Born August 27, 1964 in Toronto, Ontario, Paul Kenneth Bernardo will go down as one of the most notorious rapists and serial killers in Canadian history. Bernardo was the result of an affair his mother had that was kept a secret until he was 16 years of age. Kenneth Bernardo, who Paul had thought was his biological father, was convicted of child molestation in 1975 and was rumoured to be the “peeping tom”of the neighbourhood. And even though he was never charged with any offences, rumours circulated that Kenneth was sexually abusing Paul’s younger sister.
By all reports Paul’s life of crime began with his first sexual assault on May 4, 1987. Bernardo was responsible for 11 sexual assaults over a period of the next three years in the Toronto area. Bernardo moved to St Catherines, Ontario on February 1, 1991 only to sexually assault his twelfth victim on April 6, 1991. Some reports suggest there may be as many as nineteen reported victims in total and an unknown number of assaults that were never reported to law enforcement.
On December 23, 1990 Bernardo would commit his first murder with the assistance of his then girlfriend, Karla Homolka. The victim would be the fifteen year old sister of Karla, Tammy. The pair drugged Tammy and took turns sexually assaulting her all the while videotaping the series of events. Whether it was a combination of the alcohol Tammy was given, or the effects of the narcotics used to incapacitate her, she began to vomit and ultimately died. The couple did call 9-1-1 but not before dressing Tammy and moving her to a bedroom in the basement. The official cause of death was listed as accidental – choking on her vomit after the consumption of alcohol.