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Kristen French’s Mother Speaks Out At Crime Conference

For many families who have lost loved ones to crime, they live with the anguish of their loss everyday.

Donna French, the mother of Kristen French, who was tortured and murdered by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka in 1992, is one of those left to suffer.

“Not a day goes by I’m not filled with thoughts of Kristen. The emptiness is all encompassing,” French said.

She was speaking and sharing personal, painful memories at the Orillia O.P.P general headquarters Thursday.

She was invited to speak at the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System (ViCLAS) symposium. The two-day event gathers law enforcement from across the country.

ViCLAS is an international program to assist police in identifying serial, violent offenders. The system helps bridge the gap between police forces and links cases based on physical, verbal and sexual behaviour.

ViClAS ensures every investigator in Canada uses the same language when referring to a specific case, in order to look for common threads.

For Donna French, her daughter Kristen and the rest of her family, this program comes too late. Kristen’s death has decimated her spirit.

“The details of Kristen’s captivity wiped me out. I had no idea such evil existed. Each detail (of the trial) seemed to physically assault me. Day after day, I would listen to graphic details and try to avoid looking at explicit pictures.”

“A person is not just a statistic,” she said. “A person is life itself.”