None of Karla Homolka's family members will be waiting to greet her when she emerges from a Quebec prison, her father said yesterday, as residents braced for the release of Canada's most notorious female inmate.
Karel Homolka, whose daughter will emerge from a federal facility more than 14 years after participating in the drug-rape death of her younger sister, Tammy, said he's not ready to rebuild his relationship with the former bride of schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo.
"Some day, I guess," Mr. Homolka said from the doorway of his home in St. Catharines, Ont., when asked whether he expected to have a relationship with Ms. Homolka after she's freed from the federal institution in Joliette, Que.
On July 5, Ms. Homolka officially completes her 12-year prison sentence for her role in the deaths of Southern Ontario schoolgirls Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.
Asked whether he'd be there to greet her, Mr. Homolka said, "Not me, anyway."
Would any other family members be there? "No," he replied.
Ms. Homolka was never criminally charged in the drugging-sex-assault death of her own sister. The facts of the 15-year-old's death were merely read into the record at Ms. Homolka's formal plea and added two years to her sentence.
Nor was she charged in two separate attacks upon a young girl whose identity is protected by a publication ban.
Elsewhere in St. Catharines, emotions were running high as residents speculated on the outcome of today's court hearing in Quebec, where Crown attorneys will seek restrictions to keep Ms. Homolka from returning to her hometown to visit her family without warning.
Residents say they are still haunted by the memory of her gruesome crimes.
"I don't want to see her," said Cory Godard, 18, who said he would be tempted to harm Ms. Homolka if their paths were to cross in St. Catharines. "She is going to get hurt by someone if she comes back."
Kristen babysat Mr. Godard, who remembered the dark-haired teen as a friendly, likable person who was always willing to play a game of Monopoly or watch television.
"We're not too fond of [ Ms. Homolka]" Mr. Godard said.
Although many St. Catharines residents said they felt Ms. Homolka had a right to visit her parents, they suggested those meetings ought to take place somewhere else so that she never has reason to return to the scene of her crimes.
Mr. Homolka and his wife, Dorothy, still live in the bungalow where Tammy, their youngest daughter, was drugged unconscious by their eldest daughter on Christmas Eve 1990 to facilitate Mr. Bernardo's sexual assault. Tammy later died after choking on her vomit.
Linda Moore, who lives a few doors away from the Homolka home, said the entire neighbourhood has been tainted by Ms. Homolka and Mr. Bernardo's sex crimes.
Ms. Moore has been trying since April to sell her split-level home, but few house-hunters seem interested in visiting under the scrutiny of intensified media attention on Ms. Homolka's crimes and possible future plans.
"As soon as the papers hit that [Ms. Homolka]was being released and thinking of coming here, all the appointments that week were cancelled," said Ms. Moore, whose niece was Tammy's best friend and skating buddy.
It's believed Ms. Homolka may choose to settle in Montreal after learning to speak French while in prison and earning a long-distance psychology degree from Queen's University.
Mr. Homolka said he had no idea what his daughter hoped to do when she regains her freedom.
He said he did not know if she still hoped to have a husband and children, or what her employment prospects might be.