Paul Kenneth Bernardo, (born August 27, 1964 in Toronto, Ontario), is a Canadian serial killer and rapist, known for the murders he committed with his wife Karla Homolka and the serial rapes he committed in Scarborough.
Bernardo was born into a wealthy but dysfunctional family. His mother Marilyn, who had been adopted by well-to-do Toronto lawyer Gerald Eastman and his wife Elizabeth, was raised in a stable household. His father, Kenneth, was the son of an English woman and an Italian immigrant who created a highly successful marble and tile business, but was abusive to his wife and children. Instead of entering the family business, Kenneth Bernardo became an accountant. After her father had disapproved of an earlier boyfriend, Eastman married Bernardo in 1960.
Like his father, Kenneth Bernardo was said to be abusive. Marilyn, after having given birth to a son and a daughter, began seeing a former boyfriend. She became pregnant and gave birth to Paul Kenneth Bernardo on August 27, 1964. Kenneth Bernardo tolerated his wife's affair and is listed as the biological father on Paul's birth certificate.
In 1975, Kenneth Bernardo fondled a girl and was charged with child molestation; he also sexually abused his own daughter. Bernardo's mother became depressed over her husband's abuse, withdrew from family life and lived in the basement of their Scarborough home. Though the elder children felt the effects of the emotional and mental turmoil, young Paul appeared to be unscathed by it. In his book Lethal Marriage, Nick Pron describes the young Bernardo: "He was always happy. A young boy who smiled a lot. And he was so cute, with his dimpled good looks and sweet smile, that many of the mothers just wanted to pinch him on the cheek whenever they saw him. He was the perfect child they all wanted: polite, well mannered, doing well in school, so sweet in his Boy Scout uniform."
Following an argument between his parents when Bernardo was 16, his mother told him of his actual parentage. Repulsed, he began openly to call his mother "slob" and "whore".
Bernardo graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, opting to work for Amway, whose sales culture had a deep effect on him. "He bought the books and tapes of famous motivational get-rich-and-famous experts." Bernardo and his friends practised their techniques on young women they met in bars, and were fairly successful. By the time Bernardo attended University of Toronto Scarborough, he had developed dark sexual fantasies, enjoyed humiliating women in public and beat up the women he dated.
In October 1987, he met Karla Homolka. They became sexually interested in each other almost immediately. Unlike the other girls he knew, she encouraged his sadistic sexual behaviour, also encouraging his acts as the "Scarborough Rapist."
Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale and Leanne Bordelais (born 4 May 1970 in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada), is a convicted Canadian serial killer. She attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and death of her sister Tammy.
Homolka and Paul Bernardo, her husband and partner in crime, were arrested in 1993. In 1995, Bernardo was convicted of the two teenagers' murders and received life in prison and a dangerous offender designation, the full maximum sentence allowed in Canada. During the 1993 investigation, Homolka stated to investigators that Bernardo had abused her, and that she had been an unwilling accomplice to the murders. As a result, she struck a deal with prosecutors for a reduced prison sentence of 12 years in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter.
However, videotapes of the crimes were later found that demonstrated that she was a more active participant than she had claimed. As a result, the deal that she had struck with prosecutors was dubbed in the Canadian press the "Deal with the Devil". Public outrage about Homolka's plea deal continued until her high-profile release from prison in 2005. Following her release from prison, she settled in the province of Quebec, where she married and gave birth to a boy. In 2007, the Canadian press reported that she had left Canada for the Antilles with her husband and their baby, and had changed her name to Leanne Teale. In 2012, journalist Paula Todd found Homolka living in Guadeloupe, under the name Leanne Bordelais, with her husband and their three children.