On May 18, 1995, Crown Attorney Ray Houlahan stood up and began a four hour opening statement at the Paul Bernardo murder trial. The statement ended two years of secrecy and rumors about what really happened to 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French. Crowds of people lined up for hours outside the courthouse to get a seat inside for the opening address.
In a relentless monotone, Crown Attorney Ray Houlahan outlined in graphic detail the contents of six videotapes made by Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka. Houlahan said the tapes do not show the actual killings, but they help identify who caused the death of the victims. Leslie and Kristen’s families were in court as Houlahan described in detail what was on the tapes.
Houlahan said Bernardo alone killed Leslie and Kristen and that his wife was an unwilling participant in the crimes. Houlahan said Homolka was a battered wife who became submissive and subservient to Bernardo. During his opening address Houlahan also revealed that Bernardo was responsible for the death of Karla’s younger sister Tammy in 1990. Bernardo had slipped drugs into Tammy’s drink and then assaulted her while she unconscious. Karla videotaped the attack. Tammy died after she choked on her vomit. Her death was ruled accidental.