Sunday 5 February 2012

The role of pigs in Pickton saga.

These are only 15 of the missing women that were killed at the Pickton farm in Port Coquitlam.

Pigs - the porcine type of Sus genus - were happenstance accomplices in the murders. They were recruited to remove the evidence.

What is emerging from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, established to examine how police investigated the disappearance of dozens of sex trade workers from the Vancouver Downtown Eastside "combat zone" is that two-legged *pigs* stuck their snouts in, with the result that a number of deliberately engineered events derailed the investigations.
Certain police documents — including notes from their investigations — have not been disclosed. Pages from reports have mysteriously vanished. Police witnesses have offered conflicting accounts of key events. “This case has all the familiar hallmarks of a police cover-up,” says Mr. Ward, choosing his words carefully. “And I’m afraid the inquiry may be enabling it.”

Why, despite their strong suspicions, their corroborating information from tipsters, and their knowledge of Pickton’s violent history with prostitutes, did police wait years to stop the serial killer? Who knew what, and when did they know it? Mr. Ward doubts the inquiry will answer those questions, because they involve high-ranking police officers and others with too much to lose. [For example] why, in 1998, [was] a decision made by B.C.’s criminal justice branch to stay charges of attempted murder and unlawful confinement against Pickton, after his near-fatal stabbing of a Vancouver prostitute at his farm?

Pieces of the story emerged at Pickton’s marathon murder trial in 2007. He was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder.
From here. At the time, there was a strong impression, supported by Willy Pickton himself, that he accepted the role of fall guy in order to divert attention from other people involved in the bloody carnage, and in events that took place at the pig farm.

This sharp woman testified at the inquiry in January:
The investigation of serial killer Robert Pickton suffered from the same kind of systemic failures as the investigation of Ontario serial killer Paul Bernardo, the Missing Women inquiry was told Monday.

Peel Regional Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Evans, who was asked by the inquiry to provide an expert analysis of the Vancouver police and RCMP investigations of Pickton, said there was a systemic communication breakdown between Vancouver police and the Mounties.
From here and here:
In her report, Evans was critical of an interview of Pickton done on Jan. 19, 2000, by RCMP Constables Ruth Yurkiw and John Cater. [...]

During the interview, Pickton was asked about an informant's claim that Pickton was seen one night butchering a woman in a barn on his Port Coquitlam farm.

Pickton, claiming he had never hurt anyone, told the officers they could search his farm and even take soil samples to search for DNA.

"I ain't got nothing to hide," Pickton said at the time.

But the officers never took Pickton up on his offer.

In her report, Evans wrote: "The worst case scenario was that Pickton would refuse them entry; the best case scenario, we will never know."
And this week:
Wracked by personal grief and disillusioned by a loss of confidence in the VPD and RCMP, Vancouver police Det. Const. Lori Shenher broke down on the stand at the Missing Womens Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

Shenher’s two days of testimony painted a very grim picture of policing in the Lower Mainland, suggesting badly flawed efforts by the VPD and RCMP possibly allowed drug addicted sex workers to die needlessly. [...]

Shenher eventually got a handful more investigators. But two “interfered” with the effort because they were “racist, sexist and homophobic,” Shenher said.

Shenher admitted in cross-examination that tips and reports of missing women were likely lost because a VPD civilian member was “racist.”

She said she missed many investigative avenues and engagement with sources was “woefully inadequate” because she didn’t have the needed time or resources.

Shenher reluctantly acknowledged that she came to believe senior management did not expect her to be successful. She said she heard an allegation that Vancouver deputy police chief John Unger referred to the missing women as “just f-cking hookers,” in a meeting.
Most of the missing women were of mixed ancestry - Aboriginal, European, African, Asian.

Here's a personal account from a woman who experienced this toxic environment first-hand.

I was in Vancouver in the early 1990s, looking for work in the medical field for which I was trained. I had never been in Vancouver before. I got temporary work in the East End of Vancouver. It was like they had declared war on women, all women. I couldn't walk down the street without being sexually harassed and I was in my forties. On one occasion this man followed me onto a bus, saying he was going to follow me home. I asked the bus driver for help - he was brilliant in getting rid of this creep, much more than the police would have been, though I didn't realize that at the time. Looking back, it must have been in the mass murder period and every man in the place knew he could get away with virtually anything. I mentioned my problems at the clinic where I was working, but they were in denial in a major way. I was happy to leave Vancouver after three weeks and would never go back. I have lived in three cities, all larger than Vancouver, and have never experienced such harassment before. In fact, the largest city, London, England, was the safest.
And then, there's RCMP officer Catherine Galliford's perspective.

