Introduction: Defining Sadism


“On the Day of Atonement a live goat was chosen by lot. The high priest, robed in linen garments, laid both his hands on the goat’s head, and confessed over it the iniquities of the children of Israel. The sins of the people thus symbolically transferred to the beast, and it was removed to the wilderness. The people felt purged, and for the time being, guiltless.”

—from the Book of Leviticus

This is a collection of not-so-various remarks about a man convicted of rape and murder and serving a life sentence in solitary confinement, hereinafter referred to as the prisoner. Each comment appears in italics, and is an estimation of the appropriateness of this sentence.

One gentleman writes:

“I think I have a partial solution to the problem. I call it the self-
imposed death penalty…why not, in the cases where the killer has not taken their own life, don’t we make it easier for them to end it right then and there. If the police swoop down on a suspect in a vicious murder case, maybe instead of them trying to take him down before he hurts himself, they should surround him and then slide him a gun with one bullet in it. Therefore they can make the decision and some might choose the self imposed death penalty route. But maybe that’s too dangerous for your liking. How about we just let convicted murderers have shoe laces in their cells. Or better yet, how about a noose under their bed, just in case they find some goodness in their heart and want to save society all the money and trouble of dealing with them over the next 40 or 50 years. Surely this is a moral way to deal with a very touchy problem. It costs us $125,000 a year to house the prisoner in a jail cell. Protecting him from other inmates and from himself.

Some would argue we should turn him loose in the general population and see what happens…(or) maybe the more moral way to approach it is to just put a noose or some sleeping pills or a cyanide tablet in the prisoner’s jail cell and let him decide.

You’d have to think that a truly innocent man would keep fighting for justice. However the truly guilty may just find one day that there’s no point in going on. He’s never getting out of prison so the self imposed death penalty is an option we should grant him. It is the only thing that I would be happy to see him succeed at. Until Tomorrow, Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger”

I hesitate to say this, since this blogger is my neighbor—and so friendly—but in the particular instance of the prisoner: it’s a bit difficult to fight for justice when you’ve been barred from speaking publicly about your case since two years before your conviction.

Other suggestions were more succinct:

“He can fucking die as far as I’m concerned.”

This one is from a newspaper report:

“As he was driven away from the courthouse to begin a life behind bars, the crowd waiting outside, numbering in the hundreds, cheered, hurled insults and applauded.

’Rot in hell,’ screamed one person in the crowd.”

A former corrections officer and one-time guard for the prisoner had some kind enough words to say, and they stand in stark contrast to the feelings his fellow inmates have for him:

“According to the corrections officer, the prisoner’s crimes, though horrific, pale in comparison to some of the acts of depravity committed by other inmates.”

”He was always cheerful on my watch…it’s his notoriety that draws the comments among other hardened criminals.”

‘Did you slip cyanide in his meal?’ the former guard quoted one inmate as saying.”

And this person would probably say that cyanide’s too easy:

“Friend of mine says the prisoner is suffering in prison…being in solitary confinement for his own protection and he says that the prisoner will suffer by spending the rest of his life in prison.

I say hell no…he cannot feel remorse….I say he should be introduced to the general prison population and whatever happens, happens. I feel he is getting better treatment than some of us…trying to make ends meet. He gets 3 meals a day and we pay to have him in solitary for how many years the miserable waste of human life lives.”

The author of this post seems not to notice, it is possible to lack remorse, and still suffer.

The quotes cited above are but a small selection, and you can find a site that will offer these suggestions as to what should be done with the prisoner, almost with your eyes closed. To summarize, they’ve included:

§ offering him a loaded gun

§ a ready-made noose

§ a large number of sleeping pills

§ shoelaces

§ and cyanide

§ they could house him in the general population and let nature take its course

§ he could either fucking die

§ or rot in hell

Knowing this was the last opportunity they’d have, the cheering crowd waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the prisoner, in handcuffs and leg shackles and on his way to an 8’x4’ solitary isolation cell.

They say the decision to oblige the prisoner with life-long solitary confinement was due in large part to the sadistic nature of his crimes.

