Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka

The Making of a Monster

When Paul was sixteen, he got into an argument with his mother and she told him that her husband was not his real father and showed him a photo of his real father. The effect on Paul was devastating. After that, he openly mocked and taunted his mother, calling her a "slob" and a "whore." Considering his mother's infidelity and his father's sick sexual perversions, Paul began to hate his parents.

Paul's attitude in general and towards women in particular changed dramatically for the worse.

Paul Bernardo (no date)
Paul Bernardo
(no date)

In the early 1980s, Paul and his friend were recruited into the Amway business. Burnside and Cairns describe how deeply Paul was influenced by the things he learned from a few of the people who recruited him. "Paul used Amway techniques in many facets of his life, not only in sales and business but also in personal relationships. He bought the books and tapes of famous motivational get-rich-and-famous experts... Although Paul didn't make much money from Amway, the philosophy he embraced from it and other motivational mavericks justified his own crude and selfish longings." Then his interests moved on to the style of television evangelist Jim Bakker, which he emulated perfectly.

As he and his friends cruised the bars every night, they spun fantastic stories about who they were to any pretty girl that was naive enough to believe their lies. It seemed to pay off and many willing girls spread their legs.

By the time Paul went to college at the University of Toronto, his sexual fantasies had developed a dark side. Forceful anal sex was his preferred means of pleasure. Submissive women were what he sought. He had a terrible temper and enjoyed humiliating women publicly. He began beating up the women he dated.

He and one of his friends started smuggling cigarettes across the US.-Canadian border while Paul was still in college. Paul's appetite for toys, clothes and money could not be supported by any normal job. Paul was always looking for the ultimate scam that would pay him enormous sums of money.

When Paul graduated from college, he got a job as a junior accountant at Price Waterhouse. His girlfriends, sick of being tied up and beaten, were ready to dump him. Then in October of 1987, he met the girl of his dreams — pretty, blond Karla Homolka.


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