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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 16:37 GMT
Questions remain after Pickton verdict
Canadian media say difficult questions remain after the conviction of Robert Pickton over the killing of six women whose remains were found on his pig farm in a suburb of Vancouver.

Robert Pickton (file pic)
Pickton wrote letters laced with Biblical references while in prison

He was convicted of second-degree - ie not planned and deliberate - murder.

The 58-year-old still faces the possibility of another trial on charges of murdering a further 20 women.

The 26 women were all sex workers or drug addicts from Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.


The CBC website describes a candlelight vigil held outside the courthouse after the verdicts were read out.

"They lit a candle for each of the women who died and listened to a song and a poem that described the women and the impact they had on others.

"At first, those who attended the vigil were silent, listening to the tribute. Then, emotion took over. Some people broke down and sobbed while others stood silently, with tears streaming down their faces."

The CBC says that while many people are pleased Pickton was convicted, there is disappointment it was on a lesser murder charge which leaves the possibility of parole.


This Toronto-based national newspaper describes the bleak streets of the inner city neighbourhood where Robert Pickton found his victims.

Social worker Harsha Walia says conditions have deteriorated since he was arrested in 2002.

"You have to look at the systemic issues in the Downtown Eastside that create vulnerability for women - and which in fact have gotten worse in the past decade, not gotten better."

She says women who work and live there are still getting raped, robbed, beaten and murdered.


"I know I was brought into this world to be hear (sic) today to change this world of there (sic) evil ways," the newspaper quotes Pickton as having written to a pen pal in 2006.

Due to a court order, the Vancouver Sun was prohibited during the trial from publishing the full details of two letters it says Pickton wrote to a California man who likes to correspond with prisoners.

The letters are described as being full of Biblical references and sometimes confusing passages:

"I am not a phoney or a bluff or a smooth-talker. I am only one person, born into this world of ours of which I am not from this world, I am from the past life of which will all be in my book."

Pickton also writes that he has done nothing wrong and that the police were paying some witnesses to take the stand against him.


This Vancouver newspaper raises questions about the verdicts.

"After all, if this set of murders was not planned and deliberate, and Pickton was not fully responsible, were there other people who were?

"And, if so, are these co-murderers still at large?"

While the newspaper pays tribute to the work of the prosecutors and the jury, "we just wish there could have been a more satisfactory conclusion to this sickening case", it concludes.


Across the country on Canada's Atlantic coast, this Halifax newspaper asks why it took Vancouver police seven years to begin investigating the growing number of disappearances from the Downtown Eastside.

"Will there be a public inquiry into how Pickton might have hunted women for so long without being caught?"

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20 Nov 07 |  Americas
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14 Aug 07 |  Americas
Pig farmer says he was 'set up'
06 Feb 07 |  Americas
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23 Jan 07 |  Americas
Canadian pig farmer denies murder
09 Dec 06 |  Americas

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