FUCKED UP AT ALL TIMES
"I bully Ted Bundy - bust the nipples of the system
And I picked Robert Pickton to be my fifty first victim
White chapel red from blood – I took Jack and then I ripped him
And I killed Brandon Flowers with the simplest of symptoms"
source: The Jones Mob
Titel: "I Got Mad Sketched Out Doin Lines At The Crackhouse"|96cm x 174cm
Women started disappearing from Vancouver, BC's Downtown Eastside, or the DES as it's commonly known, in the early '80s, about the same time that women started disappearing along the broad and busy "strip" that separates the hotels from the international airport in SeaTac.
The missing women from both cities were from the same class: poor, often homeless, often addicted to drugs, often selling sex to generate an income. The only difference between the two--save the fact that more black women went missing in the Seattle area while more Native American women went missing in the Vancouver area--is that the remains of many of the missing Seattle women resurfaced in the garbaged wild areas around the airport, beside the freeways, and, most infamously, along the banks of the Green River. In Vancouver, if the vanished women did not return to the DES alive, or show up in another city, they did not return at all.
Vancouver's police department was slow to take an interest in the vanishing women. Perhaps because the police in Canada were as indifferent to the plight of these women as our local police departments were to our missing women. However, law enforcement officers in SeaTac and Seattle had to take the crimes seriously because bodies were turning up, corpses had to be examined and explained to a frightened community. Vancouver's police had next to nothing: no bodies, no physical evidence, no autopsies to perform.
The lack of bodies, coupled with the police department's prejudices and contempt for the pimps, drug dealers, addicts, and sex workers who make up over a third of the DES' 15,000 residents, opened a space in which the killer operated with all almost no interference from the law. The Green River Killer, by way of contrast, didn't have it so easy; he had to be cunning, always one step ahead of the law, as he mocked the investigators and the public by leaving more and more corpses to be discovered.
Shortly after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police served a warrant to a small-scale farmer named Robert Pickton on February 5, 2002, Vancouver's missing women began to reappear. But the vanished returned not as whole bodies but as body parts. In the freezers Pickton used to store unsold meat, the feet, heads, and hands of two missing women were reported to be found. Also found on the junk-strewn farm were ID cards, clothes, and teeth.
"A special team investigating the cases," reported the New York Times on Saturday, November 23, 2002, "arrived and found body parts in a freezer, as well as purses and other personal effects later linked to the missing.... Not one body has been found intact, and a wood chipper and Mr. Pickton's pigs are believed to have devoured much of the evidence."
Tabloid headlines screamed their verdict in Vancouver on 10 April 2002:
“54 WOMEN FED TO PIGS!”
Suspect Robert Pickton, charged with seven murders so far, is presumed innocent until proven guilty, his tentative trial date still six months away at this writing. Police searching his pig farm have declared that they will not be finished with their work before spring of 2003. With results from that search pending, the fate of 47 other missing women remains conjectural--and some critics suggest that the official list is only the tip of the iceberg.
On February 13, 2002, nine days before Pickton was slapped with his first murder charge, spokesmen for Prostitution Alternatives Counseling Education claimed that 110 streetwalkers from British Columbia’s Lower Mainland had been slain or kidnapped in the past two decades. Computer data obtained from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police placed the number even higher: 144 prostitutes murdered or missing with foul play suspected over the province at large.
It may be comforting to think one human monster is responsible for all those crimes, at least within Vancouver, but is it a realistic hope? Before Pickton’s indictment, detectives favored other theories. Some believed a long-haul trucker was disposing of Vancouver’s prostitutes, while others thought the missing women had been lured aboard foreign cargo ships, gang-raped and murdered by crewmen, then buried at sea. Still others rejected the serial killer hypothesis until the very day of Pickton’s arrest. The only thing certain about Vancouver’s mystery, at this point, is its bitter divisiveness.
