Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bernardo-Homolka tweet not trending

Paul & Karla pose for a holiday photo
next to an image of slain little sister, Tammy Lyn,
who died on Christmas Eve, 1990

Screen capture from Lena Dunham's Twitter
October 17, 2012

 Acclaimed actress and filmmaker Lena Dunham is currently under fire due to her not-so-funny idea for a Halloween costume to 380,000+ followers on Twitter. Dunham is best known for creating and starring in the HBO series Girls. On October 16, she wrote to fellow  actors/comedians Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak:

"You guys go as killer Canadian couple Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka. I’ll be her sister they murdered. Scariest! Luv U!"

What is perhaps most disturbing about her comments is the fact that her hit series is most popular within the young female demographic, and yet here she is, making wildly insensitive comments about a tragedy which continues to affect people due to the unspeakable horrors that were uncovered upon discovery of the couple's infamous collection of rape tapes.

The tapes featured Bernardo and his then-wife, Homolka, clearly enjoying themselves as they took turns sexually assaulting kidnapped teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. It was also revealed that Bernardo and Homolka had also videotaped a sex attack upon Karla's youngest sister, Tammy Lyn. Her death had initially been ruled an accident, when in fact, she had died as a result of the lethal combination of drugs and alcohol that Karla served to her before the carefully planned attack. 

Karla had researched the surgical-grade drug Halothane, and then stole a supply from the animal clinic where she worked in order to render her sister unconscious long enough for Paul to have his way with her. Karla videotaped the assault for her boyfriend (they weren't yet married), and performed oral sex on her sister at his request.

Lawyer Tim Danson, who represents the Mahaffy and French families, wasted no time in offering his opinion any time the much-reviled "Ken and Barbie Killers" appear in the media:

"I think the families would be extremely hurt and disturbed by this action. There are certain circumstances that you don’t make light of. That’s when the magnitude of the crime is so horrific. And she just crossed that line."

I don't know, maybe they should dress as Paul, Karla & Tammy Lyn? Some victims rights crusader drunk on Halloween Spirit could take offense to their tasteless costumes and promptly kick the shit out of them, which would almost make Dunham's insensitive comments worthwhile.

** UPDATE:  10/18/2012 **

Lena Dunham has apologized for her careless use of a murder victim as a comedic prop. Her rationale for poking fun at such tender fodder is even more idiotic than the post itself:

"Obviously didn't understand what a painful part of the Canadian identity the Bernardo/Homolka case was. Saw a TV movie w/ Laura Prepon. [...] Didn't understand that-- we've had more serial killers here maybe, so joke about them more?"

So, let me see if I've got this right: serial killing becomes hilarious when it's done in large volumes? 

Furthermore, her joke is only tasteless when read within the confines of Canada? 

Making light of a case which left three teenage girls dead and countless lives shattered in order to further one's career as an "edgy" comedian is never okay; any time, any place, any where.

"The boundaries of comedy are complicated and I'm learning twitter isn't the place to explain or even test them."

Lena, you just said a mouthful.

More Information...

Toronto Star, October 17, 2012

National Post, October 18, 2012


  1. It's a shame so many people have seen the movie "Karla" (which clearly paints her in a flattering light as a "victim" & attempts, but fails, to humanize a monster) but haven't read much about the case. It's not an easy read that's for sure, but if more people knew the details & extent of her involvement, I don't think anyone would want to dress up as Karla Homolka, even for Halloween.

    1. ITA, Anon -- many people here in Canada fought to have this movie banned in the areas where the crimes took place. I think what people were most angry about is what you've just said; it painted Karla in a very forgiving light. Only those who were already familiar with the case would see it differently, and see that Karla's victimization was a facade.

      However... Since I did know the case inside and out when I watched the movie, I felt like maybe it was intended to appear as though Karla was a "victim" because that is exactly how she was portrayed in court and in the media to a certain extent. It wasn't until all the dirty details came out at Paul's trial that people began to see her the way she truly was/is. It was a huge con, so in some respects, I think it makes sense that the movie is a con as well.

      Just like in real life, only those who looked for more were able to find the truth. If people only look at the surface of an object, they fail to see it's depth.

      Thanks for reading!

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