Monday, January 28
3rd Annual Rally To Honour Our Missing Sisters
Thursday, February 14, 2008, 12 noon, Outside Police Headquarters at Bay and College
Strawberry Ceremony in Honor of our Missing Sisters - Speakers and drumming
Gathering with food immediately to follow at
U of T’s Centre for Women and Trans People (563 Spadina Ave)
Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing over the last 30 years. Today we join women in Vancouver, Edmonton, Sudbury and Winnipeg coming together in defense of our lives and to demonstrate the complicity of the colonizer state and its institutions - police, RCMP, coroner's offices and the courts, in the ongoing genocide against First Nations people.
Indigenous communities are over policed and Indigenous girls make up the fastest growing prison population yet their deaths go uninvestigated and their killers unpunished.
We call on all people in this country to take a stand - NO MORE SILENCE!!
Bring your drums!
No More Silence aims to develop a national network of local coalitions comprised of Indigenous women and allies working
together to support the initiatives of independent Indigenous women working to stop the disappearances and end impunity.
Endorsed by: CUPE-SCFP; METRAC; Brampton Coalition for Peace and Justice; Parkdale Community Legal Services; The Humanist Centre of Cultures; Not In Our Name; Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP); The Centre for Women and Trans People at the University of Toronto; Canadian Chiapanecas Justice for Women; Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid; Canadian Arab Federation; No One Is Illegal Toronto; The Ontario Women's Health Network; CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson; Toronto Haiti Action Committee. Students Against Israeli Apartheid
Saturday, January 26
Saturday, January 26, 2008
METRO VANCOUVER / Even though Robert (Willie) Pickton has been convicted of killing only six women, the relatives of all 65 women who disappeared from Vancouver have been asked to send victim-impact statements to the National Parole Board.
Once the relatives register with the parole board and submit their statements, they can receive updates about Pickton's incarceration, says a letter sent by the victim services unit of the solicitor-general's ministry.
"The NPB [National Parole Board] encourages families of all 65 women listed on the Missing Women Task Force poster to register and submit victim-impact information," says the letter, dated January 2008.
Pickton has been convicted of killing six of those women, and is charged with killing another 20. In addition, the DNA of four more women was located on his Port Coquitlam farm.
However, including the families of the other women on the poster appears to be an unusual move, as there has been no legal link revealed publicly so far between them and Pickton.
Ernie Crey received the letter Friday, and said he experienced a "wave of conflicting emotions."
His sister, Dawn Crey, is one of the four women whose DNA was found on the farm, but who Pickton is not accused of killing because police said there wasn't sufficient evidence.
Pickton was convicted in December of the second-degree murder of six women, and emotional victim-impact statements from their relatives were read in court at that time.
But his next trial, expected to deal with 20 other first-degree murder charges, is in limbo now pending appeals of the verdict from the first trial.
And those in Crey's situation may never have an opportunity to give a statement in court.
"It gives us an option here now to deal with some of what we're coping with. In our case, we've never had this opportunity, so I appreciate that," Crey said Friday after receiving the letter.
"I'm going to be thinking about what it is I'm going to say."
Seven weeks ago, Pickton was sentenced to life in prison. He has no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
He will be in court Monday, when Crown and defence will debate when his second trial should be held. He has pleaded not guilty.
© Vancouver Sun
Friday, January 25
Pickton starts down road to second trial
Crown wants to delay until appeals settled, but defence wants to proceed
Friday, January 25, 2008
NEW WESTMINSTER - Convicted serial killer Robert (Willie) Pickton appeared briefly in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday, the start of a potentially long legal journey to his second trial.
Crown counsel Melissa Gillespie said prosecutors want to delay the second trial -- at which Pickton is to face 20 first-degree murder charges -- until appeals of his first trial have been settled. She told Justice Ron McKinnon any Appeal Court judgments could affect a second trial.
Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie said his client "vigorously opposed" the Crown's position, arguing it could take as long as two years for the appeals of Pickton's six second-degree murder convictions from his first trial.
Outside court, Ritchie said Pickton's next trial could begin in a few months since most of the preparatory work done for the first trial would apply to the second.
"The appeals take a long time. He's pleaded not guilty on these charges and he's in jail," Ritchie said. "[Pickton] is anxious to get on with this."
McKinnon put the matter over until Monday, when the arguments will be heard by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm.
Relatives of two of the 20 women Pickton is accused of killing attended court Thursday, as did two officers on the Missing Women Task Force.
Pickton appeared by video-link from Kent maximum-security prison, showing little reaction to the legal arguments.
At the conclusion of the brief hearing, McKinnon asked if Pickton could hear everything. The former Port Coquitlam pig farmer politely replied: "Yes I did. Thank you."
Pickton was held in the North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre between his February 2002 arrest and his conviction last month, and is finding Kent an adjustment, his defence lawyer said.
"It's quite a different setting out there, it's very difficult," said Ritchie, who will not defend Pickton at his second trial.
The selection of a new lead defence lawyer is still being finalized, he said.
Both the Crown and the defence have appealed the verdict from the first trial: that Pickton committed second-degree murder in the deaths of Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Brenda Wolfe, Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin and Andrea Joesbury.
The defence's grounds for appeal lists several alleged errors made by the trial judge, Justice James Williams, in his rulings or his four-day charge to the jury.
The Crown's appeal asks that, if Pickton is granted a new trial, he should be tried on first-degree murder on all 26 counts at once.
An online petition launched Jan. 1 has been signed by more than 1,500 people demanding Pickton face the second trial. Some lawyers and pundits have opined that a second trial would be a waste of time and money because Pickton, 58, is already serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
In 2006, Williams severed Pickton's 26 murder counts into two trials, ruling that one large trial would be too much of a burden for a jury.
Pickton has pleaded not guilty to killing 20 women who, like the other six victims, disappeared from the Downtown Eastside: Andrea Borhaven, Heather Bottomley, Heather Chinnock, Wendy Crawford, Sarah deVries, Tiffany Drew, Cara Ellis, Cynthia Feliks, Jennifer Furminger, Inga Hall, Helen Hallmark, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving, Angela Jardine, Patricia Johnson, Debra Jones, Kerry Koski, Jacqueline McDonell, Diana Melnick, and Dianne Rock.
© The Vancouver Sun 2008
Robert Pickton on Trial
Thursday, January 24
Arguments over 2nd Pickton trial to continue Monday
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Crown counsel Melissa Gillespie said prosecutors want to delay the second trial, when Pickton, 58, is to face 20 first-degree murder charges, until appeals of his first trial have been settled.
Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie disagreed, arguing it could take as long as two years for the appeals to be heard. He told Justice Ron McKinnon that Pickton's second trial could begin in a few months.
"The appeals take a long time. He's pleaded not guilty on these charges and he's in jail," Ritchie said outside court. "He's anxious to get on with this."
McKinnon put the matter over until Monday, when the arguments will be heard by associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm.
Pickton's first trial ended in December, after a year of pre-trial motions and a year of testimony before a jury.
Both the Crown and the defence have appealed Pickton's conviction of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women -- Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Brenda Wolfe, Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin and Andrea Joesbury -- who disappeared from Vancouver's troubled Downtown Eastside between 1997 and 2001.
