Pickton investigator astounded crucial files would go missing


Lawyer Cameron Ward — pressing forward with a theory that officials are covering up failures in the Robert Pickton investigation — got the RCMP’s lead investigator to admit he was “astounded” that important files were allegedly destroyed.

Ward, who is representing a number of victims’ families in the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, told RCMP. Cpl. Mike Connor that the Crown apparently has destroyed documents explaining reasons for dropping attempted-murder charges connected to “Ms. Anderson” — the woman who escaped Pickton in March 1997 after a bloody knife fight.

Connor testified yesterday that he was never consulted about the Crown’s choice to drop charges in January 1998, and he was told in a phone call that the woman was unreliable because she was severely addicted to heroin. Police believed her information was extremely credible, Connor said.

The Crown says their 1997 file “is gone, destroyed, vanished,” Ward told Connor, adding that all serious-injury crimes are mandated to be kept for 75 years.

“It would astound me they wouldn’t keep files,” Connor said. “It certainly surprises me ... astonishes [me].”

Connor acknowledged the failure to convict Pickton allowed potentially dozens of women to be murdered.

Today Ward overcame an objection by a government lawyer to win access to Connor’s personal investigation notes, which Connor carries with him in a brief case. Lawyers had only received versions vetted and redacted by government officials.

Ward has continually ruffled feathers in the inquiry by suggesting officials are hiding important documents, allowing a police “coverup.”

Ward, for the first time today, was able to provide substance to his theory, in that both Connor and his VPD counterpart Det. Const. Lori Shenher were concerned about retaining their files after turning them over to the RCMP, and worried about being scapegoated.

Connor said he reluctantly turned his files over to an RCMP unit to copy following Pickton’s arrest, fearing something would go missing.

“I suspected one day I would be here, and required to give evidence,” Connor said. “I did have a concern the file could go missing. I put it in a safe.”

Meanwhile, concerning the 1997 charges against Pickton, volumes of physical evidence were taken from the crime scene, including Pickton’s clothing, which sat in an RCMP evidence locker without being tested for DNA until 2005. Tests revealed DNA of two missing women. Yesterday, Connor said he never considered running tests.

Today, the inquiry heard that Connor was aware through a Pickton associate in August 1999 that Pickton was very concerned his property could yield incriminating DNA, and he felt he was in “over his head,” and considering “flight.”




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

Updated: August 21, 2016