Karla Homolka's presence in Chateauguay leaves residents divided
On the Chateauguay street where Karla Homolka now lives, several people have mixed feelings about the presence of a convicted murderer in their neighbourhood.
“This is a very quiet place and we don't want these people around,” said neighbour Madeleine Tessier.
But others describe Homolka, who now goes by Leanne Bordelais, and her husband as good, low-key neighbours.
“They have two friendly children that I see playing on the street, but I never see the parents,” says Lise Laberge.
None of the residents we spoke to could shake the horrors associated with her crime, however. In 1994, Homolka was sentenced to 12 years in prison after striking a deal with prosecutors for her role in the murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French at the hands of her ex-husband Paul Bernardo.
News broke Tuesday that Homolka and her family have been living in Chateauguay for two years.
“We don't need... Not that it would happen, but we don't need any more nonsense around here and people won't take it with kids, they don't want her, you know,” said neighbour Bruce Richter.
No one responded when CTV rang her doorbell Wednesday, and she instead called police.
At the nearby Centennial Park Elementary where she sends her children, parents have mixed feelings.
“Obviously, you know, it gives you - alarms go up when your kids go to this school, so you are nervous, it's normal. But, you know, I’m still not sure how to take it,” said parent Shawn Blenman.
Without naming her, the school reassured parents that Homolka couldn't work or volunteer at the school even if she wanted to.
“The school board has policies in place to ensure that adults who work or volunteer directly with our students are required to have had criminal background checks,” parents were told in a memo. The school has also set up a team of psychologists and counsellors to provide support to parents and students.
Still, parents and citizens like Gail Proulx insist their anger isn't directed at Homolka's children.
“It’s not their fault. I mean people are going to gather, they're going to look, and they’re going to say things. What are these kids going to go through? They don't deserve that,” she said.