Ritchie said, in an interview in early January, that he did not think the second trial should be delayed by appeals of the first, but Attorney-General Wally Oppal disagreed.
Oppal said earlier this month that any trial on the outstanding 20 charges should be delayed until after the appeals are heard because any Appeal Court rulings could influence a future trial.
The defence's grounds for appeal lists several alleged errors made by Pickton's trial judge, Justice James Williams, in his rulings or during his four-day charge to the jury.
The Crown's appeal asks that, if Pickton is granted a new trial, he should be tried on first-degree murder on all 26 counts at once.
An online petition launched Jan. 1 has been signed by more than 1,500 people demanding Pickton face a second trial in the deaths of the other 20 women. Some lawyers and pundits have opined that a second trial would be a waste of time and money because Pickton is already serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
Williams severed the indictment into two trials, ruling that one large trial would be too much of a burden for a jury.
Ritchie said Pickton will stand by the not guilty pleas he's already entered on the 20 counts.
He is incarcerated in the Kent maximum-security prison in Agassiz.
Wednesday, January 23
It has been almost six years since the world became aware of the atrocities Willie Pickton inflicted upon women from the downtown eastside. The most vulnerable women in society. He preyed upon women from this community because he knew he could when no one was watching.
The sentence of this monster left me personally feeling like the women had not received the justice their heinous murders deserved. The grizzly last moments of their lives at the hands of this monster who sat through 11 months of testimony showing virtually no emotion. Perhaps he was so removed from the reality of his act as he took the last breath from each woman as he massacred their remains and attempted to hide the evidence forever.
Willie was found guilty of not first degree murder but “2nd degree because The jury could not find evidence that Willie planned to carry out these evil acts. He will serve 25 years but with time already served he will do a further 19 years.
I could accept that on the first count he may not have planned to kill the first woman, Marnie Frey back in 1997 when she first disappeared but in my mind, he must have known he was going to kill Brenda Wolfe who disappeared in February 1999, next was Georgina Papin who disappeared one month later in March 1999 and then there was Andrea in June of 2001 and Serena Abbotsway in August of 2001 and then Mona Wilson in Novermber 2001. In all of that sometime either before or after these women were murdered he had murdered or planned to murder the other 20 women whom he is charged with murdering. Perhaps these women felt safe as they were getting into his vehicle because there was another woman with him to assist in his dastardly deeds. Was this the planning phase as they cruised the streets of the downtown eastside searching out vulnerable women?
It is estimated the costs of investigation/prosecution has cost the taxpayers $116 million dollars. Money not so well spent. Think of the amount of good work this money could have done for women in the dtes or more treatment facilities for addicted population in this community. That is 4.29 million dollars for each of the 27 women.
Given the costs of this trial, perhaps the justice system may reconsider bringing the monster back for phase 2 of the trial where 20 other families seek justice for their daughters. It has been too long already to wait for justice. The first woman officially recorded as missing from the downtown eastside was Lillian O’Dare in September 1978. Most of the women were missing in the decade of the 1990’s. His list covered off almost every letter of the alphabet when it comes to the names of the women Allen, Arseneault, Abotsway, Abigosis, Allenback, Abraham, Baker, Bottomley, Beck, Boen, Borhaven, Crey, Clark, Chinnock, Crawford, Creison, Donahue, De Vries, Dumba, Drew, Egan, Ellis, Feliks, Frey, Fedyshyn, Guno, Gonzalez, Gurney, Hardy, Holyk, Henry, Hardy, Hall, Hallmark, Irving, Jones, Johnson, Joesbury, Jardine, Knight, Koski, LaLiberte, Lane, Little, Mah, Murdock, Melnick, Miner, McDonell, O’Dare, Papin, Petersen, Rail, Rock, Soet, Sebastian, Spence, Triff, Williams, William, Wilson, Ward, Wolfe, Wattley, Young & Young.
He admitted on video camera in his interview he wanted to make it an even 50? But the numbers were much higher. Who else was responsible, where are they? Will there be justice for all of the women? Will society have learned anything from this horror? Will women in this community be treated any differently? I think not.
There are recent reports of another serial killer on the loose in the Fraser Valley. Sex trade workers are not safe until there is a system in place to record license plates and descriptions of vehicles and of people who look for the services of sex trade workers.
The Crown’s appeal of Pickton’s sentence is the most recent news. To me this is good news because an injustice has occurred to the memory of these women and families with the verdict as it stands. This is the cost to a society who turn their backs on their most vulnerable citizens.
Let’s not forget them.
If you would like the name of woman included on the memorial brochure, please contact Marlene at (604) 665-3005.
Join us the the 17th Annual February 14th Women’s Memorial March beginning at noon at the Carnegie Theatre. March will begin at 1 pm from Main & Hastings.
Submitted by Marlene George
A Port Coquitlam singer/songwriter is donating some proceeds from his re-recorded single to the Highway of Tears trust fund.
Jamie Thomson was asked to head back into the studio last month to professionally cut a new version of “Junky Jenny” for the charity. Funding for the recording at Baker Street Studios in North Vancouver came from an anonymous donor linked with a film company.
“It was completely out of the blue,” Thomson said, “but I was honoured to do it because it’s such a good cause.”
The Highway of Tears trust fund was set up to finance the efforts of Ray Michalko, a former North Van RCMP officer who’s now a private eye in Surrey. For the past few years, Michalko has been looking for clues into the disappearance and murders of young women along Yellowhead Highway 16. All but one of the victims was aboriginal and most were hitchhiking at the time.
Thomson said he supports Michalko “because there’s so much territory for him to cover and it seems like the RCMP are doing nothing about this case,” he said, adding, “I hope this doesn’t become a long, drawn-out affair for the families.”
Thomson and his adult children’s band, Sister Says, have performed a few benefits, raising more than $7,000 to date for the trust fund. “People come up to us at the concerts and thank us because they, too, have kids missing,” he said.
He cites the case of Robert Pickton, the PoCo serial killer convicted last month of six murder charges of missing women (an appeal is pending). Thomson has relatives with the Haida Gwaii and Squamish First Nations “and they all know someone who’ve ended up on the streets or are a victim of Highway 16 or [allegedly] ended up on the Pickton farm.
“It’s hit their communities very hard,” he said. “They suffer every day.”
Thomson said the song “Junky Jenny” has also struck a chord with Coquitlam’s Valerie Hughes, the sister of Centennial secondary grad Kerri Koski, whose DNA was allegedly found on Pickton’s farm (Koski is one of 20 women on the second list of murder charges for Pickton).
Hughes has used the song at missing women’s memorials she’s organized, he said.
The ballad was penned about seven years ago about a young girl who approached Thomson on Commercial Drive, looking for help for her drugged-out mother Jenny. He never knew her fate.
Thomson said the re-recorded song — produced by Paul Baker and includes Johannes Grames on guitars, Rick Hopkins on keyboards, Darrell Mayes on drums and Denis Marcenko on bass — is gaining momentum on satellite radio and terrestrial radio in northern B.C.
• To purchase the $5 single, visit myspace.com/jamiethomsonmusic or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 22
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
KAMLOOPS - A mother plans to provide a DNA sample to U.S. police to make sure a young women found in Texas in 2006 is not her missing daughter, who disappeared from Las Vegas the same year.
