla comes along and makes us all look stupid. We as Canadians let her off the hook so to speak ! Wow, I have seen longer sentence for jaywalking. Nice going Canada. This peace of shit should have been locked up for LIFE

  11. Leave her alone. Everyday I see people piss and moan about how the justice system sucks. This is a prime example of rehabilitation, what our correctional system should be about. All too many times you see people locked up for sentences 3 times longer then necessary. The correctional system in Canada is far closer to destroying lives then repairing them. 12 years is a tough sentence for manslaughter. Especially since she lived for so many years locked up with fear and abuse from the real criminal in this crime. I am not condoning her role in the crimes, however even is she got a life sentence she would still be eligible for release today. What difference does it make. She did her time. Time that was once designed to rehabilitate to destroy.

    Leave her alone. The real disgust here is the money being spent to find her and photograph her. You all should be ashamed of yourself. I would rather be in jail then have all these reporters and mindless idiots writing crap stories about me. There is one good thing here that the justice system can take credit for. They apparently rehabilitated her. Something they can not say often enough !

    Before you tell me to have some consideration for the victims families, I do. In fact I grew up with Leslie, I lived in her neighborhood and still hang out with her boyfriend. This is stupid, the media is the real problem here.

    • Who the hell is Leslie? And who the hell are you to tell everyone she is rehabilitated? Just how do you rehabilitate from raping, torturing, beating, and murdering children? Anyone who does such crimes surely should be kept from society forever.

      • “Who the hell is Leslie?” Uh, seriously? Leslie, as in Leslie Mahaffie, was one of the murder victims, dude.

        That said… HaltonHero: Yikes. I don’t see how she can be said to have done her time when key evidence was missing at the time of her conviction. Homolka’s 12 year sentence is, and will remain, a national embarrassment.

        • Thank you, the name was nowhere near the post, and I wasn’t thinking clearly, was I? Knowing who he meant, I find it hard to believe anyone who knew those poor girls would ever defend the likes of karla homolka.

  12. So you have found her and taken her picture…….Now what? What are you going to do? How about Saul Betesh…….Killer of Emannuel Jaques(sp.?) Where is he now? Any new pics of him or his accomplices?

  13. amazing how the media always uses the same picture of her,for ,what,20 years now???you know the one,where she was just coming out of a blink,the one that makes her look evil?talk about spreading hate and fear,get a grip guys!!!!

    • yes,i know she is evil,and yes,i believe in an eye for an eye

    • she is evil regardless of what photo they use

  14. she should have had her insides ripped from her body she doesn’t deserve children, she doesn’t even deserve her freedom. Both her and Paul should have been strung up by their genitals and left to rot, one reason Canada needs the death penalty

  15. she should have had her insides ripped from her body she doesn’t deserve children, she doesn’t even deserve her freedom. Both her and Paul should have been strung up by their genitals and left to rot, one reason Canada needs the death penalty

  16. Dont the good folks that live in that sluts city/town/village know who she is? One would think they would take care of the situation and kill the bitch and burn her at the stake…and her husband and the devil kids she has as well…There is no good that comes from her…her kids have the devil inside them as well.

  17. i cannot believe she is allowed to have children…they should have tied her tubes when she was in prison… there should be no mercy for her because of the brutal murders that she and paul commited…she even killed her own sister…they should takes those kids away they are in mortal danger now….she will never change..she is lucifer in disguise…she should never have been allowed to have free education or a life or the privaligers that other real non threatings human beings live every day who have not commit hanous crime like she has…i hate her and will never forgive her for raping country out of educational finances, tax payers money, and just the right to liver.

  18. She did her time . She lives in another country. She has a family and has kept her nose clean. We prosecuted her and that is over.
    Should we persecute her now ? I say no.
    The media will do and say anything for a story. Too bad so many listen and believe.

  19. When I heard she was pregnant with her first child I always hoped that, when the child was about 6 months or so, that someone would snatch him. Not hurt him, but keep him for about a month so she’d know what Mrs. Mahaffy & Mrs. French went through.

    • In a proper world, such a monster would not be allowed to procreate at all. She would be neutered, or the child removed once born. To a family that respects human life.

  20. There are many women in abusive situations that do not commit the henious crimes that she was involved in. That is an excuse. She is as quilty as he is. That fact that she has 3 children and was involved in taking 3 children from their famililies is beyond incomphrehensible. She deserves to be locked away in a tiny, barren cell for the rest of her life.

  21. man does she ever look like harper.are they related?

  22. I thought the picture of Paula Todd WAS the current updated picture of Karla Homolka. I read the entire article thinking this. I wondered why Karla would look so posed in a guerrilla paparazzi picture. It was then that I read the fine print and realized that the picture was of Paula Todd.

    • Yeah, and the author says how iconic the photo is gonna be, except so far, I’ve yet to see the photo.

  23. Publishing this is a disservice to civilized society. Macleans has lost its way.

  24. Fuck that bitch she should rot in fucking hell fuck you Karla you bitch

  25. ok correct me if i am wrong but dont pedafiles and sex offenders have to register and if you break the law you cant get a passport ?? how did she get out of the country and how does she have children in her care without lawful supervision
    i dont get it

  26. How nice to know that she has lost her youthful glow, which used to be one of her selling points. For a while she and hubby will be looking over their shoulders. Who on earth would want to wed her anyway?

  27. Poor Homolka, that Bernardo was such a bad guy…

  28. Karla is perfectly aware of her crimes and what she got away with; hence, her hiding. What is incomprehensible, to me, is any person( who surely knows what she has done) who commits to a relationship with her (her lawyer’s brother) and produces children. Incomprehensible.

  29. she is in montreal. funny how the author looks a lot like karla.

  30. ALL I KNOW IS IF SHE DID THAT TO MY LITTLE SISTER….I WOULD BE THE ONE TRACKING KARLA……..

  31. im shocked no one killed her when she lived in montreal . I might have if i seen her.

  32. Anybody who is savvy with a woman who chose her own sister as a rape victim for her sexually disturbed lover is, my opinion, also disturbed. A normal person would resist such suggestions under any amount of duress.

  33. Anyone who is savvy with a person who chooses her own sister as a rape victi for her sexually deviant lover is, in effect, disturbed. Any normal person would refuse such suggestions under any amount of duress. Period.

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