Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka

A "Thoughtful" Rape

Book cover, Invisible Darkness
Book cover, Invisible Darkness

Stephen Williams in his book Unknown Darkness describes Karla's idea: "She had really thought this thing with Tammy through. After all, she did not want to kill her own sister; she just wanted to knock her out and give her to Paul for Christmas. They sedated animals before they put them to sleep for surgery, so it should be all right to do it to her sister. There was some risk without the proper equipment — she would have to put the halothane on a cloth and hold it over Tammy's face — but she would make sure Tammy had plenty of air and check her breathing regularly." A truly organized rape, as only a thoughtful sister could plan. Maybe even the most thought out and organized rape ever.

December 23, 1990, was the big day — Tammy's deflowering. Paul used his new video camcorder to take videos of Mr. and Mrs. Homolka, their daughters, Karla, Tammy and Lori and the Christmas decorations in the house.

Tammy Homolka
Tammy Homolka

Paul plied Tammy with drinks, laced with the sedative Halcion. The effects of the drugs and alcohol were swift and Tammy was out cold on the couch in no time. When the other members of the household went up to bed, Karla and Paul started to work on Tammy. Paul held the camera on Tammy while he raped her, leaving Karla to keep the halothane-laden rag over her sister's face. Then he ordered Karla to make sexual advances to her sleeping sister.

Suddenly Tammy threw up. Karla wished her sister hadn't eaten before this event, but Karla knew what to do. She did what they did in the veterinary clinic. She held her sister upside down to try to clear her throat.

The only problem was that Tammy choked to death. Their amateur attempts to revive her failed so they dressed her, hid their drugs and camera and called an ambulance. The first that Tammy and Karla's parents knew of this tragedy was when they heard the ambulance pull up to the house. Everybody was led to believe that Tammy had died from accidentally choking on her vomit.

With Tammy no good to him anymore, Paul needed a replacement.