British Columbia serial killer Robert Pickton dies after prison attack

British Columbia serial killer Robert Pickton dies after prison attack

Robert Pickton died in hospital on Friday after being assaulted in prison on May 19.

Rick Frey remembers waiting for his daughter Marnie Frey’s body to be found.

Marnie, who disappeared in 1997, was one of the victims of British Columbia serial killer Robert Pickton.

At the time of his disappearance, Rick was engaged in commercial fishing. He remembers being alone on his boat and watching the news that bodies were being found and wondering if it was his daughter.

“Do you know how hard that is when you’re alone? That’s my daughter? says Rick, who was contacted by Glacier Media at his Campbell River home on Friday. “Tears run down my face when I think about it.”

Pickton, 74, died in hospital on May 31 after being attacked on May 19 by another inmate at the Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec. The death was announced by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

“He died, but he’s been dead a long time,” Rick says. “No one wants to hear about Pickton anymore. “Everyone is fed up with this.”

Every day, Rick thinks about his daughter and still, all these years later, he has questions.

“I still have no answers…why did he do this to my daughter’s body?”

What’s important to him now, he says, is that other families get answers and that evidence is preserved.

“Let’s forget about him, but let’s not forget about the other families who need some answers.”

Rick says he’s glad he doesn’t have to mention Pickton’s name again.

“He’s gone. May he rest in peace. I don’t care if he suffered or didn’t suffer. I’m not one to say I wish he suffered more… Let’s forget about Willie.”

Pickton had been serving a life sentence. At his sentencing in December 2007, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice James Williams said it was a “rare case that adequately justifies the maximum period (25 years) of parole ineligibility available to him.” court”.

Pickton was convicted of killing Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Georgina Papin and Marnie Frey. But the remains or DNA of 33 women were found at Pickton’s pig farm in Port Coquitlam.

In a jail cell conversation, he told an undercover police officer that he had killed 49 people. He was planning to kill one more and then take a break before continuing. Pickton said he was caught because he became careless when he was last arrested in February 2002.

Papin’s sister, Cynthia Cardinal, said Pickton’s death means she can finally move on from her sister’s murder.

“This will bring healing, I won’t say every family, I’ll just say most families,” he said.

“Because they didn’t have their day in court, that’s what really saddens me. But I also feel very happy right now,” Cardinal said.

“I’m like – wow, finally. “I can actually move on and heal and I can put this behind me.”

Assault investigation ongoing

Police began searching the Pickton farm more than 22 years ago in what would be a years-long investigation.

Vancouver police were criticized for not taking the case seriously because many of those missing were sex workers or drug users.

Pickton was paroled in February, sparking outrage from advocates, politicians and victims’ families, who criticized Canada’s justice system and said he should never be released.

In a statement Friday, Correctional Service Canada said Pickton’s next of kin have been notified.

“We have also contacted registered victims, in accordance with their specified notification preferences,” the statement said.

“We are aware that this offender’s case has had a devastating impact on communities in British Columbia and across the country, including Indigenous people, victims and their families,” the statement continued. “Our thoughts are with them.”

An investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack. CSC says the investigation will also identify recommendations or corrective measures.

The Correctional Service of Canada says the 51-year-old assault suspect is in custody.

British Columbia’s Public Safety Minister commented Friday that Pickton was dead.

“We have seen the end of an atrocious life,” says Mike Farnworth. “Today I am thinking about the families of the Pickton victims and our entire community. This news has reopened old wounds and brought back painful memories and feelings.”

You can read more about the Pickton case in this extensive story.

With files from Canadian Press