TORONTO – Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said despite public outcry, the government can’t prevent convicted killer Paul Bernardo from communicating with his reported bride-to-be.
“We can’t stop the person from communicating through letters and emails unless there is something that is seen as harassing or criminal in its intent,” said MacKay to reporters in Halifax.
On Thursday, the Toronto Sun reported that Canada’s notorious schoolgirl murderer and rapist is getting married.
In 1995, Bernardo—now 50—was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. He was declared a dangerous offender for a number of offences, including the first-degree murders of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, and two aggravated sexual assaults.
MacKay said whenever he hears Bernardo’s name he is reminded “how the victims will not be able to have relationships or enjoy many of the things that (Bernardo) enjoys.”
The Sun wrote Bernardo “has charmed and manipulated [the] attractive, university-educated woman into planning to marry him.”
The newspaper said it has spoken to the London, Ont., woman on three different occasions and has chosen not to reveal her identity.
WATCH: Why would anyone marry Paul Bernardo?
According to the unnamed woman’s father, his daughter is “brilliant but psychologically and emotionally fragile and lacking in street smarts.”
The father said he and his wife confronted their daughter earlier this year after learning she had been corresponding with Bernardo in order to “research” for a book.
He believes reality has set in for his daughter and he is hoping she has “abandoned the ill-conceived plan.”
Bernardo was previously married to Karla Homolka, who struck a deal with the Crown in 1993 to serve 12 years in prison for manslaughter after she was convicted alongside Bernardo of crimes related to the rape and murder of French and Mahaffy and the drug-induced death of her 15-year-old sister Tammy Homolka.
Homolka told investigators that Bernardo abused her and made her a reluctant accomplice to the killings.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said MacKay spoke to reporters in Ottawa.
- with files from The Canadian Press
© Shaw Media, 2014