"The height and weight are the same," Glendene Grant of Kamloops explained Monday about the remains of the young woman discovered on Oct. 29, 2006 in Kilgore, Texas.
The remains are unidentified because the body was severely burned and can only be identified by DNA or dental records, she said.
Grant's daughter, Jessie Foster, 23, went missing from Las Vegas on March 28, 2006. The former Boston Pizza waitress in Kamloops had been working for an escort agency, her mother learned after her daughter went missing.
"I don't believe it's Jessie," Grant said of the unsolved Texas case.
She believes her daughter is still alive and is being kept hidden by a human trafficking ring.
Jessie, 21 when she disappeared, twice travelled to the U.S. in 2005 after meeting a man at a party in Alberta who offered to pay for the trips.
Foster later phoned from Las Vegas and said she was moving in with her rich boyfriend, Peter Todd, who is believed to be the last person to see Jessie before she disappeared.
Grant said her former husband, Dwight Foster of Calgary, also plans to give a DNA sample to assist police investigating the Texas case.
Jessie maintained daily contact with friends and family before she disappeared. Since she went missing, she has not used her cell phone, credit cards, or accessed her bank accounts.
The case has been featured on a number of U.S. TV programs, including Geraldo Rivera, the Maury Povich show and Montel Williams.
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information about Foster's disappearance on a website devoted to Grant's daughter: http://www.jessiefoster.ca/.
© Vancouver Sun 2008
Thursday, January 17
Canada will be walking to raise awareness
for the many women who have been
murdered or who are missing.
and support, help raise awareness and
honour these victims of violence by joining
us on Thursday, February 14th at Sacred
Heart Parish Church, 10821 - 96 Street.
finish around 9.30pm. Please wear red or
phone: (780) 455-4658
Together we will be heard" Lisa Mitchell
Wednesday, January 16
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A grieving aunt says the skeletal remains of her niece, a missing woman from Surrey, have been found in the Fraser Valley -- where police allege a "serial killer" is preying on sex-trade workers.
Michelle Choiniere was involved in prostitution and drug use, a profile similar to that of three women who have been linked to accused serial killer Davey Mato Butorac. However, it is not clear whether the RCMP is investigating him in connection with Choiniere.
After Butorac was charged with two murders last week, RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team was "looking at him linked to other homicides."
Carr said Tuesday he didn't recall Choiniere being among the files IHIT was reviewing for the Butorac probe, but added it would be standard for investigators to check for any similarities.
"However, we'll certainly look at it as a possibility to see if there were links because we are open to any and all possibilities," Carr said.
Choiniere's aunt told The Sun Tuesday that bones found in an undisclosed location in the Fraser Valley on Dec. 7 have been confirmed as belonging to the missing woman.
Although the RCMP announced Choiniere was missing in the fall of 2005, no news release was issued to indicate her remains had been found.
Carr said Tuesday he was unable to reach the lead investigator on the file to confirm the information provided to the The Sun by Choiniere's aunt.
The B.C. Coroner's Service and the Surrey RCMP detachment deferred all questions about Choiniere to IHIT.
After receiving the stunning news about the bones being found, Monica Choiniere said she contacted a coroner and a pathologist involved in the file who indicated her niece's identification was made through teeth found at the scene.
The discovery of the remains explained where Michelle was, but not what happened to her.
"It's tragic, it's terrible. The last two years have been hell on everybody," said Monica Choiniere. "[Michelle] was loved. She had a mother and relatives who loved her to bits."
Monica said she's wondered about a possible connection between her niece and Butorac since his arrest.
Butorac, a longtime Fraser Valley resident, was charged Jan. 7 with slaying Surrey sex-trade workers Gwendolyn Lawton and Sheryl Koroll, and is under investigation for the death of Margaret Redford.
Lawton was found last March on a gravel road in rural Abbotsford, Koroll was discovered July 7 in an industrial area in Langley and Redford's body was found in May 2006 in an Aldergrove creek.
Like Michelle Choiniere, all three used drugs.
Monica Choiniere always hoped Michelle would come home one day. Although that won't happen, she wants families of other missing women to know at least some of her questions have finally been answered.
"I wanted to give families some hope that she was found, that there is hope," she said.
A memorial service was held Jan. 7 in Michelle's mother's hometown of Rivers Inlet, a community on B.C.'s Central Coast.
Monica raised Michelle for part of her youth, as the young girl's parents had their own struggles in life. Michelle's mother is native and is from Rivers Inlet, while her father [Monica's brother] is Caucasian.
Michelle, who had a younger brother and sister, grew up in Burnaby and went to high school.
"When she was young, she was a giggler," Monica recalled. "She always wanted to be in the fashion industry, she was always big with trying new things with her hair and her makeup... She was looking forward to one day having children."
However, Michelle was protective of her mother, who eventually became addicted to drugs and worked in the sex trade in Vancouver. Michelle would also be pulled into that world.
Monica's last contact with Michelle was in the summer of 2005, when plans were made to bring the 24-year-old to a treatment centre in the Okanagan.
"She wanted to get out of that life... She said, 'If I don't come up there, then I don't know what will happen to me,'" said Monica, who lives in the Okanagan.
"But when the day came I was to pick her up at her apartment, she had disappeared. I couldn't find her, the police couldn't find her."
Michelle was reported missing a few weeks later, and for the last two years Monica has spoken to sex-trade workers in Vancouver and Surrey, as well as checked missing persons websites, to try to find any information.
In a posting on one website, Monica wrote: "My dear Michelle, where are you? Do you remember when I would take you to Stanley Park in your pretty pink dress and feed the squirrels? Remember how we would sit at a coffee shop sipping chocolate milk from fancy glasses and seeing who could make the most bubbles?"
© The Vancouver Sun 2008
I love you Michelle Caroline Choiniere, I miss you. ..... My Niece - Michelle Choiniere - birthdate Aug/81 has been missing for one month in the ... www.missingpeople.net/vancouver_missing.htm
Tuesday, January 15
Point: The families of the women who were murdered want to see that Pickton is convicted of every count of murder for which he was charged.
Counterpoint: The world knows that Pickton killed these women—just because a judge hasn't banged a gavel over it doesn't change that fact.
Point-Counterpoint: Is reopening Robert Pickton's trial going to be worth it?
Elliot Goodine and Kelsey Tansiuk Monday, 14 January 2008
Point: We owe it to the victims to see him charged for all of his crimes
On 9 January, BC Attorney General Wally Oppal announced that the Crown would be appealing the verdict in Robert William Pickton's trial. Despite having recently found Pickton guilty on six counts of second-degree murder, the prosecution now wants Pickton to be tried for 26 counts of first-degree. While these new endeavours may appear to be overambitious, they're absolutely necessary in terms of showing respect to the families and women affected by Pickton's acts.
Granted, the primary purpose of the justice system was served in Pickton's first trial, as he will never walk the streets again. He received the maximum sentence of six life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years, which will be sufficient for locking up any murdering scumbag for the remainder of his days. But simply because we have a man behind bars doesn't mean that the justice system has finished the job.
