Edmonton Sun

November 7, 1999

Karla is no victim

As grieving families say, convicted sex killer 'just doesn't get it'

By MINDELLE JACOBS
Edmonton Sun

Is it just me, or do others also find it ironic that Karla Homolka, the beautiful, high-IQ sex killer who wants escorted passes to a halfway house, earned a psychology degree while in prison?

The thought of cold-blooded Karla, who once wanted to be a police officer, embarking on a career helping others is too ludicrous to contemplate. Karla tending to people's emotional wounds? Oh, what a picture!

If, however, she studied psychology to try to excuse, mitigate or otherwise explain away her evil ways to corrections officials - now that would be more like the real Karla. Conniving, self-serving and manipulative.

The kind of woman who would hold a drug-soaked cloth over the face of her little sister as her fiance Paul Bernardo raped the virgin sibling.

This is a woman who has always made herself out to be a victim.

"I felt helpless, very very helpless," she testified at Bernardo's trial when asked about the abduction of Kristen French, Nick Pron writes in his book, Lethal Marriage.

"More helpless than Kristen French?"defence lawyer John Rosen asked.

"I can't say how she felt," Karla responded.

Well, there you have it. She'd already participated in the killings of her sister Tammy and Leslie Mahaffy, she knew French was about to be killed and couldn't possibly imagine how the terrified girl felt.

Nor did she let French go when she had the chance, while Bernardo was out picking up food.

Cold, conspiratorial Karla a victim? Hardly. The public has never swallowed that one.

So Canadians aren't likely to sympathize with her request that a court overturn Joliette prison's denial of a series of escorted family visits at a Montreal halfway house.

"It's not like she'll get out early," explained her mom. "She'll still serve eight years. It's not like she is going out shopping, or going to shows or nightclubbing."

As the lawyer for the Mahaffy and French families said, Karla "just doesn't get it at all."

Karla has already thumbed her nose at the justice system once by winning a sweetheart deal in exchange for testimony against her husband.

Rightfully, her plea bargain - guilty pleas to manslaughter and a 12-year sentence - should have been tossed out when the true extent of her involvement in the deaths became evident.

But since the Crown didn't have the guts to do the right thing, she'll almost certainly walk free after eight years - two-thirds of her sentence.

Curiously, she's been eligible to apply for full parole since January 1997 but hasn't.

The lawyer for her victims' families is right to wonder why Karla doesn't apply to the National Parole Board - the usual route - if she wants a taste of freedom.

Oh, but that would mean putting up with the pesky presence and input of her victims' families. Poor Karla.

Little Miss "I'm the victim" argues the prison violated her constitutional rights by refusing her request for temporary escorted absences.

This is the Karla who spared no thoughts for the rights of her victims when they were begging for their lives.

A woman who videotaped her husband raping Mahaffy and then gave her a teddy bear to hold as comfort before Bernardo strangled her.

A woman who lured French into the car and called her a "good sex slave" before Bernardo dispatched her, too.

A sign held up by a disgusted citizen after Karla's trial said it best: "Rot in Hell - bitch!"



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Copyright © 1999, Canoe Limited Partnership.