Canada

Homolka loses bid to change name

Convicted killer Karla Homolka has lost her latest legal battle to change her name to Emily Chiara Tremblay, a surname that is one of the most common in Quebec, where she is believed to be living.

Convicted killer Karla Homolka has lost her latest legal battle to change her name to Emily Chiara Tremblay, a surname that is one of the most common in Quebec, where she is believed to be living.

According to TV network TVA, a judge turned down Homolka's request after the Crown argued that her lawyer took too long to appeal a rejection of her earlier bid for a name change.

Homolka originally asked for the name change, arguing it was about safeguarding her personal security. But a ruling by Quebec civil-status officials said the public was not significantly familiar with the name she now uses, Karla Leanne Teale.

She and her former husband and partner in crime, Paul Bernardo, chose the surname Teale from a movie about a serial killer.

Bernardo is serving a life sentence for the murders of Ontario teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French in the 1990s. Homolka got a lesser sentence for testifying against him.

Same freedoms as other Canadians

She chose to live in Quebec when she was released from a Montreal-area prison last July, after serving her entire 12-year manslaughter term.

Although her movements were initially restricted— no contact with those under the age of 16, no contact with criminals and regular reporting to police— she successfully appealed those conditions. Homolka now has the same freedoms as any other Canadian.

She is still believed to be living in Quebec but there have been no reports of public sightings for several months. The last publicly reported sighting of her was during the summer of 2005 when she was working at a hardware store in Longueuil.

According to Canadian Press, Homolka did not put her own name on the request to change her name, using instead her lawyer's so Homolka's did not show up on the public record.

Annie Huot, a spokeswoman for the Quebec solicitor general, said it was the first time she had seen such a tactic, CP reported.

"There is an article in the code of civil procedure which stipulates that one cannot plead under the name of others and that a person who undertakes a legal procedure must do it under their own name and give their identity and address," she said.

Homolka will be able to try againto legally change her name.