Homolka interview a 'performance': Danson
Still-grieving families dismiss killer's remorse as empty and cynical

'She has no insight or understanding of the depths of her criminality,' lawyer charges

Jul. 5, 2005. 06:29 PM


Karla Homolka's portrayal of herself as a remorseful victim was nothing more than the masterful performance of a psychopath who simply doesn't understand her own depravity, still-grieving relatives of her victims say.


Speaking on behalf of the families today, lawyer Tim Danson blasted Homolka's television interview that came just hours after her release as cynical and manipulative.


"She has no insight or understanding of the depths of her criminality beyond hollow words, and clearly has no concept of the pain and suffering she has caused," Danson said.


"The families' view was that Karla Homolka's performance (Monday) night was just that: it was a performance."


Homolka was freed Monday from a prison near Montreal on the final day of her 12-year manslaughter sentence in the sex-torture killings of southern Ontario schoolgirls Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.


"I cry often. I can't forgive myself," Homolka told the TV interviewer.


"I think about what I did and often I think I don't deserve to be happy because of what I did."


But Danson said no one should be fooled by her attempt at conveying regret for the unspeakable crimes she and her ex-husband Paul Bernardo committed more than a dozen years ago.


"Never once in all of these years has Karla Homolka ever written to the families, ever expressed any remorse, any regret, never apologized," he said.


"We can never lose sight of what she did, and what she did to my clients' children was sadistic, it was brutal, it was barbaric."


During her interview, Homolka also described herself as unable to stand up to Bernardo, who is serving life for his role in the killings.


"I didn't initiate the crimes," she said. "I followed."


Calling her eyes "empty" and "dead," Danson said what the public finally got to see was "vintage" Homolka, someone he said was "tough" and controlling.


"It was the same type of discipline and control that Karla Homolka exercised when she was alone with Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French and had an opportunity to let these girls go free and chose not to."


Despite having sought an injunction restraining the media from reporting on her movements, she immediately gave the interview to French CBC, Danson noted.


"The hypocrisy is remarkable."


Danson also said the families plan to assemble an expert panel of psychiatrists and psychologists in an effort to prove the killer remains dangerous and should continue to face restrictions on her freedom.


"Karla Homolka is a psychopath and there is no medical treatment," he said.


At the same time, he said, the families don't want Homolka hounded to the point where she might be driven to further crimes by being marginalized.


Nor do they care where she lives.


Instead, he said, they simply want police to keep a close eye on her.


Danson also portrayed the wrenching contrast between Homolka's expressed desire for an iced cappuccino and the grief the families still feel.


While she was on television, Danson said, Dan Mahaffy was ``laying flowers on his daughter's grave."