Pickton to be charged in four more deaths

Pig farmer now accused of being as prolific a killer as Clifford Olson

Kim Bolan
Vancouver Sun

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Four new murder charges are expected to be laid today against accused serial killer Robert (Willy) Pickton.

Helen Hallmark disappeared in 1997. Her mother was told Wednesday a charge will be laid in connection with her death.

The new charges are in addition to the seven first-degree murder counts already laid against the Port Coquitlam pig farmer over the last several months.

Pickton, who is in jail awaiting the start of his November preliminary hearing, is not expected to appear in Port Coquitlam provincial court today.

But it is anticipated that the new charges will be added to the seven-count information, so that they can be part of the preliminary hearing that is scheduled to begin Nov. 4.

With 11 charges against him, Pickton is now accused of being as prolific a killer as Clifford Olson, Canada's most notorious serial killer who admitted to the sex slayings of 11 children in the early 1980s.

Police were preparing to hold a news conference today to announce the additional charges, which are the first to be laid against Pickton since May.

Between last February and May, seven counts were laid in the deaths of Mona Wilson, Diane Rock, Sereena Abotsway, Andrea Joesbury, Heather Bottomley, Brenda Wolfe and Jacquilene McDonell.

All of them were on the list of 63 women -- many of whom were drug-addicted prostitutes -- who have vanished from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in recent years.

One of the new charges expected today is in the murder of Georgina Papin, who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside in March, 1999.

Papin's brother, Rick, was visited by the RCMP/Vancouver police missing women's task force at his home near Edmonton Monday and told his sister's DNA had been found on the Pickton's Dominion Avenue farm.

Police from the task force would not comment Wednesday, although they earlier confirmed that investigators had flown to Alberta to meet with Papin.

Like many of the relatives of women on the list, Rick Papin said he provided a blood sample to the police in July, which led to confirmation of his sister's remains.

"I needed questions answered. I'd been waiting for three-and-a-half years," he said.

Kathleen Hallmark, whose daughter Helen disappeared five years ago, got a visit Wednesday from task force members telling her that a charge will finally be laid in connection with her daughter's death.

She said she was told there would be four new charges in total today.

Hallmark was visited three months ago and told by police her daughter's DNA had been found at the Pickton farm, but not enough to lay charges.

Hallmark said there is some sense of relief, but also more trauma.

"I knew it was going to come," Hallmark predicted. "There will be more families told."

Like Hallmark, the families of Patricia Johnson and Sara de Vries were also visited by police over the summer and told their loved one's DNA had been found at the farm. Also like Hallmark, they were told that not enough had been found to lay charges at that time.

Meanwhile, the father of another woman on the missing list was poised to file a civil suit in a Victoria court today against the police and government officials in the case.

Lawyer Denis Bernsten told The Canadian Press that the suit would be filed on behalf of Doug Creison, whose daughter, Marcella, was 20 years old when she was last seen in December 1998.

Bernsten did not return phone calls from The Vancouver Sun Wednesday.

But Marcella Creison's mother Marnie Creison said she knew nothing about the suit, nor was she in contact with her daughter's father.

Marnie Creison said she had not received any recent information about her daughter's disappearance from the task force.

One suit has already been filed by Bernsten on behalf of Karin Joesbury, whose daughter Andrea is among Pickton's alleged victims.

Pickton's statement of defence in that suit denied the allegations against him.

 Copyright 2002 Vancouver Sun

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Updated: August 21, 2016