Robert William Pickton
Serial Killer Robert William Pickton – The Pig Farm Killer
A pig farmer by trade, Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam BC, is currently before the courts charged with the first degree murders of twenty-six women. Pickton is on trial for six of the murders, yet on the first day of his trial it was alleged that Robert Pickton confessed to an undercover cop that he was one kill short of 50. Pickton stated to the police officer that he didn’t get his goal and was only caught because he had gotten “sloppy”.
Pickton was already known to police for his wild parties thrown on his property under the guise of a registered charity called the Piggy Palace Good Times Society. The non-profit society had an official mandate to “organize, co-ordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organizations, sports organizations and other worthy groups.” But according to court evidence these events were little more than wild rave parties complete with Downtown East-side prostitutes, who were the favourite target of Pickton.
Pickton was nabbed as part of an investigation into illegal firearms at the property owned by Pickton. Police later obtained a second court search order as part of the larger BC Missing Women Investigation. This was a result of some personal items belonging to a missing woman being found on his property.
Police would later comb every square inch of the pig farm property and others associated with Pickton in search of evidence. Forensic analysis conducted by specialists was very slow and methodical. Evidence of his crimes was hard to nail down as it is alleged that Pickton fed his victims to his pigs. It is also been uncovered that Pickton may have combined human flesh with ground pork from his farm, and later given it out to friends and visitors to the farm.
Pickton pleaded not guilty to all charges of first-degree murder brought against him. The trial is ongoing. Robert Pickton is Canada’s worst serial killer. For the murdered women, the public and law enforcement are left in a bad situation, hoping Pickton will confess to the missing bodies but left without any bargaining leverage to offer. But how far Pickton can leverage these secrets may sour public opinion even more.
The excavation of the pig farm cost the Canadian government almost $70 million. In addition to these costs, the ongoing trial costs and government employees make Pickton an expensive killer to bring to Canadian justice. The witnesses and evidence organization for a jury trial for the total suspected victim pool of Pickton’s would have broken the bank. His trial and Supreme Court appeals have focused public attention on the criminal justice system costs for serial murder cases.
Pickton’s habitual trip to market included serial farming of female corpses and (allegedly) feeding the remains to the pigs. Like many serial killers, Pickton’s trial has made him a strangely countercultural folk hero. Varying women ending their lives as pork sausage throughout the British Columbia area elicited fear and panic. But the legal wrangling that is now usual when serial killers become incarcerated had elided many cases of the official charges against Pickton. Of the forty nine murders he was originally looked at for, Pickton ended up only with weight of eight of them sticking thus far.
Pickton was on trial for six of the murders, with evidence getting some cases kicked out. Yet on the first day of his trial it was alleged that Robert Pickton confessed to an undercover cop that he was one kill short of 50. Pickton smirked when the verdict was read, and second degree murder was reached in a few counts.
Pickton was already known to police for his wild parties thrown on his property under the guise of a registered charity called the Piggy Palace Good Times Society. Porcine promotion and catering was a tangible theme of these events. This organization provided a shield for the pig farm activities and blended a nightlife lifestyle which provided victims with the porcine husbandry that answered the need to get rid of the bodies.
Pickton’s non-profit society had an official mandate to “organize, co-ordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organizations, sports organizations and other worthy groups.” Canadian officials had to issue a tainted meat warning after the farm was searched and evidence discovered.
But according to court evidence these “social” events were little more than wild rave parties complete with Downtown East-side prostitutes, who were the preferred victims of Pickton. The access afforded Pickton to these types of targets was shielded by his “society” event planning. For a serial killer like Pickton, a ruse that masked his cruising for victims put him in hog heaven. And the red-light district, a favorite of many serial killers, afforded maximum protection from detection since those denizens wanted their activities shielded from police anyway.
Pressing the flesh wasn’t Pickton’s only gift. His confederates ended up being his end. Pickton was nabbed as part of an investigation into illegal firearms at the property owned by Pickton. Police later obtained a second court search order as part of the larger BC Missing Women Investigation. This was a result of some personal items belonging to a missing woman being found on his property. These legal minutiae have resulted in a series of Supreme Court appeals by Pickton after the verdict.
If the Supreme Court defeats the March 25 appeal, then will Pickton pruriently offer additional victims, corpses, testimony and evidence in exchange for a plea down from the maximum he received? Pickton currently is serving life in prison with no parole. The Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal arguments starting Thursday, March 25, 2010. A nation will be watching. Willie Pickton has become a totem for victim’s justice after the long, expensive trial.
The Crown has noted that the Vancouver public has lost some confidence in the justice system as a result of the Pickton proceedings. Crown officials affirm that any appeal must acknowledge that the weight of evidence against Pickton in the slimmed down slate of cases for trial. For the mourning relatives of Pickton’s gruesome crimes, any stay of justice is making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Article by Roy Whyte. Visit his Google+ page for more.
For further reading on Robert William Pickton and his serial killer crimes you should check out On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women. This book was written by Stevie Cameron. Cameron had been following the story of the many missing women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and with the legal publication ban now removed you can learn everything you want to know about this sordid affair.
Quick biography video of Robert William Pickton
RCMP jailhouse surveillance video of Pickton after his arrest