Paul Bernardo sits in the back of a police cruiser as he leaves a hearing in St.Catharines, Ont., in this file photo. Convicted teen killer and serial rapist Bernardo will have another parole hearing this month.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Paul Bernardo sits in the back of a police cruiser as he leaves a hearing in St.Catharines, Ont., in this file photo. Convicted teen killer and serial rapist Bernardo will have another parole hearing this month.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Rapist and killer Paul Bernardo set to have parole hearing June 22

Now 56, Bernardo became eligible for parole more than three years ago but was denied release in 2018

Convicted teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set to have another parole hearing this month.

The Parole Board of Canada says the hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 22.

Bernardo is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and killing two girls, Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, in the early 1990s near St. Catharines, Ont.

Now 56, Bernardo became eligible for parole more than three years ago but was denied release at a hearing in October 2018.

At the time, he said he cried over what he had done and had improved himself.

The parole panel, however, said he showed little insight into his crimes.

“What I did was so dreadful. I hurt a lot of people,” Bernardo said then. “I cry all the time.”

Dubbed the “Scarborough Rapist,” Bernardo is nearing three decades in prison, most of it in solitary. He was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault among other offences.

His crimes over several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some of which he videotaped, sparked widespread terror and revulsion.

Among his brutal acts, Bernardo and his then-wife Karla Homolka kidnapped, tortured and killed Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at their home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and dumping them in a nearby lake.

They similarly kidnapped and killed 15-year-old French in April 1992 after torturing her and ignoring her entreaties over three days.

The lawyer who has represented the French and Mahaffy families did not immediately respond to word of the new parole hearing.

At his last hearing, Bernardo, incarcerated at Millhaven penitentiary in eastern Ontario, argued low self-esteem drove him to commit the crimes he said he now rued and that he no longer posed any threat to the public.

The parents of two of his murder victims, who have long argued the designated dangerous offender should never be released, made impassioned pleas he be kept behind bars.

Mahaffy’s mother, Debbie Mahaffy, described the crushing pain the parole hearing had rekindled, saying the “unspeakable and brutally sadistic acts” Bernardo committed defied description.

“How does one describe such immeasurable pain so as to give even the slightest understanding of the overwhelming sadness, the emptiness, and pain we feel even after 26 years of dealing with our loss?” French’s mother, Donna French, said then.

The panel took about 30 minutes to reject Bernardo’s request for both day and full parole.

Bernardo, who ultimately admitted raping 14 other women, was also convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. The 15-year-old girl died after the pair drugged and sexually assaulted her.

—Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

RELATED: Parents of teen girls killed by Paul Bernardo seek to obtain his file: documents

Law and justice

Just Posted

Langley’s Brie King, seen here playing as a TWU Spartan, was a standout for Canada Saturday, June 12, as the team downed Serbia 3-1. (file)
Aldergrove journalist Dean Broughton and his father, Bert. (Special to The Star)
Leave it to Aldergrove resident to tell your living legacy

Journalist Dean Broughton found the importance of family stories by conversing with his father

John Diefenbaker and Dwight Eisenhower at the signing of the Columbia River Treaty, January 1961. (White House Photo Office)
Painful Truth: All elections are a roll of the dice

A federal election is coming, and anything could happen

A worker clears out damaged fixtures from a front office of Coast Capital Savings credit union in Brookswood 4145 - 200th Street on Saturday, June 12, after a car knocked out an exterior roof support beam and smashed in a window. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Car takes out front window of credit union in Brookswood

Witnesses say it happened while the driver was trying to park

Susan Cairns (left) during one of the school foundation’s annual fundraisers. Now, on behalf of the organization, she’s released a statement of support in the wake of the 215 children’s bodies discovered at a former residential school in Kamloops. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley School District Foundation called to action by ‘atrocity’

Board and executive director describe ordeal as a ‘travesty’, and vow to ‘be there’ with support and aid

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read