Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices

Homolka's psychiatric report released Add to ...

Karla Homolka saw Quebec as "a separate country" where it would be easy to blend in after her release from prison for helping to kill two Ontario schoolgirls, court documents say.

The observation was contained in a psychiatric evaluation released during a hearing, which set restrictions on her freedom when she leaves prison in the coming weeks.

"She wanted to be able to blend into the community without anybody knowing who she was or where she lived," said the report done in 2000.

"She planned on changing her name and appearance," the report noted, information that is echoed in more recent reports and by obvious attempts to darken her hair colour before last week's court appearance in Joliette, north of Montreal.

The reports do differ on Ms. Homolka's preferred language. An evaluation done in Montreal last month says she prefers to speak English despite her ability in French while another says French is her preferred language.

Last week's court hearings were done in French at Ms. Homolka's request, although some saw that as an attempt to thwart input by lawyers from Ontario.

Ms. Homolka, who now goes by the name Karla Leanne Teale, said she feared for her safety if people knew who she was and where she lived.

The conditions for her release include telling police her address, place of work, any change in name and all details of travel plans.

Ms. Homolka, who has dyed her light blonde hair a dirty brown and changed her hair style, has already started the process to change her name before her release, which is slated for July 5 but could come as early as June 30.

"She thought that living in Quebec would be preferable because she considered it to be 'a separate country"', said the report by Dr. Robin Menzies.

"She believed that few people in Quebec had heard of her and it would be easy for her to blend in to society. She based this on her experiences at Joliette, where she had been accepted for the person she was rather than what she had done."

Most of Ms. Homolka's 12-year sentence for the sordid sex slayings of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French was spent at the Joliette Institution, 75 kilometres north of Montreal.

Indeed, few in Quebec paid much attention to the St. Catharines, Ont., native before media attention was ramped up pending her release. Only a small group of curious turned up at the courthouse for her hearing last week, unlike the lineups that greeted other sensational Quebec proceedings like the sexual assault trial of entertainment mogul Guy Cloutier.

The 2000 psychiatric evaluation was done at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was included in the request for stringent conditions on Ms. Homolka's release last week. The reports, which have been confidential, were released with Ms. Homolka's consent.

The reports suggest Ms. Homolka was generally little trouble behind bars.

The documents also refer to two romantic liaisons in prison, one with a woman and the other with Jean-Paul Gerbat, who is serving a life sentence for strangling his ex-girlfriend to death.

Her relationship with Mr. Gerbat was one of the reasons cited by Judge Jean Beaulieu for limiting her freedom upon release and she is forbidden from associating with violent offenders.

The reports say Ms. Homolka was not forthcoming about her relationship with the female convict and did not want to tell her parents, saying she and her sister had agreed "her parents could not deal with this information at the moment."

The report said Ms. Homolka recognized she might have difficulty adjusting to life outside prison because of her years of incarceration and that it might be hard for her to find a job.

She said she "was prepared to work at anything legal," citing one of her biggest worries as being able to support herself financially.

Her release conditions, however, forbid her from being around parks or playgrounds or anyone under 16 years old.

Ms. Homolka has an above average intelligence, testing between 131 and 134 on IQ tests. The standard for near genius or genius is more than 140.

She said she intended to seek help from organizations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society - which has confirmed recently it has received a request from her - and Life Line, another support organization.

Ms. Homolka also said at the time she intended to continue therapy, a condition that was part of her release restrictions imposed Friday.

An evaluation done last month by Dr. Louis Morissette notes Ms. Homolka did obtain a bachelor's degree in psychology from Queen's University but was unable to pursue studies in sociology because no correspondence course was offered. She's interested in possibly furthering her education once released.

The former veterinarian's assistant also took computer courses and French courses. During her prison stretch, she worked in the kitchen and helped to translate documents.

She has become a vegetarian since her incarceration, a lifestyle that she says has interested her since childhood but was impossible to follow while she lived with husband Paul Bernardo, who is serving a life sentence for the French and Mahaffy killings.

Ms. Homolka is in good health, although she suffers from migraines and slight asthma and allergies. She also is lightly anemic because of her vegetarianism.

She does take medication for her problems and is limited to eight Florinal tablets a month. She usually takes between five and eight. She is forbidden by her release condition from possessing several legally obtainable drugs used in her crimes.

Ms. Homolka, who regularly attends support group meetings for convicts, cites her family as her other support net and she is in regular telephone contact with them. She phones her mother two or three times a week and her sister Logan about twice per month.

She has never gone on unsupervised visits outside the prison and was accompanied by guards when she visited a doctor or went to court.

Report Typo/Error
 

Next story

loading

Trending

loading

Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular