“The Ken & Barbie Killers” – Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo


The “Ken & Barbie” Killers On Their Wedding Day

Welcome to the third installment of true crime specials that will be featured on my blog. While sports are a passion of mine so is true crime. I thought these specials would be a good way to shake things up a bit, I do hope you enjoy.

This is yet another female who is the definition of a ride or die. She wanted to make her man so happy that she let him drug and rape her younger sister. As I mentioned before as much as love my husband, I would not stand by him if he wanted to do certain things…. rape is on that list. This girl not only gave her boyfriend consent to rape other women, she participated in the acts and even helped seek out his victims. 

Karla Leanne Homolka was born on was born on May 4, 1970 in Mississauga, Canada. She is the eldest child (3 girls) of Karel and Dorothy Homolka. The family lived in St. Catharine’s, Canada where Homolka starting working part time at a local pet shop while attending Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. After graduating in 1988 she was hired by Thorold Veterinary Clinic to work as a veterinary assistant. She later took a similar job at the Martindale Animal Clinic, from which she stole drugs that were to be used in her crimes. Thorold Veterinary Clinic to work as a veterinary assistant. She later took a similar job at the Martindale Animal Clinic.

Paul Kenneth Bernardo was born on August 27, 1964 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Although the Bernardo family was very wealthy, they were also a very dysfunctional one. His (“adoptive”) father Kenneth, who was a successful tile and marble entrepreneur often abused his wife and children. It is rumored that Paul is actually the result of an affair his mother had and that his father tolerated the affair and is listed as Paul’s biological father on his birth certificate (Paul found out who is actual father was when he turned 16). In 1975, Kenneth Bernardo fondled a girl and was charged with child molestation; it was later found out that he also sexually abused his own daughter. As a result of this his mother became depressed, pulled away from the family and ended up living in the basement of their home. Bernardo graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, opting to work for Amway, whose sales culture had a deep effect on him. Bernardo and his friends practiced their techniques on young women they met in bars, and were fairly successful. By the time Bernardo attended University of Toronto Scarborough where he was hoping to get an MBA, he had developed dark sexual fantasies, enjoyed humiliating women in public and beat up the women he dated.  

I know, I know this is not what you came here to read about but don’t worry it is going to start getting interesting right about now. Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo met on October 17, 1987 (Homolka was 17 and Bernardo was 23) at a Scarborough restaurant where they were both attending a business convention. It was all downhill from there as she encouraged Paul’s sadistic ways and was even okay with him becoming the “Scarborough Rapist”. Bernardo proposed to Homolka on December 24th of that same year (the age of consent in Canada was 14 and the age of majority was 17).  

By 1990, Bernardo was spending almost all his time at the Homolka residence, where he would often flirt with her little sister Tammy. During this time, he had lost his job as an accountant and was making a living by smuggling cigarettes across the US-Canadian border. He had become obsessed with Tammy often peeping through her window and sneaking into her bedroom to masturbate while she was sleeping, mind you she was 15 years old at the time…QUIT BEING NASTY PAUL! Karla even helped him break her sister’s blinds so Bernardo could have easier access through her bedroom window. Most siblings try to protect one another at all costs but okay Karla.

On July 24, 1990 while having dinner at the Homolka residence Karla laced Tammy’s spaghetti with valium she stole from Martindale Veterinary Clinic where she worked at the time. Later that evening the younger Homolka sister lost consciousness and Paul began to rape her all while Karla watched. This is making my stomach turn, how absolutely horrific. Six months before their wedding in 1991 Karla again stole sedatives from her employer and on December 24, 1990 they were administered to Tammy. Along with the sleeping pills she was also given large amount of alcohol that her sister and Bernardo encouraged her to drink while celebrating at a Christmas party that was being held by the Homolka’s. Oh, did I mention this was all part of Karla’s Christmas gift to her fiancée? Yeah, she wanted to give him Tammy’s virginity as a present. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that.

