Jun. 4, 2005. 08:29 AMKarla leashed, for now
|Karla Homolka shies away from cameras as she sits shackled in the back of a police van while arriving at the courthouse in Joliette, Que., Friday, June 3, 2005 for a hearing on conditions of her release.|
She can't hide.
And if she comes to a neighbourhood near you, police will know about it in advance. But that information won't necessarily be shared with civilians.
Karla Homolka is a dangerous woman.
This would seem a self-evident fact. Her pitiless cruelties have entered the annals of monstrous evildoing. But if her punishment didn't fit the crime a 12-year-sentence for double manslaughter, with an asterisk the state has at least retroactively acknowledged that this miscreant is worthy of pariah status.
Canada's most notorious female felon so pale and slack-faced yesterday that she looked embalmed, her skin giving off a waxy sheen left the courtroom with just the slightest toss of her hair.
The only point at which Homolka showed any emotion, a brief frown, was when it appeared she might have to pay out of pocket for the continuing psychological therapy that was mandated by Quebec Court Judge Jean R. Beaulieu.
As if it's done any good so far.
As if she now sees herself for what she is, a sexual predator, rather than what she steadfastly claims to be, a traumatized victim of battered-wife syndrome.
As if she has taken any sincere responsibility or exhibited any genuine contrition for the sexual torturing of at least five teenage girls: two were murdered, one choked to death on her own vomit.
As if she will emerge from prison in a few weeks time a better human being.
What a bunch of hokum.
What a dozen years behind bars did for Homolka was provide her with an advanced education, reinforce her staggering narcissism and furnish her with handy sexual partners both a girlfriend and a boyfriend.
She has most notably, as Beaulieu unhappily observed, gravitated toward another person just like Paul Bernardo, a convicted killer to whom she gave tongue in the prison library, swapped underwear and continues to exchange letters, defying orders from corrections authorities to knock it off.
"Essentially, in 2005, she's right back in the same situation, with a dominant man," Beaulieu remarked during an exchange with the psychiatric expert called as a defence witness, the risk assessment authority who argued for several hours that Homolka posed no threat to the public and was unlikely to reoffend so long as she avoided Bernardo-like entanglements.
That would seem to be too much to ask.
The object of Homolka's perverse affection, Jean-Paul Gerbet, is serving a life sentence for strangling his former girlfriend. They met during a short disciplinary stint Homolka spent at the Ste. Anne des Plaines maximum security institution in 2001.
`It is an obvious signal to
this court that this person has put the protection of herself above that
of her fellow citizens.'
Judge Jean R. Beaulieu
Her lawyer, Sylvie Bordelais, had asked earlier, in mocking tones, if the court was seriously considering poking into the most intimate corners of her client's life, post-incarceration, to the extent that Homolka would have to provide police with the names of men with whom she might share just one evening. Presumably, Bordelais was referring to one-night stands. Given how quickly Homolka was out trolling for lovers, after fleeing her husband and awaiting the completion of her sweetheart plea bargain, one can reasonably deduce that she will be having her share of these slam-bang carnal encounters.
Jail time has not diminished her libido or kinky tendencies.
On the other hand, Homolka is eagerly anticipating a traditionally romantic partnership in the future love and marriage and the baby carriage. The authors of a psychological profile written in 1998 (in which early parole was discouraged), wrote of the inmate: "She wishes to meet a man who believes in the moral values of marriage, who is educated, loyal, who wants children, who loves his mother, who shows a respectful attitude towards women, who does not have a history of family abuse, no criminal background and, finally, who is loved by her family, who loves pets, and, if possible, who is attractive."
If such a person exists, imagine him taking Homolka home to meet the parents.
But it won't be Gerbet; not hardly. He will be probably be deported to France when his sentence is up. Of course, there's nothing preventing Homolka from marrying the guy, should her ardor remain true (which doesn't necessarily mean chaste) during these coming years of separation. Beaulieu's recognizance order essentially parole conditions for an ex-con who isn't technically on parole, having served a full jail term applies throughout Canada but have no traction beyond national borders. Homolka is free to travel where she likes, merely giving authorities four days' warning if she moves from Montreal, her cited destination upon leaving Joliette.
And while she might want a fellow who likes kids, they will of necessity have to be her own the judge's stipulations require that Homolka not be in the company of anyone younger than16 years of age unless their parents or a guardian are present.
The court's restrictions are not onerous. It's unlikely (but not unfathomable) that Homolka would have attempted, in any event, to contact the families of her victims Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy or the surviving women who were raped as teenagers. But with Homolka, it must be said, anything is possible.
That's why these restrictions were sought, belatedly, under Section 810 of the Criminal Code. Nobody has yet figured out what makes Karla so singularly Karla. She remains, as another psychiatrist concluded, a "diagnostic mystery." Way down deep, she may simply be extremely shallow, lacking even an iota of introspective wisdom.
It was not surprising, yesterday, when a courtroom artist three times erased Homolka's face from his sketch. Such a blank countenance is impossible to capture and none of the artist renditions that have appeared in the media have portrayed her accurately; certainly they've not penetrated the essence of the person. Stony, lifeless, intensely self-controlled, or simply affective, in shrink-babble parlance.
Homolka is adept at manipulating professionals paid to plumb her depths, while blunting any foraging of her character. A modest "5" on one expert's psycho-crazy scale, a honking big "24" on another's.
"Did she commit deviant sexual acts? Yes," the head doctor asked and answered yesterday.
"But is she a sexual deviant? No."
I can't tell the difference; can you tell the difference?
Nor will these court-imposed restrictions make a significant difference in Homolka unbound.
Come July 5, she'll be one of us.
Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.