NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — The man accused of being Canada’s worst serial
killer was charged today with 12 new counts of first-degree murder.
The new charges come on top of the 15 charges Robert Pickton already
Seven of the new charges arose from Pickton’s preliminary hearing.
The other five charges came from evidence developed since the
Pickton was committed to stand trial at the conclusion of a
preliminary hearing that began in January 2003 and concluded six months
Pickton is charged in the disappearance of some of more than 60
women, mainly drug-addicted sex-trade workers, from Vancouver’s seedy
Indictments filed in court by Crown prosecutor Mike Petrie indicate
five of the new charges involve the deaths of Cara Ellis, Andrea
Borhaven, Kerry Koski, Wendy Crawford and Debra Lynne Jones.
Seven other charges relate to the deaths of Marnie Frey, Tiffany
Drew, Sarah Devries, Cynthia Feliks, Angela Jardine, Diana Melnick and
an unidentified woman.
The 15 existing charges stem from the deaths of Serena Abotsway, Mona
Wilson, Jacqueline McDonell, Diane Rock, Heather Bottomley, Andrea
Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Jennifer Lynn Furminger, Helen Mae Hallmark,
Patricia Rose Johnson, Georgina Faith Papin, Heather Chinnock, Tanya
Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall.
The first 15 murder charges faced by Pickton cover the period between
1996 and 2002, but some of the new charges date back as far as 1995.
Pickton, dressed in a green open-neck work shirt, appeared via
videolink from jail and was asked by Justice Geoffrey Barrow if he could
hear. He responded, “Yes, thanks.”
Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie told the judge that he would be making
an application for a stiffer publication ban on the case.
Some family members of missing women were informed yesterday that
more charges were coming against the former pig farmer.
The Crown had said it expected to add another seven counts before
Pickton’s trial and DNA samples of nine additional women were identified
on the farm.
The trial is expected to begin in the fall with a lengthy voir dire,
or trial within a trial which often examines evidence before it is
presented to a jury. The portion of the trial would be conducted under a
The trial portion before a jury is expected to begin in January in
B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Pickton, 55, has been in custody since his arrest Feb. 7, 2002, when
police descended on the farm and other property he and his family owned.
Dozens of investigators, aided by forensic anthropologists, took
apart every building on the pig farm and sifted through hundreds of
tonnes of dirt looking for evidence.