The families of the women who were murdered want to see Pickton convicted of every count of murder for which he was charged. These people have been wronged by him and deserve to be acknowledged in his punishment process. Our justice system shouldn't only focus on rehabilitation and protecting society from psychopaths like Pickton; it should also be an outlet for exposing the truth to the loved ones of the victims.
Secondly, the original six verdicts, which found Pickton guilty of second-degree murder, ought to be looked at again. To call what Pickton did a non-premeditated act is ridiculous. Had he killed one woman, a reasonable argument could be made that no forethought was involved. But when Pickton killed 26 people and used elaborate and grotesque methods to hide the evidence on his pig farm, it's absolutely illogical to consider any of these cases not to have been planned. Second-degree murder charges for Pickton trivialize what he did, making an evil man seem to be simply impulsive.
It's also especially important that all of the charges are seen in court because these women were involved in the sex trade, and to deny them attention in this fashion leaves one at a loss to say what the government is doing for women involved in prostitution. Besides not having enough programs to find these women meaningful work and education, the Harper government vocally opposes the safe injection sites in Vancouver, which have been safeguarding addicts and prostitutes from disease.
Had Pickton's victims not been prostitutes, there would be less hesitation to convict him further. Simply because these women were involved in unsavoury affairs doesn't mean they have less of a right to due process.
While one can't deny that further work in the legal system will be costly, this shouldn't be a factor that determines that the work isn't worth doing. Do we really want history to show that the Canadian legal system gave its most notorious serial killer a mere six second-degree murder charges?
Counterpoint: Justice has been served; further deliberations are just superfluous
The original verdict against Robert William Pickton saw justice served, and to think otherwise plays to the biblical desire of an eye for an eye—not due judicial process. He has been given the maximum sentence for crimes of this nature: that is, life in prison with no eligibility for parole until 25 years after his conviction. On top of all that, the chances of any parole board releasing him are next to nothing, so it's very safe to say that he'll see nothing but prison walls for the rest of his life.
Still, some people just can't be satisfied. The Crown's motion for a new trial intended to charge Pickton with the additional 20 murders is both a huge and completely unnecessary act. The first trial alone spanned an entire year and cost BC taxpayers $46 million dollars. Not to mention the additional (though undeniably necessary) price tag of $70 million spent on the prior two-year investigation beforehand. Mind you, that was only to convict him of the killing six women; the time, money, and legal complexity involved in convicting him of 20 more murders would be astronomical.
Convicting him of additional murders will do nothing to increase his present sentence—and that's only if he's found guilty. For the first trial the Crown chose to charge him with the the six strongest cases. It's one thing to base a court case around one or two shaky accusations, but to try to convince a jury to convict someone of 20 more murders is a tall order.
Overall, dragging this case on isn't what the public needs right now. Saving the evidence and reopening the trial if Pickton is ever foolish enough to apply for parole makes sense, but to open a second trial only a month after the first is closed would be ridiculous and over the top.
Some will argue that it's a matter of closure for the families and friends of the victims—that it's part of the healing process. But for the families of the six women Pickton was charged with murdering, it does nothing but reopen some very deep wounds. The loved ones of the other 20 need to take solace in the fact that this man will, in all likelihood, die behind bars.
The world knows that Pickton killed these women—just because a judge hasn't banged a gavel over it doesn't change that fact. Justice has been served, perhaps not to the the fullest and most useless extent, but enough for the public's purposes.
If emotional healing is still an issue, there are ways to deal with loss that don't involve the courts. Supports groups aren't that hard to come by, and there are plenty of families changed by this man's horrible acts. There must be others willing to talk, cry, and let go with fellow loved ones of the deceased.
Overall, putting Robert Pickton back on trial is a reckless decision that will do more harm than good. The victims' loved ones, and the nation's bank account, don't need this extra stress. The last thing anyone should want right now is to put Canada through the horrifying circus that is Pickton's trials again.
Monday, January 14
Monday, January 14, 2008
Re: Pickton defence wants no delay, Westcoast News, Jan. 10
Anyone who understands our legal system will know that an appeal of the jury's decision in the Robert (Willie) Pickton case was inevitable. The opportunity for the lawyers to keep their incomes flowing in such a complex case is just too good to pass up.
Provincial Attorney-General Wally Oppal is a solid and respected citizen, but, as a lawyer himself, can appreciate the delights of his colleagues as he claims that any appeal should include all 26 victims claimed to have been murdered on the Pickton property. This decision could extend the billing hours of many lawyers for years and into many millions of dollars.
The relatives of the victims are in a private hell that will never be felt by others. They seek closure, but keeping their wounded souls exposed to months and months of the horrid reality of the situation will not, in the final analysis, assuage that need.
Face it. A verdict against Pickton of first- or second-degree murder of some of the victims, at the end of a possible two-year trial, will not provide a comfort zone for many relatives. That might come to them by accepting the fact that proof positive of these tragic murders is remote at best and that any real peace is unlikely.
Perhaps a memorial could be created and community prayer vigils held for the victims and their relatives coincident with its dedication. This should provide a reasonable semblance of finality for those still grieving.
Raymond S. Cox
© The Vancouver Sun 2008
Sunday, January 13
Sunday, January 13, 2008
CREDIT: Les Bazso, The Province
Barry Shpeley holds up a photo of his missing daughter, Candace. The mother of three has now been missing for 10 months and Shpeley is hoping for news.
For 10 months, Barry Shpeley has been waiting for a phone call.
"I just want someone to tell me what happened," he said Friday, referring to the mysterious disappearance of his daughter Candace.
This week, however, Shpeley was relieved when the phone didn't ring.
On Monday, police announced they are investigating the movements of a suspected serial killer who preyed upon Fraser Valley women.
Davey Mato Butorac, 29, has been arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Sheryl Lynn Korrol of Langley and Gwendolyn Jo Lawton of Abbotsford. Investigators are also reviewing the murder of Margaret Redford, whose body was found in Bertrand Creek, less than a kilometre from Butorac's Aldergrove home.
For the Shpeley family, the news was hard to hear.
"I was thinking, should I call police? I wanted to call right away, but my wife said I shouldn't.
Candace was last seen near 98 Avenue and 120 Street in Surrey at about 1 a.m. April 1. The single mom was enjoying a night on the town and asked a man if he wanted to party with her.
Candace was reported missing after failing to pick up her three kids later that day. The last call on her cellphone was made somewhere near the Surrey-Langley border. Her car, a blue 1995 Pontiac Grand Am, was found abandoned in Vancouver two weeks later.
Shpeley doesn't think Butorac could be responsible for Candace's disappearance.
"I think some of the [alleged victims] were prostitutes, and as far as I know, my daughter never did anything like that," he said. "They also found [those] bodies right away."
But the constant worry has taken its toll on the Abbotsford woman's family. For Christmas, they bought and wrapped a present in the hope she would come back. It is now sitting unopened in a cupboard.
Candace's two daughters, Emily and Samantha, live with their grandparents and continue to wish their mom goodnight every bedtime. Three-year-old Marshall is living with his dad.
"What gets me the most is when the girls say that mom is never coming back," said Shpeley. "That's hard. We want to stay hopeful. We want to believe she's OK."
