Former member of Squamish Five group tells forum about her encounter with serial killer Robert Pickton


VANCOUVER -- Juliet Belmas, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the urban-guerilla group known as the Squamish Five, told a Missing Women inquiry forum today about her encounter with serial killer Robert (Willie) Pickton.

Belmas recalled that Pickton and another man stole her dog in 1997 when she was on parole and living at her parent's home, five blocks away from the Pickton farm in Port Coquitlam.

Pickton and his buddy encountered Belmas outside a nearby grocery store, she told inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal.

"They targeted me. They invited me to the farm to party," Belmas recalled in an interview after her presentation at Tuesday's policy forum.

"I didn't say one word to them," she said, adding she went inside the store and left her three-month-old puppy outside.

When she returned minutes later, the dog was gone. Her name and phone number were on the dog's collar, she recalled, and the phone calls began when she got home.

She went to Pickton's farm that night with her dad to retrieve her dog from the back of a pickup truck and took down the licence plate number, she said.

She went to police to report the matter but police wouldn't even take the licence number, Belmas said.

"The cops completely patronized me," she said. "They made me feel I was harassing Pickton."

She recalled Pickton "was very quiet and lurked in the shadows" while she dealt with Pickton's buddy at the farm, who was loud and aggressive.

Belmas also recalled that while serving more than six years in prison before she received parole for her crimes -- she was convicted of fire-bombing three Red Hot video stores and took part in the 1982 bombing of the Litton Systems plant in Toronto, which made guidance components for U.S. cruise missiles -- she met several of the women who would end up killed on Pickton's farm.

Belmas, now 49, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1984, reduced to 15 years on appeal. She served her sentence at Oakalla prison farm in Burnaby, which was torn down more than 20 years ago.

In recent years, Belmas has been working in the film industry as a "focus puller" for cinematographers.

She said she lived blocks from the Pickton farm growing up and was fearful of the men she saw on the farm.

"I felt the danger in my own backyard," Belmas recalled.

She said she got involved in the Wimmin's Fire Brigade, and later the Direct Action group known as the Squamish Five, because she wanted to firebomb the Red Hot video store in her Port Coquitlam neighbourhood to send a clear message against the "pornographic, sexualized violence" that the video chain offered.




Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016