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

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

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

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

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read