© The Vancouver Province 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Homicide investigators have said Butorac may be involved in other unsolved cases, but apart from the Redford murder, have not identified the incidents they feel could be linked. A number of Fraser Valley murders and missing persons files remain unsolved.
Her body was found in Bertrand Creek in the 27300-block Fraser Highway at about 8 a.m. May 20, 2006. The Aldergrove woman was last seen alive in an alley behind the Alder Inn the night before.
Family described her as a trusting person who always looked for the best in others, a "social butterfly" and "free spirit."
Michelle Caroline Choiniere
Sex-trade worker reported missing Oct. 17, 2005. The 24-year-old was last seen in September 2005 in the Guildford area, wearing blue jeans and a white shirt. Police said she was "known to be transient" but a long absence was out of character.
Last spoke to family on May 27, 2007. Before disappearing, the 43-year-old Coquitlam woman was seen in the Coquitlam Centre area where she was known to frequent coffee shops.
Police said she was always home at night and that no activity has been reported on her bank account.
Ridge Meadows RCMP learned Jones was missing after she failed to return home from a friend's house in December.
© The Vancouver Province 2008
Michele Caroline Choiniere
Friday, January 11
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It is with great sadness that I inform you that my loving husband Jack Cummer passed away suddenly on December 23, 2007 at the Nanaimo General Hospital. ... www.orato.com/jack-cummer/2007/12/25/passing-jack-cummer
Andrea Josebury, Jack Cummer, Laila Cummer,Heather Joesbury, Karen,Vancouver,Downtown-Eastside,British Columbia,missing woman,missing people,women,vanish ... www.vanishedvoices.com/Memorialroom-AndreaJosebury.html
Jack Cummer was grandfather of Pickton victim ... Jack Cummer, who was the grandfather of Andrea Joesbury, stands with his wife Laila View Larger Image ... www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=271bcba1-9eba-4628-a692-1962ce60d7c3&k=28454
Jack Cummer was grandfather of Pickton victim. CD offers hope to those left behind. When hope is fading. Email: email@example.com ... www.missingpeople.net/knock_on_door_raises_fear.htm
Friday, January 11, 2008
We spent $20 million to gather enough evidence to charge Willie Pickton with murder. We spent another $46 million to convict him.
I guess we'll just have to take Attorney General Wally Oppal's word that we may need to spend many millions more to try Pickton all over again -- for zero gain, seeing as the mass murderer has already been handed the maximum sentence for his crimes against B.C. women.
But what a difference the smallest fraction of all that money could have made in changing the lives of the broken women Pickton preyed upon.
Why is it we have money for the desperate women working our streets only after they're dead?
With the prison gates barely closed on Pickton, another serial killer has already emerged on the Lower Mainland. In Edmonton, where 20 survival sex workers have been murdered in the past two decades, police have begun collecting DNA samples from other street workers to make it easier to identify them should they, too, turn up dead.
While Pickton was on trial this summer and media were feasting on the sad stories of his victims, two of the three non-profits that help Vancouver's survival sex workers nearly went under due to a lack of funding.
During the 10 years it took us to decide whether we should even worry about scores of missing women on our streets, and on through three years of investigations and court proceedings, countless women working B.C.'s rough streets continued to be beaten, raped and killed.
With all respect to the families of Pickton's victims, what has been gained? One man is behind bars for the rest of his life, but virtually nothing has changed for hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of survival sex workers in B.C. And the best our attorney general can come up with is a plan to retry the same guy.
"Will the Pickton case change things for sex workers?" I lost track of how often media asked me that last year when the trial was on and I was executive director of Victoria's Prostitutes Empowerment Education and Resource Society.
A few asked if I thought women would "be more careful" now, perhaps even quit working the streets. That they could even ask that underlined for me how little they understood about why those women were out there.
It should be no mystery by now, not after all these years of talk, talk and more talk about the dangerous lives of street-level sex workers.
The bottom line is they need money and it's available on the streets. In Victoria alone, 300 or so different women and children will work our streets in a typical year; on any given night, as many as 30 women work the strolls along Rock Bay and Government Street. They wouldn't be out there if no one was buying them.
That was one of the most gut-wrenching realizations I had in my time at PEERS: There's so much demand for paid sex that no level of disability, poor health or tragic circumstance is enough to render a woman unfit for the sex trade from the buyer's point of view.
What needs to be done to bring about real change? In the grand scheme of things, not much -- which is what makes the whole matter that much more tragic.
For the women out there right now: Supported housing; addiction treatment; care that meets their needs; a safer place to work. I can't fathom why we deny them that.
For the women and children still to come: Loving, healthy families; help with life's challenges; educational support. The child at risk of becoming a survival sex worker -- or one of the twisted men who prey on them -- needs only what anyone needs to grow into a happy, healthy adult.
To stop men from buying sex outdoors on the streets -- and it does need to stop -- the answer will ultimately be increased police enforcement.
But all the other details must be attended to first. Enforcement alone will never get to the root of the problem, and in fact can make things considerably worse for outdoor sex workers by forcing them into ever-more isolated neighbourhoods.
PEERS Vancouver -- the agency that lost eight of its 11 staff members in the summer after Ottawa pulled the plug on two of its key programs -- is seeing that scenario play out right now on the streets of the Downtown Eastside. A police crackdown on the street trade is pushing sex workers even deeper into the shadows, where they're that much more vulnerable to men like Willie Pickton.
Obviously we need to continue to chase down killers, even at great cost.
But surely we should first and foremost try to help women while they're still alive. The families of Pickton's victims would undoubtedly trade retribution in a heartbeat for the services and support that might have saved their loved ones in the first place.
In the grim little news segment this week about the two Abbotsford murders, the news anchor commented that "advocates are hoping their deaths will spur change." Unfortunately, hope alone just won't cut it.
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
Wednesday, January 9
Serial Killer Trial: Pickton Defence Appeals
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 9, 2008 Pickton's defence team has a new face after Peter Ritchie stepped off the team. The new face is that of Gil Mckinnon, a lawyer... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Nothing To Win By Appealing Pickton's Conviction
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 7, 2008 The first words out of my mouth were something to the effect of, “They can't even decide if they can pay for the upcoming trial,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Indian Women Slaves No More
by John HaterPosted: January 6, 2008 As Aboriginal women on occupied Coast Salish Territory, we, the Aboriginal Women's Action Network (AWAN) implore you to pay attention to the voices of... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Big Picture In A Post-Verdict World
by Trisha BaptiePosted: December 27, 2007 Pickton, in some form or another, has hovered in my consciousness daily. Issues and causes I thought I would pick up in the New... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
The Passing Of Jack Cummer
by wayne lengPosted: December 25, 2007 From Laila Cummer It is with great sadness that I inform you that my loving husband Jack Cummer passed away suddenly on December 23, 2007 at the Nanaimo... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
No One Exploits Pauline VanKoll
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 19, 2007 This person said Trisha and I "profess" to be ex-sex trade workers. I’m not sure what she means by saying we profess... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Where Were You When They Needed You?
