There was nothing abnormal about Marilyn Bernardo’s thirty-nine week pregnancy. Paul Kenneth was a twenty-inch-long, eight-pound-ten-ounce bouncing baby boy. But the huge black mark covering the entire left side of his head was grotesque. His mother cried out with horror the first time she saw him…
‘This one is not the least bit affectionate’, Marilyn wrote in her diary.
She described her youngest child as ‘very selfish and stubborn.’
By age two and a half Marilyn discovered Paul couldn’t talk. ‘Stammers a lot’, Marilyn dutifully noted.
As it turned out, Paul’s tongue was attached to his palate by a strange flange of skin, like the webbing on a duck’s foot. Once his parents realized he was literally tongue-tied, he was thoroughly examined…all they had to do was snip the duck’s webbing, but in the meantime his inability to communicate caused him considerable frustration.
Then one day, shortly after he started grade ten, for no reason he ever understood, his mother stormed into his room, threw a photograph of a man on his bed and told Paul he wasn’t who he thought he was at all. He was not Ken Bernardo’s son, he was really this man’s son.
She said he was a bastard and that he might as well get used to it.
Paul Bernardo’s accomplice, and ex-wife, Karla Homolka, was the sole witness against him at this trial; she was released from prison in 2005, after serving a 12-year sentence for manslaughter. Today, she has a child, and lives somewhere in the Caribbean with her new husband.
Bernardo has always maintained that while he is guilty of rape, it was Homolka who committed the murders. His defense says, endocrinological testing exists that could determine the veracity of his claim.
On the grounds that he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder, in 2005 Bernardo used the last of his appeals in a petition to the Court to assume the costs of lab testing, roughly $50, 000. The Court determined funds did not exist for “such an exercise”.
Between 1992 and 1995, the Canadian government spent over 11 million dollars to apprehend, capture and convict Paul Bernardo.
The cost of housing, clothing and feeding him in solitary confinement is roughly $125, 000 a year.
Paul Kenneth Bernardo was born on August 27, 1964; he is 46 years old today.
Happy Birthday, Paul.