VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Two suits filed in missing women case
One alleges police mishandled the investigation, the other seeks to designate the Pickton farm a memorial site
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
VICTORIA -- Two lawsuits have been filed in the Vancouver missing women case.
The suits were filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria by Karin Joesbury of Sidney.
Her daughter, Andrea, is one of the six women Port Coquitlam farmer William Pickton is accused of murdering.
BCTV News on Global
One suit names the Vancouver city police and the city of Port Coquitlam, claiming they mishandling the investigation into the 50 women missing from Vancouver's downtown east side.
Lawyer Dennis Berntsen says the other suit seeks forfeiture of the Pickton farm for use as a memorial site for the plaintiff's daughter and ultimately all the women who may have died there.
Berntsen says he expects to add relatives of other victims to the lawsuit within a month.
He says it could eventually become a class action suit on behalf of all the women whose disappearances are linked to the farm.
© Copyright 2002 Canadian Press
Lawsuit claims police failed to properly investigate case of 50 missing women
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
VICTORIA (CP) - A civil lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges Vancouver city police and the RCMP failed to properly investigate the case of 50 missing women - negligence the suit claims allowed "the killing to continue."
The suit was one of two filed in B.C. Supreme Court by Karin Joesbury on behalf of her daughter Andrea Joesbury, one of six women Port Coquitlam pig farmer William Pickton is accused of murdering.
In the other suit, lawyer Denis Berntsen seeks forfeiture of the Pickton farm for use as a memorial site for the women Pickton is accused of killing.
The suits contain allegations that haven't been proven, and the defendants have not yet given their side in statements of defence.
The suit alleging the case was mishandled names the cities of Vancouver and Port Coquitlam and the Vancouver city police and RCMP.
The statement of claim alleges the city of Vancouver and its police "wilfully failed to properly investigate all information received knowing that such wilful failure to investigate would allow the killing to continue."
"Or alternatively, the (city police and RCMP) were negligent in their investigation and such negligence allowed the killing to continue and such negligence amounted to grosss negligence."
The suit also alleges the Vancouver police and RCMP had "identified the existence of a possible serial killer" but failed to properly investigate.
The suit alleges the police had previously been provided with information from various sources about the pig farm they're now searching, but failed to pursue the information.
"We're alleging that there are wilful actions on behalf of the police not to put the proper resources into this investigation," Berntsen said outside court.
Since the investigation began in February, friends and relatives of some missing women have called for an inquiry into how police responded in the case.
The Vancouver city police and RCMP formed a joint task force on the case last fall before the pig farm investigation began.
Berntsen also said he expects to add relatives of other victims to the lawsuit within a month. The suit could eventually become a class action suit on behalf of all the women associated with the case.
Det. Scott Driemel, Vancouver police spokesman, said the police will not comment until the next joint task force news conference.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Grant Learned said the force would not comment while the suits are before the court.
In February, police began an initial search of the pig farm.
There are 80 Vancouver city police and RCMP officers drawn from detachments all over Greater Vancouver on the joint police task force.
Police have said there are hundreds of suspects in the case and that they continue to follow thousands of leads in the women's disappearances.
Pickton next appears in court May 2. He has not yet had an opportunity to enter a plea in the case.
© Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press
Updated: August 21, 2016