Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo met in the fall of 1987. It was a chance encounter that turned into a deep and twisted relationship that eventually got both spouses put in jail for rape and murder. Listen to this episode for the details.
This episode may be upsetting for some listeners, so listener discretion is advised.
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Hi Everyone, welcome back to Killer Astrology. I’m your host, Laura, And I don’t know about you but this has been a hell of a week for me. On Tuesday we had Pluto conjunct Jupiter in 22° capricorn which was exactly on the midpoint of my Neptune and my sun. It brought up themes of illusion in my life...figuring out what’s real and what’s not and how to deal with the discomfort around not knowing. That’s a theme that’s been with me my whole life that I still haven’t quite resolved. Like me, you might be dealing with an old issue that needs attention, as well. That’s because Jupiter, the planet of truth, and Pluto, the planet that rules gross life issues that you don’t want to deal with, were exactly conjunct on Tuesday, November 12th.
Because this was the third Jupiter/Pluto conjunction of the year and that conjunction won’t happen again for another 12 years, now is your final chance to dredge out those issues and resolve them. You were probably first pushed to do this around April 4th, which was the first time Jupiter and Pluto met this year. They met again on June 30th, and one final time this past week to put the icing on the cake of 2020.
This conjunction can bring old issues to light so that you can grow from them, but it may also increase fear or other things you’d rather not feel. If you listened to my episode last week, you know that I moved last weekend. Moving is a very plutonian process, especially if you’ve lived somewhere for a long time. You pick up furniture that’s been sitting in the same spot for years, and underneath it you find dust and dog hair and a couple pieces of popcorn and you start wondering why you didn’t even realize you were a pig who enjoyed living in your own filth. When I say you, of course I mean me, but I’m hoping there are a couple of you who can relate. Anyway, the point is that you can live a life that looks clean and shiny on the surface, but if you don’t clean under the furniture from time to time, the mess will come back to engulf you in one way or another. This Jupiter/Pluto conjunction is a way to avoid that dismal future. If you’re really detached from the themes in your life that pluto wants you to pay attention to, you’re probably going to be reluctant to deal with them because of fear. What will happen if you look deeper at this problem you've been avoiding? Will you find it’s worse than you thought? Pluto says maybe. But Jupiter says it’s time to find out once and for all...so you can move the fuck on, and bring yourself better luck in the process. If you haven’t confronted your filth yet, don’t worry, you still have a chance.
Today, November 15, 2020, we have the new moon in Scorpio at 23°. This is one degree past where the Jupiter Pluto conjunction took place in capricorn. Jupiter is now in 23° capricorn which means that this new moon was exactly sextile the the planet of growth and luck. This is a positive aspect that will aid you if you give it some attention. If you were confronted with a harsh reality this week, you now have a chance to wipe the slate clean and turn the situation around. What can you manifest to replace that difficult theme in your life? This is your opportunity to transform. Embrace it. If you set a goal during this new moon, you’ll have some help from mars, which turned direct this week. This is a time of forward motion that’s been largely inaccessible to us for the past two months, but we’re able to use it to our advantage now.
Speaking of forward motion, let’s move on to our topic of the day. In this episode, we’re talking about Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, the Ken and Barbie Killers, named for their good looks that fooled people into ignorance about their nauseating crimes. I decided to focus on these killers because they came up in last week’s episode on Luka Magnotta. Believe it or not, I had never heard of them, maybe because they’re from Canada and there’s a bit of separation there. So I just learned about their crimes for the purpose of this episode and about 20 minutes into my research I was regretting that I’d chosen them. In season 1, I mentioned that Leonard Fraser was really the only killer who seriously creeped me out. This couple might trump him for me. Maybe because there are two of them and one of them is a woman, and as a woman I feel personally victimized by her actions. I don’t know. It’s really a brutal story and I will share some details, so please listen to the rest of this episode at your own risk.
