A convicted pimp described as a person of interest in connection with
missing prostitutes in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has been arrested in
Barry Thomas Niedermier, 43, faces a string of charges in connection
with brutal sexual assaults from 1995 to 1997 against seven prostitutes
working in downtown Vancouver.
He has been charged with 14 counts of assault, sexual assault,
kidnapping, robbery, administering a noxious substance and unlawful
He will be transferred to Vancouver from Alberta this week after his
arrest Friday by Lethbridge police and the Vancouver police task force
investigating the disappearance of almost 30 prostitutes.
Sources have told The Vancouver Sun that Niedermier is also of interest
to police in Edmonton and Calgary, where other prostitutes have gone
missing. In Calgary, police have been investigating the disappearance of a
number of prostitutes in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Vancouver police Constable Anne Drennan said Tuesday that Niedermier is
the main suspect in the assaults against the seven prostitutes and
continues to be a suspect in a number of other assaults in Vancouver,
Lethbridge, Edmonton and Calgary.
"It was as part of the investigation into the missing women that
information about Niedermier was received," said Drennan. "There
has been no link identified with the missing prostitutes, but we would
call him a person of interest and we will be wanting to speak to him at
length about the missing women's file."
Thirty-one women, all of whom were at one time involved in drugs or the
sex trade, have gone missing since 1978 from the Downtown Eastside. Last
year, police found two of the missing women had died; one from heart
problems, the other from a drug overdose.
Drennan said Niedermier, who was living in Vancouver in 1995-97, is
well known to both Vancouver and Lethbridge police.
Currently unemployed, he was living with his mother in Lethbridge at
the time of his arrest. In Vancouver, he owned a smoke and gift shop at
2949 Main St.
Ten years ago, in 1990, Niedermier was sentenced to 14 months in prison
for being a pimp to a 14-year-old girl.
In that case, Niedermier, who was a customer of the girl in Calgary,
brought the teenager to Vancouver.
Living in a grimy east-side room at the time, Niedermier put the
teenager to work before a Vancouver police officer persuaded her to turn
in her pimp.
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