Toronto

Paul Bernardo e-book may hurt serial killer's slim chance at parole

The families of Paul Bernardo's victims are aghast that he has self-published a violence-filled e-book, though their lawyer said it may further dash the serial killer's already slim chance at getting parole.

Searches for title no longer provide results after hundreds complain to Amazon

Paul Bernardo's violent e-book may affect his chances at parole, says the lawyer who represents families of his victims. (Canadian Press/Amazon )

The families of Paul Bernardo's victims are aghast that he has self-published a violence-filled e-book, though their lawyer said it may further dash the serial killer's already slim chance at getting parole.

Bernardo's A MAD World Order — a 631-page fictional thriller, which featured references to the Illuminati and multiple violent characters, including Mexican drug cartel members and Russian militants in its free preview — was available Thursday on Amazon, but appears to have been removed from the site.

Searches for the book title did not provide any results Saturday evening.

CBC News has made repeated attempts to contact Bernardo's lawyer, Tony Bryant, and Amazon about the book, though neither has responded. Bryant told Global News via email that his client had indeed written a book.

Once a psychopath, always a psychopath.- Tim Danson , lawyer for victim's families

For the families of Kristen French, 15, and Leslie Mahaffy,14, who Bernardo murdered, the e-book is a fresh insult.

"They don't want to be thinking about him. They don't want to be talking about him," their lawyer, Tim Danson, told CBC News.

"They have to deal with these things as they arise."

Danson said while he doesn't want to, he'll read the entire book to make sure it has no hidden references to Bernardo's crimes. Danson is also hoping the book, which he said is "riddled with gratuitous violence," will hurt Bernardo when he applies to the parole board for early release.

Bernardo is seeking day parole in the Toronto area.

Danson said Bernardo's chances at parole are "between zero and nil" given his dangerous offender status, but the families will take every step to make sure he doesn't ever leave prison.

"We may find that he's hurt himself," he said, adding the violent book adds more credence to a line he's repeated throughout the legal proceedings against Bernardo: "once a psychopath, always a psychopath."

Amazon under fire

Amazon has remained silent about the book's publication, but it was considered a "#1 Best Seller" on the site's war fiction section before being removed.

The online reviews disagreed. Hundreds of people have filed one-star reviews lashing out at the online retailer for allowing Bernardo to sell his book there.

"We're certainly pleased the public is expressing some outrage against Amazon for participating in this," Danson said.

While Amazon has the right to sell the book, Danson said, "I think there are some moral and ethical imperatives here."

The lawyer was vehemently against the e-book sales.

"I want Amazon to take it off their platform," he added.

Danson also said the e-book's publication raises questions for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) about how much access Bernardo should have to the online world. 

'Limited access to computers'

The conditions of Bernardo's incarceration cannot be made public under the Privacy Act, according to a spokeswoman for CSC.

However, federal inmates do have "limited access" to computers, which do not have internet connections or access to email, but are available "in a controlled manner" for "work, programs, legal needs or leisure activities," Esther Mailhot, communications adviser for CSC, told CBC News in an email.

CSC officials do have "limited authority to review offender correspondence," but offenders are entitled to have privileged correspondence with their lawyers, she said.

Mailhot could not discuss how long Bernardo worked on the book or how it got on Amazon.

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