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Friday, March 30, 2007

A CAUTIONARY TALE

I should be writing more upbeat stuff, but I do that on my other two blogs. This blog, for the moment, seems to have become a place for investigating and commenting. My crime-reporter instincts have taken over. The latest story that came to my attention was a horrible incident that happened over in Victoria when a beautiful 22 year old University student died from an overdose of GHB, a date rape drug, after takeing a swig of what she thought was water from a Gatorade bottle. GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is put into liquids to induce a feeling of intoxication and often memory loss. A lot of people are using it to mimic the effects of alcohol and it's become popular among young adults. It's colorless, odorless and sells for $5 to $10 a dose. Unfortunately, a number of people have died following overdoses and the police have reported a number of sexual assaults where victims were drugged.

Some clubs here in my city are banning water bottles, vials and liquids and surveillance has been increased. A bartender warns: "If someone wants to buy you a drink, be at the bar when the drink is poured. Watch your drink. Leave it with a friend if you go to the washroom. Y ou wouldn't leave your purse. Don't leave your drink!"

I once had my own experience with a drug like this (or rohipnal) when I first went to live in Athens in 1983, so these drugs have been around a long time and were very popular in Athens. I found out that a number of other girls who had drank at that same bar where we all congregated had been slipped date rape drugs. And just a few years ago the same thing happened to a friend of mine when a group of us were having a full-moon night picnic on Philopappou Hill in Athens. I wrote this story about it because I wanted to warn other people to be careful. It was submitted to an anthology for first-time backpackers to Europe, and was accepted. Lonely Planet was going to publish the anthology. I signed a contract and waited. But, next thing I knew they broke the contract (no kill fee) saying their target market didn't want to publish the story as it might 'discourage' travel. So here it is, and if you are unaware of the dangers of this insidious drug, this cautionary tale is for you.


ONE FULL MOON NIGHT IN ATHENS: A Cautionary Tale
(What my Mother told me: “Don’t take candy from strangers!”)

The first night of the July full moon in Athens. My friends and I have gathered at our local taverna with plans to view the spectacular full moon from the Acropolis, while enjoying classical music played by the Athens Symphony.

A strange young man enters the taverna. He is dressed in sandals, short tunic and carries a homespun wool bag. His hair and beard are long and blonde. He is an apparition of someone from Biblical times, like a modern-day version of John the Baptist. Mike, a British painter who has is studio in the area, says he has seen this odd character many times. He thinks the young man lives in one of the caves on Philipappou Hill, near the Acropolis.

The young man appears to be a deaf mute. He does not speak, and gestures to Anna, the taverna owner, indicating he wants food. She gives him a souvlaki and he leaves. But we are curious. We wonder where he has come from, and how he makes his living here? Clearly, he is not Greek. Who is he?

The second night of the July full moon. Anna Britt, a Norwegian classical scholar; Vesa, a Finnish architect; Lena, a Danish girl studying Greek, and myself, a writer from Canada, decide to have a picnic up on Philipappou Hill to celebrate the moonlight. The hill is opposite the Acropolis. Footpaths wind up through the pine groves to the crest of the hill where there is an impressive monument to Philipappou, a Prince of Syria who was exiled to Athens by the Romans and died here in AD 116.

From the crest of Philipappou Hill we have an eye-level view of the Parthenon all lit up with golden floodlights. In the brilliant, star-studded sky, the beautiful moon beams down flooding the hillside with a soft silvery-blue light. We sit at the base of Philipappou’s monument and share our snacks: a bottle of wine and a bit of brandy, some crackers, cheese and olives.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, truly like the appearance of a an apparition, the strange young man we had seen at the taverna the night before, is standing in our midst.
We are stunned speechless, as his appearance is so sudden and eerie. But because we are also still curious about him, we invite him to share our food and drink. He refuses the food, but snatches
the bottle of brandy out of Vesa’s hand and quickly drinks down what is left of it then smashes the bottle on the rocks. We are startled by this abrupt, rude action. He takes a bottle of ouzo out of his bag and offers it to Vesa. Vesa, who has been drinking the brandy, refuses. I have been drinking wine and decline the offer too. Lena is pregnant, and doesn’t drink. To be polite, Anna Britt takes a couple of sips of the ouzo. then hands the bottle back.