Victoria attorney Denis Bernsten announced on April 17, 2002, that he will file a multimillion-dollar class-action suit against Robert Pickton, the Vancouver Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, seeking damages for relatives of the missing and murdered women. Bernsten accused police of “willful negligent action” in the case, telling reporters, “Deaths may have been prevented. All of these women were somebody’s child. Someone loved them.”
Among surviving relatives, meanwhile, there is dissension over calls for a public inquiry into police handling of the four-year investigation. Lynn Frey, stepmother of missing Marnie Frey, told the press, “Everyone’s fighting about lawyers, inquiries or fundraising, yet none of that is going to bring our loved ones back.” Several Aboriginal families complain of “interference” by Vancouver Police Department’s native liaison unit, allegedly telling them not to speak with journalists. Victim Helen Hallmark’s mother defied the ban, declaring, “We need to meet among ourselves and I’m tired of the native liaison unit telling us what to do.” In response to the perceived whitewash, Kathleen Hallmark announced plans to retain a partner of famed attorney Johnny Cochrane and pursue her legal remedies in court.
In the midst of so much tumult, Canadian musicians declared their intent to release a special song, “A Buried Heart,” with proceeds from its sale directed toward construction of a drug treatment and recovery center in Downtown Eastside. Artists signed on for the project at last report included headliners Sarah McLachlan and Nellie Furtado, Colin James, Gord Downey and John Wozniak. No site so far has been selected for the new facility. In a parallel effort, Val Hughes--sister of missing Kerry Koski --told reporters that a Missing Women’s Trust Fund has been established at the Bank of Montreal, accepting donations for construction of a “rapid opiate detoxification center in the Downtown Eastside.”
Beyond hope for the future, there is anger. Val Hughes supports the ongoing task force investigation, but she told The Province, “Like all family members, I feel molten rage when it comes to the Vancouver city police. Their view was that it didn’t matter if a serial killer was at work, as long as it was confined to one geographical area where the women were expendable people no one cared about. They told us our loved ones were just out partying. We want a full public inquiry, not to interfere with the criminal prosecution but to get answers.”
Those answers, if they come at all, are still a vague and distant object of desire.
source: Murderpedia, Charles Mudede, Crime Library
Bildtitel: "Downtown Eastside Slayer" | 100cm x 190cm | [click to enlarge]
The Body Farm
Vancouver residents were unprepared for the announcement when it came, on February 7, 2002. That morning, Vancouver Constable Catherine Galliford told reporters that searchers were scouring the Pickton pig farm and adjacent property in Port Coquitlam, first examined back in 1997. “I can tell you a search is being conducted on that property and the search is being executed by the missing-women task force,” she reported. Robert Pickton was already in custody, jailed on a charge of possessing illegal firearms. Bailed out on that charge, he was arrested once more on February 22, this time facing two counts of first-degree murder. Authorities identified the victims as Sereena Abotsway and Mona Wilson.
Pickton professed to be “shocked” by the charges, but relatives of the victims were equally agitated, noting that both women vanished three years after Piggy Palace was identified as a potential murder scene. On March 8, investigators declared that DNA recovered from the farm had been conclusively identified as Abotsway’s. A month later, on April 3, Pickton was charged with three more counts of murder, naming victims Jacqueline McDonnell, Heather Bottomley and Diane Rock. A sixth murder charge, for Angela Josebury, was filed against Pickton six days later. As in the first two cases, all four victims had been slain since Bill Hiscox had fingered Pickton as a suspect in the Low Track disappearances. May 22 a seventh first-degree murder charge was filed against Pickton when the remains of Brenda Wolfe were found on his farm.
If Pickton was the Low Track slayer, survivors asked, why had the searches of his property in 1997 and 1998 failed to uncover any evidence? More to the point, how could he abduct and murder additional victims between 1999 and 2001, when he should have been under police surveillance?
Proclaiming his innocence on all charges, Pickton was scheduled for trial in November 2002, but detectives were not finished with their search at Piggy Palace. The full operation, they announced on March 21, 2002, might drag on for as much as a year. As for other victims and any further charges, they refused to speculate. No charges have been filed against David Pickton or any other suspect.