Top News

Lawyer: Bernardo 'probably' murdered Elizabeth Bain


With Robert Baltovich acquitted Tuesday of killing his girlfriend Elizabeth Bain, some 18 years after her disappearance, his lawyer again pointed the finger at Canada's most notorious inmate: Paul Bernardo. Although the man convicted in the sadistic sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls has denied killing Bain, lawyer James Lockyer insists Bernardo is "probably" responsible for the death of the 22-year-old.

TORONTO - With Robert Baltovich acquitted Tuesday of killing his girlfriend Elizabeth Bain, some 18 years after her disappearance, his lawyer again pointed the finger at Canada's most notorious inmate: Paul Bernardo.

Although the man convicted in the sadistic sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls has denied killing Bain, lawyer James Lockyer insists Bernardo is "probably" responsible for the death of the 22-year-old.

Baltovich's retrial on a charge of second-degree murder saw the Crown, in an unexpected and sensational move, tell the court Tuesday it had no case against the 42-year-old librarian.

It took only minutes for the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

If the trial had gone forward, Lockyer planned to present evidence about a series of violent sexual assaults that Bernardo committed in an area close to where Bain lived. Lockyer would have suggested Bernardo had the opportunity to abduct the University of Toronto student based on his pattern of sadistic attacks.

"My view on Bernardo's participation in this crime is that he probably committed the crime," Lockyer said outside court Tuesday. "But can I say that it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt? No I couldn't.

"But I think he probably did it and I think the evidence shows he probably did it."

Lockyer pointed the finger at Bernardo as the possible culprit during Baltovich's appeal in 2004.

Bernardo has never been charged in Bain's disappearance.

The trial that ended so abruptly Tuesday was ordered by the Appeal Court after it overturned Baltovich's original second-degree murder conviction.

Following a pretrial motion heard earlier this year, Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs ruled he would have accepted evidence related to Bernardo if it had been proven in court previously. Any other unproven claims would have been inadmissible.

Court would have heard that Bernardo admitted he was the so-called "Scarborough Rapist" who committed at least 14 brutal sexual assaults over a four-year span in east-end Toronto, where Bain lived and went to school.

The last attack, which McCombs called the most sickening of them all, came just three weeks before Bain disappeared on June 19, 1990.

Just after midnight on May 26, 1990, a 19-year-old woman was grabbed in public, cut along her jaw line and dragged to an area where she was bound and sexually assaulted three times.

Court documents indicate the defence would have claimed there was "an air of reality to the suggestion that Paul Bernardo murdered Bain" and a "sufficient connection" between her disappearance and crimes he previously committed.

In his ruling, McCombs also said he feared any unproven allegations linked to Bernardo's history as a "violent sexual predator" threatened to derail the trial and that he wouldn't allow them as evidence.

Among evidence deemed inadmissible at Baltovich's retrial was testimony from several witnesses, including one of Bernardo's ex-girlfriends. She claimed she introduced Bernardo to Bain about four or five years before her disappearance.

The woman was also expected to testify that Bernardo had "strong feelings of resentment toward a woman who looked a lot like Elizabeth Bain."

Recent Stories