by Tammy SloanPosted: December 19, 2007 I used to attend an appointment every week at Abbott and Cordova, so I drove through the "low track' of Vancouver's Downtown... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Q & A With Mona Wilson's Brother
by Jayson FleuryPosted: December 17, 2007 Q: I read your sister was called the “dreamer” of your family – why was that? A: Mona Lee Wilson was the dreamer in our family... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
by Heather WallacePosted: December 12, 2007 Murdered woman Sarah deVries had written about it in her journal – how folks were washing her pain down their throats with... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Victim Impact: For My Mom
by Brittney FreyPosted: December 12, 2007 I am here for my real mother, Marnie Frey. I don't have much to say but: Yeah, Mr. Pickton. Why did you hurt my real mother... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Pickton's Sentence: No Parole For 25 Years
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 11, 2007 Today has been a most exhausting day - mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I sat through the victim impact statements,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Pickton Trial: In The Beginning
by Heather WallacePosted: December 10, 2007 Trisha: I have read on another website that you are looking for a reporter who has intimate knowledge of the lives of sex trade workers... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Editor's Thank You To Trisha And Pauline
by Heather WallacePosted: December 9, 2007 Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Robert Pickton: Guilty Of Second Degree Murder
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 9, 2007 Sunday, December 9, 2007 - a date I’ll never forget. I’m overwhelmed with all the media, family members, friends and professionals... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Beginning Of Grieving
by Trisha BaptiePosted: December 9, 2007 The day arrived - December 9, 2007 is the day that missing women from the Downtown Eastside were declared deceased in a most violent... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (7)
Pickton Trial: Finding Fault
by Mike DeinekaPosted: December 9, 2007 I am fully aware that these crimes were horrific and that no one should die needlessly or at the hand of an insane person. I feel... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (19)
The Stress Of Waiting For A Verdict
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 5, 2007 It’s been such a long wait since the jury started deliberations. Restlessness fills the corridor of family and friends, especially... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Snow And Knitting While We Wait
by Trisha BaptiePosted: December 3, 2007 While we await the verdict, there is a very real sense of why we are all here - in the air there's almost an electric charge,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Pickton Guilty On Six Counts: Where Do I Begin?
by Trisha BaptiePosted: December 2, 2007 Being able to cover this trial has been an amazing opportunity, and also quite probably one of the hardest things I have undertaken... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (6)
Families Gather At Day Two Of Deliberations
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 2, 2007 Today time was dragging on while waiting for the jury to come to a verdict on the six counts of murder. For the first time... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
The Verdict And The Final Goodbye
by Pauline VanKollPosted: December 1, 2007 It's hard to believe that this trial is about to wrap it up after 10 months of arguing Pickton’s involvement with the six counts... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
If There Was A Death Penalty
by Pauline VanKollPosted: November 30, 2007 I remember these girls as people who were struggling with addiction as I was. I saw the sadness they carried while we did drugs... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Difficult Jobs Of Judge And Jury
by Pauline VanKollPosted: November 28, 2007 First, a recap: The Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP started an investigation in 2001 with a group called ‘Even Handed’... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Sharing Grief, Sharing Strength
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 26, 2007 Petrie started his closing summations when we came back from lunch on Thursday afternoon. Gone were the flat screens on which... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Finding Myself At The Missing Women's Memorial
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 26, 2007 Saturday found me weepy at the bank, so I met a friend for coffee to try and talk it through. Turns out I cannot put my finger... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
A Family's Mystery Is A Family's Pain
by Pauline VanKollPosted: November 23, 2007 I’ve introduced myself to most of the families and have found many are there with a little hope that the mystery of their loved... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Seeds Of Doubt In Closing Arguments
by Pauline VanKollPosted: November 22, 2007 Defence addressed the fact that Dinah Taylor and Pat Casanova weren’t charged with murder, even though the evidence certainly... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Defence Closing: Day Three
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 22, 2007 Mr. Brooks spoke at some length about gun calabres and the bullets found on the property. Mr. Brooks asked the jury not to assume... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Defence's Closing Arguments: Day Two
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 21, 2007 They talked about how Pickton seemed to parrot to the undercover officer who was planted in his cell what the investigators had... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Closing The Pickton Trial: Putting It Together, Pulling It Apart
by Pauline VanKollPosted: November 20, 2007 Courtrooms were full of media, families and the public. Memories of the lives taken were talked about amongst the families. ... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Pickton Trial: Closing Summations
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 20, 2007 Today was the first day at the courthouse that I was asked what I thought the verdict would be; I gave my answer, and there was... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Facebook Group Incites Violence Against Women
by Trisha BaptiePosted: November 6, 2007 There is a plethora of groups on Facebook - everything from good-humored competition with our American neighbors as to who can... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
My Daughter Was A Missing Woman
by Deborah JardinePosted: October 31, 2007 It was a phone call that would dramatically change the rest of my life. A call that would remain embedded in my memory. On December... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Impending Verdict
by Trisha BaptiePosted: October 26, 2007 Defence's portion of the case lasted six weeks, whereas the Crown's case lasted eight months, which leads one to believe that... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Countdown To The Verdict: Is Pickton Guilty Or Innocent?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: October 17, 2007 Justice James Williams has stated that closing arguments will be heard between November 13 – 15th. He will first address the jury, scheduled for November... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Pickton's IQ Put To The Test
by Trisha BaptiePosted: October 16, 2007 Last week, we heard from Gordon Cochrane who gave a detailed account of Pickton's schooling in the 50s. Cochrane only had records... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Citizens' Opinions On The Pickton Trial
by Pauline VanKollPosted: October 15, 2007 I hesitate before I answer them because I don't find it hard to sit and listen to the gore of what happened to the girls. I've... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Under Cross Examination
by Trisha BaptiePosted: October 12, 2007 We have heard from American spatter pattern expert Jon Norbdy, complete with a riveting power point presentation. He is testifying... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: October 2, 2007 They use either a soluble such as Ethylene Chloride or a Hexane solvent to remove the stain from the mattress and process it under a microscope to find... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Drawing My Line In The Sand
by Trisha BaptiePosted: September 25, 2007 In between the kids starting school, bringing harmony to the multitude of schedules, attending trial and living through the events... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
Defence Plods On
by Trisha BaptiePosted: September 20, 2007 The trial hit a slow patch this week due to a sick juror and legal wrangles between lawyers, but we did hear from Sandy Humeny,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Gone But Not Forgotten
by Trisha BaptiePosted: September 12, 2007 In all, the Crown testimony lasted eight months and covered a myriad of different facts. Some of those facts were more sinister... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
In the Ghetto
by Pauline VanKollPosted: September 11, 2007 We unfortunately lost the lives of the missing women from Downtown Eastside, some of whom I knew. This horrific tragedy will be... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Defence Begins To Paint Its Picture
by Pauline VanKollPosted: September 10, 2007 The question at hand is whether Willie Pickton was intelligent enough to commit the murders alone or was he part of a group of... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Pickton Trial: Defence Witness Fumbles
by Trisha BaptiePosted: September 5, 2007 The three things Defence seems to be focusing on are Pickton's supposed mental deficiencies, the credibility of Crown witnesses... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Catching Up On A Nearby Trial: Cliff Heggs Found Guilty Of Sex Assault
by Trisha BaptiePosted: August 24, 2007 In the little courthouse in New Westminster, B.C., I was able to catch up with another trial going on in the building, as covered... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (9)
Nearing The End Of The Trial
by Pauline VanKollPosted: August 15, 2007 At first I thought that if you legalized prostitution, as they have done in Holland-Netherlands, it might be safer, as long as... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Crown Rests Its Case