After Tammy passed out the couple undressed her and Karla held a Halothane soaked cloth over her sister’s nose and mouth. The couple videotaped themselves repeatedly raping Tammy all while her parents were sleeping upstairs. During the attack the younger sister starting vomiting and became unresponsive. The pair tried to revive her and when that failed, they hid any evidence related to the crime, dressed Tammy, moved her to her bedroom, then called 911. Tammy Homolka was pronounced dead at St. Catharines General Hospital without having regained consciousness. Again, she was just 15-year-old. Those poor parents not only did they lose their youngest daughter but all this happened on Christmas Eve. The couple told their family and authorities that Tammy had a little too much to drink during the party and passed out after helping her into bed they went into the other room to watch television, they heard Tammy begin to vomit and ran to check on her and administer first aid. Despite the horrible chemical burn on Tammy’s face the couple’s story was accepted. The official cause of Tammy Homolka’s death was accidental – choking on her vomit after consumption of alcohol. All involved just put it down as a tragic accident. The couple subsequently videotaped themselves with Karla wearing Tammy’s clothing and pretending to be her. They also moved out of the Homolka house to a rented Port Dalhousie bungalow, to allow the Homolka parents to grieve in private.

On the morning of June 15, 1991 Bernardo went out to steal license plates and came across 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy. The young girl had missed her curfew and was locked out of her house. Bernardo approached her and said he was planning on breaking into a neighbor’s house, unfazed Mahaffy asked if he had any cigarettes. Paul told her he did and started to lead her to his car so he could get them. Once they pair got to the car Bernardo blindfolded the girl and forced her into his vehicle. DON’T ACCEPT ANYTHING FROM STRANGERS CHILDREN! He drove her to the bungalow he shared with Karla and told her that they had a new “playmate”. The couple later videotaped themselves torturing and sexually assaulting Leslie while listening to Bob Marley and David Bowie. How dare you two drag their good names into this! At one point, Bernardo said “You’re doing a good job, Leslie, a damned good job.” Then he added, “The next two hours are going to determine what I do to you. Right now, you’re scoring perfect.” Remember, this was all on tape that would later be played in court so authorities know exactly what happened. On another part of the tape Mahaffy cried out in pain and begged Bernardo to stop as he began sodomizing her while her hands were tied with twine. The next day Karla gave the girl a lethal dose of Halcion and had the Homolka’s over for dinner. After Karla’s parents and remaining sister Lori left the bungalow the two got to work disposing of Mahaffy’s body. The couple dismembered the poor thing, put her body parts in cemented, and threw into a nearby lake. A father and son who were on a fishing trip would later discover the body and on June 29, 1991 Leslie Mahaffy was identified using dental records.  

The duo who would later be dubbed the “Ken & Barbie” killers were unfortunately not done with their reign of terror. On April 16, 1992 (one day before Good Friday) while driving around St. Catharines to look for potential victims the couple the pair came across 15-year-old Kristen French. They parked the car and Homolka got out with a map pretending that she was lost and needed assistance. While French was looking at the map Bernardo attacked her from behind and forced her into the car at knife point. While inside the vehicle Homolka kept control of French by violently pulling on her hair; exposing her neck and scaring with the knife. All through Easter weekend Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves as they tortured, raped and sodomized Kristen French, forcing her to drink large amounts of alcohol and to behave submissively to Bernardo. After having their sadistic way with French, they strangled and beat her to death then went to Homolka’s parents’ home to attend Easter dinner. On April 30, 1992 Kristen French’s nude body was discovered in a ditch outside of St. Catharines.  