We invite the young man to sit with us. We want to know all about him. What is his name? Where does he come from? Where does he live? He squats down, not speaking but evidently capable of hearing everything we say to him. It doesn’t take long before we grow suspicious of his ‘mute act’ and wonder if he merely belongs to some odd cult and has taken an oath of silence. Anna Britt takes another swig of ouzo and tries another angle to engage him in conversation. He says nothing, but occasionally laughs in a derisive manner, laughing at us. His attitude is arrogant and rude. We are beginning to feel very uncomfortable in his presence.
I decide to challenge him about his inability to speak. He knows exactly what I’m saying and laughs. Anna Britt says she is feeling dizzy and decides to lie down on a flat slab of marble. He finds this very amusing. Our suspicion increases. We are feel uneasy and wish he would leave. All the other moon-watchers have left the hillside. We are alone with this weird guy. Anna Britt say she is feeling nauseated and tries to get up. She can’t move. She is very frightened, almost hysterical.

“What was in that ouzo?” she asks the young man.

He laughs maniacally and as suddenly as he had appeared, like a disappearing ghost, he is gone... poof! Vanished into thin air.

Anna Britt tries to move, but her limbs seem to be paralyzed, and she begins to retch violently. She is conscious. but now we are certain there was something potent in those few sips of ouzo she drank from the young man’s bottle.

I volunteer to run down the hill to find help. Halfway down, I meet two Greek men and explain what has happened. We race back up the hill. They try to help Vesa pick Anna Britt up. She is crying, and vomiting every time she moves, but somehow, even though she is a dead weight, the three men lug her half-way down the hill to the parking lot. One of the Greeks runs down to the street to find a telephone, and calls an ambulance. We are so thankful for their help. Without them, we would not have got ten Anna Britt down the hill.

The ambulance arrives, but the drivers appear to be helpless. It is Vesa, and the other Greek men who tell them what to do. “Put a cover over her. She’s in shock!” (By now Anna Britt was shivering even though the night was very warm.) We asked if they had equipment with them to pump her stomach. They did nothing but cram her and us into the back of the small ambulance and drive off to an unknown destination.

We arrive at a hospital, but we have no idea which hospital or where in Athens we are. Nobody speaks English and even with our elementary Greek we get no straight answers. We are deposited in the emergency room. There are several nurses lurking in the office drinking coffee and smoking. Nobody rushes to help us. Eventually a doctor comes. By now we are frantic, because Anna Britt is clearly in serious distress. We explain to the doctor what has happened. Can she pump Anna Britt’s stomach, please? Obviously she ingested something toxic and it needs to be flushed out of her system. The doctor’s response was simply: “We have strong drinks in Greece.” (Referring to the fact that Anna Britt had drunk some ouzo.) We try to explain that Anna Britt only had at most five sips of the ouzo. That she was not drunk. That we were not ‘stupid tourists‘, we were scholars, living in Athens while we researched and studied.
This did not impress the doctor. Anna Britt continued gagging and vomiting. Her limbs were still paralyzed. There was nothing she could do, the doctor said. We would have to wait until she ‘slept it off’.

I decided to phone the tourist police. I still had no idea of what hospital we were in. A man in the waiting room talked to the police officer and explained. The police officer said that we must make a report the next day.

Several hours had passed by now. Anna Britt was not improving and the doctor and nurses were doing nothing to help her. We are more than frantic. What if she dies? What shall we do next? I decide to phone Mike.

