VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Vancouver Pimp eyed in Disappearances of Hookers. By Robert Anthony Phillips.
April 28, 2000.
27 Women reported missing in Past Several Years.
Columbia (APBnews.com) -- Canadian law enforcers are investigating whether a
former pimp charged with assaulting skid row prostitutes may have been involved
in unsolved killings in other Canadian cities and the mysterious disappearances
of more than two dozen women here, authorities said.
Barry Thomas Niedermier,
43, who was once convicted of pimping a 14-year-old girl, appeared in provincial
court Thursday on 14 counts of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, unlawful
confinement and administering a noxious substance.
He did not plead to the
charges and was given until May 4 to obtain a lawyer, officials said.
spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department, told APBnews.com that
investigators from Edmonton, Calgary and various other cities have contacted her
department to try to determine whether Niedermier is linked to unsolved
homicides in their cities.
But she said so far
there is no evidence that Niedermier is involved in any killings.
Officials of the Calgary
police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Calgary office did not return
telephone calls today.
A 'person of
Vancouver police said
that although Niedermier is a "person of interest" in the mysterious
disappearances of 27 sex trade workers in Vancouver since 1986, there is no
evidence linking him to those cases.
The women -- all
drug-addicted prostitutes -- disappeared from the city's Downtown Eastside area,
a neighborhood frequented by older prostitutes.
Advocates for sex trade
workers, as prostitutes are called here, have speculated that a serial killer
has been prowling the area.
But Vancouver police,
who last year beefed up a missing persons unit to hunt for the women, said they
have yet to unearth evidence -- or even find the bodies of the women -- that
would point to a serial killer.
Most of the
disappearances of the Vancouver prostitutes occurred in 1997 and 1998, according
to Vancouver police. Nine of the women were reported missing in 1997 and seven
others in 1998. Several women on the list have been missing since as far back as
Members of the women's
families have said that it was unlike the women, although involved in
prostitution and drug use, to leave the area. Many had children and stayed in
close contact with relatives.
disappearances led to arrest
Drennan said the
investigation into Vancouver's missing prostitutes led to the arrest of
She said that during the
course of the probe "information came up with respect of vicious sexual
assaults" of women in the Downtown Eastside area.
She would not disclose
what the suspect had done to the women, other than to say that seven prostitutes
were assaulted. The assaults all occurred in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood
between 1995 and 1997, Drennan said.
Vancouver police said
that publicity over Niedermier's arrest had prompted three more prostitutes to
claim he assaulted them. Drennan said the investigation into those charges is
Drennan said that
charges of administering noxious substances have to do with giving someone a
date rape or knockout drug.
Police said Niedermier had been convicted of pimping a 14-year-old girl in 1990.
Updated: August 21, 2016