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The Canadian Press

Families seek link between assaults, Homolka

GREG BONNELL, Canadian Press, Various Canadian newspapers, Feb. 21, 2006

The families of two Ontario school girls murdered by Paul Bernardo want to know if additional sex assaults to which the convicted killer recently confessed can be linked to Karla Homolka, their lawyer said today.

"Certainly the families are interested to know whether or not he will, in any way, implicate Karla Homolka in any of these other offences," said Tim Danson.

"If she is implicated, and it's verified, of course that's a breach of the plea resolution."

The Toronto Star reported exclusively today that Bernardo, jailed indefinitely for the rape and torture deaths of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and 14 other rapes, confessed last November to at least 10 additional assaults in the Toronto area between 1986 and 1991.

Toronto police said today they do not intend to charge Bernardo with any of the rapes and don't plan an investigation.

Toronto Deputy Chief of Police Tony Warr issued the following statement:

"We received information from Paul Bernardo's lawyer, Tony Bryant, in October 2005, containing a list of alleged sexual assaults committed by his client.

"Officers from the Sexual Assault Squad, in addition to officers from the original investigation nearly two decades ago, reviewed all this information.

"The claims break down into several categories:

"- the investigators were already aware of a number of the alleged assaults. However, in some of those cases, victims made it very clear to police at the time that they did not want to proceed with an investigation.

"- in some cases, there was insufficient information to launch an investigation.

"- there is also the possibility that some victims did not report sexual assaults to police at the time or since.

"I am very mindful that, whenever this issue is raised, the effect on the victims is that they feel they are being victimized once again. With that in mind, I do not intend to do any interviews."

Homolka, who pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and served 12 years in prison for her role in the murders, was released in July under stringent restrictions imposed by a Quebec judge.

In exchange for her reduced sentence, Homolka agreed to testify against Bernardo, whom she met in October 1987.

The Star report suggests that the 41-year-old Bernardo's latest admission largely involves rapes committed before he met Homolka.

"There's a suggestion . . . these offences may have pre-dated him even meeting Karla Homolka," Danson said. "But from the families' perspective, they certainly want to know if he's implicating Karla Homolka."

Kristen French's father said Bernardo's latest admission is a positive development for his victims.

"I'm glad he finally admitted to more of them," Doug French said from his home in St. Catharines.

"It's a good thing that he admits it. It gives some relief to some of the victims anyway."

Bernardo has not admitted having had anything to do with Elizabeth Bain, a 22-year-old student who vanished in 1990, lawyer Tony Bryant told CBC Radio.

"The short answer is no," Bryant said. "The Elizabeth Bain matter is not one of the assaults that he (Bernardo) told the police about that he had anything to do with."

Defence lawyers for Robert Baltovich, who faces second-degree murder charges in Bain's death, have argued that Bernardo should have been considered a suspect in the case.

The Star report said at least one of the Bernardo assaults took place in 1986, at the east-end University of Toronto campus where Bain was a student in 1990.

Bain's body has never been found.

Baltovich was convicted of second-degree murder in 1992 and spent eight years in jail before he was released on bail in 2000.

Why Bernardo decided to come forward on the sexual assaults after more than 10 years behind bars remains a mystery, given that he's unlikely to ever be released from prison, said Danson.

"We do know that psychopaths thrive on the celebrity status, perverted as it may be, of their reputation as a dangerous individual," he said.

"That may be part of the explanation."

Authorities had long suspected Bernardo of other assaults, but until now, he had never acknowledged being involved.


Jan. 5, 1988: Police interview Paul Bernardo's ex-girlfriend and report he should be considered a suspect in the case of the Scarborough Rapist.

Dec 24, 1990: Tammy Homolka, 15, sister of Karla Homolka, dies after being drugged and sexually assaulted by Bernardo and Karla.

June 15, 1991: Leslie Mahaffy, 14, is abducted in Burlington by Bernardo.

June 29, 1991: Mahaffy's remains found encased in concrete in Lake Gibson. They are found by fisherman on the same day Homolka marries Bernardo.

April 16, 1992: Kristen French, 15, is abducted by Homolka and Bernardo. She is sexually assaulted and killed. Body found in Burlington April 30.

Jan. 6, 1993: Homolka leaves Bernardo.

Feb. 1, 1993: Bernardo's DNA test shows a match to Scarborough Rapist.

Feb. 9, 1993: Police interview Homolka for six hours; she never mentions the murders, or circumstances of sister's death.

Feb. 17, 1993: Bernardo arrested for rapes, named prime suspect in French, Mahaffy murders.

May 14, 1993: Province signs plea-bargain with Homolka in return for testimony against Bernardo.

May 18, 1993: Homolka is charged with two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of French and Mahaffy.

May 19, 1993: Bernardo is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping, forcible confinement and aggravated sexual assault, and one count of committing an indignity to a body.

June 28, 1993: Homolka's trial begins

July 6, 1993: Homolka is convicted of manslaughter in the two slayings during a closed, one-day trial and sentenced to 12 years.

July 6, 1993: Homolka delivered to Kingston Prison for Women.

July 20, 1993: Tammy Homolka's body is exhumed for a second autopsy.

March 30, 1994: Crown cancels Bernardo's preliminary hearing and sends him directly to trial.

May 4, 1994: Bernardo pleads not guilty

Sept. 1, 1995: Bernardo found guilty, gets life term.

Nov. 2, 1995: Bernardo declared dangerous offender, jailed indefinitely. Admits 13 of 15 attacks blamed on Scarborough Rapist.

Jan. 6, 1997: Homolka eligible for day parole.

June 10 1997: Homolka is moved to the prison for women in Joliette, Que.

March 8, 2001: Parole board rules Homolka must serve full sentence.

July 4, 2005: Homolka released from prison.