Four o-clock in the morning, Mike drives across town to the hospital. We tell him what happened on Philippapou Hill. He speaks sternly to the doctor and tells her she must do something, that this wasn’t simply a matter of ‘too much ouzo.’ Mike has lived in Greece for many years, and is fluent in the language, and whatever he said had some impact. With that, they put Anna Britt on an IV. But it isn’t for several more hours that she recovers enough so she can move without vomiting and get off the gurney by herself. She is weak and shaken, but she is alive.

The next day, Anna Britt and I set off to make the police report. First we visit the tourist police office, as I had been instructed. They sent us to another precinct downtown. When we began to describe the weird young man dressed in Biblical clothes, the police officers simply laughed at us and dismissed us.

“Too much ouzo. We have strong drinks in Greece,” was their only response.
Frustrated, we stop by the tourist information booth at Syntagma Square and report our dilemma. The woman says Anna Britt should inform her Embassy.

We go to the police station in our district. The officer in charge is cordial and invites us to sit and chat. We explain who we are and why we are living in Athens. “How interesting! Would you like to talk about archaeology?” he asks. He is not interested in taking a police report of last night’s incident. He suggests we talk to the officer in charge of patrolling Philippapou Hill.

By now it is nearly six p.m. and we have been roaming around Athens since early morning trying to make a police report. We go to the place where we are told the Philippapou patrol will be waiting. But when we start to describe the weird young man with the unusual Biblical costume, and explain that he lives somewhere on the hill, is obviously making a living out of doping tourists so he can steal their money, the officer snickers, waves his hand, and dismisses us. He is not the slightest bit interested in what has happened or who this dangerous young man might be. He lights up another cigarette and lounges over to the kiosk to buy a coke.

Completely frustrated, we give up our quest to make a police report. We return to the taverna where our friends are waiting. Word has gotten around about our terrifying experience. The general attitude of the Greeks is a shrug. “Serves you right!” is the basic message.

Anna Britt contacts her Embassy. There is nothing they can do unless a police report is made and charges laid. The entire episode is dismissed. The weird guy in the Biblical costume with his drug-laced ouzo is still at large somewhere on Philippapou Hill.
We all agreed on one thing: When we were children, our mothers warned us: “Don’t take candies from strangers.” It might be an old-fashioned adage, but it’s still true. And it’s something that, even though we are now adults, we still need to keep in mind.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Date rape drugs, and other ‘knock-out’ substances have been in use for several years, often in bars around Athens, as well as in cities other parts of the world. Victims are not only young women, but men too. Travelers, be aware when accepting drinks from strangers, no matter where you are, that this could lead you into a dangerous and compromising situation.

This is a true story, and that is why when I read about the young woman who died recently I knew I had to retell it. I'm meeting my friends in Athens this summer. We're planning a birthday party on the Pnyx Hill. We'll watch out for strange guys wearing Biblical clothing, and we won't accept any drinks from strangers.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

TRIAL SUMMARY: How to get rid of an addict

The trial of the pig farmer was recessed for a week, and this past week the court only sat for a couple of days. The media has been gentle with its readers by posting the trial coverage on back pages, usually with a warning of the content and as well, a brief summary that can be read by anyone without it being distasteful. This trial is due to go on for at least a year, so rather than bore my own readers with too many shocking details, I'll only post trial reports on occasions when there is something outstanding to discuss.

This week's summary stirred up a number of unpleasant memories for me, personally. Back in the early '50s my boyfriend became a heroin addict. He stayed addicted for his whole life after that. We had a short-lived reunion in 1990 at which time he tried to pretend he was 'clean' but in fact only a short time went by when I realized he was using even though he'd had a serious near-death experience from an overdose. I recall hearing him talk about 'hot-needling' people to get rid of them. Reading this latest report of the Pickton murder trial reminded me of that.
Jim died a few years later from a brain tumor that had gone undetcted because of his years of addiction. I found out about it when the reporter who was covering the story of how I wrote my play "The Street" called to set up an interview with him.

