Editor’s note: This article includes descriptions of violence and sexual assault.
One of Canada’s most notorious serial killers has just been transferred to a medium-security prison and people are furious.
Paul Bernardo has been quietly moved by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) from a maximum-security prison in Ontario to a medium-security prison in Quebec, reports Kingstonist.
Bernardo, 58, has spent a decade at Millhaven Institute, a maximum security facility with a capacity for almost 500 inmates. Now, he’s continuing to serve a life sentence at La Macaza Institution, a stand-alone medium security facility with an inmate capacity of 240.
CSC has not provided a reason for the transfer.
In the late ’80s and ’90s, Bernardo committed a series of sex crimes, rapes, and murders in Toronto. His wife, Karla Homolka, joined him and became his accomplice in the ’90s and the two videotaped their crimes. They were dubbed the “Ken & Barbie killers” in the media because of their looks.
Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General reports that between May 1987 and December 1992, Bernardo raped or sexually assaulted at least 18 women in Scarborough, Peel, and St. Catharines and killed three women in St. Catharines and Burlington.
The couple kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered Kristen French, 15, and Leslie Mahaffy, 14.
Online, Bernardo’s prison transfer has sparked outrage.
The only time Paul Bernardo should trend is if the fucker dies.
— Corinna 💚🌈 (@CALCocoReads) June 2, 2023
Paul Bernardo is trending on Twitter and it’s not because he died in prison. But because his prison level was reduced from a max to a medium.
Some monsters need to be kept locked up nice and tight.
— Robert Marshall (@rmarshallryerso) June 3, 2023
Paul Bernardo is being moved to medium security.
And of course, because they think we’re stupid and won’t notice, just like the deal with, “The Devil,” Karla, it was announced late on a Friday evening. We noticed. This is wrong.
— Gene Valaitis (@genevalaitis) June 2, 2023
My heart goes out to the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy for reliving their worst nightmares as the killers of their daughters avoid justice and receive leniency. Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo represent a colossal injustice that remains a source of national shame.
— Ari Shapiro (@ari_shapiro) June 3, 2023
“Our thoughts are with the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, and all those affected by these horrific crimes. We stand with them, and all Canadians who are rightfully appalled by this move,” he stated. “Having devoted my career as a federal prosecutor to protecting our communities, I have reiterated my firm expectation that CSC take a victim-centred and trauma-informed approach in these cases.”
Mendicino added that he plans to discuss Bernardo’s prison transfer with the CSC commissioner.
With files from Imaan Sheikh.