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

Local hiker Kara Ruff captured this double rainbow hiking Ripple Rock near Campbell River on June 15. Photo courtesy Kara Ruff.
Local hiker captures double rainbow

Double rainbow photographed from Ripple Rock trail viewpoint

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Discovery Island fish farms not allowed to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read