Karla Homolka: “A free person”

Homolka and Bernardo murdered two teenage girls; Leslie Mahaffy, 14 and Kristen French, 15. Homolka’s younger sister Tammy was also drugged by Homolka and sexually assaulted by Bernardo before she died.


Kristen French


Bernardo spent 25 years in prison without parole. Bernardo and Homolka were charged in 1993 and convicted in 1995. Karla Homolka was convicted of manslaughter after agreeing to testify against Paul Bernardo to lessen her sentence. Following the appeal, it came to the prosecutor’s attention that Homolka had played a critical role in the abductions and murders of the victims; however, Homolka had taken the plea and could not legally be tried for the same case twice. In 2005, Homolka was released from jail and became a “free person”.


Since this time, Homolka has re-married, changed her name and has three children. She has been living in Châteauguay, Montreal, for approximately two years with her family; this revelation has left the community enraged.

untitledSome individuals feel that Homolka does not deserve to live in society with others due to her criminal past and heinous crimes. Many of her neighbors expressed outrage and fear, they stated their lack of knowledge about her identity and felt deceived. Parents have expressed concern for their children due to the fact that Homolka’s children attend the same school and Homolka may be around their children. Furthermore, many individuals expressed their sympathy and empathy for the victims’ families that have to live with the fact that Homolka is free, living her life while their children are not because of her crimes.

On the other hand, rehabilitants suggest that Homolka has served her time and should be free to live her life. These individuals argue that Homolka was rehabilitated during her time in prison and is now a different person. Moreover, Homolka has not committed crimes since her release and should not persecuted for her past.

What are your thoughts?

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Points of Discussion:
1. Do you believe rehabilitation is effective?
2. Should Homolka have a second chance at life?
3. Is Homolka truly a “free person”?


Aboriginal Women Targeted By Police Officers

abVal d’Or is known for its longstanding history with aboriginal communities including the Algonquin and Cree tribes but not without conflict. Aboriginals have protested against how the police force treats their women for years and are now finally being heard.

Countless aboriginal women have stated that Sûreté du Québec officers have assaulted or punished women for being intoxicated by driving them out of town and abandoning them in the cold.  Police brutality towards aboriginal women was no surprise to many Quebecers but the presence of sexual abuse was shocking.

Many aboriginal women have stated that police officers would occasionally request the women to perform oral sex. Refusing to follow through would often result in agonizing repercussions. According to the women, the authorities were well aware of these complaints before they went public but chose to ignore them. Will this time be different?

Quebec’s public security minister stated that eight Sûreté du Québec officers were suspended due to 14 complaints of abuse of power and assault in a news conference. The officers are presumed innocent until proven guilty based on substantial evidence to support the claims made by the aboriginal women. Since the initial story was released additional aboriginal women have shared their own parallel accounts of sexual violence inflicted by the police force.

Retired judge Lawrence Poitras supports the concern expressed by aboriginal women when he stated “officers accused of abuse often retaliate with criminal charges against the accusers in order to cover their tracks.” – CBC article

The Montreal police force is now responsible for overseeing the investigation. The aim is to prevent the SQ from overseeing the investigation and protecting its officers. Furthermore, Pierre Veilleux, the president of the Quebec provincial police union (APPQ), shared with CBC that the force is aiming to place cameras in cruisers beginning December to assess the severity of the situation.

Politicians are raising concerns about how prevalent this abuse of power might be in other parts of Quebec with aboriginal communities. Many politicians have also suggested the need for a provincial investigation to ensure that the protection of vulnerable members of the community.  Advocates have stated that a victim’s background including drug addictions and prostitution do not justify the abuse of power displayed by the officers.

Abuse of power results in a lack of trust in authorities and often results in rebellion; for example, many individuals are protesting against the abuse of power in the streets of Quebec. Furthermore, some aboriginals chose not to attend work as a form of protest.

If these allegations are proven true then one must question where aboriginals are to turn to seek justice if the authority that is supposed to provide them protection is exploiting them? Consequently, many officers are perturbed by the abuse of power and even angered by the lack of respect these officers displayed for their positions of power.

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