by Trisha BaptiePosted: August 14, 2007 We started this case on January 22, first hearing the grizzly details of each of the six women's deaths from Crown counsel. Subsequently,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
A Prostitute's Career
by Pauline VanKollPosted: August 7, 2007 She counts her condoms and brings the necessities to clean up and get ready for the next date. As you walk down the street, you... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
RIP Giselle Ireson: Pickton Witness Dies
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 25, 2007 You may remember Giselle Ireson, who hauntingly testified a few months back that she was positive that Pickton did not act alone.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Checkpoint On The Long Journey To Freedom
by Pauline VanKollPosted: July 18, 2007 This whole process angered me to a degree because I believed it was all part of Pickton's game. When observing Pickton, he seemed... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Mr. Bellwood's Testimony:Pickton's Play
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 18, 2007 Bellwood has admitted to a history of drug abuse. It was in a Port Coquitlam treatment center that he would meet a man named Ross... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Why I'm Doing This
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 16, 2007 This will come as a surprise to everyone I know: I have a silent support - one so silent that no ones knows about him. In fact,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Which Jackie Was It?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: July 16, 2007 I was convinced it was the Jackie that I knew. I began talking with other media journalists about Gina, Dinah and Jackie, trying... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Alleged Threats Against Andrea Joesbury
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 13, 2007 One Friday in June, 2001, Houston went to Pickton's trailer and noticed it was very clean. She said, "Whoever had done it had... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The End In Sight
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 10, 2007 Today we heard from an officer who pulled over Lynn Ellingsen and Pickton on March the 20,1999. Before I tell you about her I... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Losing Our Children: Who To Trust?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: July 10, 2007 I was powerless over my emotions (fear of the unknown, outrage and sadness) and wondered what was to become of my other grandchildren.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Fellow Addict On The Stand
by Pauline VanKollPosted: July 6, 2007 To admit you have a problem is the first step to recovery. After you've done that, the rest falls into place, if you work it one... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Seeds Of Doubt
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 6, 2007 According to defence counsel Brooks, this nurse will say that she saw Papin on March 21,1999 - the day after Ellingsen's recollection... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Writing The Pickton File
by Stevie CameronPosted: July 4, 2007 It's been really busy since I released my book, The... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Memory On Trial
by Trisha BaptiePosted: July 4, 2007 I will start off with a short story that came up this weekend that I had long forgot about, which also falls under the loss of... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Promises, Promises: First Nations People Still Waiting
by Pauline VanKollPosted: July 3, 2007 I've been to some reserves where the water systems sucked and the house wasn't worth fixing. I was sure grateful to have the... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Will Defence Discredit Lynn Ellingsen?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 28, 2007 It took a while to get the drugs and alcohol out of my system. I'm sure it will be the same for Ellingsen, being a chronic alcoholic/drug... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Ex-Sex Trade Worker VS. Active Sex Trade Worker: Showdown With Jamie Lee
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 28, 2007 Jamie Lee Hamilton has been sending Orato messages about how 'ex'-sex trade workers shouldn't speak for 'active' sex trade workers.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (6)
Lynn's Shocking Testimony
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 26, 2007 As she sat, her well-dressed, slight-framed body seemed to silently say Lynn would rather be any where but here. The beginning... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Lynn Ellingsen On The Hook
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 26, 2007 I'm not being cold; I'm being realistic when I say I think the tears in court was all an act. As an observer I learned about... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Down On The Corner
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 25, 2007 I can't say I have friends down there because, in reality, they weren't really friends. They were acquaintances; the only thing... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Flood Of Lynn Ellingsen's Testimony
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 20, 2007 You have to chuckle at a witness who refers to himself as an "arsehole" when questioned about a night when he had been drinking... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (5)
Lost In Translation
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 19, 2007 The first witness to take the stand today was Chi Sing Leung, who through a translator, told the court that he was a maintenance... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 19, 2007 My last family, (Rev.) Arthur & Noreen Mundy, always told me that 'family is so important, don't forget it. Family sticks together... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Scott Chubb's Credibility Under Fire
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 14, 2007 Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie has gone into great detail to discredit Chubb on the stand, which is of course his job.As he read... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
It's All About Drugs And Survival
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 14, 2007 I have a friend who lives in Port Coquitlum, and during a conversation, she mentioned a few details of the events that were happening... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Member Of The Public Versus Media
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 13, 2007 The media woman is seriously messing with my invisibility factor here; people are looking at me. I say that I am going to get... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 12, 2007 C hubb has a checkered past with many convictions, all to which he plead guilty over the years. Like the women this trial is about,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Money For Favors
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 7, 2007 It was a little anti-climatic to see him sitting in the witness box, looking around at the court. He just seemed so small...so... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Who Else Is Guilty And Of What?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 7, 2007 This last day of court, I learned Dinah Taylor and Pat Casanova had many encounters with prostitutes named Roxanne, Angel and... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Luring My Friend To The Farm
by Pauline VanKollPosted: June 5, 2007 I listened to Casanova as he took the stand on June 4th. Casanova is a 68-year-old Philipino man who has been in Canada for 33... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
"He Didn't Act Alone:" Giselle Ireson's Testimony
by Trisha BaptiePosted: June 4, 2007 When Ms. Ireson was asked to describe Mr. Pickton, she pointed and said "He's right there." She later described a discussion at... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: May 31, 2007 I know from experience that working the streets and dealing with hundreds of men, you learn to ignore your true feelings. You... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Pickton Trial - Day Two Of Gina's Testimony
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 31, 2007 I had reflected yesterday evening on my life and the people I knew, both past and present, and I looked at them the way others... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Hardest Day Yet: Gina's Testimony
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 30, 2007 As today's witness was wheeled into the courtroom, I had no idea her small, gaunt frame would so assault my senses. Her name was... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Bad Guys
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 29, 2007 I am often asked what Pickton looks like and how I can possibly look at him day after day, for right now, he seems like the bad... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Humanizing The Victims At Last
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 16, 2007 I was unable to attend the trial last week for personal reasons, and I found myself missing being in the courtroom...almost needing... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
It Takes A Village
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 10, 2007 It was directly because of these people and two other very important people, who now reside in the United States, that I have... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (13)
Help Wanted: Resume Of A Sex Trade Worker
by Pauline VanKollPosted: May 3, 2007 Job Objective: Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Cope with humiliation, dehumanization Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Put up with racism, ethnic stereotyping, sexual... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
A Blue Needle
by Trisha BaptiePosted: May 3, 2007 I closed my eyes and prayed that it really wasn't windshield wiper fluid in that needle . I also prayed that my mind could be... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
A Sto:lo Parent's Rights
by Pauline VanKollPosted: April 27, 2007 Xyolhemeylh couldn't organize a daycare and they know it. I've had them under investigation of my own for many years now, and... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Odd Ducks Swimming At The Pickton Trial
by Trisha BaptiePosted: April 27, 2007 I would like to start with the pair of young men who had come down from Whistler to check out the trial. In case you are planning... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Who Killed My Friends And Why?