Karla Homolka was born on May 4th, 1970 at 12:20AM in Mississagua, Canada. She has a taurus sun, an aries moon, and capricorn rising. This combination of energies, two earth signs and one fire sign, gives Karla a very strong disposition. Her capricorn ascendant gives her a sternness about her and makes her a natural authority figure. Her aries moon makes her as self assured go-getter, and her taurus implores her to seek stability. Her sun is conjunct Saturn, her chart ruler, within a very tight orb of 1 degree in her forth house of family. This conjunction indicates that she took on a lot of responsibility in her childhood, and we can certainly deduce that given what we know about her life. Karla is the oldest of three siblings born to her parents, Dorothy Seger and Karel Homolka. Being the oldest sibling, with a capricorn ascendant no less, she likely held a firm place as the leader among her sisters. Her parents often fought when her dad was drunk, and he was probably an angry drunk, Nevertheless, Karla had a role to play in this dynamic, and that role was of responsible pseudo-adult. She and her siblings found solace in each other’s company. As we’ll learn later, the bonds she formed with her sisters, strong as they may have been, didn’t make them immune to her brutality. After all, as the authority in the family, she may have felt like she had the final say in all decisions, even if those decisions caused harm.
As a kid, Karla was generally well-liked. With her aries moon in the third house of information-sharing, she was comfortable being social. She was also adept at learning. She was smart and had a big love for animals, or at least appeared to. While she wound up working with animals as a young adult, there is an account of her throwing a friend’s hamster out a window as a kid. If I didn’t know the rest of her story I’d say maybe that was just a fluke, but...as we move forward I think you’ll agree that this was just a taste of the violent potential she had within her.
Even with the hamster incident tarnishing her reputation, Karla had many friends growing up and a good number of boyfriends when she got to high school. She was generally a carefree teenager who liked to have a good time, sometimes using drugs with her teenage boyfriend.
She also had a job. When she was 17 and nearing the end of high school, Karla worked at a pet store and was passionate enough about her job that she went to a pet conference in toronto, where she met Paul Bernardo.
Paul Bernardo was born on August 27th, 1964 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 8:31 in the morning. He has a 12th house virgo stellium that’s pretty intense and includes the sun in 3 degrees, uranus, pluto, mercury retrograde, and his virgo ascendant. This is a chart that I look at and immediate think: yes, this checks out. This guy has some serious difficulties and the potential to do terrible things. He was the youngest of three children born to his parents, Kenneth and Marilyn Bernardo, but Kenneth was actually not his father. Starting when he was just 6 years old, Paul and his siblings were often left alone when his parents went out of town. Although this may make it seem that his parents weren’t invested in his development, his success was very important to them. They raised a hardworking young man who got his first job at the age of 12. They expected him achieve positive results from all his endeavors, work and school, and as a result, he often felt like his best wasn’t enough for his parents, even though he was a good student and was a member of the boy scouts, winning an award for his success in the group. This aligns with his virgo stellium: virgo is very perfectionistic, and with a virgo stellium in the 12th house coupled with a virgo ascendant, although he portrayed himself as having everything in order, the reality of achieving perfect order felt illusive to him. And when something feels intangible, we tend to try to possess it.
As a scout, Paul learned survival skills like starting fires, an activity that he and his friends practiced a little too much outside of the troop. When he was 15 years old, he started dating a girl he knew from school, over whom he was very overprotective. Around the time he started dating his first girlfriend, Paul learned that he was the product of his mother’s affair, which of course upset him. I was curious about what was happening in his astrology at the time he found out about his father, so I looked at his transits for the positions of Jupiter, the planet of truth, and the sun, one of the most common planetary representatives for the father. His mother told him the truth about his origins in June of 1980. On June 11th of 1980, Jupiter was exactly conjunct Paul’s sun in 3 degrees virgo in the 12th house. This is a transit that brings truth to the secrets of the self. Semisquares with mercury, the planet of communication, and pluto, the planet of hidden traumas, meant that having the truth communicated to him plainly would be challenging: it would cut to the core. And it certainly did. When Paul found out the truth about who he was, he began calling his mother derogatory names, and she called him names right back. It was an angry exchange. A few months later, when Paul turned 16, he and his first girlfriend broke up. In retaliation he set everything she had given him on fire. This is a completely unsurprising response when we take Paul’s astrology into consideration. He has mars and venus exactly conjunct each other in 17 degrees cancer. Mars and venus in cancer, the self-preserving sign of the crab, make him protective of those he loves, but mars makes his protection fiery rather than warm. Reject him, and he doesn’t just retreat into his shell: he uses fire to protect himself.
