Petition demands second Pickton trial
Relatives of 20 missing women among first 200
signatures on online appeal to Oppal
January 3, 2008
VANCOUVER - An online petition is demanding
B.C.'s Crown prosecutors go ahead with a second trial against Robert
(Willie) Pickton to determine whether the convicted serial killer murdered
another 20 women.
Relatives of some of the 20 women started
the new year by signing the petition, posted Jan. 1 by an Ottawa resident
who closely watched Pickton's first trial, which ended last month with six
second-degree murder convictions.
"I feel it's extremely important that they
go ahead with the second trial," Lilliane Beaudoin, sister of Dianne Rock,
said in an interview from her home in Welland, Ont.
"We need justice too. This is my sister. We
need someone to be held accountable,"
Beaudoin, her husband and her mother all
signed the petition, which by its second day had about 200 signatures.
The former Port Coquitlam pig farmer was
charged with killing 26 women who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside.
A Supreme Court judge split his charges
into two trials, fearing one mega-trial would be too difficult for a single
Pickton was sentenced to life in prison
with no chance of parole for 25 years after the six murder convictions at
his first trial, which was a long, complicated legal proceeding.
Advocates for the other 20 women fear
authorities may not go ahead with the next trial.
"My sister needs her time in court,"
"I have a lot of unanswered questions. This
is my one and only means of getting answers."
Like Beaudoin, Judy Trimble has been
encouraging family and friends to write to politicians to lobby for the
second trial. Trimble is the mother of Cara Ellis, another of the 20 women
Pickton is charged with killing.
"We're very optimistic and hopeful that
[the trial] will be held," said Trimble, of Calgary.
Pam Eyre, who organized the petition from
her Ottawa home, is not connected to anyone missing from Vancouver but
attended memorials for women who disappeared from Edmonton when she lived in
"It's a huge, huge issue. This petition
isn't going to be able to speak to it all, but it will let the Crown at
least know there are a lot of people who want to see [Pickton] stand trial
for these additional murders," Eyre said.
"These families need to know the public
really does care about their family members and they absolutely deserve to
see justice done for their loved ones."
Prosecutor Geoff Gaul, who speaks for the
Crown in B.C., said a decision has not yet been made regarding the second
"What happens in the future, whether we
carry on with that prosecution, is an issue that will be determined at a
Gaul would not comment specifically on the
petition, but said generally that the decision will be based on the
available evidence and the public interest.
Potential dates for the second trial are to
be discussed in B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 24.
The petition is addressed to B.C.
Attorney-General Wally Oppal, whose office deferred all comments to Crown
Some pundits and defence lawyers have said
there is likely no need for an expensive second trial since Pickton has
received the heftiest sentence available.
Pickton pleaded not guilty to killing 26
women, who are all on a police poster of 65 women who vanished from
Vancouver between 1978 and 2001.
One of the strongest messages on the
petition is from Debra Chartier, daughter of Janet Henry, one of the missing
women who Pickton is not accused of killing.
"Do the right thing. Our loved ones have
been taken from us and this is the least you can do for ignoring the
situation for so long. If this was your mom, daughter, sister, auntie, etc.,
I'm sure you would want the same and no less. They meant the world to us,"
said Chartier, of Prince George.
The petition is at