In December of 1992 authorities linked DNA taken from Bernardo to the “Scarborough Rapist” case that took place 3 years earlier and he was immediately put under 24-hour surveillance. So, the police were closing in on the couple, as they say you can run but you can’t find from the law forever. On 27 December 1992, Bernardo severely beat Homolka with a flashlight on the limbs, head and face. Was anybody surprised when this happened……seriously? On January 4, 1993 while still severely bruised and battered from the assault Homolka went to work and told co-workers that she had been involved in an automobile accident. Skeptical of the situation Karla’s co-workers called her parents who picked her up and forced her to go to St. Catharines hospital for an exam. While at the hospital Karla gave a statement to authorities and filed domestic assault charges against Bernardo. On February 9, 1993 (one day before my 4th birthday…..come on!) Homolka was questioned by police and she went into great detail about his abuse towards her. Later that same night she told her aunt and uncle (whom she was staying with at the time) that her husband was the Scarborough Rapist, that they were involved in the rapes and murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, and that the rapes were recorded on videotape. So, the pressure finally got to her, I give her credit for keeping her mouth shut for so long. Shit, I would have flipped on Nick (my hubs) as soon as he said he wanted to rape my younger sister, well I have a younger brother but you know what I mean. 

On February 11, 1993, Homolka met with Niagara Falls lawyer George Walker who sought full immunity from St Catharines’s Crown Attorney Ray Houlahan in exchange for her cooperation. On February 13, 1993 Karla Homolka was informed that total immunity was not possible due to her involvement in the crimes……good, you nasty heifer. On February 17, 1993 Paul Bernardo was arrested on multiple charges and a search warrant was issued for the couple’s home. This is of course when they found all those horrific tapes. On May 5, 1993 Homolka was offered a 12-year plea deal in exchange for her testimony against her husband (they would later regret this offer). If she declined the deal, she would be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, and charges related to other crimes. Karla Homolka of course accepted and the plea deal was finalized on May 15, 1993. As soon as the ink was dry my girl started talking and I do mean TALKING. 

Paul Bernardo was charged with two counts each of kidnapping, unlawful confinement, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder as well as one of dismemberment and he officially went on trial in 1995. To keep the trial short, Homolka testified and parts of the videotapes were played for the jury. I mean that is proof right there in black and white, it literally shows the couple committing the crimes. It was during this time that authorities realized Homolka was more involved in the crimes than she led them to believe but they could not renege on their plea deal. They realized she deserved to spend life behind bars and were kicking themselves for not being able to see through her charade. September 1, 1995, Bernardo was convicted of a number of offences, including the two first-degree murders and two aggravated sexual assaults, and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Later, Bernardo was also declared a “Dangerous Offender”, making it unlikely he will ever be released. On February 21, 2006 “The Toronto Star” reported, that Bernardo had admitted having sexually assaulted at least 10 other women in attacks not previously blamed on him. This dude should have gotten death……does Canada even have the death penalty? 

Karla Homolka was released from prison on July 4, 2005. Homolka now lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3rd husband and 3 children. She nows goes by the name Leanne Teale. In the summer of 2010 Homolka was eligible to seek a full pardon of her past crimes. On June 16, 2010, Public Safety Minister said an agreement had been reached between all federal parties to pass a bill that would prevent notorious offenders like Karla Homolka from obtaining a pardon. Sooooo……she never got her pardon and will go down in history as ½ of the most horrific crime duo to ever walk this earth.

You know what makes this couple so scary to me? Society is taught that women (and men) can feel safe around females. So, if a couple pulls up asking for help you are more likely to assist them if you see a female in the car. You are almost programmed to believe that women are not capable of committing horrific crimes such as these. I dunno, I was taught stanger danger from the start. If I don’t know you than you better back up bitch or you will catch these hands. You need directions? You better use your GPS. Your dog is lost? Let me use my cell phone to call for help from a distance. You want to meet up to buy something? Okay, we can meet in a very well-lit and public area. Karla Homolka took a page out of Bonnie Parker’s book and stood by her man through anything…well at least until she was facing jail time herself.  


Serial Killer: Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo – Crime Junkies

Born To Kill? – You Tube

Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo – Murderpedia

Killer: Case 19 – Apple Podcasts


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