SUMMARY OF THE PICKTON TRIAL

The RCMP officers who investigated and videotaped two properties co-owned by accused killer Willie Pickton and his brother, noted striking similarites between what was found on both pieces of land. Large amounts of women's clothing were found buried in the yard of the family's 7 hectare farm and a second property nearby. Besides the buried clothing, bags of decomposed clothing was found outside a motorhome on the main property.

The defence laywers allege that many people had access to the Pickton proerty, including three friends of Pickton who were arrested but not charged.

Officers also reported finding a syringe filled with windwhield wiper fluid tucked inside a stereo console inPickton's office. Allegations have been made, during a videotaped police interrogation of one of Pickton's friends, that the accused once boasted to him that a good way to get rid of a drug user was to inject her with windshield wiper fluid. This friend alleges Pickton said it would look like an overdose because the victim would already have track marks from drug needles.

It was also confirmed that a fingerprint found on a box on top of the freezer which contained missing women's remains, belonged to Dave Pickton, the accused's y oung brother. Other prints found on various items belonged to Pickton and one of his female friends who was arrested but not charged in the case.





Thursday, March 22, 2007

SO THIS IS SPRING?

THURSDAY, March 22

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. Okay, the cherry trees are in bloom, there's early flowers in the gardens, I hear, occasionally, happy little birds twittering in the naked branches of the trees. But it's been raining non-stop and the forecast is for much more. On top of it, it's bitterly cold and utterly miserable. So this is Spring?

I absolutely had to force myself out of bed this morning and give myself a stern talking-to about heading out to the pool for waterfit. But the time I got here, waiting in the rain for buses that were late because of traffic snarls, I missed most of the session but did manage a couple of lengths and soaked in the hot-tub awhile. Then, feeling somewhat more relaxed, I went to the change room for my shower.

Oddly, I've been writing lately about violence against women by MEN. But today there was a disturbing incident happened in the women's change-room at the pool that made me see there can also be violence against women by women. A bunch of us seniors were toweling down and changing when this shaven-headed, tattooed person (woman) dressed in men's clothes, barged into the dressing-room ranting at the top of her voice about "stupid useless women!" and continued carrying on in the most disgusting manner, shouting insults, degrading commentaries, hassling and finally threats against us other women who were her captive audience. It didn't stop there, as she was getting ready (for a gym workout) she began singing loud, rude lyrics to some made-up or possibly real song, again degoratory and insulting to women. Another woman told her to stop, that what she was doing was harrassment and degrading to the rest of us. This set the bully off into more tirades and threats. When I spoke up to support the first lady, the bully threatened me too. "I'll take you out and...." If this had been a man, he'd have been put in handcuffs and taken out and charged. Someone must have complained, as a pool attendant (female) came in and spoke to her, calmed her down somewhat, but this creature was a time-bomb ready to explode. Everyone in the change room was upset and frightened, not knowing what to do.

When I got dressed, I went out and told the desk clerk I wanted to lay a formal complaint. Frankly, people who behave like that ought to be barred. We women go to the pool for our waterfit classes and expect to be in a safe environment. This was far from 'safe'. It was downright scary. I've seen this person before, in the gym, strutting about like Rambo.
Not even the men in that gym behave in such a bullish manner as she does.

Anyway, when I was writing the complaint letter, who should appear on the stairway from the gym and come over to the desk, but the culprit. It was so weird that I wondered if she somehow knew I was there making a complaint about her. I was frankly worried as I wouldn't want to meet this person alone anywhere. She's dangerous! I hid the note from her view and heard her say to the desk clerk "It was only words from a Stones song. If they want to blame someone, let them blame the Stones!" And, thankfully, off she went to the gym. But I'll watch out for her in future, because surely she would put two-and-two together and figure out it was me who was writing the formal complaint against her. I gather from the desk clerk (who is famliar with her) that she probably has a mental-health problem and was off her meds. Still, this kind of behavior should not be allowed. It's bad enough hearing about violence against women by men, but when it's woman against woman that's even more shocking!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

SATURDAY, March 17/07

The Pig Farm trial has been in recess all week but other things have come out in the news regarding violence against women and I thought I should to write a commentary on it. Besides the shocking revalation of all the Native Indian women who have gone missing, 26 of whom Willie Pickton is charged with murdering, in the last several months there have been a number of terrible incidents involving Indo-Canadian women who have been murdered by their husbands.

