TORONTO – One of Canada’s most infamous serial killers and rapists has published a 631 page e-book on Amazon, which includes violent, gory descriptions of death and terrorist plots.
Paul Bernardo’s lawyer Tony Bryant confirmed to Global News Thursday that his client released the political spy thriller titled A MAD World Order on the popular e-commerce website on June 25.
“I am advised that Mr. Bernardo has written a book,” said Tony Bryant in an email to Global News.
Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years in 1995 for the rape and murder of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.
He was incarcerated in the Kingston Penitentiary in Kingston, Ont. until 2013, when he was transferred to the Millhaven Institution in Bath, Ont.
He was also given dangerous offender status for admitting to raping 14 other women and other charges related to Mahaffy and French. Dangerous offenders can be imprisoned indefinitely.
Tim Danson, the lawyer for both the French and Mahaffy families, said he was “very surprised” to hear the book had been published.
Danson said that one of the red flags for him that arose was to make sure that it wasn’t a book about the crimes for which Bernardo is serving his life sentences.
“He’s not allowed by law to profit directly or indirectly from his crimes,” he said, adding that from what he has been told the book is fiction.
“But the information I have, if accurate, nevertheless is very violent and very gory and detailed … and I would be reading this to make sure that he hasn’t disguised this through fiction.”
Danson said that even if Bernardo were to “change the players and circumstances” but draw on his crimes for substance in the book, that would be a “big problem.”
He added that he would rather not read the book, but would do so in order to see if the same “sadistic psychopathy that led to his crimes has carried through in this book.”
“Because if Paul Bernardo was asking the parole board to be relieved from the consequences of his life sentence, to be relieved from the consequences of his sadistic and barbaric acts, then all evidence is on the table to see where he’s at today,” Danson said, adding that a parole board hearing has been set for April and the graphic details in the book could be used against him.
“I’ve said it at the time and still believe it today that there is no cure for psychopathy and particularly at the high, high end of the psychopathy scale where Paul Bernardo is. That type of sadistic, violent, barbaric behaviour.”
VIDEO: Serial killer Paul Bernardo releases e-book on Amazon
The Correctional Service of Canada said in a statement that inmates such as Bernardo would have “limited access” to computers but would not have access to the Internet or email.
“CSC has been made aware of the e-book that has been published and understands the content may be offensive to some,” spokesperson Avely Serin said in an emailed statement.
“Offenders are not permitted to profit from the recounting of their crimes, however, we are advised that this e-book is a fictional piece that does not relate to the offender’s specific crimes. Materials contained in the book may provide additional information relevant to decision-making regarding the offender.”
Bernardo would be able to communicate with members of the public in writing and is entitled to privileged correspondence with his legal counsel.
“No matter what we think of Paul Bernardo, he is entitled to write,” said Danson.
“He’s obviously had lots of time on his hands and I think that regardless of this book he’ll never be paroled, he will die in prison. So if he’s passing the time by writing there’d be no legal impediment to that.”
Danson said he had not yet spoken to the families of the victims, but that it would “really disturb them” to hear of the book.
“He’ll never get it but the fact that he thinks he should be given parole has just devastated them,” he said.
“Any talk of Bernardo is upsetting for them and I suspect after we find out more details about this book it would be even more upsetting.”
A description on Amazon’s website indicates the fiction novel is 631 pages in length and follows a Russian plot to launch a “catastrophic strike” against the United States in an attempt to return itself to a world power.
An excerpt from the book details what Bernardo described as two al Qaeda “martyrs” committing suicide after a terrorist attack.
“Flattened on impact the bullet tips tore through the interiors pushing their brains along with it … a large gaping circular exit wound marked each departure,” it reads.
“Both bodies slumped forward revealing the blood droplets, hair and chunks of grey matter oozing down the sheet from the two impact stains.”
According to Amazon’s website, anyone can independently post a book for sale on its Kindle store platform “worldwide within 24-48 hours.”
The e-publisher indicates it charges a flat fee for any e-book published depending on how the author sets the price.
An e-book sold between $2.99 and $9.99 earns 70 per cent royalties while anything below $2.99 earns only 35 per cent royalties. A MAD World Order is currently listed at $5.97.
Amazon did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
“Where is Amazon in all of this? Are they even aware of who he is?” Danson said.
“You wonder what their thinking process was in light of what its content may be. But I would say this, hypothetically, if the book is as violent as some people say it is, and they’re kind of aware of the fact that he’s been declared a dangerous offender and that he’s a psychopath, why would you want to give this person that platform?”
With files from Mark McAllister and Ashley Carter