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MONTREAL (CP) - Karla Homolka regretted not being sentenced to life in prison for the sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls but not because she felt remorseful, her former lesbian lover said Thursday in a television interview.

Lynda Veronneau met Ms. Homolka at the Joliette women's prison in 1997 when Paul Bernardo's ex-wife was doing food preparation with fruits and vegetables at the Quebec institution.

"She regrets, I think, not getting a life sentence," Ms. Veronneau told Quebec's TVA network.

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"She knows that everybody hates her because of the 12 years - her deal with the Crown. So she would have been better off with a life sentence than having 12 years because she'd have fewer problems."

Ms. Homolka always saw herself as a "victim" in the crimes, Ms. Veronneau added.

When asked if Ms. Homolka ever said she regretted the deaths of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, Ms. Veronneau replied: "She never said that - never."

Ms. Veronneau is a scorned lover. She recalled how she met Ms. Homolka at the prison: "She gave me some bananas."

They later ended up in the same pod at the prison and she said Ms. Homolka read five books a week, mostly crime books about murder.

She has said she was dumped by Ms. Homolka in 2001 to pursue a relationship with a convicted killer, Jean-Paul Gerbet, who strangled his ex-girlfriend.

Ms. Veronneau described herself as "a man inside a woman's body."

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She said Ms. Homolka always told her during their relationship that she didn't want to hook up with another man like Paul Bernardo and would "run" from him.

"After four years (with Veronneau), she had a relationship with a guy who killed. It doesn't make any sense. She's easily influenced, Karla, easily influenced."

Mr. Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder in the French and Mahaffy deaths and has been declared a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely.

Mr. Gerbet strangled his ex-girlfriend, Cathy Carretta - and tidied up the house after the murder.

Ms. Homolka, now 35, was convicted of manslaughter in 1993 in the sex slayings of Mahaffy and French. Her 12-year-sentence also reflected her role in the death of her sister, Tammy.

She'll be released from prison some time between June 30 and July 4 and a Quebec judge has put restrictions on her freedoms, including a stipulation that she must not consort with convicted criminals.

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Ms. Homolka faces a number of other restrictions, including checking in with police once a month and giving them four days' notice if she plans to leave Quebec.

Ms. Veronneau, convicted of robbery, describes Ms. Homolka as "a very aggressive person" and said "she's always got to have the last word." She also said Ms. Homolka hit her in the face for no reason.

Ms. Veroneau said she'd like to write a book about what she knows about Ms. Homolka and wished her a normal life once out of prison.

"I hope you stay outside (of jail) and you'll be like everybody else. I hope you're going to find good people, good people."

But she said while she doesn't believe Ms. Homolka is dangerous on her own, she shouldn't hook up with another person like Bernardo.



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