By Sam Pazzano , Randy Richmond ,QMIAgency First posted: Thursday, July 03, 2014 04:51 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, July 03, 2014 06:57 AM EDT
From a prison cell, serial sex killer Paul Bernardo has charmed and manipulated an attractive, university-educated woman into planning to marry him, the Toronto Sun has learned.
The 30-year-old London, Ont., woman admitted she has been writing letters to the Scarborough Rapist, telling friends the schoolgirl killer is “innocent” and was a bystander to the rapes and torture slayings of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy.
Sporting a recent ankle tattoo that says “Paul’s girl” in cursive writing, she has been corresponding with Bernardo since last fall.
But with the relationship now coming to light, the woman said she “did something that got people upset and she is rethinking ... and struggling with it.”
The bride-to-be told friends she has wedding bands and described her “Paul” as someone who’s serving time “for the most horrible crimes you could imagine.
“He is a kind man, a Christian, a very nice man,” she told the Sun.
A friend quoted her as saying: “He told her not to tell her parents until after they were married.”
In an interview, the blonde deflected question after question about marrying Bernardo, but never indicated she didn’t want to wed him or that the wedding plans were off.
An independent source confirmed the woman, whom the Sun has decided not to identify at this time, took steps to advance a plan to wed Bernardo.
However, her parents insisted their daughter is reconsidering the decision as “reality has set in.
“She said Bernardo called her ‘the most beautiful woman in the world,’ ” her father said.
When asked how the sex killer could manipulate her into a relationship, he said: “She has had a number of bad relationships that undermined her self-esteem despite her brilliance. She is looking for someone who will love her unconditionally.”
Her father agreed the woman’s intelligence, emotional fragility and belief in her own street smarts made her the perfect victim for Bernardo.
He said his daughter also believed in Bernardo’s innocence.
“He has convinced her that he didn’t do this (rapes or murders). But, after the conversation last week, I think she has changed her mind.”
The family is hoping that she has abandoned the ill-conceived plan.
“It was very easy for him to get her locked into a train of thought. I’ve been very explicit that he actually did these things and reality sunk in this last week in a big way,” the father said.
“I am getting the feeling that from the way she was defending him in the beginning that now reality has finally kicked in and she realizes, ‘What have I got myself into?’ ” he said.
“I mean, to the point, she’s desperate to get a job today because she’s afraid of what this news would do.
“I told her the media have something that indicates (you are planning to marry him) and she says, ‘Well, he doesn’t get out for three more years (2018, first eligibility for parole).’ I bluntly told her, ‘Dear, he’s never going to get out.’ ”
Describing his daughter as “brilliant but psychologically and emotionally fragile and lacking in street smarts,” the father said she replied that Bernardo’s “a Canadian citizen and is applying as a right to get out on full parole.
“She totally denied planning to marry him,” said the father, who was interviewed several times last week.
He and his wife confronted their daughter in January or February this year after learning she had been writing letters to Bernardo in order to “research” a book.
“Her mom said, ‘Don’t you even write him because everything you write is documented. Nothing goes through (undetected) and you don’t want to be even known as anyone who has even written to this person,’ ” the father said. “We believed that was the end of it.”
The woman described asking her pastor about forgiveness, referring to Bernardo without naming him.
She quoted the pastor as saying, “It is not for another person to judge his brother.
“And I said, ‘But what about the worst thing ever, could that be forgiven?’ ” she recalled.
“He said, ‘As soon as that person committed the act, God has already forgiven him,’ ” she said in an interview.
Two weeks ago, the Sun contacted the father, inquiring whether he knew if his daughter was corresponding with an inmate with whom she wanted a relationship.
The father immediately blurted out: “It’s Paul Bernardo, Oh my God, Oh my God.
“I went to see her last week. And she didn’t deny writing the letters (since February). She said she hadn’t opened the last three letters he had written,” the father said. “We haven’t seen anything.”
It was a few months ago that a friend of the woman noticed something new on her left ankle: A tattoo that read: “Paul’s girl.”
In an interview, the woman insisted the tattoo referred to a high school friend — not Bernardo.
But a friend who knew her since their university days disagreed.
“She did mention she was seeing somebody named Paul, that he had done some time. She made it sound like he was a working accountant in Toronto and they had wedding bands,” the friend revealed.
“She said he told her not to tell her parents they were getting married until after it was over,” the friend said.
“She said it wasn’t really him who did it. He was just there and it was the worst crime you could imagine,” a friend quoted her as saying. “She maintains he’s innocent.”
The woman’s friend was dumbfounded when informed that her friend’s “fiance” was actually one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers and rapists.
“I was aware she was dating someone named Paul, but I didn’t know that it was Paul Bernardo. It’s pretty crazy,” the friend said.
“She’s a really smart girl, but has troubles. It doesn’t completely surprise me she wrote him a letter, but the fact she is actually planning on marrying him ... that’s nuts,” she told the Sun.
Bernardo, 50, is serving a life sentence for the first-degree murders of the two schoolgirls and was also declared a dangerous offender in 1995 after pleading guilty to 32 sex-related crimes, including 12 rapes in the east end of Toronto dating to 1987.
Bernardo turned down a request to be interviewed by the Sun, which was forwarded by Correctional Service Canada.
CSC stated privacy laws dictate it “cannot discuss the specifics of an inmate’s case.”
In Canada, all inmates, with the exception of those on disciplinary restrictions or at risk for family violence or identified as Special Handling Unit cases, are permitted “private family visits” of up to 72 hours duration once every two months.
Eligible visitors include spouses or common-law partners of at least 12 months prior to incarceration; children; parents; foster parents; siblings; grandparents; and “persons with whom, in the opinion of the institutional head, the inmate has a close familial bond.”
During a visit, staff members have regular contact with the inmate and visitors to protect the visitors.
Due to privacy legislation, CSC can neither confirm nor deny any nuptial plans for an inmate.
In e-mails to the Sun, CSC said: “Once an inmate makes a request to marry while incarcerated, the institutional management along with the inmate’s case management team will assess the request to make sure it would not pose a risk to the security of the institution, staff and public.
“The institutional head is the authority responsible for determining if a marriage will be accommodated within the facility,” the statement continued.
CSC has “no jurisdiction over whether two people can obtain a marriage licence,” stating marriages are governed by provincial legislation.
An interview request with the decision-maker within CSC was denied.
Bernardo is eligible for day parole on Feb. 17, 2015, and full parole on Feb. 17, 2018, but, due to his notoriety, it’s unlikely he’ll ever be paroled.
As a dangerous offender, Bernardo has no entitlement to statutory release.
Paul Bernardo to marry? | EXCLUSIVE | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
I've always known that there were women out there who corresponded with convicts, and I'm aware that serials killers have weird groupies. I've just never thought about in conjunction with this sick puppy.
How can anybody be this stupid?