There was a flurry of columnist action over the past week regarding Karla Homolka after journalist Paula Todd chased her down to an apartment in Guadeloupe. Homolka, of course, is infamous for being the terrifying sidekick of serial rapist and murderer, Paul Bernardo.
Todd suggests her actions are to fill a need of the Canadian people. That we need to know where this woman is and what she is doing. What do these answers really provide us though?
Honestly nothing that I can see that is worthwhile.
It won’t offer us closure. There is a pervading sense that the woman was not punished enough for her crimes. With at least three deaths on her hands and only a twelve-year prison sentence, it’s certainly not hard to understand why. That time is done, however, we can’t drag her back to justice.
Todd seems almost shocked as she describes the fact that Homolka has largely moved on with her life. Getting married and having three children, living a somewhat comfortable lifestyle. Did she expect to find her mid-crime? Did she expect to find her desperate and destitute? Did she expect to find her remorseful, desperate to confess to someone? To apologize?
Although some may find satisfaction from these things, chance are, they will never happen. Unfortunately a lack of humanity does not tend to correlate with a lack of success. Though it does go along quite well with a lack of remorse.
On the positive she will probably never commit a violent crime again. Although she was certainly a disgusting enabler, she was just that. The crimes themselves we a product of Bernardo’s twisted mind evidenced by his long history of violent sexual crimes before he ever met Homolka.
So tracking her down won’t make us safer nor will it give us closure. And let’s not pretend that a journalist crossing every five years is enough disruption to make her life uncomfortable. Why do it? What benefit does it provide.
Sadly I think it does nothing more than feed our own perverse nature for the macabre. It is eerily similar to our fascination with Law & Order and CSI. We are fascinated over the dark elements of our collective past. Unfortunately continuing to pour over these cases will not help out collective hurt. Chasing Homolka will not bring about any healing. What we manage instead is the opening of old wounds. We scratch and scratch until we reach the point where we are simply preventing ourselves from getting better.
*Cute puppy used to defuse subject matter, plus, you know, cone of shame.