VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
AG approves extension deadline for Missing Women inquiry
BY NEAL HALL, VANCOUVER SUN October 28, 2011
VANCOUVER - Attorney General Shirley Bond announced Friday a six-month extension to the deadline for the Missing Women inquiry.
The inquiry was supposed to submit its report by Dec. 31 but only began hearings three weeks ago and isn't expected to wrap up until next spring.
The inquiry had asked for a one-year extension but Bond granted only a six-month extension of the deadline -- to June 30, 2012.
"This extension will be incremental to the commission's current budget," the attorney general ministry said today in a statement.
"To date, government has invested $2.5 million to support the commission."
The inquiry, which resumes Monday, didn't finish hearing all the testimony this week of the families of victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.
Some families have been told to expect to return in January.
The inquiry was commissioned by the provincial government last year to examine why it took police so long to catch Pickton, who was arrested in 2002.
There had been tips to police in 1998 about Pickton killing one woman and possibly being responsible for the disappearance of dozens more from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The inquiry's mandate includes probing the reasons why the Crown decided in 1998 not to proceed to trial on charges laid against Pickton in 1997.
Pickton had been charged with attempted murder, unlawful confinement and aggravated assault after he handcuffed a prostitute and stabbed her a number of times.
The woman slashed Pickton's neck with the knife and ran naked and bleeding from Pickton's farm to the street, where she was picked up by a passing car who took her to hospital.
Pickton ended up in the same hospital.
Police found in his pocket the key that opened the handcuffs dangling from the wrist of the woman.
His clothes were seized by police after the 1997 incident.
It wasn't until his arrest in 2002 that police decided to do DNA testing on his clothes and boots, which revealed the DNA of two missing women.
Police eventually found the DNA of 33 women on Pickton's farm.
He was charged with 27 counts of first-degree murder, which were split into two trials.
His first trial ended in 2007 with Pickton convicted of six murders.
He now is serving six life sentences.
After Pickton exhausted all appeals, the Crown decided it would not be in the public interest to proceed on the second trial involving 20 murders.
Pickton confessed to an undercover officer, posing as a cellmate, that he killed 49 women and planned to kill two dozen more.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Updated: January 01, 2007