The crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka brought a fascination nationwide. The ‘Ken and Barbie' murders were one of Canada’s biggest serial cases ever, bring media coverage from around the world, and having the public line up outside the courtroom for a chance to sit in and observe. How could the golden couple next door execute such unspeakable acts? The unbelievable crimes left the city of St. Catharines wondering how this sinister act could happen in their own back yards. To this day, the case of the school girl killer is still talked about, thus making Paul Bernardo one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers to this day. Paul Bernardo was the youngest child of the three Bernardo children, born to Kenneth and Marilyn on Augusts 27th, 1964. Marilyn Bernardo was adopted into a successful Toronto family and enjoyed a happy upbringing. Kenneth Bernardo was born to a Portuguese immigrant, Frank, who started his own business. Kenneth may have not had the happiest up bring as his father physically abused Kenneth, his siblings, and his mother. Kenneth decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps, and went to school to become an accountant; however Kenneth did follow his father’s footsteps in the aspect of abusing his family.
As the Bernardo family settled in to a middle class neighborhood in Scarborough, Ontario, they started their family. After their eldest children were born, Kenneth started to physically abuse his wife because she had gained weight. During the time after her second child was born and the abuse started, Marilyn sought after comfort, and started to have an affair with a previous ex-boyfriend. Paul was the illegitimate child of Kenneth Bernardo. A few years later Kenneth was charged in court for sexual assault on a nine year old girl. Kenneth also started to sexually abuse his own daughter.
When Paul Bernardo was ten he was well liked around the neighborhood. According to Pron (1995), Paul was the friendliest of the three Bernardo children, was always happy, and smiled a lot. Around that time and up until he was well into his teenage years, Paul had been caught on multiple occasions peering into girls bedroom windows while they changed, with his hands on his crotch. Paul had become a Peeping Tom.
When Paul was sixteen he finally discovered his father, Kenneth Bernardo, was in fact not his father. As the physical and verbal abuse continued between his mother and father, one day his mother told him the truth. After that she would yell it out to him whenever she was angry. According to Pron (1995), his mother would often call him the “bastard child from hell”, and Bernardo grew to hate his mother and father.
As Bernardo got into his teens his Peeping Tom habit just wasn’t cutting it for him. He began to explore into pornography. According to Pron (1995), Paul’s sexual tastes were quite pronounced. Paul began to collect pictures of young girls in underwear ads. But soon Regular pornography and picture just wasn’t doing it for him. Paul began to watch more specific pornography, such as rape and bondage pornography. According to Pron (1995), Bernardo’s other desires included, coprophilia, and urophilia. At nineteen Paul soon started to explore his sexual fantasies with his girlfriend at the time, sixteen year old still in high school. The girl was young and inexperienced so assumed what she and Paul were doing was normal. After many more strange encounters the young girl broke it off with Paul, and that’s where the Bernardo the public knows began to come out.
In the evening of May 4th, 1987, a young twenty-one year old women walking home was raped in front of her family home. Ten days later another rape takes place. In the evening of May 14th, a nineteen year old woman, raped in her parents’ backyard where presumable she was thought to be safe, this attack lasted over an hour. With two rapes in a little over a week, the city of Scarborough is on high alert. Two other known attacks are attempted...
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