A Pardon, for Karla ?

In her article, “Zombie feminists of the RNC”, Rebecca Traister wrote, “CNBC pundit Donny Deutsch tells us that we’re witnessing ‘a new creation of the feminist ideal’, the feminism being so ideal because instead of being voiced by hairy old bats with unattractive ideas about intellect and economy and politics and power, it’s now embodied by a woman who, according to Deutsch, does what Hillary Clinton did not: put a skirt on.”

“I want her watching my kids,” says Deutsch. “I want her laying next to me in bed.”

The woman Deutsch was speaking of, of course, was Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin recently appeared at the first-ever National Tea Party Convention, in Nashville, TN; referring to the stimulus packages offered by the Obama administration, Palin said, “I don’t know about you but seeing those checks written for pet projects of congressmen and those in the White House, did you feel very stimulated?”

And there it is. Palin’s signature “wink”.

I find Sarah Palin disturbing in a way I couldn’t quite articulate at first. But it came to me while I was watching her lap dance of a performance at the Vice Presidential debate—it was The Wink. All the bless-their-hearts and the gosh-darns, the spunky, perky delivery of rhetoric aside, Palin’s wink is conspiratorial and engaging in a “I’m secretly trying out a new meatloaf recipe” sort of way. The Wink says, “Sure, I can blow that moose’s brains out from 500 yards away with a bolt-action rifle—but I’d rather watch you do it, you big strong man.”

The art of flirtation is part of a woman’s charm, and though I find her less than charming, I’ll give Sarah Palin this: she’s a hell of a good flirt. And it’s Sarah “how’s-that-hopey-changey-stuff-workin’-out-for-ya” Palin I’m thinking of lately as I read the news from Canada, where Karla Homolka, another woman who’s a hell of a good flirt, may soon request a pardon for her criminal activities.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo were married in 1991, six months after they raped and killed Karla’s sister, Tammy, and two weeks after abducting, raping and killing 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy. The following year in April of 1992, 15-year-old Kristen French was the next young lady unlucky enough to cross paths with the Bernardos, and her fate would be the same as that of Tammy Homolka, and Leslie Mahaffy.

Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves sexually assaulting Ms. Mahaffy and Ms. French, and Karla’s sister, Tammy, but a months-long evidence search of Paul and Karla’s home would fail to produce those tapes. Nothing tied Bernardo to the murders except Homolka’s word, and while he readily admits to being a serial rapist, to this day Paul Bernardo insists it was Karla who killed Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.

Homolka claimed to be an abused wife forced to comply with the perverted wishes of her husband, and in exchange for testifying against her partner-in-crime, she received a sentence of twelve years, for manslaughter. Eight months before Bernardo’s trial began, however, the prosecution came into possession of the tapes, and no longer needed Homolka’s testimony to convict Paul Bernardo.

The tapes clearly showed the extent of Karla’s participation in the crimes; when the Crown still refused to revoke the plea bargain, the arrangement between Karla Homolka and the government in Ontario was widely denounced as “the Deal with the Devil.”

In an editorial about Homolka’s infamous deal, The Globe and Mail states: “When investigators first encountered Karla Homolka, they noticed she was wearing a Mickey Mouse watch on her wrist. Those same investigators knew that murder victim Kristin French’s Mickey Mouse watch was missing.”

“That watch signifies what happens when you put a great piece of evidence and a pretty girl in the same room.”

“As we all know, Karla Homolka was a pretty, young blond, big eyes, hair and chest. How could such a delicate young thing have perpetrated so heinous a crime? From the very beginning, it seems, investigators just could not get their heads around Homolka being a killer. The fact remains that Paul Bernardo was a rapist who never killed, as far as we know, until he met Homolka.”

“Investigators were so intent on “getting” Bernardo, the man, that they anxiously struck a deal while evidence of Homolka’s involvement stared them right in the face, ticking away at them in the form of that Mickey Mouse watch.”

The New Democrats, the ruling party when Homolka was arrested in 1993, was a feminist-controlled one. Feminism is more literally a political matter in Canada than it is in the United States, which means more tax dollars are funding the causes and programs it supports. Naturally, one of those causes would be domestic violence programs, for which Karla Homolka looked like the poster-girl, for a little while, anyway, and at the time there was quite a strong contingent of women who insisted on the image of Homolka as a victim.

