Clark Jerome McMillan, a 22-year-old man, is arrested for rape and robbery with a deadly weapon. One of his two alleged victims fails to identify him in a police lineup. Both fail to mention his pronounced limp. McMillan’s sister and girlfriend insist he was with them at the time of the attack. Still, McMillan is convicted and sentenced to 119 years.
Now, twenty-two years later, McMillan’s conviction is overturned after DNA testing reveals that the semen found on the victim’s jeans wasn’t his.
McMillan is overjoyed at his release, but he feels hurt. The soft-spoken man says, “It was an unbelievable experience.” While he hopes for some compensation for his ordeal, Tennessee has no compensation statute. What could compensate a man for half his life?
Karla Homolka has served her entire 12-year prison term in what has been called a Deal with the Devil. At first it was believed that Karla was a victim of spousal abuse, forced by her husband, Paul Bernardo, to take part in the rape, torture, and murder of two schoolgirls. That’s certainly the way she skillfully portrayed herself. And prosecutors believed her. In exchange for her testimony, they agreed to reduce the charges against her to manslaughter. Only after the deal had been signed did investigators discover several video tapes the couple had made of their attack on the girls.
The tapes told a different story.
Karla was not the victim she claimed to be, but a willing participant in the girls’ murders, and in the rape and death of her own sister, and in the rape of another young girl, never publicly identified.
Homolka is due to be released in the first few days of July, 2005.
Dennis Rader pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder, admitting to a series of slayings that began in the 1970s.
In a slew of taunting, cryptic messages to police, Rader nicknamed himself BTK, for “Bind, Torture, Kill.”
His sentencing date has not yet been set. But since Kansas adopted a new capital punishment law only after these particular crimes were committed, Rader will not face the death penalty.
Karla Homolka is afraid. “I believe some people wish to do the public a favour by killing me,” the schoolgirl-killer said in an affidavit. So she asked the courts to ban all media and public mention of her.
While there may be legitimate concerns about her security, there’s also the concern for public safety. Some psychologists who have examined her believe she may reoffend.
There’s also some doubt about her real fears. Tim Danson, the lawyer for the families of two of Homolka’s victims, questioned whether she’s just playing a role. “What we don’t know is whether this is simply part of Karla Homolka being the master manipulator to change the focus from the real problem — the threat she poses to public safety — by trying to portray herself as the victim.”
Not surprisingly, the Quebec Superior Court, which heard the request, rejected it. Justice Paul-Marcel Bellavance of Quebec Superior Court ruled that granting the injunction would be a danger to freedom of the press. Of course, Homolka’s lawyers will appeal.
Even if the court had passed the injunction, it would have been unenforceable. The Quebec court would have no jurisdiction over the rest of Canada, let alone the rest of the world, including the Internet.
After 12 years in prison for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of two schoolgirls, Karla Homolka is now a free woman. On July 4th, 2005, She left the Ste-Anne-des-Plaines prison north of Montreal where she’s been for the past month and within two hours was giving a televised interview with Radio-Canada. While she claims she was a victim of her ex-husband, Paul Bernardo, forced into participating in the gruesome acts she committed, and that she feels remorse for what she’s done, she’s demonstrated outstanding acting abilities in the past.
In response, Paul Bernardo, himself serving a lift sentence for his part in the murders, requested that he be allowed to speak to the media as well. That request was denied, but he did manage to relay a message through his attorney. The message? That it was Karla who insisted they kill their victims, that she tried to kill one girl by embolism (injecting her with a syringe full of air), and that she strangled both girls.
Meanwhile, Karla has moved into an east-Montreal neighborhood where the residents seem, so far, content to leave her alone.