Criminal Justice

Interest Wanes in $100 M Murder Trial

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As the trial the man alleged to be Canada’s most prolific serial killer ever nears an end, after six months and at a cost of some $100 million (Canadian) dollars, spent on the case to date, folks are losing interest in it.

And this is only the first of two planned trials of Robert “Willie” Pickton, a pig farmer from suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, notes the Seattle Times. This trial is for six of the murders he’s charged with: Because of the large number of women he is accused of murdering in grisly fashion, disposing of the bodies with help from his pigs, a second trial is to be held over the deaths of another 20.

Originally, 350 journalists applied for credentials to cover the first trial still in progress, and the courtroom was packed. But now there are routinely plenty of available seats, and articles about the case are becoming a rarity on the front pages of Canadian newspapers. Family members of the murdered women still care, of course, and many are critical of what they see as an indifferent police response to the disappearance of 65 women from a limited area of the city since 1978, the Times writes. Virtually all of the women Pickton is suspected of murdering were drug-addicted prostitutes reportedly working the seamy streets of Vancouver’s Skid Row.

“I see my sister all the time down there,” says Jason Fleury. He is the brother of Mona Wilson, 26, for whose murder, apparently in November 2001, Pickton is now on trial. “I see the same problems,” Fleury says. “I see the cops cruise by, and I see girls getting into a stranger’s car, and I see the cops not doing anything.”

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