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In The Media - Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka

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Homolka Karla and Paul Bernardo case gained a lot of media attention due to the nature of the crime they committed. There is a television show episode that depicts what might have been the origin of the case. In February 1995 media took on the street to advocate for justice for the several people claimed to have been sexually abused and, murdered by Paul Bernardo. This according to the media was the most horrific assault to have been seen in Canada.

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The media was significantly involved in building up the pressure to ensure that Paul Bernardo was taken to jail. The press was able to provide the previous records on the murder committed by Mr Paul Bernardo. After Paul was arrested because of the slew of rapes in Scarborough and the pending murder charges Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, the media went ahead to look for the cause of death of Tammy, His wife’s sister. Even though the death was recorded as an accident, the truth was also revealed that Tammy may have been drugged, and raped by Bernardo. This was made possible through the video framing that was found in the small pink house at Port Dalhousie.

The media greatly influenced the public to view Bernardo as a sadistic narcist and a serial killer. Their desire to control the population through continuous showing the torture videotapes and profiling the suspect criminally was aimed at cementing the fact that Bernardo was a serial killer who needs to be punished severely. The media relentlessly sought the out the jurors, victims and their families and the lawyers to alter the facts about the cases.

Due to the intensity of the case, the media played the torture and rape videotapes for 47 days to gain the influence the jury. The publicity of the case made many of the subjects to believe that he was guilty before the trials. The media was able to interview the nearby neighbors and the victims to build up more pressure so that the jury could come up with a deliberate decision that Mr Paul and his wife were all guilty.

The effect of the publicity and framing made most of those who had heard to likely vote for guilty, and the knowledge that Paul had also been charged with another count of rape can account to the final ruling of the court. The criminal profiling of Bernardo by the media creates many controversies that have not yet been proven. For instance, the media had indicated the Paul Bernardo was involved in the death of Tammy without regarding the previous report that the death was accidental was found out to be right and that Homolka had presented her sister as sex gift to her husband.

By negatively portraying the personality of Paul Bernardo significantly prejudiced the court proceedings. Having murdered two girls was not the reason enough to represent the suspect as narcist. The media was giving the historical background of Bernardo and the crimes he had previously committed. The media framed Mr Bernardo as ‘The Scarborough Rapist, thus was aimed at influencing the public in concluding Mr Bernardo was a rapist despite the plea of innocence.

Assessing Entertainment Media relating to Homolka and Bernardo Case

The actions of Karla and Paul Bernardo have been publicized in many ways. The movie Karla filmed in 2006 to provide an insight into what the life of two couple was when they were committing a crime. In the film, Karla is depicted as a sympathetic person. The author shows that Karla was a victim of circumstance and not her real character. In the film, Karla is shown mercy by being given a shorter jail term than what was expected considering the magnitude of her offence. The movie seems to be compassionate to Karla despite her being involved in the murder of two people including her sister. However, despite the leniency, the film provides the series of her action without omitting extreme instances.

Bernardo Paul is considered among the cruelest serial killer. In the 81 minute long movie, the terrible action of Paul is omitted. Most commentators view this as a tone down version of the gruesome event. The movie allocates time for the non-major event in association with Paul Bernardo violence and rape instances. The greatest mishap in the movie is the failure to mention that the videotape that was found. The movie neither gives the background information about Mr Paul Bernardo. The failure to recognize the essence of the videotapes significantly disadvantages the case proceedings. The movie also does not give a chronological order of the events leading to his arrest and sentencing, but it instead reshuffles events after editing the reasons.

The media has the power to alter the truth about a given crime. The movie director and writer were very sympathetic Karla, yet she was an accomplice to Paul Bernard. Media sometimes may fail to include the most outrageous act of criminal or fail to additional evidence that the offence committed was grievous. Entertainment media significantly influences person understanding of the crime a given person has committed. As shown in the movies, the public can understand the background under which the crime was committed.

Most entertainment media sometimes may fail to provide the actual event, and how the crimes were committed, it nonetheless offers a glimpse into the nature of the crime. The myth about the crime as shown in the video includes the decision to depict Karla as an abusive woman weakened by the forceful personality of her husband. The film coaxed the viewer to believe that Karla was forced by her husband to commit the offence. The film depicts Karla as an innocent character something that is not true. The movie does not provide all crimes committed by Bernardo but only the murder of two girls and the sister to her wife.

Review on the documentary of Ronald Dominique

Viewing the documentary of Ronald Dominique, the media did not play an active role in influencing the jury to vote against the accused. Unlike in Karla and Bernardo case, Dominique’s case was handled by local media. In fact, when a reporter contacted ‘; The New York’ to run the story, it was dismissed.

The news on the arrest of America’s serial killer Ronald Dominique less newsworthy was because of the timing, Mr Dominique crime has happened in a span of 10myears, and thus it did not attract the public attention. The other issue concerns the human interest, the act of a person talking the lives of fellow countrymen could not elicit more reaction to the general public. In fact, the media wondered why the arrest was long overdue.

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The other factor that made Dominique’s case not Newsworthy is the nature and the publicity of the person involved. Dominique was a little-known person in the neighborhood, and thus his action was not of significant interest to the media. On the other hand, Holmolka and Bernardo were a well-known couple in the society. And the fact that a wife can willingly give off her sister to her husband as a sex gift is more awkward and likely to evoke public interest and anger.

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In The Media – Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
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