Two years after the book’s publication in Toronto and New York the police decided that Mr. Williams could not have written certain passages in Invisible Darkness unless he had seen videotapes restricted by a judge’s order during Paul Bernardo’s 1995 trial.
Mr. Williams was criminally charged with two counts, disobeying a court order, a first in North American cultural history. If convicted Mr. Williams faced as many as four years in prison. He was acquitted on November 30, 2000.
Now in its 35th printing Invisible Darkness has become an international bestseller. Writing in the Halifax Herald Chronicle, Professor George Elliott Clark said “ The True Crime genre is, in the hands of artists like Truman Capote and Stephen Williams, a kind of poetry, a kind of austere grand guignol, exuding gaudy horror.”
The poet and novelist Lynn Crosbie, writing in the Globe and Mail said that Invisible Darkness was “by far the most intelligent and subversive of the Bernardo triptych.”
In dozens of newspapers and magazines throughout North America, reviewers described Invisible Darkness as a superlative example of the genre. Madame Justice Lynn King, writing in the Toronto Star said "Williams has performed a remarkable, if unconventional, feat in the annals of true crime"
Jack Olsen, the multiple Edgar-award winning author of Son and Doc and thirty other celebrated works of true crime, wrote that “Invisible Darkness a superior example of a dying breed – the straight, un-hyped, literate work of true-crime.”
Invisible Darkness has been the basis for a number of television documentaries on the case, including those made by CBC’s “Fifth Estate,” MSNBC’s “Crime Files” and HBO’s “Autopsy.”
Invisible Darkness is the definitive work on the bizarre and troubling case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. It is the only source of accurate, unbiased information about their crimes, the bungled police investigations and the unconscionable deals made with Karla Homolka.
If you are a true crime buff, a jurist, a law enforcement person, or simply interested in the ways of God to Man, Man to Man or Man to Woman, then Invisible Darkness is a must read.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT INVISIBLE DARKNESS
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
"By far the most intelligent and subversive of the Bernardo triptych."
- Lynn Crosbie, THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"Williams has performed a remarkable, if unconventional, feat in the annals of true crime."
- Judge Lynn King, THE TORONTO STAR
"You may think you've heard enough but you haven't heard the half of it. It's a must read ....Based on court documents....as 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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
FROM INSIDE THE FRONT FLAP
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 fairy-tale 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.
Contact the Canadian Publisher: Little, Brown & Co. Canada, Toronto
Contact the American publisher: Bantam Books, New York