Briere, Bernardo get new pal – Canada’s worst rapist

Kingston PenitentiaryMichael Briere raped and murdered 10-year-old Holly Jones because he was consumed with desire after looking at child pornography. Paul Bernardo was driven by deviant fantasies of torturing women. He murdered teenagers Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and raped dozens of other women. Selva Subbiah drugged and raped hundreds of women to feed his sexual perversions. Now these predators have something in common. They’re together in the same miserable cellblock of maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary that houses the lowest of the low, the sex offenders, child molesters and killers who can’t survive among their own kind.

Bernardo, Briere and Subbiah
From left, Paul Bernardo, Michael Briere, Selva Subbiah

These three are now together in Lower H, a super secure segregation cellblock of Canada’s oldest penitentiary because Subbiah recently checked himself into the unit, prison sources have told me. Subbiah, who is serving a 24-year sentence for beating, drugging and raping women, asked for a cell in Lower H, apparently for protection from the roughly 400 or so other convicts at Kingston Pen. Prisoners in Lower H don’t mingle with the rest of the inmate population. They are completely isolated. They spend most of their days locked in their cells, typically for 23 hours a day, and when they do get out for recreation, it’s to a secure, separate recreation yard. Bernardo, who has been at KP since 1995, is cocooned in an added layer of protection, because of several attempts by fellow convicts to get at him – he was punched in the face in December 1996 and he was drenched with mop water thrown through the bars of his cell in an attack that prompted the installation of a plexiglass front.

Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy, Holly Jones
From left, Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy, Holly Jones

Rapists like Subbiah don’t generally have a problem living in the general population of a place like Kingston Penitentiary, which has long housed many of the most vile offenders, including child killers like Briere, who abducted, raped and dismembered Holly on May 12, 2003 in Toronto.  Those convicts wouldn’t last a day in the maximum-security unit of a place like Millhaven pen, where sex offenders and child molesters are despised by the biker gang members and mob hitmen. But at KP, deviants are run-of-the-mill. At one time, about 40% of the prison’s population was sex offenders, but Corrections authorities have been trying to normalize the population, so that KP is no longer viewed as a protective custody prison. My sources tell me that Subbiah established a reputation inside KP as a mouthy and arrogant character who could easily annoy his fellow convicts or who could easily piss off the wrong person. His flight to Lower H for protection is a stigma that won’t soon dissipate and it could be that he’ll have to spend the rest of his sentence in segregation. Convicts who have spent time in Lower H develop a reputation in the prison system as “PC” cons who can’t be trusted. Subbiah has been ordered detained until his sentence expires in January 2017. He’ll be deported to his native Malaysia as soon as he’s freed.

» Briere pleads guilty
» Chronology of the Holly Jones case
» Timeline in the Bernardo case
» All coverage of Subbiah

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