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Invisible Darkness: The Strange Case Of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Williams
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Invisible Darkness is the story of one of the more bizarre cases in recent memory--killings so sensational that they prompted the Canadian government, in the interests of justice, to silence its national press and to lock foreign journalists out of the courts.

To all appearances, Paul and Karla Bernardo had a fairytale marriage--beautiful working-class girl weds bright upper-middle-class guy and they buy a fashionable dream house in the suburbs. But, bored with his straight, prestigious accounting job, Paul soon went freelance as an international smuggler. He also revealed his boredom with conventional sex--enough so that, one Christmas Eve, he persuaded his wife to drug her own sister and engage in a menage a trois, during which the sister died (a bungling coroner ruled her death accidental).The couple then upped the ante, kidnapping and imprisoning several high school girls for sexual marathons, which they videotaped before savagely murdering their captives. When the girls' bodies were found, the police were stymied (although Paul had been accused of rape and given a DNA test that vanished for two years and only recently was linked to some fifty sexual-assault cases) until Karla tried to have her husband arrested for wife beating. During questioning, she confessed to the crimes and is now serving two concurrent twelve-year sentences for manslaughter in exchange for testifying against her husband who was jailed for life.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

The horrifying sex murders committed in southern Ontario by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka caught the attention of the media and public of Canada like few, if any, cases in that country's history. Readers of either of the two previous books about the case (Deadly Innocence and Lethal Marriage) may be skeptical that another retelling is necessary, but Invisible Darkness benefits from Stephen Williams's prodigious research and his unique perspective on Karla's culpability. Williams had to jump several legal hurdles unique to Canada's "Crown disclosure" protocols, but eventually was able to gain access to more than 70 hours of videotaped police interviews with Karla, interviews with Paul by his defense attorney, and even psychiatrist's notes. Williams uses vivid vignettes to tell the story, and refrains from unnecessarily graphic details about the crimes. As the Winnipeg Free Press writes, "If any readers still believe [Homolka] was a victim of post-traumatic stress, abused into submission by Bernardo, this will put that idea to rest."


"By far the most intelligent and subversive of the Bernardo triptych." -- Lynn Crosbie, The Globe and Mail, Dec. 1997

"I found Invisible Darkness a superior example of a dying breed the straight, unhyped, literate work of true-crime." -- Jack Olsen, Edgar-Award winning author of Son and Doc, Jan, 1999

"If any readers still believe she was a victim of post-traumatic stress, abused into submission by Bernardo, this book will put that idea to rest." -- Ted Wakefield, The Winnipeg Free Press, Sep. 1996

"Invisible Darkness offers up Karla Homolka, 17 years old at the time she met Paul Bernardo, as a Devil Incarnate just waiting to meet her Svengali." -- Maggie Siggins, The Globe and Mail, Aug. 1996

"Readers will leave Invisible Darkness knowing that it's nothing short of obscene.....Homolka could be out of prison as early as next year." -- Leonard Stern, The Ottawa Citizen, Sep. 1996

"There is much in this book of merit....He begins intriguingly....with a nun waking up to see a pert Karla Homolka sitting in bed beside her....One moment in the book, Bernardo and Homolka are two suburbanites...caught up in their own melodramas, the next moment they're raping teenagers and severing heads." -- Pete McMartin, The Vancouver Sun, Aug. 1996

"This book lets it all hang out....You can't help but be drawn in by this tale of sex, death, lies and videotape...." -- Helen Dolik, The Calgary Herald, Sep. 1996

"Williams has performed a remarkable, if unconventional, feat in the annals of true crime." -- Judge Lynn King, The Toronto Star, Sep. 1996

"You may think you've heard enough but you haven't heard the half of it. It's a must read ....Based on court well as countless interviews with police, lawyers, psychiatrists and friends of Paul and Karla, it is well-researched and thought-provoking." -- Bart Johnson, The Edmonton Sun, Sep. 1996

