Monday, August 13, 2012

Finding Karla... for profit

Paula Todd
(Image: CTV News)

Is it possible to profit from a decades-old criminal case about a series of brutal sex-killings, and the woman who (essentially) got away with murder? Sure it is; just ask Paula Todd.

According to a recent article in the Hamilton Spectator, Todd's e-book Finding Karla is enjoying brisk sales. The piece has sold between 65-70,000 copies, for an estimated $200,000 in gross sales revenue -- not bad for a 14,000 word e-book that contains (mostly) information which has been available online, for free, for quite some time.

Todd explained why she ultimately settled on the online "e-book" format:

"I didn’t have the luxury of waiting a year for it to see print as a real book or two or three months for publication in a magazine. And I’d spent a lot of my own money tracking her down. I couldn’t make it back on the kind of money magazines pay."

Personally, I have my own suspicions concerning why Finding Karla turned up as a Kobo Single rather than in a conventional book or magazine. Todd's e-book was released just in time to exploit a spike in renewed interest in Karla Homolka following an unfortunate re-telling of a long-standing rumour that the ex Mrs. Paul Bernardo had been romantically linked to Luka Magnotta. At the time, Magnotta was at the center of an international manhunt for the murder of Concordia University student Jun Lin, which was videotaped and subsequently broadcast online. It is widely believed that the rumours concerning Homolka and Magnotta was started and perpetuated by Magnotta himself in a desperate attempt to drum up publicity for his flailing career as a male model and porn star. By the time Montreal Police corrected the error, it was too late -- the ridiculous rumour was already back in circulation.

What better time to publish a book about Homolka than when public interest in her case was at its highest point since her release from prison? I suspect that, had she waited any longer, she would have missed out on the opportunity to ride the coat-tails of another horrific violent crime.

Todd's interview with the "schoolgirl killer" has been called "the scoop of the century" by drama llama Christie Blatchford, but in my own opinion it is nothing of the sort. In the hour that she spent in her home with Todd, Homolka simply recited her familiar refrain; refusing to discuss her crimes, her life, or anything other than what had led the freelance journalist to her doorstep.

While Paula Todd may well have "found" Karla, it's not as though she accomplished some great feat of investigative reporting. The hard-working staff at WatchingKarlaHomolka pinpointed Homolka's location in Guadeloupe several years ago, and have been discussing it online, free-of-charge, ever since.  Paula Todd is hardly a crack gumshoe, she is merely the first person to have considered Killer Karla worthy of the hefty airfare.

For the record, Homolka also maintains an address in Montreal, where she resides for part of the year. For reasons unknown, you won't find any mention of this in Todd's e-book. Either she is not the investigative whiz she proclaims herself to be, or perhaps a blitzkreig on Canadian soil simply lacked the  excitement of a self-funded foray into the domesticated jungle?


  1. I love how Paula Todd said re Homolka during her interview w/ Global News "...I didn't meet a genius..." hahaha nice way of putting it.

    1. Karla doesn't need to be a genius; I think a lot of people incorrectly assume that she was able to beat the rap using nothing but her own cunning and intelligence, when it was really nothing more than the sweeping of utter ineptitude under the carpet.

      In spite of it's seemingly endless resources, the Green Ribbon Task Force had f-d up so royally in sealing Bernardo's fate that they dealt with Karla in order to obtain evidence to link him to the Mahaffy and French murders, as they had nothing concrete (although they did have DNA evidence that connected him to several of the rapes in Scarborough). For her part, Karla was able to direct their attention to a spot on the carpet that proved Kristen was in their house.

      But then, the videos turned up... I don't think I will ever stop asking myself WHY THE F*CK Karla's deal wasn't nullified when it was found that she had lied about a number of things in her statements to police. There was a clause in the contract allowing for the pact to be dissolved if it was found she had been dishonest, and yet it wasn't. Galligan's report did nothing to address my concerns that all the wrong decisions were made with respect to this case and the woman at the center of it all.

  2. Hi kitty, great site! I have to ask, what do you honestly think (considering her detest for journalists) KH's motivation was in allowing Paula Todd into her home? I can't help but to feel intrigued by that.

  3. Who knows if she really even let her in.

  4. I believe KH let her in initially because she didn't know she was a journalist. Also, KH doesn't get many visitors, so I think she was probably intrigued that anyone found her & that they showed up at her front door.


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