I believe Robert Pickton was the logistics guy, and that other people may also be criminally involved in violent activities including the femicides, that took place at his farm. How likely is it such facts will be disclosed to the inquiry?

Two important additions:
This website and a blogsite about the missing women.
Vancouver cops who acted with revolting impunity are named by witnesses at the inquiry, here.


Dr.Dawg said...

Well, not a lot more needs to be said. Well done!

“This case has all the familiar hallmarks of a police cover-up,” says Mr. Ward, choosing his words carefully. “And I’m afraid the inquiry may be enabling it.”

"May be?" The cards were stacked against the truth from the get-go, with advocacy groups having accumulated knowledge and experience effectively barred from involvement. Ward is all alone in there. The cops have a phalanx of lawyers.

This is the stuff of which horror movies are made. And the "inquiry" will not be the denouement.

the regina mom said...

There is little justice for women in BC, it seems, given a billionaire's recent slap on the finger with a feather for illegally confining a woman. And he served on the Vancouver Police Board circa 1989...

Unknown said...

This story is horrifying, I've been following it for years. Thank-you for this.

And people wonder why we need a SlutWalk movement.....if our first line of protection is filled with men who think 'sluts' deserve to be raped and killed then our society needs a re-boot....

Anonymous said...

The systemic rot w/in the VPD around this case will never be fully revealed.
I believe that many of the conditions that allowed Willy Picton to thrive in--& others like him--still exist today. Is this best we can hope for: improved police practices to investigate our Murders; & the better documentation of us going missing? It's not a good enough outcome from the Inquiry for me. I'm ready to burst into flames over this.

I believe at the heart of this horror, it's a Public Health + Safety policies issue; it's a social justice issue & a basic civil human rights issue.
Women living in Poverty w/ addiction issues, who are fleeing violence in BC--and across Canada for that matter--are not granted the same protection & access to appropriate services, as the rest of society. (See the candid report released Feb. 2011 by the BC Society of Tansition Houses-Women Fleeing Violnce, Mental Health & Substance Use, available online.) Many of us have disabiliteis, that we ourselves have not yet to come to terms w/, or have never been diagnosed. These multiple barriers, that are now compounding from being left to fend for ourselves, make for an impossible situation to survive safely w/ dignity.
This is the case for many of us living in our community. (It is not a gender biased issue.)
The criminalization of SURVIVAL sex trade workers lacks insight, is cruel, & unjust.
Is it too much to ask that as a society we provide dignified, safe housing w/ the appropriate supports, for persons living w/ disabilities, and facing multiple barries w/in society?
Collectively, we can do a whole lot better...

Anonymous said...

My comment is above-Anomymous-here's a link to an article about my friend. Her outcome is not unusual & will be the fate of many women (+ men) left to fend for themselves as they 'age out' of a system that has largely turned its back on a sector of the population that is terribly misunderstood:

Niles said...

Not to mention, the effects of generations of Aboriginal people in Canada worked over by the residential schools intersects with the sexism.

Many Aboriginal kids were punted out the school doors at 'graduation', abandoned like strays far from home and suffering PTSD from institutionalized abuse few authorities still want to admit was deliberately mind-breaking and sadistic. The RCMP were used to make sure kids were removed from family and incarcerated when their age came around.

So, where did the 'graduates' often end up? City mean streets, being used as disposable sex flotsam and taking up 'valuable time' of white authorities who didn't want them visible and sneered at them for not having enough willpower to straighten out. Racism is so *convenient*.

It's interesting to me that 'isms' always seem to boil down to benefiting the *pleasures* of elite connected males. Label segments of humanity as not worth troubling over to other segments and then idly harvest among them, to the point, that in a so-called modern democracy mouthing platitudes about equality and justice, even literally slaughtering people of colour and impoverishment isn't more than a chiding cautionary tale to avoid becoming part of the unworthy.

And the ever present flip side of the coin, digging too deeply into how such slaughter for pleasure can be done so casually, would inconvenience elite males, thus disrupting the society *they* declare they benefit.

deBeauxOs said...

Anonymous' link, made clickable.

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