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The Child Within

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Gregory J. D. Light Dr. Raewyn Bassett Anthropology 340:00 11.26.2004 The Child Within Crimes and the criminals themselves are the result of some underlying effect. This can be the product of many determining factors. Some children experience abuse in their household and thus commit the same crimes which they were subjected to as children. Some mothers encounter the overwhelming feeling of sympathy which people lavish on them after a death of their child and that sympathy replaces the love they once felt. There are a plethora of possibilities. In the case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, there were many contributing factors, however, the underlying factor which triggered off Paul's evil rampage is childhood abuse and the psychological trauma he received in his younger years. Karla Homolka, on the other hand, is simply a sexual predator. She fed off of Paul's sexual desires, and her own perverted tendencies came to light. The bottom line is that Paul and Karla were both slaves to their own sexual desires. When Bernardo was first arrested for his crimes in 1993, it was seen that he was the criminal mind and the genius behind the atrocities and Karla Homolka was a victim along with his rape victims, and the two teenage girls who were murdered - Kristin French and Leslie Mahaffy. ...read more.


Paul's need for sex, and Karla's willingness to give him what he wanted, resulted in perhaps the greatest atrocities in Canadian history. This does not condone her actions, but rather proves she is an equal partner in the crimes. The childhood abuse that Paul received is one of many aspects which is typical of "characteristics which are typically found in the sexually sadistic serial killer" (McCrary). Supervisory Special Agent Gregg O. McCrary of the FBI helped out with the investigation and upon capture of Bernardo, concluded that he fit this profile perfectly. He stated other typical characteristics which include: being above average intelligence; being neat and well groomed; had parental conflict; selecting an occupation which makes him an authority figure; fascination with weapons; compulsive driving; initially presents the image of a sincere, caring, loving and attentive individual; dominating personality; obsession with sexual sadism; compulsively collects and uses pornography; collects and keeps as trophies personal items belonging to past victims; married at the time of the offence; selects victims who are particularly vulnerable, and favours the young; and finally 93% of sexually sadistic serial killers plan their crimes carefully. These characteristics similarly fit the descriptions of such notorious killers as Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer. ...read more.


People trade in their morals in order to fit in and not feel the association which they crave. Karla's compliance with Bernardo shouldn't be seen as a female suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome, but rather she showed culpability and complete consent to her crimes. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, but still did them anyway out of fear of losing the man she loved. The main premise would seem to be that Karla was caught in an evil web of love. In no way is Karla Homolka a victim, but rather a co-conspirator. This case is and has always been not necessarily what happened so much as who did it. People have been passing the buck and blaming others from the very beginning. The fact shouldn't be who did it, or find the reasons why they did it, but rather that they did do it and they should simply be charged on that fact alone. The postulation is that Paul and Karla were both sick individuals, and they should both equally punish for the crimes which they committed. Dysfunctional families have social programs to help them out today which may not have readily been available when Bernardo was a child. Perhaps awareness will prevent crimes from occurring in the future, and help out the children who withstand too much trauma. ...read more.

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