This is becoming a horrific and shocking thing that is happening all too often and has shaken up the Indo-Canadian community here. The latest was the arrest of the husband and brother-in-law of a lovely pregant mother of a 3 yr old and beloved school teacher, who had 'dissapeared' after attending her prenatal class, and later whose body was discovered burned beyond recognition on a beach outside of the city. From the beginning I strongly suspected the brother-in-law because she had recently kicked him out of her home after he had been charged with harassing and assaulting a girlfriend. Now they have arrested both her husband and the brother-in-law for her murder. This is all so tragic. As is the trial of the missing women from the Downtown East Side.

One of the questions raised in conversation about that case is "Why did the police ignore for so long the tips that were given to them in regards to the missing women, many of which connected their disappearances to the Pig Farm?" The police are culpable in this case for letting it go on so long before anything was actively done. By then more than 60 women had gone missing from the DTES. Most of them were Native women, prostitutes or drug addicts. Is that why their disappearance was ignored? Aren't they human beings like the rest of us who have not had to live such unfortunate lives?

I noticed in the paper yesterday that there has been a movie made "Finding Dawn" which takes its name from the search for Dawn Crey, number 23 among the 60 missing women. She was one of the People of the River, the Stolo from the upper Fraser Valley. Her remains were found on Pickton's farm but there wasn't enough DNA to include her as one of the 26 women he's charged with killing.

This movie is seen as a catalyst to help combat violence against women. The film maker, Christine Welsh, was invited to be part of a screening in the Dag Hammerskjokld Library in the U.N. in NYC as part of the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Welsh takes Dawn's story as a starting point for a journey into the native women who have gone missing or been murdered in Western Canada in communities such as Saskatoon or along Highway 16, the Yellowhead in northern B.C. (Known as the Highway of Tears).

"Finding Dawn" she says , is more about the living than the dead, and how native women are organizing to combat violence against native women. It won the Amnesty International Film Festival Gold Audience Award at the 10th annual festival in November in Vancouver. Welsh said that it was important to show the film at the U.N. event because it brings the issues of indigenous women in Canada to an international audience. She said that the screening at the
U. N. was an emotional one for the 60 people who attended -- especially those who didn't know the story of the missing women or of Pickton's trial.

The trial will resume next week. And so will my occasional commentaries on this historic case.

Friday, March 09, 2007

MEMOIRS OF A PIG FARMER

FRIDAY, March 9/07
Memoirs are a popular genre these days. I've been instructing a memoir writing group for the past few years, and as a result have collected a few stories of my own. I encourage people in my group to not only write their memoirs, but if they want to get family stories recorded, it's a good idea to tape them, in particular interviews with parents, grandparents and other family members. I was glad that I had asked my father to do an oral history some years ago. I have three tapes of his life story and the best part is having his voice telling those stories. I do wish I had asked him for his notes, though, as his story is well worth recording in writing.

Imagine what a surpise it was to hear that Willie Pickton, the Pig Farmer accused of murdering 26 of the women who had gone missing from the downtown east side, had made an oral history of his life. Yesterday in court, the 55 minute tape dubbed "Bob's Memoirs" was played and here is some of what was revealed, a rare glimpse into his life. The tape was made on December 28/01 and was evidently recorded for an unidentified woman named Victoria.

