Paul Bernardo - "Schoolgirl Killer" Murders - Kristen French

Kristen French

On the afternoon of April 16, 1992, Bernardo and Homolka were driving through St. Catharines to look for potential victims. It was after school hours on the day before Good Friday. Students were still going home but by and large the streets were empty. As they passed Holy Cross Secondary School, a main Catholic high school in the city's north end, they spotted Kristen French, a 15-year-old student, walking briskly to her nearby home. The couple pulled into the parking lot of nearby Grace Lutheran Church and Homolka got out of the car, map in hand, pretending to need assistance.

As French looked at the map, Bernardo attacked from behind, brandishing a knife and forcing her into the front seat of their car. From her back seat, Homolka controlled the girl by pulling down her hair.

French took the same route home every day, taking about 15 minutes to get home in order to attend to her dog's needs. Soon after she should have arrived, her parents became convinced that she had met with foul play and notified police. Within 24 hours, Niagara Regional Police (NRP) had assembled a team and searched the area along her route and found several witnesses who had seen the abduction from different locations, thus giving police a fairly clear picture. In addition, one of Kristen's shoes, recovered from the parking lot, underscored the seriousness of the abduction.

Over the three days of Easter weekend, Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves as they tortured, raped and sodomized Kristen French, forcing her to drink large amounts of alcohol and to behave submissively to Bernardo. At Bernardo's trial, Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan said that Bernardo always intended to kill her because she was never blindfolded and was capable of identifying her captors.

While Bernardo was out buying pizza on April 18 he was spotted by Kerry Patrich (see below), whom he had stalked the previous month. Her report to NRP was mishandled by police, as noted by Judge Archie Campbell in his 1995 inquiry into the police investigation of Bernardo's crimes, thus negating any chance of Kristen French's being discovered at the Bernardo house.

The following day, the couple murdered French before going to the Homolkas' for Easter dinner. Homolka testified at her trial that Bernardo had strangled French for exactly seven minutes while she watched. Bernardo said Homolka beat her with a rubber mallet because she had tried to escape and that French ended up being strangled on a noose tied around her neck secured to a hope chest. Immediately thereafter, Homolka went to fix her hair.

French's nude body was found in a ditch on April 30, 1992 in Burlington, approximately 45 minutes from St. Catharines, and a short distance from the cemetery where Leslie Mahaffy is buried. She had been washed and her hair had been cut off. It was originally thought that the hair was removed as a trophy, but Homolka testified that the hair had been cut to impede identification.

Read more about this topic:  Paul Bernardo, "Schoolgirl Killer" Murders

Other articles related to "kristen french, french, kristen":

Kristen French - Aftermath
... While French was missing, her fellow students, teachers and friends at Holy Cross Secondary School chose the Green Ribbon of Hope as the symbol for their search ... French's school community also gave the name to the Green Ribbon of Hope Campaign, a national campaign continued to this day by Child Find Canada, governments, organizations and ... A monument to Kristen's memory stands at the beginning of the trail ...

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