Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale and Leanne Bordelais, is a notorious Canadian serial killer, possibly one of the most notorious in Canadian history. She and her first husband, Paul Bernardo, were convicted of the r*pe and murder of at least three female teenagers.
The couple received worldwide media attention during the case and were dubbed the “Barbie and Ken Killers” for being a seemingly perfect and attractive murderous couple. Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison and the dangerous offender designation, the full maximum sentence allowed in Canada. Homolka, on the other hand, was only sentenced to 12 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter.
The press dubbed the exchange as a “Deal with the Devil” after video evidence later came out that proved Homolka was a more than willing participant in the r*pes and murders than she had initially claimed. After she got out of prison, she remarried and gave birth to a baby boy in 2007. The Canadian press reported that Homolka left for the Antilles with her husband and her baby and was going by the name of Leanne Teale.
Several years later, she was discovered living in Guadeloupe under the new name of Leanne Bourdelais. She would move back to her homeland a couple years later. In spite of the cruel and detestable crimes Homolka perpetrated in the past, she is striving to lead a normal life.
15 Karla Homolka Used To Be A Normal Child
Karla Homolka was born under humble beginnings to a Canadian mother and a Czechoslovakian immigrant father who worked as a traveling salesman. She was a bright girl with an IQ of 131, described by her teachers as “eager” and a “good student.” This description was made evident by the fact that Homolka was always the first one in the class to be seated at her desk. From a tender age, Homolka was shown to be a hard-working student and a perfectionist, who prioritized following the rules and listening to authority figures over anything else.
At the same time, she developed a bit of a bossy and obsessive streak, but nothing suggested she would be a future serial killer. A former friend of Homolka’s remarks that Homolka would often dream about having a perfect life with a handsome husband.
14 Karla Homolka Meets Paul Bernardo
Karla Homolka met her future husband, Paul Bernardo, at a restaurant in Scarborough while attending a convention in 1987. Bernardo was 23 and Homolka was 17. It seemed to be love at first sight for the new couple. The Homolka family took a quick liking to Bernardo, treating him like he had already married into the family. Bernardo spent a lot of time with his future in-laws. But little did they know that Bernardo was far from the charming young man he appeared to be. Bernardo verbally and physically abused his girlfriend.
Homolka writes in her diary: “Never let anyone know our relationship is anything but perfect; Don’t talk back to Paul; If Paul asks for a drink, bring him one quickly and happily; Remember you’re stupid; Remember you’re ugly; Remember you’re fat; I don’t know why I tell you these things because you never change.”
13 Homolka’s Twisted Relationship
In addition to being verbally and physically abusive, Bernardo was also sadistic and often fantasized about other women. He liked humiliating women in public and liked beating them up just the same. He was already a serial r*pist before he met Homolka, having r*ped at least 19 girls, many of them minors. The police didn’t know about it at the time and wouldn’t learn until much later that Bernardo was the infamous Scarborough R*pist.
Bernardo was prone to dark s*xual fantasies, something that Homolka approved of and even supported, which hinted at her having hybristophilia. She would often pose for Bernardo in submissive positions on the bed. One of the women Bernardo fantasized over was Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy, who Bernardo would regularly peep on while she was sleeping.
12 Homolka Offered Up Her Little Sister To Bernardo
Bernardo was upset that he was not Karla’s first s*xual partner. In order to appease her partner, Karla offered up the virginity of her little sister (seen in the picture frame above), who was 15 at the time. It was supposed to be a Christmas “gift.” She stole an anesthetic from the veterinary clinic where she worked, and following a family Christmas party, she and Bernardo drugged Tammy by giving her alcohol laced with a sedative. Once Tammy became weak and needed to lie down, Karla administered the anesthetic to her.
She videotaped Bernardo raping her little sister in the basement, taking over a few times in the act. When Tammy began choking on her own vomit, the two became frightened and they called 911. The paramedics couldn’t revive Tammy and the official cause of death was ruled as an accident, choking to death on vomit due to consumption of alcohol. No one considered foul play.
