VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Pickton to face seven more murder charges
Trial in 2006: B.C. pig farmer now accused of killing 22 women
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
VANCOUVER - A new indictment containing more than half a dozen additional murder charges is expected to be filed today against the man alleged to be Canada's worst serial killer.
Robert (Willy) Pickton, 55, who was earlier charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder, is expected to be charged with another seven counts of murder involving women who disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The Crown stated earlier that seven more charges would be added to the indictment -- bringing the total murder charges to 22 -- before the case went to trial.
The additional murder counts, including one involving an unidentified "Jane Doe" case, were included after the start of Pickton's six-month preliminary hearing, which ended in July, 2003.
The DNA of another two "Jane Does" has allegedly been found at the Pickton pig farm in Coquitlam, B.C., which was the focus of a massive police investigation that began after Pickton's arrest in February, 2002.
Most of the victims were vulnerable sex-trade workers who mysteriously vanished off the streets, sending a wave of fear through the community.
The Missing Women Task Force has processed more than 100,000 DNA swabs and an estimated 40,000 pieces of forensic evidence since the investigation began.
Pickton's trial isn't expected to start until next January.
The Crown and defence have said the delay in getting the case to trial is due to the huge volume of evidence that is still coming in. The Crown must disclose all evidence to the defence before the trial begins.
Starting today, three weeks have been set aside to hear pre-trial motions in the case in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Pickton is not expected to attend the high-security courtroom in person today -- only by video conference from jail.
In September, the case is expected to begin a four-month voir dire to determine the admissibility of certain evidence.
A sweeping publication ban has been imposed on the court proceedings to protect the right of the accused to a fair jury trial.
© National Post 2005
Updated: August 21, 2016