In the fall of 1983, Paul enrolled at the University of Toronto, where he would later graduate with an accounting degree, a very virgo career, I might add. While in school, he dated many women who kept breaking up with him due to his unusual and controlling sexual preferences. Who knows if any of these preferences came from his father, who, during this time was found out to be a peeping tom, a behavior that Paul was also known to engage in growing up.
In 1987, Paul was a 23 year-old college graduate with a prestigious job at the accounting firm Price-Waterhouse, and Karla was a 17 year old high school student. They met in a hotel restaurant on Scarborough, where Karla was staying for her conference. The date was October 17th, a day when venus and pluto came together in the sky, combining forces of love with powerful forces of death. That same night, they went back to Karla’s hotel room and spent the night together. It could be that the exact meeting of venus and pluto happened as they were consummating their relationship, thus beginning a twisted and terrifying connection.
As a partner Paul was very controlling and made sure to assert his dominance over Karla in any way that he could. In March of 1988, about six months into their relationship, one of Karla’s friends found a list in her bedroom of things she wanted to keep in mind to ensure her relationship went smoothly, including a diet routine and statements like, “remember you’re stupid”, and “never let anyone know our relationship is anything less than perfect.” It’s unclear at that stage in the relationship whether Karla knew that her boyfriend’s abusive behaviors weren’t isolated to their bedroom, or to their relationship. But it couldn’t have been long until she found out.
For a four year period starting in the spring of 1987, Scarborough, Ontario, became a dangerous place for young women to be out at night. In the early hours of the morning on May 4th, 1987, a woman got off a city bus around 1:00am, only to be attacked and raped by a man who would go on to rape over a dozen more women in a similar manner, ambushing them on the street or even breaking into their homes late night and forcing them into sexual acts. Sometimes he was armed with a knife during these attacks. It wasn’t until May of 1990 that police had gathered enough information about the rapist to draw up a composite sketch, which was released in the newspapers. The sketch looked so similar to Paul Bernardo that even his friends were calling police to put in tips. Police followed the leads and interviewed Paul, gathering DNA samples from him after the conversation. But the process was slow-moving. This was the early 1990s and DNA testing wasn’t what it is now, so that sample sat on a shelf for years before it was tested and tied and the crimes were tied back to Paul. In those 2 years, he managed not only to rape a number of other unsuspecting women, but to commit brutal acts of murder with Karla, who was an active participant in those crimes, even those against her family. I should note for astrological purposes that the series of rapes started on May 4th, 1987, when venus, the planet of attraction, and jupiter, which expands everything it touches, were conjunct Paul’s impulsive aries moon, pushing him to act in an extreme way to meet his sexual desires.
Just about a year after Karla and Paul started dating, he became infatuated with Karla’s sister, Tammy. Tammy was only 12 when the couple met in 1987, and by the time she was 13, Paul found himself attracted to her. He was obsessed with the fact that she was a virgin, and in 1988 he demanded her to ensure that she kept it that way. (Virgo, his sun sign and the home of his stellium, which includes the controlling planet, Pluto, is the sign of the virgin). About a year and a half later, in July of 1990, Paul encouraged his girlfriend to steal sleeping pills from her job at a veterinary office, and he used this pills to drug Tammy and rape her. And that wasn’t the last time.
