Sound Familiar? Rapist-Murderer Complains He's Misunderstood

Kristen French

No, I'm not talking about Cleveland's Ariel "I'm not a monster" Castro.

Now Canada's most hated man -- serial rapist, sex slave "master" and child killer Paul Bernardo -- is mad because the media is telling "lies" about him.

Plus he wants to be moved from maximum to medium security because those "mistakes" he made happened "years ago" or something.

That these glib, narcissistic men sound shockingly alike comes as no surprise, of course.

Rather than dwell on the likes of Castro or Bernardo -- or his equally guilty wife Karla Homolka, who is now free (and a mother) thanks to what we call "the deal with the devil" -- I'd prefer to concentrate on one of his victims.

It's something we always promise we'll do, isn't it? Remember the victims.

Kathleen Norris's exquisitely written classic of modern spirituality, The Cloister Walk, includes a moving meditation about one fifteen-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Bernardo and Homolka.

(Whose raped and murdered younger sister is the one Lena Dunham joked about dressing up as for Halloween, by the way.)

The only flaw in this otherwise impeccable chapter is that Kathleen Norris, an American, makes a mistake no Canadian would:

She misspells the girl's name.

I've taken the liberty of correcting it, below.

Her name was Kristen French...

A recent Newsweek contains a grim account of a married couple in Canada who habitually kidnapped, tortured, raped and sometimes murdered teenage girls. Because they videotaped their victims, the defiance of one fifteen-year-old, Kristen French, is on record. “Ordered to perform a particular sex act,” the article notes, “she refused, insisting, ‘Some things are worth dying for.’” The girl never gave in, even when her tormenters showed her the videotaped death of another of their victims. (…)

The mystery of holiness infuses such defiance. I am haunted by the idea that Kristen French’s killers may have responded to this spark of holiness in her. They had dismembered the corpse of a fourteen-year-old girl they’d killed the year before. It was a videotape of her death that they showed to Kristen French in an attempt to intimidate her into submission. This may signify nothing at all, but it is the stuff of hagiography: The body of Kristen French they buried intact.