Arjun Singh, Student, FIMS. OPENWIDE Volume 16 Issue 3
Anyone should be able to write a book. I mean, there are published writers out there whom I personally think should not be allowed to write ever, but that’s another discussion for another day. As far as Paul Bernardo the author is concerned, things are a bit complicated.
Paul Bernardo is not just any aspiring writer.
He is the infamous Canadian serial killer, who along with Karla Homolka, killed Leslie Mahaffy, Tammy Homolka and Kristen French. He has been in jail for those murders since September 1, 1995. He is also labelled a dangerous offender, which means that he is unlikely to ever be released. As a psychopath with a score of 35/40 on the Psychopathy Checklist, he is deemed to be one of the worst of the worst. He is also allegedly seeing a woman who has been writing letters to him, and they are now engaged.
Paul Bernardo wrote a book that was published by Amazon as an e-book, and sold for $7.77.
The book is titled “A MAD World Order” and is a 631-page violent fictional thriller that refers to Illuminati, and explores the Mexican drug cartel and Russian militants. The book is about Russia’s quest to become a world power again. Critics hated it and universally panned it for bad plot and writing.
When his lawyer was contacted, his lawyer confirmed that he knew his client was writing a book. Things get even worse. Correctional Service of Canada stated that the book does not talk about Paul’s crimes specifically, but they are unsure how he managed to write a 631-page book from prison, as federal inmates don’t have access to Internet or email.
How did Paul Bernardo manage to write a book and have it published without Internet, email and assistance?
He is not exactly winning the “Most Popular Inmate of the Year” award in his prison, and regardless of that, he is placed in the segregation unit, which means that he has very limited interaction. Is his lawyer involved? Is he reconnecting with Karla Homolka and somehow getting her to help him? These are the questions that need to be answered, as this publishing incident has made people uneasy and less trusting of the Correctional Service of Canada.
In regards to the book, I find it a little awkward. The book’s plot is messy and not something I would personally want to read. What I do want to see is the author’s biography section of this book. What will it say? “I am Paul Bernardo, Scarborough rapist and infamous killer in St. Catherine’s, former partner of Karla Homolka and a confirmed psychopath?” I personally wouldn’t add this book to my collection.
Amazon has been criticized for allowing Paul to sell his book on their site, where he is able to keep as much as 70% of the royalties.
Every business has certain independence, but this is a bad decision of their part. Amazon tried to rectify the situation, but no one is sure if they removed the book, or if Paul Bernardo himself stopped selling through Amazon. The big question here is, where does the money go? Correctional Service of Canada made it clear that no inmate can profit from their crimes, but the book is a work of fiction. What happens to the money? Paul is not getting out of prison anytime soon (he is not eligible for parole until July 2020 but being a dangerous offender means he may never get out) so he is not exactly saving for retirement. Is this his way of raising money for his “fiancée”?
As far as the money is concerned, it should not go back to Paul Bernardo because that is horrible and more importantly, he doesn’t really need it. But, where can it go?
A potential option is charity but I find it hard to believe that any charity would be willing to take a donation from Paul Bernardo.
In conclusion, it is a shame that Paul was able to publish a book, and unfortunately, no one has satisfactory answers for how he was able to do so. Amazon should really think over who they allow to sell books on their site, and Corrections Canada needs to investigate how Paul wrote a book without being granted access to things like internet and email. There might be an inside person or something else. Actually, that is a novel I would love to read. It is truly said, “truth is stranger than fiction.”