"Bob's Memoirs"
On the tape Pickton talked about his childhood. "It was a hard life but there was always food on the table," he said. He said he always wore hand-me-downs. The family had a farm with hogs and cows. When he was 12 he bought a calf "pretty as a day is long" but three weeks later the calf went missing. "I went everywheres looking for this here calf and I couldn't find it anywheres," he said. He later checked the barn and discovered they had butchered his calf. He was offered $20 consolation because the calf had 'brought a good dollar" but he was so upset he couldn't talk to anybody for 3 or 4 days.

He said he went to a one room schoolhouse but after 1964 only went to school two days a week, working 5 days for "long, long hours." He was a meat cutter for almost 6 1/2 years but got fed up with cutting meat. Once, on a trip to Detroit he was offered a job as a model for $40 an hour, which he turned down because he "just wanted to know more about what the country was like." He said he "had a good time and met a lot of people" on this trip.

His family bought the pig farm in 1063 which he and his brother were running at the time of his arrest. On the tape, he expressed a desire to 'go out and start a new life". He said he wanted to "slow down" and buy his own place, find somebody and settle down. He said he'd keep the wishes of his future partner in mind when planning a house. "When you get together with somebody else, I mean it's not just a one-way stream, it's a two-way stream."

He said he wanted to build a house with 4 to 6 rooms, a "spiral staircase" and a tennis court and swimming pool. "Not that I do swimming or anything. But the problem is you've got to build it for the year 2,000. We're becoming a sophisticated country now. Everything is computerized - no more adding machines are being used anywhere. And you've got to have fancy this and fancy that."

He also complained about how people wanted favors from him. "If I ask them to give me a hand, nobody's around. But if they want a hand, they know where I am....it's about time for them to start living on their own, someday I'm not going to be here. I'm going to be somewhere else."

Yes, Willie. Now you're in jail. And where are all those so-called 'friends' of yours?
An interesting fact: they have kept saying this man is 'slow' but some of the things he said on the tape sound reasonably fluent and sensible. I don't think he's 'stupid'. Simple, perhaps. And no doubt wiley as a fox.

THIS WEEK IN COURT: An anthropology student took the stand Wednesday to testify how she had worked on the Pig Farm from April 2002 along with other anthropology students to help sifting through soil to find objects, such as the fragments of human bones found in the screening machine. Ten anthropologists were hired to help police in their search for evidence. Besides the many fragments of bones found, the student reported finding the fragments of a human jawbone with three teeth. (There was no information as to whose bones they were.)

Apparantly, the defence alleges some of the "evidence" was contaminated by the police. Evidently on some property also owned by the Pickton brothers, a number of items were found, some inside a bus parked on the property. These were items of clothing and other personal things some with blood stains on them. They also found I.D. belonging to one of the women friends of Pickton who is a 'person of interest' in the case. There were 52 vehicles parked on this property and a number of buildings including the Pickton brothers' so-called "Piggy Palace" where they held parties, a partially constructed house dubbed "Willie's house", a smoke house and a slaughterhouse. 2,300 pieces of potential evidence were taken from this peroperty but not all was sent for testing.

The police inspector denied knowing that some of the evience found had been contaminated by officers involved in the search of the property, including ingerprints ona revolver. The jury was warned that this was heresay evidence.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION?

"Company, villanous company, hath been the spoil of me."
William Shakespeare 1564-1616 "King Henry IV " III, iii 10

When I was a child, my parents used to always drill into me 'You'll be known by the company you keep!" This adage was made clear to me when I was about 10 years old. I had accompanied a playmate to the five-and-dime store one day. After we came out of the store she began to brag and showed me the things she had stolen. I was scared and horrified. This was the first time in my young life that I found myself in the company of a thief. What if she'd been caught, and I was with her? Surely I would have been found 'guilty' the same as her. Needless to say, I never again when 'shopping' with this girl and was more cautious over who I associated with.

