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Number 8 Who Was the Pig Farmer?
Pickton owned a farm in British Columbia, about 17 miles east of Vancouver. He would take women there, mainly those who had a history.
Number 7 Early Life
Robert William ‘Willie’ Pickton was born in 1949 and raised on a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, which was run by his family. He had two siblings, a younger brother, Dave, and an older sister, Linda. As a child, Pickton was close to his mother, who was reportedly very protective of him. He was a slow learner and attended special education classes prior to dropping out entirely at 15. As a child, he had very poor personal hygiene, partly because of constantly tending to the animals at the farm, and was generally shunned by his peers. Pickton and his siblings eventually sold parts of the farm they’d inherited, reducing its size to about 17 acres. Robert and David, whom he reportedly regarded as a paternal figure, became partners in a salvage company and ran the farm together. Robert still maintained a small-scale livestock operation on the premises.
Number 6 Early Career
In 1996, the Pickton brothers registered a non-profit organization called the Piggy Palace Good Times Society with the Canadian government. It claimed to ‘organize, co-ordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organizations, sports organizations and other worthy groups’. The events hosted by the Pickton brothers would attract as many as 2,000 people. Ironically, seven years later, the rubber boots and clothes from Pickton showed the DNA of two women. The Piggy Palace Good Times Society would face pressure.
The earliest disappearance case to be tied to him was that of Diana Melnick, who was last seen on December 22, 1995. Traces of her DNA were found throughout the farm.
Number 4 MO
To the locals, Pickton was a quiet man, who kept to himself. He lived in a trailer on the property and left most of the important decisions to his brother David. Pickton’s hunting ground was Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which was the perfect place for an urban predator. A large percentage of the women involved weren’t from Vancouver with little or no contact with their families for years. In other words, few would notice or care if they went missing.
Between 1978 and 2001, at least 65 women disappeared from Pickton’s hunting ground. Only about 26 were conclusively tied to Pickton, in the time he was active, but the real number is believed to be much higher, by Pickton’s own admittance. They started travelling in groups.
A man named Bill Hiscox, who’d worked for Pickton, once recalled that one of the pigs at the farm behaved strangely, as it would chase people and bite them. However, the police regarded it all as hearsay and not solid ground for a search warrant. They were eventually accused of having had several opportunities to catch Pickton sooner and of several procedural failures.
By the end of 2003, the cost of the operation had already reached $70 million. There were numerous excavations performed at the farm and heavy equipment was brought in, such as two 50-foot conveyor belts and soil sifters, to find traces of human DNA. The investigators took 200,000 DNA samples and seized 600,000 exhibits. At Pickton’s trailer home they found night vision goggles. Because of the massive investigation, Pickton’s trial wouldn’t begin until January, 2006. The video of their conversation is still available online and in it Pickton is recorded saying ‘I was gonna’ do one more, make it an even 50. That’s why I was sloppy, I wanted one more. Make…make the big five-O’.