A sadist is defined as one who takes pleasure in meting out punishment and suffering, to another.

8 responses to “Introduction: Defining Sadism


  2. This is the stupidest, least logical, most self interested empty analysis I have ever read in my life. Congratulations. Blaming the women’s movement for Karla? Give me a break. What about Ma Barker? What about Lizzie Borden? I guess the women’s movement created them too?

    Further, you try to equate the fact that Canada has more money to help victims of domestic violence with Karla? Horrendous lack of logic there.

    Clearly, you have an agenda and that agenda has nothing to do with the truth about this case. Fortunately, I never have to read here again. God some blogs are truly motivated by the self serving and morally bankrupt. “Yeah if only we could keep them wimminz down again there’d never be another faker who kills anybody.” THAT’s your “conclusion” lol laughable, harmful to the nine out of ten women who are abused and who are NOT at all like Karla though you try to equate the two in this “analysis.”

    I’m thrilled this would get an “F” in any academic submission and certainly in “logic” classes.

  3. From another of your posts: I only know that looking at Karla Homolka is like looking through a prism—what you see depends upon the light.”

    That seems to be true for this post of yours as well. I’m kind of dumbfounded that the previous commenter could conclude that this post was anti-feminist, when the answer to your question was always “Men.” Go figure?!?

    Men like Paul Bernardo are made more dangerous by our need to purify women like Karla Homolka.

    My take was that you were much too hard on men, and far too soft on the radical feminist agenda in place in the AG’s office at the time, in the person of Marion Boyd. In truth, both appeared to be significant: misplaced chivalry/sexuality AND misplaced feminism. Karla, God bless her little cold-blooded viper heart, certainly knew how to play against everyone’s weaknesses, male AND female.

    Still mulling over the “I’ll wear your bones too line. You certainly are one hell of a good writer.

    Oh, and lest anyone mistake my meaning, by “God bless her” I mean God bless her with the just and rightful consequences her behaviour rightfully deserves.

  4. Nothing empowers a woman more than a man misbehaving, towards her or towards other women. In this case she had both.

  5. I have read a lot on the Homolka/Bernardo case and have graduated with a degree in Criminology, minor in Psychology. I am the same age as Paul B., and remember the shallow sentiments of the bleached blonde nineties generation with it’s focus on utter narcissism. Feminism was swallowed up in image, as I recall. Like the tattoo you used as an analogy. You mix that social moral vacuity with a rare female sadistic sexual sociopath who met a male sexual sociopath, you get the ‘Ken and Barbie’ killers. I believe Paul could not get past his ego agenda which was his Achilles heel, and she could adapt her ego to gain her ultimate agenda. She ultimately used his sadism and her ostensible passivity (masking her sadism as masochism) too find the perfect fit in a world that she knew couldn’t yet believe women were capable. It’s called battered women syndrome. In a book I read, a man who observed her filming Paul’s tortures showed her face partially caught in a mirror as Paul was defecating on a helpless victim, her expression was pure lust, she had no audience she was aware of at that moment. A picture, or a film still, speaks a thousand words. It can be argued that she would not have been immorally ‘kick-started’ without the ‘folie de deux’ principle, meaning a psychopathic male partner gave her the excuse, opportunity and means to express these dark feelings and drives. Did her potential ‘latency’ in this case make her any more innocent? That without this formula she might not have done it, or she might not do it again? She still knew what she was doing was wrong, and knew to play a ‘fellow’ passive victim would put her in a defensible light in a world, again, which was not prepared to believe fully that women are capable of such horrors. Especially from a seemingly vacuous/harmless, young, blonde picture-perfect yuppie wife of the nineties.

  6. she did it , the murders

  7. I believe it too, why? Because until she was around, Paul only had one modus operandi which was ‘outside rape’ he hadn’t escalated until he met her. She finished them off for several reasons, of course, number one was to escape detection and then, number two, to destroy the other objects of Paul’s desire she was forced to suppy to keep HIM. A guy like that wouldn’t last 5 seconds around me, lol.

  8. Pingback: Paul Bernardo wants to Move

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