Karla gave Paul everything he wanted, including her younger sister. When he wanted more, she gave and gave until finally, he gave her a beating that almost killed her.
Everyone saw the picture. It was on the front page of all the newspapers. Paul had hit her so hard on the back of her head with one of those big, black, steel flashlights that her eyeballs almost popped out and a mask of bruising welled up around her sockets. The doctor said it was the worst case of abuse he had ever seen.
When things had been better between them, before the atrocities began, Karla had sent Paul a love note that said “All men are not alike... You are so special, you mean so much to me... amo nunquam obliviscar.”
Amo nunquam obliviscar – Latin for “Oath of Love, never to be forgotten.”
But he did forget.
Now, monitored by the same video technology with which he was so obsessed when they were together, day by day, month by month, year by year, Paul wastes away in a tiny cell in the Kingston Penitentiary’s segregation unit with Karla’s amo nunquam obliviscar eating his brain. It’s a cinch he’s never going to forget that broken oath now – at least not as long as he is compos mentis.
It only took Paul a few years to betray Karla. It took the prison authorities seven. Instead of packing up her belongings and getting ready to move to the Elizabeth Fry Society’s halfway house on the outskirts of tony Westmount in Montreal, Karla found herself unpacking her posters and pictures in a tiny cell of her own, this one on Cellblock A in the Regional Reception Center at Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines in the province of Quebec.
Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines is a complex of correctional service facilities near the small rural town of the same name, about a fifty-minute drive directly north from downtown Montreal. A bunker-like compound made up of different pods that are distinguished only by the level and severity of the inhabitants’ security classifications, it sits back off the road in the middle of a vast cornfield.