(Canadian Press)

Killer Paul Bernardo set for weapon trial; accused of having ‘shank’

Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls

Notorious killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is due in an eastern Ontario courtroom today for his trial on a weapons possession charge.

Authorities accuse the maximum-security inmate of possessing a “shank” — consisting of a screw with a pen as a handle — in prison in February.

The 54-year-old Bernardo had said he wanted to get the trial done before a parole hearing scheduled for later this month.

His lawyer says his client is presumed innocent and will be acquitted.

Also known as the “Scarborough rapist,” Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of the first-degree murders of two teen girls and numerous sexual assaults.

He was labelled a dangerous offender and was not to be eligible for parole until he had served 25 years since his arrest in southern Ontario in early 1993.

Bernardo’s sadistic sex crimes, some of which he videotaped, sparked terror and revulsion. He kidnapped, tortured and killed Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at his home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and discarding them in a nearby lake. He tortured and killed Kristen French, 15, of St. Catharines, Ont., in April 1992 after keeping her captive for three days.

Bernardo’s then-wife, Karla Homolka, was complicit in his crimes. In return for testifying against him, she served 12 years until 2005 after pleading guilty to manslaughter in what critics at the time branded as a “deal with the devil.” Homolka is now a mother herself, and last year it was revealed she had been volunteering at a Montreal-area elementary school, prompting it to revise its policies.

Bernardo, who admitted to raping 14 other women, was later convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. The 15-year-old girl died after the pair drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. Homolka would later say she wanted to give Tammy’s virginity to Bernardo for Christmas.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Senior girls Lakers drown Eckville in exhibition game

H.J. Cody’s senior girls basketball team defeated the senior girls Aces 60-30 on Feb. 21

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Sylvan Lake fiddler says performing at Canada Games an amazing experience

Brianna Lizotte performed with three drummers during a segment of the Opening Ceremonies

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read