Canada

Homolka at low risk of reoffending: psychiatrist

Convicted killer Karla Homolka is neither a sexual deviant nor a psychopath and doesn't have a high risk of reoffending: psychiatrist testifies on Friday..

Convicted killer Karla Homolka is neither a sexual deviant nor a psychopath and is no more at risk of reoffending than any other inmate, a Montreal psychiatrist told a Quebec courtroom Friday.

Louis Morissette met with Homolka for a total of 3½ hours over two days last month and completed a "risk evaluation" on her.

Morissette gave evidence on the second day of hearings into whether strict conditions should be imposed on Homolka's movements when she is released from a federal penitentiary in Joliette, Que., in a few weeks.

Ontario and Quebec Crown prosecutors are trying to convince the judge that Homolka still poses a danger to the public when she completes her 12-year sentence for manslaughter for her role in the killings of Ontario teens Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy.

She and her then-husband, Paul Bernardo, sexually assaulted and killed the two girls in the early 1990s, shortly after Homolka's younger sister Tammy choked to death after the couple drugged and raped her.

Testifying for the defence, Morissette said on a test given to find out whether Homolka has psychopathic tendencies, she scored a five – a very low score. Morissette said most of the people in the courtroom would score at least a one or two.

Morissette described Homolka as having self-esteem problems before she met Bernardo, who was later convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of French and Mahaffy.

He said her record was spotless before she met Bernardo and that it was only when she hooked up with him that she gradually began to do horrible things.

But Morissette testified that Homolka has developed significantly since being locked up 12 years ago and has much higher self-esteem.

As far as her relationships in prison are concerned, Morissette said Homolka did have a homosexual relationship with a fellow inmate that lasted a few years and ended more than two years ago. He said it is very common for homosexual relationships to develop in prison, especially among prisoners serving lengthy sentences.

He also spoke about Homolka's current boyfriend Jean-Paul Gerbet, a convicted killer serving time in Quebec for the murder of his girlfriend.

Morissette acknowledged that Homolka has verbal and written communications with Gerbet, who is up for parole in 2008, and that they exchange letters at least once a week. They were once caught exchanging a kiss in a library, he said.

The couple also exchanged pairs of clean underwear not too long ago, he said. Homolka has a photo of Gerbet – a shot of him in a swimming pool. Morissette said Gerbet is not wearing a shirt in the photo, contradicting reports that Gerbet is naked in the picture.

But Morissette said Homolka knows she can't have a relationship with Gerbet because he will be deported to his native France when he is released from prison.

The Crown is seeking restrictions on Homolka that include the following requirements:

  • She report twice a month to authorities.
  • She give advance warning when she travels.
  • She have no contact with the victims' families.
  • She not be allowed to associate directly or indirectly with anyone with a criminal record.

Any court order imposing conditions on her release would have effect for no more than 12 months, so an annual review would be needed to make sure Homolka's actions are limited beyond that time.

After his conviction in the first-degree murders of French and Mahaffy, Bernardo was declared a dangerous offender. He will be kept in jail indefinitely.