Pickton' movie already made
Film not shown
or sold in Canada
Pickton has been
charged with killing 26 women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The star of a
movie, purportedly based on alleged serial murderer Robert Pickton, said the
film was draining and terrifying because she knew it was based on real events.
with that kind of storyline — it's fake in your world, but it scares the hell
out of you because you know it actually happened," said Jillian Swanson, who
starred in Ulli Lommel's Killer Pickton.
The events shown in
the movie may not have happened. The allegations against Pickton, who has pled
not guilty to 26 counts of first-degree murder, have not been proven in a court
His trial on six of
those counts is underway in New Westminster.
For her part,
Swanson had never heard of Pickton or Vancouver's missing women until after she
landed the role.
was an eye-opening experience," said Swanson, who was beginning her career. "I
was an actor, hired to do a job. I got paid and I left — that was my job."
Swanson, who now
lives in Washington State, added that the victims in the film were not depicted
as bad people, simply as troubled young girls.
In one scene,
Swanson said she was tied to an attic ladder, crying and begging.
really is incredibly draining when you go home with that feeling still with
you," she said.
that it's real is even worse."
Lommel, a German
director, has also made films based on the Green River murders and the B.T.K.
Killer Pickton was
filmed two years ago in New Hampshire.
In September, RCMP
launched an investigation into whether the movie, which was supposed to be
released in Australia in October, was in breach of a publication ban.
RCMP Staff Sgt.
John Ward said the investigation concluded that the film did not breach the
publication ban because it was not shown or sold in Canada.
He said the movie
is not being distributed and RCMP were not able to get a hold of a copy.
This entry is
Victim's sister outraged by
Canadian police investigating whether serial killer film violates publication
Canadian police are investigating whether a film about a serial killer who
preyed on women who disappeared from a Vancouver slum neighborhood violates
Canadian law, police said Monday.
The film, called "Killer Pickton," directed by German director Ulli Lommel, is
due for release in Australia on Oct. 18, six weeks before jury selection begins
in the case of real-life alleged serial killer Robert William Pickton.
Pickton, 56, is accused of 26 counts of first-degree murder in connection with
the case of more than 60 women who vanished from the city's Downtown Eastside
slum over almost 20 years.
A blanket publication ban on reporting evidence from the court hearings has
prevented the media from writing or broadcasting details of the case. The ban is
in effect to prevent potential contamination of the jury pool so Pickton can
receive a fair trial.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. John Ward said they are looking into
whether the film violates the ban.
"We are actively investigating that. We're going to see if we can get a copy of
the DVD if it exists," Ward said. "The issue at hand is does it contravene the
publication ban. As we haven't seen it, we can't determine that."
Family members and friends of women who have disappeared are appalled that
someone would make a film based on the case.
Among the women whose deaths Pickton is charged in is sex-trade worker Sarah De
Vries. Her friend, Wayne Leng, desperately searched the Downtown Eastside after
she disappeared on April 14, 1998.
He has no plans to see the film.
"Its disgusting," he said from his home in California. "Its purely greed driven,
motivated by money. I cant see any other reason for doing it. Were looking at
human beings here, real human beings and its based on their lives."
Leng said he has spoken with de Vries family members about the film.
"It's really affected a lot of the family members," he said. "They're quite
upset about it."
Leng also said he had contacted one of the actresses in the film, Kate Hackett,
"She didn't really want to talk about it," he said. "She said: 'Look, I'm just
an actress. I'm doing a job.'"
So far, there are no plans to distribute the film in Canada.
As long as the film is not available to anyone in Canada, the court order
restricting publication of evidence in the case until it is presented to the
jury would have no impact on it, prosecution spokesman Stan Lowe said.
Pickton's lawyer, Peter Ritchie, said he was not concerned about the film having
any impact on his client's defense.
"No sensible prospective juror is going to be troubled by looking at that,"
Ritchie said. "People have too much sense to be troubled by that trash."
Lommel has also made films about Seattle's Green River Killer and the Zodiac
Seattle man Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty in late 2003 to killing 48 prostitutes
in the Seattle area in late 2003. The infamous Zodiac Killer murdered at least
six people in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and 1970s, but
the case was never solved.
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Victim's sister outraged by