(Canadian Press)

Killer Paul Bernardo set for weapon trial; accused of having ‘shank’

Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls

Notorious killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is due in an eastern Ontario courtroom today for his trial on a weapons possession charge.

Authorities accuse the maximum-security inmate of possessing a “shank” — consisting of a screw with a pen as a handle — in prison in February.

The 54-year-old Bernardo had said he wanted to get the trial done before a parole hearing scheduled for later this month.

His lawyer says his client is presumed innocent and will be acquitted.

Also known as the “Scarborough rapist,” Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls and numerous sexual assaults.

He was labelled a dangerous offender and was not to be eligible for parole until he had served 25 years since his arrest in southern Ontario in early 1993.

Bernardo’s sadistic sex crimes, some of which he videotaped, sparked terror and revulsion. He kidnapped, tortured and killed Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at his home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and discarding them in a nearby lake. He tortured and killed Kristen French, 15, of St. Catharines, Ont., in April 1992 after keeping her captive for three days.

Bernardo’s then-wife, Karla Homolka, was complicit in his crimes. In return for testifying against him, she served 12 years until 2005 after pleading guilty to manslaughter in what critics at the time branded as a “deal with the devil.” Homolka is now a mother herself, and last year it was revealed she had been volunteering at a Montreal-area elementary school, prompting it to revise its policies.

Bernardo, who admitted to raping 14 other women, was later convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. The 15-year-old girl died after the pair drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. Homolka would later say she wanted to give Tammy’s virginity to Bernardo for Christmas.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Body found after apparent house explosion in Calgary, police investigating

Sgt. Dwayne Lepchuk declined to say whose remains were found

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

Most Read