The same thing happened to my daughter when she was about the same age. A school chum of hers apparantly stole some things from another girl's locker and somehow managed to stow them in my daughter's locker in order to hide from being caught. When the items were discovered (they checked my daughter's locker as well as her friend's) she was accused of being the thief. I'll never forget how upset she was. When I learned of this I questioned her, of course, because I wondered if somehow she'd been in on it, although I could conceive of her doing such a thing. She broke down sobbing and said "Even you don't believe me, Mommy." And then I knew for certain she had no knowlege of the stolen items being stashed in her locker. After that betrayal she was more careful to chose her friends.

We all have to learn from these 'mistakes' in choices. But some people obviously never do.
In the Pig Farm Murders this week it was brought out that several of Pickton's associates were being questioned and/or under surveillance because of their association with him. Most people don't believe he committed the murders on his own, that surely there were others involved, including his brother. Are they guilty by association?

THIS WEEK'S COURT REPORT:
Long after Robert (Willie) Pickton was arrested, in Feb. 2002, other "persons of interest" were targeted and questioned about the disappearances of women from the Downtown East Side.
Photo lineups were held, as well as surveillance and collection of DNA samples on potential suspects and witnesses.

The Pickton property was a bee-hive of activity with hundreds of people comign and going in the five years prior to the search warrant being conducted. Many people were there to do business, others to attend the parties held in "Piggy's Palace" by Willie and his brother Dave.

In May 2003, DNA was taken from a woman known to frequent the farm. She was shown photos police were interested in. One image was Pickton's, other were his brother and one of his friends. Pickton had evidently bragged to this 'friend' that junkies could be killed by injecting them with a syringe filled with windshield wiper fluid.) In addition, two women's pictures were identified. These women were arrested but not charged. Another "person of interest" was placed under surveillance after he had told police how Pickton killed sex-trade workers.

The Crown continues to insist that the murders were the work of "one man" (Pickton) although the task force continues to investigate his brother Dave who lived on the same property and was the one in charge of his brother and their business. Three other people have been arrested but so far not charged. One is a woman who will testify that she saw Pickton butchering a woman inside the slaughterhouse.

Pickton has been charged with killing 26 of the missing women. The task force continues to look for the remaining 38.

"This pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile; so doth the company thou keepest."
Shakespeare "King Henry IV" Part I. Act ii.




Friday, March 02, 2007

HOW AN ALERT R.C.M.P. OFFICER SOLVED AN OLD MYSTERY

I'm not a mystery or suspense writer but I enjoy reading about real-life cases. This Pig Farm murder case is shaping up to be the type of thing books are written about. And I can see more surprises in the near future. It's going to be interesting to see the outcome. My bets are on there are way more than one person (Willie Pickton) involved in this. I wonder what surprises the investigators and police will present to the jury? It's already been announced that the brother is under investigation for some of the many murders. That isn't such a surprise, though. It seemed pretty evident that he must have known and probably been in on it.

WEDNESDAY, March 1
An unsolved murder mystery dating back a dozen years has surprisingly become part of the Pig Farm investigation. Back in 1955 an RCMP officer in Mission B.C. was investigating the discovery of half a human skull, cut vertically but with unusual cut marks that didn't touch.
In 2000 the same officer was working on the investigation at the pig farm and found 3 more skulls, identically cut, reminding him of the unsolved case. Eventually other human bones were found on the farm that matched the DNA of the unidentified skull, a woman known only as "Jane Doe".

This officer should be commended for his dogged determination to eventually solve the Mission case. At one time he and his family actually moved near the site where the skull was found and he never gave up searching for clues.

Officers who attended the autopsies of women's body parts found in the freezer at the farm noted the way pig parts found in the freezers had been severed excactly like the human hands and feet. Pickton told investigators he often butchered pigs.

Today's trial disclosed that Pickton's brother Dave is still under investigation. He is the "brains" of the two brothers. Willie is noted as "slow" and is said to have always been under the dominations of his younger brother.