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Next parole hearing for Paul Bernardo set for June 22

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OTTAWA —
A tentative parole hearing for convicted rapist and murderer Paul Bernardo is set for June 22, according to the Parole Board of Canada, but due to COVID-19 precautions, the hearing will primarily be held virtually.

Bernardo was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault among other offences. His crimes were committed over several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some of which he videotaped, had sparked widespread terror and revulsion.

Among his brutal acts, Bernardo and his then-wife Karla Homolka kidnapped, tortured and killed Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington, Ont., in June 1991 at their home in Port Dalhousie, Ont., before dismembering her body, encasing her remains in cement and dumping them in a nearby lake.

Bernardo last made the case that he was no longer a threat to society and should be granted early release from his life sentence in October 2018, but he was denied freedom by members on the parole panel.

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At the time, he admitted he was a “flawed” person, but said he hadn’t hurt anyone since his arrest.

In April 2020, the parents of two girls murdered by Bernardo sought to obtain his legal file with the parole board, arguing public interest in the case outweighs the convicted killer and serial rapist’s privacy rights.

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The families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy are requesting audio and video recordings, as well as any written transcripts, of Bernardo’s failed bid for parole years ago.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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