The night before Christmas eve in 1990, the sun and mercury met in the sky at 2 degrees capricorn, the same degree as Karla’s ascendant line. The sun represents the self, and mercury represents siblings. With this conjunction in capricorn in a chart ruled by Saturn, both planets were acting out themes of authority. Mercury also happens to be Paul’s chart ruler, since mercury rules virgo and his ascendant is in virgo. So we could also see this meeting as Karla merging her identity with that of her partner. And it was a monumental meeting, at that. An identity transforming meeting, actually, happening right at Karla’s ascendant line. At the time of this life-changing conjunction, Paul, Karla, and Tammy were drinking in Karla’s parents’ basement. Again, Karla had stolen drugs from her work to use on Tammy. She called a christmas present for Paul. With her parents upstairs, Karla put sleeping pills in Tammy’s drinks and held a rag covered with halothane against her sisters mouth to knock her unconscious, then she and Paul raped her together, and videotaped the incident. What Paul and Karla hadn’t expected was that Tammy would overdose on the medications they gave her. By Christmas Eve morning, she was dead, and her death was ruled an accident. 3 days late,r at Tammy’s funeral, Paul was stroking her hair while visiting her open casket.
You’d think that killing your own sister would make you take a step back and really reconsider your life path, but Karla kept going down a road of destruction with Paul, maybe because she knew she was already in too deep to stop. Astrologically speaking, this single act transformed her identity forever. There was no turning back. There has been some controversy among onlookers about Karla’s participation in these crimes. Was she coerced against into these acts by her partner, was she just complicit in an apathetic way, or did she actively engage in the deplorable proceedings as a willing party?
Karla’s was the first chart I reviewed for this story, and I have to say that at first glance, it could have been anybody’s chart. While there are definitely some concerning elements, I wouldn’t immediately look at this chart and say “this person is a killer”. I don’t think she was destined for this kind of lifestyle. In other words, I don’t think she ever would have turned to torturing and killing young women on her own. She needed someone else to push her into that life, and Paul was the perfect leader. When I looked at Paul’s chart, my immediate thought was “yeah, of course, this fits”. I may have actually said that out loud, now that I think of it. His chart very clearly aligns with the rest of our cohort of disturbed abusers and killers. The exact aspects, the 12th and 8th house placements, the abundance of mutable energy, natal saturn in retrograde and a late degree sagittarius lilith. It all fits. So, do I think Karla was absolutely coerced into raping and killing young women under threat to her life? No. Karla could think for herself. She had a capricorn ascendant with emitted an air of steady confidence, an aries moon, which fostered a strong internal spirit, and a taurus sun, which can be pretty unmovable under the right circumstances. While I don’t think she would have found herself in this place without Paul, I do think that there had to be something about him and the acts that tapped into her internal motivation. That made her want to go along with this for herself, not just for him. And I think the clues as to what motivated her are in her eighth house.
The 8th house is the house that describes the nature of our joint ventures: how we merge with others physically and spiritually. This includes sex. The first entity in Karla’s 8th house is Lilith, which I’ve talked about before as the entity that describes our rebellion. For women, especially, Lilith is also a source of personal power. How we find our personal power by showing up in ways that might shock others. For Karla, with her lilith in the 8th house, sex was a vehicle for feeling powerful. The next object in Karla’s 8th house is the south node. The point that describes situations she’s familiar with, that she could get stuck in if she doesn’t push herself to move in the opposite direction. Her south node is in virgo in the 8th house, and being with someone with such intense virgo energy, i t was hard for her to leave it behind. The last planet in Karla’s 8th house is pluto, which is very comfortable in the 8th house since it mirrors those themes. Pluto here made it easier come into contact with those dark sexual energies.
One month after Tammy’s death, Paul picked up a young hitchhiker and brought her back to Karla’s parent’s house, where the two had been living for the past few months. He raped her in his girlfriend’s childhood bedroom, then drove her to a side street to find her way home. A month after that incident, he and Karla moved into their own house in Port Dalhousie, just a town away from her parents. Port Dalhousie is right on Lake Ontario...it looks pretty beautiful, actually, but the events that transpired there were horrific. On June 7th, 1991, Karla lures a 15-year-old girl to their home where she gives her sleeping pills, just like she did to her sister, and the couple rape her and again, videotape it. Unlike with Tammy, this young woman survives the attack, and there are other who survive the same trap, as well. But two of their next victims do not.
