VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
VPD chief rules out BC missing women inquiry
CTV News Staff
Friday, August 23, 2002
Vancouver's new police chief has ruled out a public inquiry into the B.C. missing women case and the decision has outraged some family members.
Vancouver Police Chief Jamie Graham told BC-CTV that he plans to hold an internal review into how the case was handled. But that's not enough for Rick Frey, whose daughter Marnie went missing in 1997.
"The Vancouver city police have screwed up this case from day one. They know it, and what are they hiding?
"So I mean, what are you going to do? Are you going to let the fox go in the hen house and have a look around?" Frey asked in an interview with BC-CTV's Bridgitte Anderson.
VPD Chief Jamie Graham denies request for missing women inquiry.
More than 50 women have disappeared from Vancouver's lower eastside over two decades. Police recently said that up to 14 more names could be added to the official list of 54.
Robert Pickton faces seven first-degree murder charges in connection with the case. A team of investigators began searching a Port Coquitlam pig farm he owns with two of his siblings in February.
Days after his arrest, a series of media reports described how women from the downtown eastside were lured out to the farm by promises of drugs and money. Frey says he told police about the pig farm several years ago.
Many family members of the missing women have said they believe some of the women would still be alive if police had acted sooner. A formal investigation into the disappearances wasn't launched until three years ago.
"I spoke with some family members, and they're just disgusted with it," Frey says of Graham's decision.
Karin Joesbury filed a lawsuit in April after Pickton was charged with murdering her daughter Andrea. The suit alleges that the VPD, the RCMP and the cities of Vancouver and Port Coquitlam "allowed the killing to continue" after a possible serial killer had been identified.
In a statement of defence, Pickton has denied "each and every allegation of fact" contained in the Joesbury suit. A preliminary trial is scheduled to begin in November.
As for how Vancouver police handled the investigation, Graham says that he believes an internal review will work fine.
"As this evolves, and as this process is examined, I'm very confident that whatever answers people are seeking there will be some comfort at the end of the day that there was a careful examination of what has taken place up till now."
Still, Graham's word may not be the final word on the matter. The attorney general of the province, Geoff Plant, could call a public inquiry but that has yet to happen so far.
Updated: August 21, 2016