Who Are Ken and Barbie Killers, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka?

Canadian serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka are the subject of a four-part documentary series, which began on ID on Sunday, December 12, 2021.

The pair were involved in the rape and murders of at least three minors in Toronto and Ontario in the 1990s, and their case shocked the nation.

Bernardo and Homolka's case is the focus of Ken and Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes, with one episode focused on the murders, the second on the video footage of their crimes, and the next two on their trial and Homolka's deal.

Here is everything you need to know about the pair. [Warning: there are some shocking details to follow.]

Who are Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka?

Bernardo and Homolka first met in 1987 and got married in 1991, but their killing spree began a year earlier with the death of Homolka's sister Tammy.

On Christmas Eve 1990, Homolka invited her 15-year-old sister to have dinner with her and Bernardo, and slipped sleeping pills into her drink.

When Tammy fell asleep, Bernardo raped her and filmed himself doing so as Homolka covered her nose and mouth with a cloth covered in Halothane, an anesthetic.

After Bernardo raped Tammy, Homolka claimed in court that her husband forced her to perform sexual acts on her sister which was also filmed, UPI and AP reported at the time of their trial.

Following the assault, Tammy died after choking on her own vomit, but her death was ruled an accident.

In February 1993, Homolka went to police and informed them of her husband's crimes, saying she believed she would be his next victim and had been an unwilling accomplice and there was video footage hidden in their house, Maclean's magazine reported.

Bernardo and Homolka were connected to three other cases, the rape of a woman named Jane Doe during the trial, to protect her identity, and the rape, torture and deaths of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.

14-year-old Mahaffy was abducted by the couple in 1991, and she was raped by Bernardo before being killed. In court, Homolka claimed Bernardo had strangled the young girl.

Mahaffy was dismembered and her body parts were encased in concrete, and one of these blocks was later found by Michael Doucette and his son Michael Jr during a fishing trip on June 29, 1991⁠— the same day Bernardo and Homolka got married according to AP.

15-year-old French was murdered in April 1992 after being raped and beaten by Bernardo, a crime which he also filmed. Her naked and bruised body was found in a ditch on April 30.

Where is Karla Homolka now?

Homolka made a deal with prosecutors before the trial that if she testified in court against Bernardo then she would be given a set sentence of 12 years.

She pleaded guilty for manslaughter in 1993, taking responsibility for her role in the killings of the three women.

Homolka served her 12-year sentence and was released on July 4, 2005, and she now lives in Quebec, Canada. She is said to have re-married and had three children.

In 1995 AP reported Bernardo was given a life prison sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years; he also admitted to raping 14 women between May 1987 and April 1991; and he admitted to helping kill Homolka's sister Tammy.

Episode 3 and 4 of Ken and Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes air from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST on ID on Monday, December 13, and it is also available to watch in full on Discovery+ now.

Ken and Barbie Killers
The crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka is the subject of a new documentary series "Ken and Barbie Killers: The Lost Murder Tapes". Discovery+

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