The gruesome details of what went on at the pig farm are starting to be revealed but what else when on there? What exactly was happening at the Piggy's Palace where these pig farmers entertained women and bikers and who-knows-who else? I doubt it was just a friendly neighbourhood get-together with roast pig and kegs of beer. At this point we can only speculate from the disturbing evidence that has been unearthed on the farm. Imaginations run rampant. Rumours sprout like poison mushrooms in manure. It's all beyond comprehension.
But now the trial has begun and the truth will be revealed, no matter how nasty it is.
MONDAY, Jan 22/07
THE TRIAL BEGINS
The trial of the infamous pig farmer starts today after a five year wait. He's on trial now for murder in the deaths of six of the 60 woman who have gone missing from this area since the late '70's. In addition to these six charges, there are another 20 which will be tried separately. He's been in prison the last five years while the pig farm which he operated along with his brother was scoured, literally no stone left unturned, for evidence. The 30 acre or so farmland was completely dug up and investigated by archaeologists specializing in bone fragments. Hundreds of DNA samples were collected. So far only the 26 have been identified. It may come out in the trial that there are many others.
Piggy and his brother ran a party house at the time called Piggy's Palace. It was frequented by bikers (Hells Angels etc)He frequented the downtown east side trolling for street women who were invited to the farm. At the time the case first broke (after years of the police ignoring how many women were going missing) the first thing they checked were the chippers. Get the drift? Remember the movie "Fargo"? Next were the rumours that they had been filming snuff films there. So you can imagine how horrendous the evidence is going to be. Counsellors have been set up in the courthouse to deal with the aftermath of the gruesome evidence that is going to be presented.
Meanwhile the city has been flooded by media from all around the world as this is going to be the most sensational trial in Canada's history. You can find daily updates and details on
or at www.vancouversun.com
Counsellors have also been provided in the downtown area frequented by sex trade workers who might be approached by the media.
These women were mostly addicts and left behind families and children who grieve for them. Unfortunately, some of the family members have been subpoenaed to appear as witnesses and this has created a huge problem for those who have waited all this time for closure because they won't be allowed to attend the court sessions.
Hundreds of people have showed up outside the courtroom waiting to get in, swarming the grieving family members.
At one time I wanted to be a crime reporter, and when I worked for the Van. Sun after high school, one of the women reporters wanted to train me for her desk job. But the city editor wouldn't hear of an 18 year old preacher's daughter working on the crime reports. Instead I ended up being a news librarian in charge of the crime files. I guess that's why I'm always fascinated (though horrified) by these kinds of stories.
Some facts: They built a special courtroom for this trial. The public gallery is separated from the rest of the room by a bullet-proof glass. Pickton sits behind it. Yesterday there were a number of people (especially family members) who left the gallery when the gruesome evidence was given. They've been interviewing them about their thoughts/reactions, and also showing video clips of the various women who were victims. A couple of them left behind beautiful young daughters who have been raised by their grandmas. It's very sad to hear the families and friends talk about them. They were unfortunate women who fell into the sex trade because of drugs. This monster lured them to his farm with promises of a party and good times. He was taped by an undercover person in his cell, bragging about it, how he intended to make it a round 50 but messed up, so only managed to kill 49. There are so far 26 actualy charges, there were other remains found on the farm that matched the dna of a skull found elsewhere, so I think that charge was stayed. The evidence so far has been pretty graphic: severed heads, and body parts found in a freezer; bone fragments discovered at the farm as well as two other locations, on property owned by the pig farmer and his brother. One of the women's body parts were found in the pig sty. It is generally believed that he killed them, butchered them, and put them through the chipper, then ploughed the remains into the earth. The whole 30-odd acres of the farm have been searched, by police, forensic scientists, and archaeologists expert in identifying bones. It has been a five year investigation and the trial is expected to take at least a year.