11 Karla And Bernardo’s “Tape”
Karla and Bernardo placed the picture seen above into Tammy’s casket. The picture was found by police when they exhumed Tammy’s body. Her parents told the police not to place the photo back into the coffin when they were done. Karla and Bernardo never seemed to be regretful over Tammy’s tragic death. If they were, they certainly didn’t mourn for long.
Just three weeks after Tammy died, Karla and Bernardo filmed a video titled “The Fireside Chat.” In the tape, Karla wears her younger sister’s clothing, acts like her, and tells Bernardo that she enjoyed being r*ped. Eventually, the two end up on Tammy’s bed and have s*x. When the couple was on trial for this crime and later crimes, the Fireside video was shown in the courtroom as evidence and was destroyed after the trial ended.
10 Homolka And Bernardo’s Victims
Bernardo kidnapped 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy from the yard of her own home. Mahaffy was blindfolded with a sweatshirt around her head and forced to endure 24 hours of brutal r*pe from Homolka and Bernardo. The couple took turns in videotaping each other. After they were done, Bernardo strangled Mahaffy to death. The couple left Mahaffy’s body in the basement at first but then later dismembered it and dropped it into Lake Gibson.
15-year-old Kristen French was kidnapped out of her church’s parking lot. For three days, she was tortured, r*ped, and forced to watch the tape. During the nightmare, French was given copious amounts of alcohol that kept her highly inebriated. Bernardo strangled French to death with the same electrical wire he used on Mahaffy.
9 Karla Homolka Was As Happy As Ever On Her Wedding Day
After being together for four years, Homolka and Bernardo decided to tie the knot on June 29, 1991. What looked like a normal, happy, and good-looking couple bellied dark secrets. Six months earlier, the couple had r*ped and killed Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. And just two weeks earlier, the couple had kidnapped, r*ped, murdered, and dismembered Mahaffy. But you wouldn’t have been able to tell all that from the picture above.
You also wouldn’t have been able to tell that Homolka was a victim of domestic abuse, as stated earlier. Two years after they got married, Homolka separated herself from her husband to the frequent physical attacks she received from him. They had gotten so bad that Homolka had to be hospitalized. She moved in with a friend of her sister’s who was a police officer.
8 Homolka And Bernardo Dumped Mahaffy’s Body Into A Lake
The same day that Homolka and Bernardo said “I do” to each other was the same day that the body of Leslie Mahaffy was discovered. After the couple had murdered Mahaffy, they left her body in the basement until they had to move it. Bernardo cut up the body into ten separate pieces with a circular saw given to him by his grandfather, boxed the body parts into concrete blocks—the block containing Mahaffy’s torso weighed 200 pounds—and he and Homolka dumped everything into Lake Gibson.
Mahaffy’s remains were discovered by a couple canoeing on the lake who spotted the concrete blocks that had been deposited there two weeks earlier. The police extracted the cement blocks from the lake and confirmed Mahaffy’s identity due to her braces and dental records.
7 Homolka And Bernardo Dumped French’s Body Into A Ditch
Homolka and Bernardo held Kristen French in captivity for three days, r*ping her before they murdered her on April 19, 1992. They dumped her naked body in a ditch along No. 1 Sideroad in North Burlington, Ontario, about one kilometer from the cemetery where Mahaffy was buried. The body was discovered mere days after it was dumped there on April 30. French’s long hair had been crudely cut off and it was initially believed that the hair was clipped as a trophy, but Homolka testified in court that the hair was chopped off to avoid identification.
On the day that French had disappeared when she was kidnapped by Homolka and Bernardo, she was wearing a Mickey Mouse watch. However, the watch wasn’t on her arm when her body was found.
6 Karla During Her Trial
Before Kristen French’s murder, Homolka and Bernardo were questioned by police multiple times concerning the Scarborough R*pist investigation, the death of Tammy Homolka, and other stalking charges. In December 1992, the Centre of Forensic Sciences finally started testing the DNA samples Bernardo had supplied three years earlier. 26 months later, Bernardo’s DNA was found to match that of the Scarborough R*pist and he was placed under 24-hour surveillance by Toronto police.
