RCMP call on U of S expert in B.C. serial killer case

Walker sworn to secrecy for fear of jeopardizing prosecution of pig farmer Robert Pickton

Lori Coolican
Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Monday, June 17, 2002

A renowned forensic anthropologist from the University of Saskatchewan has been helping with the massive search for murder victims underway on a pig farm, home to a suspected serial killer in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Ernie Walker confirmed he spent some time last week at the scene where a joint RCMP-Vancouver police task force has been investigating the disappearance of 50 women from Vancouver's east side stroll.

RCMP spokespeople have said 26 experts on the study of human bones, mostly students from across the country, will be examining soil samples carried on conveyor belts from a huge excavation on the property.

The students had to sign non-disclosure agreements and submit to criminal background checks before joining the team. Walker said he is forbidden from discussing details.

"Nothing at all, or even about the students that are hired," he said. "They put a real lid on this."

Police have refused to comment on reports that the heads, hands and feet of two women were found in a freezer on the farm several months ago, for fear of jeopardizing the prosecution against suspected serial killer Robert Pickton.

Pickton, 52, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, while the search of the 4.5-hectare farm he co-owns with his brother continues.

Walker is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the U of S, where he also holds associate membership in the Departments of Geological Sciences, Anatomy, Biological, Diagnostic and Surgical Services, and the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry.

He has played a role in several high-profile murder investigations, and holds the rank of Special Constable with the RCMP. His expertise includes forensic archeology, identification of human remains, and crime scene management.

 Copyright  2002 Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Saskatoon StarPhoenix



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