May 25, 2005. 03:02 PM
This artist's drawing of alleged serial killer Robert Pickton was done Jan. 11, 2002, in court at Port Coquitlam, B.C., during an appearance to complete details for his preliminary hearing. He is charged with the murders of missing Vancouver women, dating back to 1996.
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12 new first-degree murder charges laid against B.C. pig farmer Robert Pickton


NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — The man accused of being Canada’s worst serial killer was charged today with 12 new counts of first-degree murder.

The new charges come on top of the 15 charges Robert Pickton already faced.

Seven of the new charges arose from Pickton’s preliminary hearing.

The other five charges came from evidence developed since the preliminary hearing.

Pickton was committed to stand trial at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing that began in January 2003 and concluded six months later.

Pickton is charged in the disappearance of some of more than 60 women, mainly drug-addicted sex-trade workers, from Vancouver’s seedy Downtown Eastside.

Indictments filed in court by Crown prosecutor Mike Petrie indicate five of the new charges involve the deaths of Cara Ellis, Andrea Borhaven, Kerry Koski, Wendy Crawford and Debra Lynne Jones.

Seven other charges relate to the deaths of Marnie Frey, Tiffany Drew, Sarah Devries, Cynthia Feliks, Angela Jardine, Diana Melnick and an unidentified woman.

The 15 existing charges stem from the deaths of Serena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Jacqueline McDonell, Diane Rock, Heather Bottomley, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Jennifer Lynn Furminger, Helen Mae Hallmark, Patricia Rose Johnson, Georgina Faith Papin, Heather Chinnock, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall.

The first 15 murder charges faced by Pickton cover the period between 1996 and 2002, but some of the new charges date back as far as 1995.

Pickton, dressed in a green open-neck work shirt, appeared via videolink from jail and was asked by Justice Geoffrey Barrow if he could hear. He responded, “Yes, thanks.”

Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie told the judge that he would be making an application for a stiffer publication ban on the case.

Some family members of missing women were informed yesterday that more charges were coming against the former pig farmer.

The Crown had said it expected to add another seven counts before Pickton’s trial and DNA samples of nine additional women were identified on the farm.

The trial is expected to begin in the fall with a lengthy voir dire, or trial within a trial which often examines evidence before it is presented to a jury. The portion of the trial would be conducted under a publication ban.

The trial portion before a jury is expected to begin in January in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Pickton, 55, has been in custody since his arrest Feb. 7, 2002, when police descended on the farm and other property he and his family owned.

Dozens of investigators, aided by forensic anthropologists, took apart every building on the pig farm and sifted through hundreds of tonnes of dirt looking for evidence.


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Updated: August 21, 2016