Because I could not stop for death....

I got knocked up instead...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

When have you paid?

For those of you NOT living in Canada, this is Karla Homolka. Years ago, she helped/was coerced into helping her husband, Paul Bernardo, torture, rape and kill 3 teenagers, one of whom was her 15 year old sister raped and killed on Christmas Eve. She got out of jail yesterday, prompting a LOT of speculation, threats, and general discussion.

She was given a 12 year sentance for manslaughter based on evidence she provided that helped put Bernardo in jail for life. Some people became upset when it emerged that she MAY have been a willing participant, not the battered, scared wife originally portrayed. They think she got off light....

I too want this woman to suffer. Regardless of anything else, she could have stopped what happened, and she didn't. But jail was easy. She was protected from the true harm she did. Now, she has to attempt to reintergrate into society, and live with herself. No one will want her around. Her family doesn't want her. This is punishment in my eyes.

I overheard someone on the bus saying it was wrong that Karla wants to tell her story, saying she shouldn't profit from her crime. And she shouldn't. But I don't think we've ever heard her side of the story, if there is one. The only way to prevent things is to learn WHY they happened. We need her story.

I also understand the rage people feel, thinking she should be in jail longer. But I don't think she would have done what she did without Bernardo's urging, and she helped make sure he ROTS in jail. What's that worth? She's also been given a sentence by the courts, and she served it. For good or bad, THAT is our justice system, which is NOT based on revenge. Yes, if it was my child, I would want REVENGE. But that's why the victim does not dictate the punishment. We need to follow what the court has said, even if it's distasteful.

Will she ever be truly heard? No. Will anyone ever think she's served penance? No, regardless of what she does or doesn't do or say.

This is punishment. Being sentenced to a life where no one hears you, wants you or needs you.

I welcome comments, as I'm interested to hear viewpoints NOT simply boiling down to primal revenge (which I do feel, don't get me wrong-I remember being a kid and wondering about garbage bags on the side of the 401...)


At 11:37 AM, Blogger Joker said...

i do agree that we need to hear her story to know WHY it happened. but a participant in rape is as bad as the rapist itself. and people guilty of this heinous crime shouldnt be allowed in society. What rankles me is that she may very well profit from this.
its high time that the world got together and brought about a common law that would act as a deterrent!
read my take on a recent case in india here -

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Joker said...

By the way i loved your title... Ms. Dickenson must be spinning! *GRIN*

At 1:34 PM, Blogger doris said...

Well said. I read about the case on one of the murder websites. It was truly horrific and I'm sure I'd go for revenge too but it doesn't solve anything. An eye for an eye leads to greater revenge and then where is our humanity. Because some people behave like animals doesn't mean we all should.

For her to do the right thing she could tell her story but then disapear into obscurity devoting her life to making good.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger thordora said...

I just find it sad that we will never really know the truth, and she will never get a chance to really give it....

thanks joker...I've always been a closet fan of woman she was!

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

I remember spending a day not to terribly long ago reading about this from beginning to end. What amazed me was how "in love" she was and would have done anything to make Bernardo happy.

I believe as you do. No one wants her. Everyone hates her. She will live a life of solitude. To me that will be worse than her remaining in prison.

As for her telling her side. There's a story there. The money earned for her telling of it should go to a trust for battered women or rape victims or SOMEthing or someone other than her. That money could be used for good.

Revenge is so sweet, but not nearly as satisfying as knowing that she'll die cold and alone.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous JODSTER said...

I'll give my two cents worth, as someone that lived in the neighbourhood while all this was going on.

I didn't know these people personally, although Karla did work next door to my brother-in-law at a vet.

It was the same place that she took the medicine/narcotics necessary to drug her sister before "presenting" her to Paul as a gift. Having this go terribly wrong, and ending in the sisters death, is something that many forget about.

The deaths of the two teen girls is tragic, horrific, with words unable to declare the pain and suffering felt by the families and the communities. But when someone says Karla was a victim in her crimes, I think of her collecting chlorophorm by her own volition, to sedate her own flesh and blood. I can't understand how someone can inflict punishment and suffering on their own family (if it's incest, abuse or otherwise), and it is terrible.

The prosecution had the chance to put her away a lot longer by reopening the "deal with the devil" they created when a Jane Doe and the details of her sister came up later in the trial, but they chose not to. That's the part, as a citizen that I can't understand.

I believe that when someone sedrves their punishment, allow them the opportunity to move forward. However, I feel that there at least two other crimes that Karla participated in that have gone unpunished.

Finally, the deal that Karla struck was done while tapes of her participation in the crimes were either hidden or under the care of her lawyer, and not yet available to the prosecution for evaluation.

It would seem that Karla has been in control of this whole process from the beginning to the end with her return, while arguing to be protected from the media but immediately going to the TV studio upon her release.

Just some thoughts to consider...

At 11:35 AM, Blogger thordora said...

Good points. I can't imagine what it was like to LIVE there when it was going on.

And you are right, regardless of any reasons that set her up to do it, at the end of the day, free will is a bitch.

But I do think that living the rest of her life never being able to escape her own awfulness, is a punishment unto itself...

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Dumas said...

The reality of it all is that "someone" will eventually take the law into their own hands to avenge these atrocities. I don't encourage it in any way, but I won't feel sympathy for her if it happens either.

I can't understand how someone, who isn't seriously disturbed, could live with themselves after actively participating in those acts.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger thordora said...

I guess it's stuff like that which leads me to wonder if we are truly any better if we feel, acknowledge and do not feel badly for our want or need for revenge. Should we not attempt to move past our instincts? Are we not just as bad if we allow ourselves to take the "easy" way, which is our current form of "justice"

I believe more in restorative justice, making her truly face her awfulness everyday, and working towards understanding what she has done. If all we do is just hate her, she'll never realize the full impact of her actions.

And that's my side of the fence today. I see all sides, but on different days, which makes life interesting...


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