Ex-boss wants Homolka in jail
Says he taped her talking about crimes
The Gazette

Thursday, August 25, 2005

At first, Richer Lapointe felt like Karla Homolka's brother.

Now, he wants her behind bars.

The Longueuil hardware store owner who gave Homolka her first job after she finished serving a 12-year sentence for the sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls said yesterday his initial intentions were good.

He spoke at length with reporters after appearing in Quebec Court in Longueuil, where he faces five criminal charges, including a sexual assault alleged to have taken place between May 25 and Aug. 5.

Lapointe refused to answer reporters' questions about his possible involvement with a controversial Quebec cult called the Mission de l'Esprit Saint.

The group was founded in 1920 and split into several factions in the late 1970s, after it built an underground bunker at Oka and stocked it with food and millions of diapers. "I came into this world on Nov. 5, 1966," Lapointe said when asked if he was a member of the group. "I can't respond to those (questions). I won't comment on that."

But Lapointe, 39, was willing to talk about why he sought to employ the 35-year-old Homolka.

Through Homolka's lawyer Sylvie Bordelais, Lapointe arranged to have Homolka work in his Longueuil hardware store - a job she kept until Lapointe was arrested Friday.

"My true intentions were to put her directly on the map to rehab," Lapointe said. "She had 65 weeks of a program offering her to set up a new store on her own, with our (support). After 65 weeks, she would have been a 35-per-cent owner of a store that we were going to offer her as compensation for doing this, to give her a future. That was the entire plan.

"There was a written contract that was supposed to be signed in September. We were waiting for the court, because she had to change names. We were waiting for the legal papers for her new name to be done."

Homolka's current legal name is Karla Leanne Teale, but she made preparations to change it again to start her life as a free woman.

Lapointe first met Homolka on Aug. 2, and said he soon began to think of her as a sister. Lapointe said he did things like train her to take inventory as she helped to prepare the Rona L'Express hardware store on Ste. Helene St. in its relocation plans. She also served a few customers.

"She was a good person. She was a good worker," Lapointe said. "For the work that she did, she did a good job. She's a brilliant girl and intelligent. But she also has a tendency to be naive or stupid."

Lapointe said the nature of their relationship began to change when Homolka started talking about her past, in particular, her criminal acts and the circumstances that led to her be sentenced to a 12-year term.

For reasons he would not elaborate on, except to say that he was protecting himself, Lapointe began recording his conversations with Homolka.

Lapointe said he recorded her criticizing police bungling when investigating her former husband, Paul Bernardo, as he continued to commit a series of sexual assaults.

The police suspected Bernardo was a rapist before he kidnapped and killed Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy with Homolka's help.

Lapointe said he received "counselling" on how to record his conversations with Homolka and what type of questions to ask her. But he wouldn't say who helped him.

Lapointe said some of the things Homolka said disturbed him. He said he plans to release the contents of the recordings at a news conference tomorrow.

Excerpts that have been made public to certain media outlets have revealed little. But Lapointe says he is convinced Homolka has breached the conditions of her release, which were imposed in June as her sentence was coming to an end.

Revealing aspects of Homolka's secret life since her release has left many to question Lapointe's motives, but he insisted he has made no money from telling his story to the Toronto Sun.

"If I was an opportunist, I wouldn't be here and I would have pockets full of money. I haven't asked for a cent. I never asked for a penny for this," he said. "I am not a hero or a star for the cameras. I don't want my 15 minutes of fame. I don't want it. I never wanted it."

Homolka's job at the hardware store ended Friday afternoon, the day Lapointe was arrested and charged in his criminal case. Besides being accused of sexual assault, he faces charges of breaking and entering, extortion and assault.

Lapointe said he wants to give Ontario prosecutors a sworn statement concerning Jane Doe, the name used to refer to a teenage girl Homolka and Bernardo sexually assaulted.

Homolka did not tell authorities about her involvement in that crime until after her controversial plea bargain agreement. She said she forgot about Jane Doe because she was suffering from memory lapses, a side effect of being beaten by Bernardo.

"I plan to go to Ontario, no matter what," Lapointe said of his plans to give a sworn statement, even though no one has asked him for one.

While appearing in court yesterday, Lapointe tried to change a bail condition that prohibits him from leaving Quebec while his sexual assault case is before the court.

Lapointe told Judge Denys Noel that he had to travel to Ontario soon to "deal with something that has been in the media."

Crown prosecutor Caroline Fontaine said she wouldn't discuss altering the bail condition until Lapointe puts his reasons for the request in writing. Fontaine also raised the question of whether Lapointe violated his bail by communicating with Homolka after he was released from custody on Friday.

Fontaine said Lapointe agreed during Friday's bail hearing not to speak to people he knew had criminal records, but somehow that condition was omitted from the recognizance order Lapointe signed.

Outside the courtroom, Lapointe said he returned a telephone message Homolka left him Friday afternoon, after he was released on bail. Returning the call might have been a violation of his bail, but Fontaine would say only that she will investigate.

"I don't have a complaint stating that he broke the condition on my desk right now," Fontaine said.

Lapointe's case returns to court Sept. 14.


 The Gazette (Montreal) 2005