VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Pickton home demolished
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Shaking and trying to hold back tears, Christine Cellier stood in silence as she watched the last building on a former pig farm crumble to the ground yesterday.
CREDIT: Nick Procaylo, The Province
Excavation crews demolish house on Robert Pickton's Port Coquitlam pig farm yesterday.
The sight of the Port Coquitlam farm, where more than a dozen murders allegedly took place, was a painful reminder that Cellier's best friend, Taressa Williams, one of the missing women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, still hasn't been found.
Cellier was hoping the demolition would at least ease the pain.
Taressa disappeared in August 1988. She was 15 at the time and left behind five-month-old twin sons.
About 25 family and friends of missing women gathered to watch an earth-mover crush the farmhouse with one blow after another.
David Pickton, 52, who has not been charged with any crime, lived in the farmhouse during the time his brother is alleged to have murdered 15 women. Robert Pickton, 53, who is accused of being Canada's worst serial killer, lived in a trailer on the farm.
He will stand trial for 15 counts of first-degree murder of women who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside between 1996 and 2001.
David Pickton sounded angry with the decision by police to demolish his home on 953 Dominion Road, but said he made no attempt to stop it.
The demolition felt like a "cleansing" to Ernie Crey, whose sister Dawn disappeared in late 2000 and still has not been found.
"This site has changed from the first days that we came out here," he said.
"The house has changed physically over time and it looks as though they're coming closer to an end to their examination of this site. That's why it represents a cleansing . . ."
The grounds underneath the house will be excavated, said Cpl. Catherine Galliford of the Missing Women Task Force.
"I can't comment how much is left, but I do know other areas still need excavating. We're anticipating to be out there until early fall," she said.
Taressa's mother, Diedre Dolan-Harris, said: "I believe a lot of terror went on in this place, it's some kind of closure for me. They haven't found my daughter's body yet but I'm really happy to see this is coming down."
Taressa's son Matthew, now 15, stood with his grandmother and said he felt a sense of relief as shards of glass and flanks of wood fell to the earth.
Ada Wilson, whose sister Mona Lee Wilson's DNA was found on the farm, lit candles to commemorate the missing women.
"I didn't know how to feel or what to expect," she said. "Relief that he's out of here and a bit more anger, but relief at the same time."
Yells of triumph and clapping broke out at 9:35 a.m. as the brick chimney collapsed, completing the demolition.
-- with a file from Adrienne Tanner
© Copyright 2003 The Province
Updated: August 21, 2016