Ken and Barbie killers: Karla Homolka claimed Paul Bernardo 'forced her' to kill teens, cops say otherwise
WARNING: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised. This article contains details of incidents of sexual assault that some readers may find traumatic. Discretion is advised
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ST CATHARINES, CANADA: A number of sick cases of abduction, rape and murder that shook Canada in the early 90s, which saw a couple — Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka — showing no mercy towards their victims. Though the pair, named “Ken and Barbie” by Americans, were eventually captured and sentenced, Karla received a less severe punishment, claiming herself to be her husband's victim.
According to The Daily Mail However, new footage now shown in a documentary has implied that Homolka was “more of an accomplice in these crimes.” As per a documentary — ‘Serial Killer Karla Homolka: Not a Victim’ posted on YouTube channel, ‘Real Women/Real Stories,’ the criminal, who is now 52, had said, “If I didn't turn the water tab off completely, he'd hit me. If I didn't say the right thing, he'd hit me. He'd hold knives to my throat, he told me I better watch my back. He said, ‘Always watch your back with me.’ He was physically and verbally abusive to me.”
Reportedly, Homolka met Bernardo when she was just 17 and he was 23 at the Scarborough area of Toronto. “There was electricity in the air, it was love at first sight. They called it a match made in heaven, but it was clearly a match made in hell,” author Alan Cairns had claimed in an earlier documentary, ‘Canada's Worst Nightmare: Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka’.
It has been said that the time when the two were falling in love with each other, Bernardo, now 58, was also carrying out his deranged crimes and sexually assulted 11 women across Scarborough between late 1987 and early 1988. Gregg McCrary, former FBI profiler, according to the outlet, said, “This was a very dangerous sub-type of rapist. He was very anger-based, perhaps even sadistic in nature. Not only were these women being brutalized, but we felt we were on the verge of it moving into the line of homicide.”
Since Bernardo used to attack from back, his victims could not see his face but one of them managed to identify him and “helped the police create a composite sketch - which was released to the public,” the Daily Mail said, which also reported that eventually the man was called by cops for interrogation and his DNA sample was taken.
However, the results did not come immediately as the sample went missing. During that time, Ber ardo shifted to St Catharines to live with Homolka. As per reports, in 1989, they got engaged and together they carried out their first crime two days before Christmas in 1990. The pair’s first victim was Homolka’s minor sister, Tammy, with whom Bernardo wanted to have sex. “He talked about how he really liked her and how she was getting really cute. He kept on pushing and pushing and pushing. Finally I said, ‘OK,’ thinking it would just be one time, that's it, it would shut him up. I figured he'd stop bothering me and hurting me,” she reportedly told cops.
However, the cruelty did not end after Tammy’s death, who choked on her own vomit, after being given sleeping pills and raped. A few months after they took away the life of the 15-year-old, Bernardo surprised Homolka in the middle of the night with another girl. The victim was 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy from Burlington, whom Bernardo had decided to keep as his sex slave.
The teen was repeatedly raped and tortured before being killed. It has been said that the horrific crime was recorded on camera by the sick couple. Dr Fred Berlin, a sexual disorder specialist at Johns Hopkins University, reportedly said, “It was a very destructive relationship. They fed into one another, and encouraged and supported one another in doing things that were unspeakable. They were attractive, intelligent, and in love. The idea that these were the bad guys and that they were capable of doing anything so vile is something that's hard for us to comprehend.”
Cairns added, “The interest in this case was not sparked by the brutality of the murders. It was the disbelief that such an attractive man and beautiful young girl could team up and be involved in something so bad. The Americans' coined them Ken and Barbie.”
Together Homolka and Bernardo also assaulted and murdered Kristen French, 15, but during interrogation with police, she claimed she did not to harm the girl. She reportedly had stated, “Her feet were tied with electrical cord, and there was an electrical cord around her neck. He anally raped her and then he strangled her after he was done. It stands out really clearly in my head because the night before I left him he did the exact same thing to me only he didn't kill me.”
The marriage of the evil couple broke in 1993 when Homolka made up her mind to leave him following a violent episode between them, which left her with a broken rib and black eyes. During that time, police finally succeeded in processing Bernardo's DNA sample. Eventually, the pair was pinned down and Homolka decided to be a witness against Bernardo. Since she testified against him, she was awarded 12 years behind bars on the charges of two counts of manslaughter.
However, after her sentencing, authorities discovered the videos that the pair made while executing their monstrous acts. The footage apparently showed that Homolka was equally involved in the crimes and enjoyed committing them. In the documentary, Dr Berlin noted, “As I see it, she was more of an accomplice in these crimes than a victim.”
McCrary added, “Was Karla given too light of a sentence? Did she get off way too lightly on this thing? That's certainly the opinion of a lot of folks. I have my concern that she may be more psychopathic than Paul. All we can do now is hope she doesn't harm anyone else.”