APTN National News
VICTORIA — The British Columbia provincial government on Thursday announced that a public inquiry would be held into the Robert Pickton investigation and the wider issue of how authorities investigate missing women cases.
B.C.’s Attorney General Mike de Jong said that many questions and concerns still “linger” around the Pikcton investigation and whether police should have caught the Port Coquitlam, B.C., pig farmer sooner.
“This is a situation in which upwards of 50 human beings went missing. We believe many if not all of those individuals were murdered,” said de Jong while speaking to reporters in Victoria. “There are still lingering questions about the nature of these investigations, questions about whether more could have been done sooner, are we in a position to learn from the investigations and mistakes that may have been made. The government has taken the view that the best vehicle by which that can be accomplished is a public inquiry.”
Pickton was convicted of murdering six women. He was originally charged in the murders of 27 women many whom were First Nations.
Pickton was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after an 11 month trial that featured some of the most gruesome testimony ever heard in a Canadian court.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld his conviction on six counts of second-degree murder this summer and the Crown in B.C. decided not to pursue convictions on the remaining charges.
Most of Pickton’s victims were sex-trade workers who had drug addictions. They were lured to his farm where they were murdered and then butchered, their remains scattered on his property.
Pickton claimed to police he had killed 49 women.
Police have come under intense criticism for their of the handling case.
The Vancouver police recently released a report on the Pickton investigation where they acknowledged they botched the investigation. The report found that the Vancouver police and the RCMP had evidence linking Pickton to the murder of several women as early as August 1998. Pikcton was eventually charged in 2002.
The B.C. government said they would announce the name of the person who will head the inquiry at a later date.