As a result of the recent economic crisis, we have seen the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments and downturns in stock markets around the world. And who knows, but what the silver lining in that cloud may have been that as voters saw the financial storm approaching, this time they stopped, and asked themselves, “Do I really want to put John McCain, essentially, in charge of the free world?”

This is the question we should’ve asked ourselves, about George W. Bush.

In 2001, George W. Bush inherited a $128 billion budget surplus, a surplus he quickly squandered; he then proceeded to rack up gigantic budget deficits every year of his two terms in office. When Bush took office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion; at the end of his two terms, the debt had skyrocketed to more than $9.849 trillion.

Don’t even get me started on the illegal, and totally unnecessary, war in Iraq, and what I’d like to know, is this: where were all those Tea Party “protesters” during the administration of George W. Bush?

Likewise, Karla Homolka will be eligible for a pardon soon, and every day the news from Canada floods my inbox, with some new protest or petition against that pardon. And I know how much of a sore point the matter is; believe me, it pains me more than anyone could know, to say this.

But considering how the matter’s been handled up to now, they might as well go ahead and give her the damn pardon.

I realize I’m not in much of a position to lecture, speaking as I am from the country that twice put Bush in office. But again, I have to ask, where were all these protesters, when the Homolka deal went down?

It was highly unpopular, I know; people complained, and I’m sure some did protest it.

But what I mean is this: I used to do volunteer work for a group that fights for the rights of people with disabilities and a lot of those crazy so-and-so’s, (and I say that with affection), are in wheelchairs; yet I have seen them risk harassment and arrest by chaining themselves to any edifice constructed in such a way it denies them access.

Just last week, almost within hours of it being signed, thousands descended on Arizona’s Capitol to rally against a tough new immigration law they say will lead to police harassment of legal immigrants.

These are people who are outraged. And now I see that in addition to denying her a pardon, some similarly outraged Canadians are calling for Karla Homolka’s name to be added to the national sex offender registry.

Well the problem there is, Karla Homolka was neither charged with nor convicted of a single sex crime, in spite of the videotaped evidence which played in court and that she herself took, which shows both Bernardo and Homolka raping Leslie Mahaffy, Kristen French, and even Karla’s sister, Tammy.

Where was the outrage that would’ve said No to the Homolka plea bargain in 1993, when the deal was first struck—or in 1995, when she appeared as a witness against her former husband—or (since she served her complete sentence) in 2005, when Karla left prison, without a single parole restriction placed upon her by the Crown—to those who are so outraged now, about the possibility of a pardon for Homolka, I have to ask, where was your outrage, then?

After the events of 9/11, Americans wanted “a war President”; we were afraid, so afraid we allowed ourselves to be talked into a war on false pretenses. America continues to squander $10 billion a month on that disaster, and though mentioning “the outrageous spending” by the Obama administration drew great applause in Nashville, I doubt Sarah Palin will be calling for an end to the war in Iraq at any upcoming Tea Party events.

In “Zombie feminists of the RNC”, Rebecca Traister wrote, “Sarah Palin is the kind of woman who achieves her power by doing everything modern women believed they did not have to do: presenting herself as maternal and sexual, sucking up to men, evincing an absolute lack of native ambition, instead emphasizing her luck as the recipient of strong male support and approval. It works because these stances do not upset antiquated gender norms.”

Those same tactics, and antiquated gender norms worked in Karla Homolka’s favor too. Globe and Mail reporter Christie Blatchford recalls, “In the days of Karla’s trial, there were some male reporters who were titillated by the fact she was so sexually compliant. I remember a colleague saying to me, ‘Imagine coming home to that every day.’

But we don’t have to imagine life with Karla Homolka; stuck inside a holding cell, in early 1993, when Paul Bernardo learned about Homolka’s sweetheart deal he reportedly punched a cement wall and yelled, “Bitch is sicker ‘n’ me, and she’s gonna get off!”

It’s not the King’s English, perhaps, but you have to admit, it has the ring of truth.

We allowed Bush, and Cheney, to literally get away with murder, and apparently we’re not going to make them suffer any more consequences than Canada has with regard to Ms. Homolka. Thankfully, we didn’t elect John McCain, and in time I hope that we’ll see less of Sarah Palin; we surely dodged a bullet there, but it took a veritable clubbing on the head to get us to the place where we could see that.