Product Details

  • File Size: 1718 KB
  • Print Length: 555 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 055356854X
  • Publisher: Bantam (October 14, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SE641A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,965 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Facts Well Balanced May 21, 2001
By mystuff
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unlike some of the other books about Paul and Karla Bernardo, this book balances the facts, and the blame for the horrific murders, fairly.
The story seems to be told from an unbiased point of view and delves into the early lives of both Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo offering the reader a greater insight into the minds of these two coldblooded killers.
The book is a disturbing read because it deals with horrendous crimes but in my opinion, it is the best of the books written to date about this deadly duo.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read, bracingly fascinating September 24, 2000
True evil is not glamorous,colorful, or even all that noticeable. This book captures this notion at all different angles. It is a documentary account, written with little editorial content that draws the reader to Paul and Karla and makes one ask "Why"? Mr Williams accounts of the criminals, the heartbreak of the families, and a soliphistic legal system is outstanding, and makes this a higly entertaining, and both troubling read. The accounts of Paul and Karla's behavior is of course beyond stomach turning, but the author is able to report in a way that makes each horror more than speak for itself. My only quibble is that Paul and Karla's family backgrounds are not covered more extensively, but then again maybe that is the point. Too much information leaves the reader not searching for answers, and this is what will make me re-read this extra-ordinary true crime book again to determine what factors can make such ordinary people go on a crime spree such as Paul and Karla.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolting March 5, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story of the monstrous Paul Bernardo and his disgusting and self-serving psychopathic wife Karla Homolka is enough to gag a maggot and send readers screaming for a series of scalding showers. The story itself is so nauseating, so repulsive, that it almost begs the question of why anyone would even want to write it down.
Nevertheless, if you can stomach the facts of the case (and many will not be able to do so) this is a well-written, clear and disinterested piece of reporting. I don't remember when I have been as repelled by a couple of perps as by these two. Particularly engaging is the elegant frou-frou wedding in upscale Niagara-on-the-Lake, which Homolka forced on her parents even as they grieved the death of their young daughter whom the bride and groom had killed just months before in one of their squirrely, drug-fueled sex games.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Disturbing....The victims will haunt you August 26, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many, many books on true crime and this one of the MOST disturbing, perplexing cases I have heard of. This story brought tears to my eyes especially in the chapters that focus (in full graphic detail)on the rapes and torture of these young girls.If they were still alive today these girls would be about a year or 2 younger then me and I can't help but think of my younger self in the early 1990's. My heart was literally breaking for these families, at many points I had to put the book down because I felt it was revealing too much....but tragically it is all to true... Even after finishing this book I am still thinking about these 3 beautiful lives that were ended by the pure evil of others.I cannot imagine the jury and prosecuters having to watch these tapes.I feel Stephen Williams does an excellent job in portraying Karla AND Paul as equally responsible in their crimes..I mean HOW much can someone make YOU do???? To rape your sister? Molest and rape 2 girls? To help dismember a body?...yes Karla may have been abused but does that excuse her in abusing others????I felt that some other books on the case were more sympathetic to Karla yet Williams stays more factual and allows us to see the whole scope of this horrific crime...I do have to warn: NOT for the faint of is compelling and emotional
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, graphic, and detailed...BUT March 7, 2003
By Rebecca
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book I've read in the Bernardo/Homolka series. Deadly Innocence was the other one I read, and found it to be a chilling account, extremely well written and comprehensive. Invisible Darkeness wasn't as well-written and comprehensive. It seemed like Williams had written up a bunch of notes and then just stuck them all together haphazardly. As a writer, I had some problems with grammar and structure in this book. Williams is not a great writer by any means. Sometimes I found myself shaking my head wondering what the heck he was talking about.
However, what I did love about this book was the fine detail and how it told the truth about Karla. The other books kind of painted her as the victim. She was not a victim, she was one of the perps. Williams was very clear in pointing that out. While the other book sometimes glossed over the details, this book got down to the nitty-gritty. Very difficult to read. I thought Deadly Innocence told the whole story, but this book told so much more. For example, the truth about Karla's parents and how nutty they were. The night Tammy Lyn died, they went to bed and had sex??? They gave Karla a going away BBQ party before she went off to jail? I mean, how morbidly inappropriate are these people? It just gave me the sense that they had NO conscience, no morals, no sense of right and wrong at all. Sick sick people. They just DO NOT CARE. I also found it very frustrating that the cops had all this evidence on Paul during the Scarbourough rapes, the plate numbers on his car and everything, and he was never arrested.
I guess I am fascinated with this case because it happened in Canada. And Leslie and Kristen were 15 in 1991 just like I was. I could have gone to school with them. They could have been my friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read about 2 evil serial sex killers
Wonderful Book about the serial killing team of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. They both sexually assaulted, raped, sodomized and murdered three teenage girls, Tammy Lyn Homolka... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars The thing about the paul Bernardo and Karla Homoka that ...
The thing about the Paul Bernardo and Karla Homoka that fascinates me the most is that all of this sordid going on was somewhere near Niagara Falls. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Giovanni Iuliani
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good book.
Published 6 months ago by douig
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic Tale of Canadian Monsters
About the serial sexual, killer duo that rocked Canada in the early 1990s. Very immediate, novelistic approach standard to true crime writing of the era. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Darth Cthulhu
4.0 out of 5 stars deeply disturbing although with some unanswered questions
Being originally from Southern Ontario, although having left before most of the events described in this book, I was quite horrified by this whole story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Ash
1.0 out of 5 stars Editing for Kindle Edition is Horrendous!
I have this in paperback and enjoyed the read so I purchased it for my Kindle. Bad mistake. The editing is beyond horrible! Paragraphs mixed together, jammed up words, ect. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Candace Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Hard to stomach even now 25+ years later since the whole story began. Author has done a very meticulous job. True life can be worse than what we could ever imagine.
Published 12 months ago by Mrs Fluffurs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but twisted details!
The book was well written and tells the story the public never heard. The details are almost too much to read, they are so disturbing. I don't want to read another book like this.
Published 13 months ago by Tammy Lawson
2.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Story, Very Poorly Written
The case of Paul and Karla Bernado is horrifying. He grew up in a strange, unstable, abusive home. She grew up in a nice home and was spoiled rotten. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SFReader
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read
Good detail about one of the most bizarre and deadly relationships in Canadian history. The police bungled the investigation and these two could have been caught much sooner.
Published 14 months ago by Leopold Amsterdam
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