Tape sheds light on pig farm search

Suzanne Fournier and Greg Middleton
The Province

Thursday, June 27, 2002

A taped police interrogation of a woman who defends accused serial murderer Robert "Willie" Pickton reveals that some of his women friends are providing police with disturbing evidence.

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Police search the Picktons' pig farm

"People are starting to talk to us who never talked to us before about Willie," one of two female officers on the missing-women task force says in the two-hour interview.

The woman they were interviewing often stayed with Pickton at the Port Coquitlam pig farm that is now the focus of an intensive forensic search.

"One of the girls is on board with us now," the officer says on the tape. "She is negotiating through a lawyer and she's one of the girls that stayed there. And there's going to be new charges as a result of that information. That's another reason why we're here. There are six murder charges and more coming."

Pickton, 52, now faces seven first-degree murder charges in connection with the disappearance of 54 women, most of them drug-addicted prostitutes from the Downtown Eastside.

"We've got information that girls were brought to the farm and never left the farm," the officer tells the woman.

The police gave a copy of the taped interview to the woman they were questioning, who gave it to Global TV.

The officers reveal on the tape they are investigating reports that suspects other than Pickton may have tortured a woman with a battery-charger cable.

The woman adamantly denies that she ever saw Pickton hurt or kill anyone, or that she brought women to the farm to meet Pickton, or saw any of the alleged events occur.

"If I seen any s--- like that going on down there, I would have been at the police station so fast, it would have made your head swim," she said.

Her statement is different from what she allegedly told Bill Hiscox, who also worked for Willie Pickton, in 1998.

"She was really worried in 1998 about what she saw in Willie's trailer, of cleaning up his messes," says Hiscox, who grew up in foster care with the woman.

On the tape, the woman said she often saw women's clothing in Willie's trailer, but that they came from boxes of rags Pickton bought at auction.

But on a 1998 audiotape, Hiscox says the woman doesn't want to get involved with police: "She's kind of scared about it. But she told me, 'Billy, you wouldn't believe the IDs and s--- out in that trailer. There's women's clothes out there, there's purses. You know, what's that guy doing, it is, like really weird."

 Copyright 2002 The Province

Pickton tape given to police in 1998

'He's quite the strange character, eh, very, very strange'

Suzanne Fournier
The Province

Thursday, April 25, 2002

A chilling 1998 audiotape reveals detailed information about a Port Coquitlam pig farmer charged with murdering six prostitutes who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside.

A copy of the tape was given to Vancouver police in 1998, yet they did not investigate Robert "Willie" Pickton until Feb. 5, 2002, when RCMP got a search warrant.

The tape obtained by The Province is of a conversation between Wayne Leng, who runs a website on the missing women from California, and Bill Hiscox, who was employed by Pickton in 1997 and 1998.

Hiscox did not know until The Province contacted him this week that the tape existed.

"I'm really happy to hear it, because it proves I tried to do the right thing back in 1998, which is go to the police with my concerns about what I and other people had seen at the farm," Hiscox said.

Hiscox tells Leng on the tape: "Listen, he [Willie Pickton] was already charged, it seems about a month ago, with trying to slash a prostitute's throat, and stab her. And he got off the charges."

[Pickton was charged in 1997 with attempted murder of prostitute Wendy Lynn Eistetter at the farm. Eistetter, her stomach cut open, ran to a nearby farm. Pickton was also seriously cut in the incident. The charges were stayed.]

Hiscox says it's an odd coincidence "with all the girls that are going missing, and all the purses and IDs that are out there in his trailer and stuff. He has a 25-acre farm, a lot of heavy-duty machinery out there and stuff, you know, easy places to hide things out there. And you know, he's quite the strange character, eh, very, very strange. His name's Willie. He's the owner of P & B Salvage here in Surrey. They salvage crap from old houses and stuff like that. He's a really strange character.

"He's got a farm out in Port Coquitlam and you know he frequents the downtown area all the time, for girls. Everything started clicking on me you know, about this guy."

Hiscox tells Leng that he has talked to Vancouver police and that "they're going to look into it and check this guy out for sure, here." Hiscox says he spoke to Det. Al Howlett, head of the Vancouver police missing persons section, and the Surrey RCMP.

Hiscox tells Leng he has spoken to a friend who knows Willie, "but she doesn't want to get involved. She's kind of scared about it. But she told me, 'Billy, you wouldn't believe the IDs and shit out in that trailer. There's women's clothes out there, there's purses. You know, what's that guy doing, it is like really weird.' "

David Pickton, Willie's brother, has told The Province they often bought salvage vehicles that contained women's clothing and other personal items.

Leng said yesterday that he taped all phone calls after putting up posters seeking information about the disappearance of Sarah deVries in April 1998.

Hiscox said he phoned Leng after seeing one of the posters and thinking about the Pickton farm.

Police searching the farm have recovered human remains and alleged evidence of a serial murderer at work for several years.

Leng said he gave the tape to police in 1998, and since then 22 women have disappeared, including the six women Willie Pickton is alleged to have murdered. A total of 54 women are missing.

Pickton, 50, is charged with the murders of Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Jacquilene McDonell, Heather Bottomley, Diane Rock and Andrea Joesbury.

Ernie Crey, whose sister disappeared in late 2000 or early 2001, said he was shocked at the specific information in the tape.

"If [police] had been doing a thorough investigation, they could not have failed to understand what the tape was telling them, or find the person referred to in the tape," said Crey.

"It hits me like a sledgehammer . . . something went deeply wrong in the Vancouver Police Department and we need to get to the bottom of it."

Deborah Jardine's daughter Angela disappeared in November 1998, about four months after police heard the tape.

Jardine, of Sparwood, is demanding a public inquiry.

Vancouver Det. Scott Driemel yesterday refused to answer questions about the missing women.

"We'll not answer those sorts of questions in between the briefings," he said.

 Copyright 2002 The Province



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Updated: August 21, 2016