Watching Karla Homolka @ Toronto True Crime Film Fest

I would wager that most of the 37 million Canadians have heard the name Karla Homoka. It, however, is not a thing of pride. Quite the opposite. Homolka, along with her husband Paul Bernardo, committed horrific crimes against a couple of teenage girls. One of which was her own sister. Because she testified against Bernardo, Homolka was given a lighter sentence. In 2005, after 12 years in prison, she was released.

After her release the Ontario native moved to Quebec. There she remarried, had three children and settled in the Montreal suburb of Chateauguay. After her release, Homolka’s first interview with the press was with Radio Canada and was completely in French. She stated she did this because the francophone population seemed more tolerant of her. The anglophones were different.

This brings us to Watching Karla Homolka, a short film directed by Jordan Steinhauer. The 2018 over 8 minute short shows the divide between the francophone and anglophone communities. After it was discovered that Karla Homolka had settled in Chateauguay. A Facebook group called Watching Karla Homolka appeared. It was started by anglophones. Francophones in Chateauguay were more inclined to think she had paid her price and had to be given a second chance.

Several interviews are conducted to show the different groups of thought. Resident Martin Senecal is interviewed to represent this line of thought. The anglophone and Facebook group is represented by Kari Wright. She and others are worried about their teenage daughters and post signs throughout the neighbourhood warning others of Homolka’s presence. Even a criminal lawyer is interviewed. She muses about wondering why people are doing this. Why the Facebook group? Voyeurism? Fetishism? States that the safest thing for the community is to allow Homolka to reintegrate.

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