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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.




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