Where is Karla Homolka now? She lives a normal life with her husband and three kids

Karla Homolka received what many Canadians believe to be the ‘worst plea deal in Canadian history.’ Many familiar with her case opine that Karla deserved a harsher punishment for her role in the rape-murders of Leslie Mahaffy, Kristen French, and Karla’s sister, Tammy Homolka. Karla laid most of the blame on her ex-husband, somehow convincing the Crown to hand her 12 years in prison.

Homolka’s assertions that her ex-husband, Paul Bernado, forced her into participating in the crimes seemed false after video evidence surfaced showing the pair drugging Tammy Homolka before Paul raped her. Paul continues to confess to more crimes while serving his life sentence. Therefore, it’s conceivable that the true extent of Karla’s crimes never came to light. 

Karla Homolka changed her name to Leanne Teale and currently lives in Quebec with her husband, Thierry Bordelais, and their three children. 

Prison authorities released Karla Homolka on 4th July 2005. The then-35-year-old married Thierry Bordelais, her former lawyer’s brother, shortly after her release. Karla and her family lived in Antilles and Guadeloupe before relocating to their current home in Quebec. 

Karla’s release proved wildly unpopular with the Canadian public. In August 2005, she found employment at a hardware store in a suburb of Montreal. Her boss later revealed her address to the media and alleged that Karla had violated the terms of her release by contacting someone with a criminal record. The boss also alleged that Karla had come into contact with children. 

In November 2005, a Superior Court Judge granted Karla a reprieve by ruling that she didn’t pose a risk to the community. The judge found fault in the lower court’s ruling that imposed restrictions on Karla without sufficient evidence to justify the restrictions. 

By lifting the restrictions, Justice James Brunton allowed Karla to live, work, and move around Canada without notifying authorities. Justice Brunton’s decision also allowed her to contact criminals, her ex-husband, and the families of her victims. The judge said:

“The possibility that Ms. Teale might reoffend one day cannot be completely eliminated. However, her development over the last 12 years demonstrates, on a balance of probabilities, that this is unlikely to occur. She does not represent a real and imminent danger to commit a personal injury offence.”

Karla might be free, but she lives under the watchful eye of the public. Reports that she occasionally volunteered at her kids’ school sparked outrage and forced the school to end the arrangement. 

Thierry Bordelais, Karla’s husband, remains unperturbed by the community’s complaints. “If they are worried, all they have to do is move,” Bordelais told La Presse. “We’re free, we’re in a free country. Has anything happened over the past 10 years? So why are they worried? I don’t see why they are worried.”

Several days before her release, a judge denied Homolka’s request to prohibit the media from revealing details about her life after her release. Karla sunk under the radar for several years as she lived in the Antilles and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Journalist Paula Todd found her, but few in Guadeloupe cared about her identity. 

Everything changed after Karla moved to Canada in 2014. In 2016, residents of Chateauguay expressed concern over Karla’s residence in their town. Politicians discussed the issue, with Montreal MP Marc Miller stating that the government would ‘look into’ the report. 

Tom Mulcair expressed sympathy for Karla, stating that she’d ‘paid her debt’ to society and imploring his colleagues to consider forgiveness. “If you’re ensuring the safety of the kids, beyond our revulsion at the horror of the crime, is there any room for atonement and forgiveness?” Tom said.

The Quebec Press Council rejected Karla’s most recent attempt to seek protection from the media. The council gave the media leeway to publish Karla’s whereabouts and her name but blocked the publishing of her home address. The decision read:

“The public had a right to be informed about her new area of residence and the newspaper had editorial freedom to publish this information. Indicating the name of the district where Ms. Homolka lives does not constitute a breach of ethics. As the latter is a public figure whose history has shaken Quebec and Canada, the council considers that her name should not be hidden from the public.”

The council’s decision echoed the Superior Court’s 2005 ruling to reject Karla’s plea for privacy. “The public has the right to know what is happening to Ms. Teale because of the nature of the crimes she committed,” the court opined. 

In a radio interview with Radio Canada, Karla stated that she deserved privacy because she considered herself a victim of Paul Bernado. She pleaded for empathy as, at the time of the crimes, she was a vulnerable teenager.She said:

“At the time, I was seventeen years old. I lacked knowledge. I feared being abandoned. I was desperate for a relationship. I lacked confidence. There are numerous aspects of myself that I was unaware of at the time but am now aware of.”