Oh, dear, where to begin. First off, a friend of mine knows Robert Pickton’s brother, so there’s three degrees of separation between me, and the worst serial killer in Canadian History. Kind of scary, isn’t it?
Robert ‘Willie’ Pickton is a bad odor, that just won’t go away. Even now, when he is behind bars in a Federal Penitentiary, he still makes the news. This time in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s own online magazine RCMP Gazette published an article (PDF Warning) – an article that had people so upset that it was pulled from the online edition almost immediately, though the title of the article remains on the front page. Luckily the RCMP aren’t as efficient as Google, a quick search turned up several websites which had mirrored the article, and of course they are mirrored in Google’s cache as well.
The reason for the upset? The article is written as if the case was a success for Canadian policing – when it took the cops FOURTEEN YEARS just to notice that something was going on, and many years further to arrest Robert Picton, even though he had been pointed out to them years before by an ex-employee as a suspect. And he had been charged in 1997 with attempted murder of a sex trade worker, but for some reason the charges were dropped! Why, we don’t know, even now, nor why the cops appear to have ignored him.
Most Canadians I’ve talked to consider the Picton case to be an indictment on Canadian policing. While the various police forces involved have come up with many excuses, the biggest parts of the problem appear to be:
1) Institutional Racism on the part of the police (many of the victims were natives)
2) Contempt for lower class members of society (all of the victims were prostitutes and/or drug addicts)
Indeed calls for an open inquiry are still being made. Some work has already been done, but at least one report which was supposed to have been done by the RCMP has not been made publicly available. Many people close to the case (including some of the families of the victims), Native Rights Groups and others groups interested in social justice believe that a whitewash is in the works. And I have to admit that the longer it takes for an inquiry to happen, the more that it looks like they are right.
Something smells, and it’s not Picton’s Pig Farm.
My thanks to Wayne Leng of Missing People.Net for his work in archiving information on the Picton case.
Saturday August 28, 2010
Tru TV Crime Library Article about Robert ‘Willie’ Picton
On The Farm: Robert William Pickton And The Tragic Story Of Vancouver’s Missing Women by Stevie Cameron (Indigo Books)
Missing and Murdered Women Blog – copy of ‘Snaring Picton‘ originally published in RCMP Gazette
Picton Tape Given to Police in 1998 – from Missing People.NET
VPD learned nothing from Pickton: Let’s have inquiry – The Province