by Trisha BaptiePosted: April 9, 2007 In the past few weeks at court, we have sat through days upon days of the experts qualifying evidence, which are pictures of actual... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Children Of Men
by Heather WallacePosted: March 28, 2007 March has been a depressing month in my little town. Until last Sunday, Vancouver had rain every single day, and as the weeks... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (7)
The Judgment Of Others
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 28, 2007 Most people in my immediate family haven't really said how they feel about what I am doing, but my older sister has been remarkably... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Swab By Swab
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 21, 2007 If you've wondered why this case is taking so long it's because the pig pen, slaughterhouse, doors, walls, freezers et cetera... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
The Last Seven Weeks: A Recap
by Trisha BaptiePosted: March 19, 2007 A quick recap of the trial so far: We have learned a blood soaked mattress was found in Pickton's trailer, about the slaughterhouse... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
The Evil In Our Backyard
by Trisha BaptiePosted: March 16, 2007 What if I were to tell you that I could not care less that Callow lives where he does. He served his time and everyone gets a... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
Inferior Civilization? I Think Not
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 15, 2007 I was brought up in a white home, adopted by a United Church Minister's family and didn't know I was different until the kids... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (8)
We Were Not The Savages: The Lion's Story
by Daniel PaulPosted: March 14, 2007 I realized society was against me at a very young age. Probably around five years old. I watched people treat my mother like dirt.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Xyolhemeylh Is Failing First Nations Youth
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 13, 2007 I had limited visits due to transportation difficulties. Back then I didn't drive, nor could I afford a car. The only transportation... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
Johns And The World's Oldest Profession
by Leslie BeniszPosted: March 9, 2007 Hollywood films and television shows haven't done 'working girls' any favors either. Many of the hookers on TV were often degraded... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (8)
Depicting Justice: My Life As A Courtroom Artist
by Felicity DonPosted: March 7, 2007 Sometimes hate can lead you to love. The deep anxiety of my school years - getting up early every morning, spending the day... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Objectification Of Johns: The Hidden Angle
by Allan SmithPosted: March 6, 2007 Some people in recent months have been riveted by the trial in western Canada, where a man is accused of having murdered several... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (15)
Being First Nations In A White World
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 2, 2007 Throughout this trial, I've had fellow First Nations people come to me and share their feelings about prejudices toward Native... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: March 1, 2007 I wanted to open people's eyes to help understand what it's like on the skids of Vancouver. I wanted to say to people "never... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
I Vote For Legalization
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 26, 2007 Prostitution is the oldest profession on earth, as people know. It hasn't gone away over the centuries, and I don't believe it... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (5)
Legalization: Institutionalization Of Objectification
by Trisha BaptiePosted: February 22, 2007 Society should be more concerned with looking at the issues behind prostitution than offering the Band-Aid solution of legalization.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (8)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 21, 2007 Years ago the Princeton Hotel was a place I'd go to have a few beers, that was away from the stroll. But to begin with, my first... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (6)
Unknown To Knowledge
by Trisha BaptiePosted: February 20, 2007 After witnessing how deeply she felt affected, I sensed her testimony would be bad, so I took a big breath and closed my eyes... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Is Our Justice System Trustworthy?
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 19, 2007 It was four years since my first grandson was born, which means four years ago I finally made up my mind to clean up my act. ... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Pickton 'Simply' Guilty? I'm Not Convinced
by Jayne LesardPosted: February 17, 2007 I'm not so sure that Pickton, the infamous pig farmer, is responsible for the crimes of which he has been accused. Like many,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 15, 2007 The first week of court, we heard Canada's whole supply of white laboratory suits was being used. Since everyone who enters a... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Sex Worker Journalism
by Audacia RayPosted: February 14, 2007 It's been really interesting to watch the ways that the press has been struggling with reporting on the trial, because so many... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Stroll Down Memory Lane
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 12, 2007 As a citizen journalist for Orato, I've been asked to write about how I can relate my experiences to the Pickton trial, since... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Ground Zero: The Pickton Farm
by Trisha BaptiePosted: February 12, 2007 I cried. I don't mean I shed a tear; I mean my soul cried and mourned. It was in turmoil for what I saw and for what I know happened... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
Learning To Honor The Police
by Trisha BaptiePosted: February 8, 2007 My attitudes towards the police started changing some six years ago when I met a woman who is a member in the RCMP, who would... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
As Is: A Downtown Eastside Photographic Feature
by Lincoln ClarkesPosted: February 7, 2007 ... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
No Popcorn At This Show
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 6, 2007 The special undercover officer did a great job chatting up a storm with Pickton while they were sharing a cell together. He was... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: February 4, 2007 After defence lawyer Peter Ritchie picked apart the investigators' approach to Pickton's interrogation, I became extremely restless.... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 31, 2007 Investigators had to sift through 383,000 cubic yards of soil to find evidence of human remains; there were 400,000 swabs taken... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (0)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: January 31, 2007 I heard many stories similar to this from some of the girls I was acquainted with on the street. I took one, Alyssa, under my... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Dropping The Ball For 20 Years
by Heather WallacePosted: January 30, 2007 I remember when the Pickton story broke in 2002, I heard about the beginnings of a massive search on the "Pickton Pig Farm." I... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
by Pauline VanKollPosted: January 28, 2007 In court we witnessed the pig-man on videotape playing a cat and mouse game with an investigator. Bit by bit, the story comes... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (2)
The Quiet Yell
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 26, 2007 I have been very sure going into this endeavor that I wanted to be a voice for the women still out there and the ones who had... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Finding The Words To Cover The Trial
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 25, 2007 As we were handed our court passes on that first day, I realized I was going to be sitting in the same courtroom as Robert Pickton... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Through The Power Of The Media
by Pauline VanKollPosted: January 24, 2007 At Day One, people lined up at 4:30 a.m. to be able to get a seat in courtroom 101 or 102. It was mainly the media lined up,... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
Processing The Pickton Trial: Emotional Fallout
by Heather WallacePosted: January 23, 2007 I have always considered myself someone who doesn't shock easily, but last night in the bath, I cried... I couldn't stop thinking... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (6)
Calm Before The Storm
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 18, 2007 As the 22nd of January inches closer, I find myself growing more and more nervous. How will it be to lay my eyes on Robert Pickton?... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
Before The Trial
by Pauline VanKollPosted: January 17, 2007 Friends and family have cautioned me that attending the Pickton trial may be traumatic for me - a kind of nightmare reminder of... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (4)
Hard Road And Healing
by Trisha BaptiePosted: January 15, 2007 I have managed to make it to 33, which considering what I have been through and the subject I am covering, is a minor miracle... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)
Lived To Use And Used To Live
by Pauline VanKollPosted: January 15, 2007 Those who know of my past lifestyle remind me that I could have been one of the unfortunate souls found on the Pickton farm. ... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (5)
Close Encounter At The Pickton Farm
by Natasha MartinsPosted: August 15, 2006 When I first saw Willie Pickton on the news, in 2001, I recognized him right away and the alarm bells started going off. The police... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (1)
by Heather WallacePosted: June 15, 2006 Vancouver's shocking story "broke" not long after the bus strike of 2001. It was a story about over 50 women from my town, missing... Full story » Pickton Trial Comments (3)