February 02, 2006

Robert Pickton: Canada's Worst Alleged Serial Killer

photo | 68 Vancouver women have gone missing since 1978First-degree murder charges have been laid in the largest serial killer case in Canadian history. 27 women have disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside between 1995 and 2002.

The prime suspect, Port Coquitlam pig farmer Robert "Willy " Pickton, has been in custody since his arrest in February 2002. In British Columbia Supreme Court in New Westminster on January 30th, 2006, Pickton pleaded not guilty to 26 of the 27 charges. Canada does not have the death penalty, so Pickton faces multiple consecutive life sentences if convicted.

The number of at-risk women missing from Downtown Vancouver since 1978 stands at a shocking 68. DNA from 31 of those women was found on the Pickton property by investigators.

How did it ever get that far?

Relatives of deceased women whose remains have been found on the Pickton pig farm have vocally criticized the Vancouver Police and the joint V.P.D./RCMP Missing Women Task Force for an initially "shoddy" response to women going missing, or for apparently not taking earlier complaints about the pig farm seriously enough.

Quotes from the Vancouver Metro, January 31, 2006:
"These women were victimized by a system that is intent on marginalizing them."
"...every time we read of hear about the case, the same issue comes up: many of the women he stands accused of killing were drug addicted prostitutes from the troubled Downtown Eastside... I keep wondering why is it that the media keep bringing that up as if it was the only thing that defined them. These were women who were also mothers, daughters, friends, they worked, they loved, and they deserve the same protection as everyone else. ...If we allow the police and state to make judgements that justify the violence committed, then we're treating them as "disposable" women."
Could a controversial Geographical Profiling method have identified the prime suspect sooner? Ex-V.P.D. officer Mr. Kim Rossmo thought so back in 2001, and testified so in a civil trial against members of the Vancouver Police Department. Mr. Rossmo had earlier suggested that a serial killer might be responsible for the disappearances, but some of his superiors in the Vancouver Police publicly denied this theory, and fought his promotion.

In 1996, then Detective Inspector Kim Rossmo, was a 16-year Vancouver police veteran whose research in geographic profiling attracted world-wide attention. He earned a Doctorate for his thesis, "Geographic Profiling: Target Patterns of Serial Murderers". At the time, he was the first Vancouver police officer to graduate with a Doctoral degree. Since then, his geographic profiling technique and related software tools have piqued the interest of the F.B.I. and Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, the Crown has probably done as thorough an investigation of Pickton's property as possible, painstakingly sifting DNA and other evidence out of the acres of dirt on the Pickton pig farm. This will be a messy and gruesome affair, but relatives and friends of the missing women have been waiting for this process to begin for a long time.

History and Timeline:

News Sources:
Some Related Social Commentary:

5 comments:

: JustaDog said...

If caught, the liberal justice system will not put this person to death. His worse-case punishment?

Free Cable TV
Free healthcare
Free dental
Free meals
Free room and board
Free phone calls
Free laundry
Free .....

Well - free for him, not the taxpayers there. Very similar to the liberalized justice system in the USA. How odd, the victums and the innocent pay the way for these scumbags.

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention that Pickton was in business with the VPD buying old cars off the department and that VPD officers partied at his place as well.

Also, other missing persons male's DNA, where also found at the pig farm namely a native carver who was bothering the merchants of Robson street that the police where asked to deal with.

ejohn said...

This is the first I have ever heard about cops partying at the Pickton place. Very interesting. Is there documentation or is this hearsay?

Anonymous said...

they should get rid of this dirty white trash already

E. John Love said...

Maybe you're expressing some media burnout...? But, isn't it more complicated than just "take out the (white) trash"? It's a frustratingly long process, but it needs to be that way. There are a lot of lives affected and a boatload of evidence to deal with.

Granted, Pickton's at the centre of things, with heaps of evidence weighing against him, but something of this kind of scope (the alleged murder of dozens and dozens of women!) usually has many other people who directly or indirectly contributed or enabled the events and situations too. Like, what role, if any, do Pickton's family and friends or some of the Piggy Palace partyers, have to play in all this?

And anyway, this trial is, I believe, just for the first 6 counts of murder. There's another trial (or trials?) which will deal with the other 20 counts. We're going to be watching and hearing about the Pickton farm and the missing women for years to come.