And now, a pardon for Karla Homolka, just may be the clubbing on the head that Canada has to take.

Truly, this is the last thing I ever thought I’d hear myself say.

But 99% of all the pardons applied for in Canada, are granted; Homolka hasn’t re-offended, and everything that’s been asked of her, she’s done. Let this be the impetus for pardon reform, perhaps, but give her the damn pardon, and consider it a lesson learned.

You really can’t blame Karla for batting her eyelashes, when it counted.

Especially, since it worked.


11 responses to “A Pardon, for Karla ?

  1. What you’ve probably missed, being an American looking at this case from south of the 49th parallel, is the impact and effect of the media bans in place for Karla’s deal and Paul’s trial. At the time I was in favour of them, because I thought that society’s right to have a fair chance of a guilty verdict overrode the public’s prurient interest.

    We’ve seen many examples of how media coverage of high-profile trials in the US skews trial outcomes (or at least thats how it appears from up here): the trials of OJ, Robert Blake and Phil Spectre especially come to mind.

    Of course, I now realize that the bans up here were as much about covering up the ‘stink’ of ineptitude and corrupt ideologically inspired dealmaking as they were about achieving justice. The trial of the murderers of Tori Stafford seem to be a similar case in point.

    One thing that comes to mind, especially considering the wall-to-wall coverage of the Russell Williams plea up here: we only seem to have media bans when it comes to heinous crimes committed by women, and the resulting heinous deals they seem to get.

  2. Great comment, Anon.

    Rest assured, American friends: if Canadians had gotten so much as a whiff of the dirty dealings that went with respect to Homolka’s plea bargain, we would have been just as outraged then as we are now (even after the passage of so much time). Karla’s case didn’t go to trial; she sat in a room with a few lawyers and a judge, and simply told her version of a nightmarish story. Due to the fact that the charges against Bernardo had yet to go to court, all aspects of Homolka’s legal meet-and-greet were withheld.

    Excellent post — I especially enjoyed the Palinese!

  3. The reason they did not revoke her plea deal was because it would have destroyed their credibility in their plea bargaining in the future. People would be far more upset if we did not get convictions against monsters like Bernardo because their less guilty accomplishes did not trust the crown to renege on them afterwards.

    No doubt, it made them sick to eventually acquire the hidden tapes ,making their deal premature. But had those tapes not have existed, Bernardo may not have been sent down for life without her testimony.

  4. Addendum:

    Upholding the integrity of the justice system is far more important than any individual case before it.

  5. No releaase ever for her. 3 people dead plus their families sufferings counts more as there cannot be any forgiveness or going back to the victims.
    This is completely crazy. You don`t free a killer. Just as you can`t bring back the dead etc.

  6. Id like to say that the very truth is i was raped by jason john bert beckham and bryan francis macdonald cause they told me they where in the hells angels and threaten me cause of my love for paul bernardo teale

  7. I grew up with bryan and he was a very nice man with morals and values i feel terriable because of what hes been thru his biggest mistake was being involved with the beckhams the reason why i say this is because hes been in jail for taking the blame for jason and it hurts too much to see bryan go thru abuse bryan is now happly married and now lives a good healthy lifestyle and i still care deeply for bryan but jason is now live happly and is with a nice girl but in all this my one in only true love is the real paul jason teale also known as paul kenneth bernardo and he is the only one ill ever love truly from the bottom of my heart and hes doing fine in prison hes got a computer witch he loves to play card games on the reason why i love him is because hes a kind careing good man now the isnt all this scarry monster you think he is i also am complex like him and im not mean and a monster i love mr paul teale forever cause hes my soulmate

    • Good luck – you have picked wonderful friends. Maybe you would like to participate in another round of torture, murder and rape with him as Karla’s replacement. Or maybe you would rather have been one of their victums?

    • Dear Crystal, you should probably finish grammar school before posting to this, or any forum, again.

  8. Dect. Grant Davies, Bryan and Jason take advantage of mentally unstable people

  9. Are you an idiot, what are you even talking about Bush or Palin? Why don’t you talk about that moron idiot liberal socialist baboon Obama who added 6 trillion to our debt in just 3 years.

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