Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Public inquiry ordered into Canada serial case

Public inquiry ordered into Canada serial case

The British Columbia government Thursday ordered a public inquiry into the flawed police investigation that allowed Canada's worst serial killer to continue preying upon sex workers from a gritty downtown Vancouver neighborhood.
Attorney General Mike de Jong said the province will examine how police handled reports of women disappearing from the city's Eastside neighborhood who were lured to Robert Pickton's pig farm.
Pickton was arrested in 2002 and charged in the deaths of 27 women. He was eventually convicted of six counts of second-degree murder. A search of his farm uncovered the DNA of 33 women.
"This is a situation in which upwards of 50 human beings went missing. We believe many, if not all, of those individuals were murdered," de Jong told reporters following a provincial cabinet meeting in Victoria.
"There are still lingering questions about the nature of these investigations, questions about whether more could have been done sooner, are we in a position to learn from the investigations and mistakes that may have been made." he said.
At his trial, investigators testified they found body parts, blood samples, bone fragments and the belongings of many women.
The severed heads of Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway and Andrea Joesbury were found on Pickton's farm. Each woman had been shot.
Families of the women have long complained the Vancouver and national police forces failed to take reports of missing sex workers seriously. Some have suggested it is because most of the women Pickton is accused of murdering are prostitutes or drug addicts.
An internal Vancouver police review of the investigation reported the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Vancouver police failed to effectively share information, both forces lacked leadership, neither had enough resources and that some Vancouver police officers had a bias against the women, most of whom were sex workers.
It said even after Vancouver police first forwarded information about Pickton to the national force in the late 1990s, 13 women disappeared from the Downtown Eastside, 11 of whom were later linked to Pickton's farm.
The report put much of the blame on the federal force, accusing it of letting the investigation lay dormant for months and botching an interrogation of Pickton in January 2000 _ more than two years before his arrest.
De Jong declined to reveal who will oversee the inquiry, which will have the power to compel testimony from witnesses, and it's not clear how soon it could begin.


Updated : 2021-05-08 18:20 GMT+08:00