More strange stories from Pickton's farm
December 05, 2007
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. As jury deliberations in the Robert Pickton trial drag on into a sixth day, walk-ons have been added to the core cast of characters biding time in and around the courthouse.
One of them, yesterday, was Bill Hiscox.
Dishevelled, with some missing front teeth, he "presents'' as someone who might have been a habituι of the Pickton farm, back in the barrel-housing day. And, indeed, Hiscox was around the Picktons Willie and Dave in the late '90s, but at the margins, as an employee of the family's salvaging business.
Didn't attend any of the purportedly notorious parties, nor hang at the adjacent booze-can, Piggy's Palace, he says. Yet Hiscox is a party to events as they transpired, or rather didn't transpire, when a great many women had yet to go missing added to the toll of Pickton's alleged murdered victims, and the scores more who simply disappeared, fate unknown.
"I called the tip line in 1998, told them there was weird stuff going on at that farm," says Hiscox, "and maybe they should be looking there for those missing women."
Someone did listen, a young female Vancouver police officer, who was actually contacted by Wayne Leng, client-turned-friend of Sarah de Vries, one of the victims named in the second indictment a further 20 women filed against Pickton. Those charges are severed from these six and a second trial to be held later, if the Crown is to be believed.
Hiscox had called Leng to share his concerns. More specifically, says Hiscox, he was worried about a comment allegedly made by Pickton about another sex-trade worker still alive, her name protected by a publication ban and against whom the accused was purported to have had intense animosity. "He wanted someone to bring her out to the farm," Hiscox maintains. "He said, `He'd take care of her.'"
The credibility of Hiscox could be challenged, as issue in common with several witnesses who testified at this trial, precisely because they did travel in Pickton's orbit, and were drifters, grifters, drug addicts and sex-trade workers. Hiscox admits he has a criminal record, for assault and B and E, among other things. And some long-time trial observers figure Hiscox is angling for the task force reward money, which is still out there, though he denies this, albeit mildly, and says he wants only "closure" for the families, for himself.
Hiscox says he was interviewed by the RCMP shortly after Pickton's arrest in February 2002. "They said if I had any more information that I was to relate it to them and not to anyone else. But they probably thought I was just another drug addict looking to make a buck off cops."
The source of Hiscox's info was his stepsister, a woman employed as domestic cleaner at the Pickton farm in the '90s. She cleaned Robert Pickton's trailer and noticed provocative articles at that location female clothing, ID belonging to some of the missing women. Hiscox claims he also learned, from neighbours, about one occasion where the Pickton brothers allegedly utilized floodlights and an excavator in the middle of the night, on the property.
He recalls that the property was a dump, a wasteland of automobile parts and salvaged junk. His association with the brothers only lasted for the six months he worked for them, salvaging lumber in the Surrey part of the company's operations.
"Willie was just ... weird, a really freaky guy. He hardly ever talked, mostly kept to himself. I thought, okay, strange person. But a serial killer, maybe? Who's going to ever think something like that about their employer?"