(Canadian Press)

Killer Paul Bernardo set for weapon trial; accused of having ‘shank’

Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls

Notorious killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is due in an eastern Ontario courtroom today for his trial on a weapons possession charge.

Authorities accuse the maximum-security inmate of possessing a “shank” — consisting of a screw with a pen as a handle — in prison in February.

The 54-year-old Bernardo had said he wanted to get the trial done before a parole hearing scheduled for later this month.

His lawyer says his client is presumed innocent and will be acquitted.

Also known as the “Scarborough rapist,” Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls and numerous sexual assaults.

He was labelled a dangerous offender and was not to be eligible for parole until he had served 25 years since his arrest in southern Ontario in early 1993.

Bernardo’s sadistic sex crimes, some of which he videotaped, sparked terror and revulsion. He kidnapped, tortured and killed Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at his home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and discarding them in a nearby lake. He tortured and killed Kristen French, 15, of St. Catharines, Ont., in April 1992 after keeping her captive for three days.

Bernardo’s then-wife, Karla Homolka, was complicit in his crimes. In return for testifying against him, she served 12 years until 2005 after pleading guilty to manslaughter in what critics at the time branded as a “deal with the devil.” Homolka is now a mother herself, and last year it was revealed she had been volunteering at a Montreal-area elementary school, prompting it to revise its policies.

Bernardo, who admitted to raping 14 other women, was later convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. The 15-year-old girl died after the pair drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. Homolka would later say she wanted to give Tammy’s virginity to Bernardo for Christmas.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Family of teen stabbed to death in Kelowna close to getting Christmas wish

A memorial bench in Penticton for Elijah Beauregard is close to meeting its funding goal

Mara Lake is one of the significant water resources across the Okanagan-Shuswap region that will fall under increasing sustainability pressure as the anticipated population growth for the region continues in this century. (File photo)
Okanagan Valley water supply sustainability reaching a critical point: Global expert

Global expert says Okanagan Basin Water Board offers sustainable path forward

Kelowna's crime rate is growing faster than any other city with more than 100,000 people across the country. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
More help from province needed, says Kelowna mayor following spike in crime

“Community safety cannot rest on the shoulder of police alone,” says Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran

(File photo)
Collision at Hwy 97, Hwy 33 causing delays

At least two patients, northbound traffic affected

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

A GoFundMe page has been launched to assist Frankie and Billie Douglas as Frankie undergoes surgeries related to an illness which leaves her bones brittle. (GoFundMe photo)
Fundraiser supports Shuswap child battling brittle bone disease

A $5,000 goal has been set to assist Billie and Frankie Douglas as Frankie spends time in hospital

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tina Seminara died in hospital following an alleged brutal beating. Her husband Rod Flavell was later charged with manslaughter.
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in the Okanagan – but not on Vancouver Island – over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: New COVID-19 cases have doubled in Okanagan over last week

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, B.C. photo: Sparkling Hill Resort’s Facebook
COVID-19: Okanagan resort closes temporarily after staffer tests positive

Vernon resort closes for 11 days as precautionary measure

Most Read