This morning I was looking at various news feeds (as one does) while avoiding the serious news about the latest disaster in the making coming from the psychopath party in Washington and came across the news that the parents of students at a private school in Montreal are somewhat disturbed that an ex-con has been volunteering at the school.
Normally this sort of shit pisses me right the fuck off. If someone has been released after serving their sentence they shouldn't be automatically stigmatized. Normally my concern for stigmatization of ex-cons is that it sabotages any attempt at re-integration with society at large, and more often than not there's no reason for such a stigma.
In this case? If I were one of the parents, I'd be up in arms myself.
Because the ex-con in this case is Karla Homolka.
For anyone who reads this who doesn't know who that might be, she was the partner of a serial killer in Canada in the early 90s. She was personally and directly involved in the torture, rape, and execution of two teenaged girls, including her then sixteen year old sister. And because sexism, sensationalism and fucking idiocy (If not outright incompetence.) she was allowed to make a plea deal with the prosecution for her testimony, where she presented herself as an unwilling accomplice to her partner's nefarious schemes. In exchange for which she got a sentence that seemed appropriate for someone who presented herself as nearly as much a victim as the two deceased girls.
Cue about two years later. Someone finds a roll of exposed film in the house Homolka had shared with her partner.
Now, it is difficult to properly place context with snapshots - and often there's room for a lot of interpretation between shots. But when someone's plea bargain testimony included things like claiming she never participated in hurting the girls, and the photos show her doing just that, it's. . a little suggestive that maybe her testimony was less than truthful.
Since her partner had been claiming from day one they'd been equal partners in the killings, and hasn't changed since his trial, the benefit of the doubt in my mind is that he's most likely being truthful about that.
Anyways, for legal reasons (which I tend to approve of, even when they lead to abortions of justice like this case) the Canucks coudln't go against the deal they'd made with her for her testimony, and she was released after serving her term.
She married, had a child, moved out of the country, and then seems to have moved back to Montreal, where at least some of her kids are going to a religious school there. And where she has been a chaperone on a field trip, and been involved in some classroom activities. The school claims that they have no way to bar her, but can at the same time say that they've made it policy that she's not to be allowed to be alone with any students. I am. . . underwhelmed by their judgment.
I'm also rather disturbed that it seems the first that the other parents at this school knew of their celebrity chaperone was after the local press broke the story.
Now there's been some talk about how Karla served her time and should be allowed to get on with her life. Which strikes me as utter bullshit - she got away with conning the Canadian Criminal Courts, but to expect me to believe she's actually demonstrated remorse for her crimes is more than I can stomach. Even if she had been fully truthful in her testimony, I'd be leery of allowing her access in a school to minors. Given that I think she pulled one of the greatest cons in criminal history - no fucking way.