Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tearful Confession Evokes Homolka's Grisly Deed

Tearful confession evokes Homolka's grisly deed

By Christie Blatchford
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
The Canadian Press

MEDICINE HAT -- Perhaps not since Karla Homolka described the drugging and handing over of her younger sister as a Christmas present for her then-serial-rapist boyfriend Paul Bernardo has a Canadian jury seen and heard such a galling confession.

The 13-year-old girl accused in the slayings of her entire family took the witness stand in her own defence here yesterday to describe her little brother's last minutes, the boy mewling, calling her name and looking to her for help - and how his cries fell on her deaf ears.

Cut through her myriad tearful explanations - she was panicking, she feared for herself - what the girl admitted doing was first putting the eight-year-old's neck in a half-Nelson, nearly choking him, and then stabbing him once in the upper body.

An autopsy revealed the boy had been stabbed four times, twice in the face and twice in the chest, and had the pinpoint hemorrhages of the eyes and mouth commonly seen in strangulation. But he died of a 12-centimetre-long gash to his throat.

He weighed only 68 pounds and stood 4 foot 4.

The two cases have something else in common beyond the moral failure to protect a vulnerable younger sibling.

As Ms. Homolka impatiently justified her conduct at Mr. Bernardo's murder trial by saying that the idea was that Tammy would be drugged and raped just "the once" (alas, she choked on her own vomit and died), this girl told the jurors that she could bring herself to stab her brother only once, and not very deeply at that.

Both the woman and the girl, who was 12 years old at the time of the slayings and can only be identified as J. R., blamed their male partners.

According to the girl's version of events, she and her brother were cowering upstairs in the house, listening first to her mother's screams and then her father's desperate struggle for his life with her then-23-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke.

The little boy cried that he was scared, and his big sister offered a peculiar comfort: "I put the crook of my elbow around his neck and I squeezed," she said. "I was trying to make him go to sleep because it was horrible. I didn't want him to hear it."

But the boy cried: "What are you doing, [J. R.]? Stop, stop!"

She did, but any reprieve was short lived.

Shortly afterward, she said, Mr. Steinke staggered upstairs, covered in blood, panting his love for her. He spotted the kitchen knife in her hand, which she ostensibly had retrieved from her bedroom for self-defence, and yelled at her to stab the boy. "Stab him! Just stab him! Slit his throat!" she said he screamed.

"I can't," she said she told him. "I can't do it."

"You have to do this," Mr. Steinke told her. "I did this for you!"

"He was getting really, really mad," the girl said in her oft-inaudible soft voice. "I was panicking that he was going to hurt me.

"I stabbed my brother."

During this part of her testimony, elicited by her lawyer Tim Foster in a gentle manner straight out of a counselling session - "How did you feel about that?" he would often ask, like a friendly psychiatrist - the girl was weepy, red-faced, plucking at the folds of her smocked blue top and occasionally burying her face in her hands. Mr. Foster began to probe this turf by saying, "Let's talk about Jeremy, cause that's what we're kind of all here about."

In fact, this is the girl's murder trial; Mr. Steinke, facing the same three charges of first-degree murder, has yet to get a court date.

But for most of the rest of her day-long evidence, she was cheerful, often flashing a big white grin as she was led down memory lane by her lawyer. Her whispered mumbling, coupled with the teenager's penchant for turning every sentence into a question, had Mr. Foster, the judge, court reporter and even jury members variously begging her to speak up.

According to her, Mr. Steinke snatched the knife from her, and as she fled the room, her brother crying "[J. R., J. R.], I'm scared," she saw Mr. Steinke make a sweeping motion: "He slit his throat."

From the doorway of her parents' bedroom down the hall, "I heard my brother trying to breathe," she said. "It was gurgling."

Her professed fear of Mr. Steinke notwithstanding, the girl immediately fled after him to his trailer, and then to a friend's flat, where they had sex. "He pulled me on top of him and started kissing me," she said. "How did you feel about that?" Mr. Foster inquired solicitously.

"I didn't feel like anything was real," the girl said. "I was like so out of my mind, I couldn't really process what happened, I didn't want to think about it."

"Why did you go to Jeremy's?" Mr. Foster asked.

Too young to have heard the old joke about the child who kills his parents and then throws himself upon the mercy of the court as an orphan, she whispered, "Because he was the only person left that loved me and I knew he'd take care of me and I'd be safe with him."

Later, she offered a variant of this when asked to explain why she continued to write him after their apprehension, even accepting his jailhouse marriage proposal: "I needed to love him because I felt he was the only person left."

Several times, Mr. Foster asked if she had been able to cry about what the two of them yesterday came to call, in the passive voice others might describe tornados or acts of nature, "these things that happened."

"No," she said once, "this is too big to cry about." Another time, when he asked, "Were you able to cry about this?" she said she thought she'd cried the day she and Mr. Steinke were arrested across the border in Saskatchewan.

The girl's testimony confirmed other evidence heard earlier at the trial - that she had remarked to friends a day later that her brother had been "gargling" (she said it, she told the jury, to shut up Mr. Steinke's bragging); that the two of them had talked about killing her parents but only as "stupid talk" and what she called "hypotheticals" and never for a minute meaning it; that she was raging about the restrictions they put on her.

As for a stick drawing she did, portraying the burning alive of three members of a four-member family rather like her own, she said it was but another example of her "venting."

"I was angry," she said. "I was venting, heh-heh." She drew it in band class one day in late March, she said. "I guess I put it in my locker and forgot about it. It was a different way of venting ...."

Police found it in her locker on April 23 last year, the day the bodies of her parents and brother were discovered.

She seemed most outraged yesterday when Mr. Foster asked her if she had ever seen the "N word" on Mr. Steinke's page of dislikes on a website where they were both members.

"We had a conversation about that," she replied smartly, quite audibly for once. "I was mad at him for that."

A thoroughly modern girl, then: On her own profile on that website, her own dislikes list began, "Homophobia, ageism, sexism, hypocrites ..." Stabbing a little brother, choking him, listening as he fought for breath through a gash in his throat, are not so bad as all that.


  1. te voy a romper el culo gringa perra

  2. I wish i could bash her fucking face in the slut. Devils spawn . I hope her life sux and hears her brothers pleA everyday of her pathetic life. J.R i hope you get murdered bitch

    1. Nah it won't bother her at all she is one of those people that do evil shot with a smile and blame everyone else it makes you want to beat the shit out of them but karma is a powerful thing she will be in jail again and for a long time! O. J. Simpson ring a bell?

    2. Nah it won't bother her at all she is one of those people that do evil shot with a smile and blame everyone else it makes you want to beat the shit out of them but karma is a powerful thing she will be in jail again and for a long time! O. J. Simpson ring a bell?

  3. She is pure evil! Free to do as she pleases...Scary shit!

    1. She doesn't deserve forgiveness that's for sure. I hope she has to pay one day.