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A Notorious Canadian Serial Killer Wrote an E-Book — And People Are Pissed at Amazon for Publishing It

Paul Bernardo published the novel, A MAD World Order, as an Amazon e-book this week, and it’s been met with near-universal derision.
Justin Ling
Montreal, CA
November 13, 2015, 5:53pm
Image via CP

There's nothing to stop infamous Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo from making money from the e-book he published this week. Given the reviews, however, he might not be raking in that much cash anyway.

Bernardo published the novel, A MAD World Order, as an Amazon e-book this week, and it's been met with near-universal derision.

Of the 261 reviews on Amazon, the vast majority are one-star comments calling on the site to pull the novel.

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"REMOVE THIS OUT OF RESPECT FOR HIS VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES!!!" reads one.

petition on Change.org was created by a local Toronto radio station, calling on Amazon to pull the book. By Friday afternoon, it was a few hundred signatures short of its 2,500 goal.

It's not immediately clear how many copies of the book have actually sold, but the reviews on Amazon suggest they haven't moved much in the way of volume.

Unlike several American states, Canada has no broad 'Son of Sam' law — a prohibition on convicted criminals making money from their crimes. Four provinces do have laws that forbid criminals from making money from books or films about their crimes, but they don't extend to fiction books, like Bernardo's.

The novel does not bear any resemblance to Bernardo's own crimes, for which he is serving a life sentence in rural Ontario. He was convicted of sexual assault and first degree murder in the deaths of two teenage girls, but it is suspected that he is responsible for a string of other sexual assaults and deaths.

A MAD World Order is a 600-odd page book that, apparently, is about protagonist Mason Steele. Its sprawling and disjointed narrative, however, jumps from the Russian mob, an immersive virtual reality social network, a shadowy Chinese corporate tycoon, a Mexican drug cartel, the National Security Agency, and al Qaeda.

Ultimately, the novel revolves around a geopolitical plot that, between armed drones, dirty bombs, and thermonuclear devices, ultimately appears to level much of the developed world, all in service of a prophecy involving the Illuminati and Knights Templar.

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The novel does, however, involve two scene relating to rape. In one, a Russian agent frames one character by faking a rape scene. In another, a would-be terrorist murders a male sex worker before attempting to set off a nuclear device.

But as Toronto lawyer Ed Prutschi notes in the Toronto Sun, the families of Bernardo's victims could make sure he never sees a dime of his work by bringing a civil lawsuit against him for the murders.

The handful of five-star reviews on Amazon are also from users who didn't buy the book, and who say they don't plan to, but who are applauding Amazon for keeping the book online.

"Amazon publishes OJ Simpson's If I Did It, Charles Manson's autobiography, Hitler's Mein Kampf, and many other deplorable works," writes one reviewer. "It's a slippery slope once you start banning books."

Follow Justin Ling on Twitter: @justin_ling