Investigators with the Metro Toronto S*xual Assault Squad interrogated Homolka where she admitted that she and her husband were involved in the r*pe and murder of Mahaffy and French, prompting an investigation by the police. Months later, Crown prosecutors and Homolka’s prosecutors finalized a plea bargain and Homolka started telling the police everything. The picture taken above shows Karla and her sister, Lori, leaving the courthouse following day one of Karla’s trial.
5 Homolka’s Plea Bargain
While the investigation into the murders of Mahaffy and French were underway, Homolka was offered a 12-year sentence plea bargain in exchange for her cooperation with authorities. If she refused, she would be given a harsher sentence. She agreed to the deal and began cooperating with the police.
However, the plea bargain was struck before prosecutors knew about the videotapes. Homolka portrayed herself as a victim and unwilling accomplice to her husband up to that point. But after the videotapes were discovered and viewed, it became clear that Homolka was an active participant in the crimes, if not the mastermind behind them. The Canadian press dubbed the bargain as the “Deal with the Devil.”
Homolka served her sentence in a medium-security prison where she was given a room full of amenities, including a computer. She spent her days playing with various toys and frolicking around the prison grounds.
4 Homolka Had A Way With Animals
From a young age, Karla Homolka had a soft spot for animals. There was an incident when she was young where she saw some schoolboys tormenting a beetle with a stick. Karla hurried over to them and screamed at them to stop, saying, “You shouldn’t kill it. It’s wrong to kill anything.”
Homolka had such a way with animals that the dog of one her friends, who seemed to despise everyone else in the world, was very fond of the young Karla. Homolka’s love for animals is probably what inspired her to become a veterinary assistant at a veterinary clinic when she got older. Homolka was even allowed to adopt a kitten when she was serving out her 12-year-sentence in prison, another one of the amenities she was awarded.
3 Homolka Had A Jailhouse Girlfriend
While Homolka was in prison, she had a s*xual affair with another inmate by the name of Lynda Veronneau, seated in the middle in the picture above. Veronneau was behind bars for perpetrating a series of armed robberies. Homolka never viewed the relationship as homosexual because Veronneau viewed herself as a man stuck in a woman’s body and intended to get a s*x operation in the future.
Homolka wrote sappy and romantic love notes to her lover on puppy-dog-decorated paper, much like she did Bernardo, but she wrote in French to Veronneau. She signed notes to her lover with “your love bug,” “your little kitty love,” “your beauty,” and more.
But Homolka dumped Veronneau when she developed a crush on Jean-Paul Gerbert, a convicted killer who strangled his ex-girlfriend, Veronneau became enraged and turned over all the letters to a Toronto Sun reporter.
2 Karla Homolka Has A New Husband And Three Children Now
On July 4, 2005, Homolka was released from prison. She accepted an interview with Radio-Canada television, speaking only in French, and subsequently went to live in Quebec. She married the brother of her lawyer, Thierry Bordelais, and tried her best to live away from the public eye.
When that failed, she moved with her husband to the French Caribbean, going by the name of Leanne Bordelais. Homolka once again tried to live under the radar, until her cover was blown by a Canadian reporter in 2012 who tracked Homolka down to her apartment. Homolka moved back to Quebec in 2014 with her husband and her three children after spending several years in Guadeloupe in exile. She took up residence in the La Belle Province, reportedly using the name of Leanne Teale.
1 Homolka Is Trying To Live A Normal Life
Homolka makes regular appearances at Greaves Adventist Academy in Montreal where her children attend. She drops her children off to school and picks them up every day. She also volunteers occasionally at the school, helping supervise a field trip on one occasion. Or at least she used to volunteer.
The school received a stream of complaints from concerned parents after they learned a notorious serial killer was interacting with their kids. At first, the school brushed off parents’ concerns and even told one mother that she was being “too critical,” but it seemed that after the complaints grew too much to handle and public fears rose to new levels, the school ruled that anyone with a criminal record wasn’t allowed to volunteer on school grounds.
While Homolka shoos away photographers who stake out the school for photos of hers, some believe she should be hounded for the rest of her life for the horrific crimes she committed in the past.
Sources: thechive, murderpedia, cbc, theglobeandmail, torontosun, thestar