Paul Bernardo's London bride-to-be 'confused and conflicted' 0
LONDON, Ont. -- She's trapped between what she feels is love and what she should know is reality.
The woman who made plans to marry Paul Bernardo cries when she talks about her feelings for the serial rapist and killer.
"If I could go back in time and find another person ... there are things that should not have happened. When you don't know certain things and you feel a certain way," she says, her voice trailing off with the arrival of tears.
Three interviews with the woman and several interviews with family and friends paint a picture of a brilliant but troubled and lonely person who has travelled so far down a dangerous path that it's unclear if she can turn back.
"I am a little bit confused and conflicted," she says, even after a week of hearing from her family about the real Paul Bernardo. "I didn't ... realize the situation."
Born into a middle-class family, the woman sailed through school.
But after Grade 10, one friend says, the straight-arrow student began hanging out with a rough crowd and an abusive boyfriend who did drugs.
That began a pattern of leaving her old friends for new groups.
Late last year, a serious relationship ended. About that time, she first contacted Bernardo.
"He's a nice person," she says of Bernardo.
She deflects, time and again, direct questions about her plans to marry. Her answers could be a sign of innocence, or subterfuge, or both -- equally heartbreaking.
"To plan a wedding, that's a very big deal. In order to get married you have to get a church and a wedding planner," she says. "Little girls grow up dreaming of some fairy tale wedding."