The Paul Bernardo Trial – Part 7

When Paul Bernardo was found guilty of first degree murder in the deaths of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French the case was far from over.  The Crown wanted Bernardo to be declared a Dangerous Offender so he could be sent to jail indefinitely.  Initially Bernardo’s lawyers planned to fight the designation but eventually they backed down. Bernardo became the first person in Canada to consent to a Dangerous Offender Designation

Families were given an opportunity to provide victim impact statements at Bernardo’s Dangerous Offender hearing.   Donna French the mother of Kristen read a prepared statement in which she tearfully described how she could still remember holding her baby daughter in her arms and kissing her head and how she ached to hold that daughter again.

Leslie’s mom, Debbie Mahaffy , played a video tape for the court that included footage of Leslie with her family.  Her 11 year old brother also spoke to the court and described how beautiful Leslie was.

Later that year the house where Bernardo and Homolka kept the girls captive was torn down.  About 50 people volunteered to be part of the demo team including contractors, local farmers and police officers. Over a 100 people, including Leslie’s mom gathered to watch as the house was torn down at dawn on December 5th, 1995.


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The house in Port Dalhousie rented by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka


Since the trial, Bernardo has been kept alone inside a tiny cell. First at Kingston Penitentiary then when it was closed he was moved to the nearby Millhaven Penitentiary.  He spends 23 hours a day in the cell which is in a special wing separate from the rest of the prison.

In 2005, Bernardo admitting to sexually assaulting 17 more women in 1986 but police decided not to lay any additional charges.  Police have also questioned Bernardo about the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Bain.  In a long rambling interview, Bernardo denied any involvement.


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