On June 15th 1991, Paul sneaks up behind a young woman, Leslie Mahaffy, and snatches her, taking her into his car and driving her home. He calls it a surprise for Karla. Together, the two torture and strangle Leslie to death with an electrical cord. 14 days later, canoers come across the teenager’s remains in a pile of concrete blocks in a nearby lake. That same day that Leslie’s remains are found, Karla and Paul and at church, getting married. Can you even handle that? I can’t.
As a married couple, Karla and Paul continue their torture of innocent and unsuspecting teenagers, inviting them over their house and following the same routine. But now, they had their first kidnapping and killing behind them, and they weren’t going to stop. On April 16th, 1992, Paul and Karla worked together to kidnap another young girl, Kristen French. They held her for three days doing unspeakable things, including showing her the video of another woman’s rape. At the end of the 72-hour period, they killed Kristen and buried her in a dumpster in Burlington, Ontario, which is about 30 miles away from their home. Her body was found 11 days later on April 30th, 1992.
Police recognized a connection between Kristen French’s murder and the murder and the murder of Leslie Mahaffy which had happened less than a year prior. They kicked their investigation into high gear using eye witnesses for help. On the day that Kristen was abducted, witnesses saw her get into a car with two other people who were parked in a church parking lot. Witnesses thought the car was a beige Camero, but it was actually a gold Nissan. This slowed the investigation down, but kept the public actively engaged in the case. But in addition to imploring people to look out for the killer, police had other older evidence that was starting to resurface. Remember that DNA sample that Paul provided the police back in 1990? Well, two years later it was finally processed.
On December 27th, 1992, exactly two years after Tammy Homolka’s funeral, Paul beats Karla with a flashlight, giving her two black eyes and causing her to take a trip to the emergency room. She goes to stay with her parents for a while after the incident, and Paul is arrested, but released back home. BUT, the next month, on february 1st, 1993, that DNA evidence comes back. And it proves that Paul is the Scarborough rapist. Interestingly, Paul’s father is charged with sex crimes of his own just a week after the DNA evidence is released. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d be wondering whether Paul and his dad ever carried out any crimes together. As an astrologer, I’m wondering what the similarities are in their charts, but that’s a topic for another time.
On the day that the DNA evidence came through and pointed back to Paul, there were some really interesting things happening in the sky, the most striking to me being an exact conjunction between mercury and saturn at 19 degrees aquarius. This was the coming together of information and karma. Mercury carried information about Paul’s actions, and saturn doled out his karma, or was preparing to. This conjunction was also quincunx Paul’s natal mars venus conjunction, which influenced his violent sexual tendencies. The quincunx is at a 2 degree orb, which is as wide as I’ll go for that aspect, but it is still very much present. It’s causing tension around Paul’s typical patterns.
On February 9th, Karla is questioned about her’s and Paul’s involvement in the rapes and murders of innocent young victims, and she confesses. She tells police everything, or almost everything, twisting the story a bit in her favor, telling police that she was forced to carry out her husband’s wishes, forced to torture those girls, including her sister. She exchanges this information for a reduced sentence once the case goes to court, agreeing to testify against Paul during his trial. The court agrees, and Karla is sentenced to just 12 years in prison for her crimes.
Paul’s trial begins on May 18th, 1995, and last for 4 months. At the time of his trial, Karla’s sentence has already been solidified, and the court is surprised to see her as a willing participant on the tapes that are presented as evidence. She can’t be tried again, so her sentence remains, and paul is sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole 25 years into his prison stay. That 25-year mark just passed, actually, and you’ll be happy to hear that he was denied his parole after a very brief appeal. Karla, on the other hand, is out of prison. She’s changed her name and is living in Montreal taking care of the three children she’s had since she was released.
And with that, this story is over. Thank you for listening to another episode of killer astrology. I’ll be back next week with a special guest and we’ll have a new episode for you. Until then, remember: people may lie, but the stars never do.
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