Sunday, December 09, 2007

Now That The Pickton Verdict Is In......


.....Let's Make Sure That Nothing Like This Ever Happens Again

Frankly, I am not overly concerned with the 'degree' .........

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - Robert Pickton officially joined the ranks of Canada's most notorious serial killers Sunday after being found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder.

And to be honest, at this very moment I am even less concerned about potential future trials for this particular Mr. Pickton......

The Crown is already laying the groundwork to try Pickton on a further 20 charges, but they acknowledge many, many obstacles remain before evidence is called in the case.

Now, please do not misunderstand me.

Because I fully realize how important this trial and everything associated with it has been for the friends and families of the victims...

"Today's verdicts are for the families and friends of these six women. The road to justice has been long and difficult and they have demonstrated remarkable patience and restraint," Crown spokesman Stan Lowe said following the verdict Sunday.

There were gasps, then muffled cheers in the courtroom from family members of the six women as the jury announced their guilty verdicts Sunday.

Some fled the courthouse in tears, running into the courtyard to huddle near a Christmas tree hung with lace angels representing their loved ones.

But here's the thing.

I also remember when all of this terrible, terrible stuff was happening, much of it right here on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

And I also remember how hard the local 'authorities' worked to try and convince everyone involved, including many of the women who themselves were at risk, that it wasn't happening.

Heckfire, I even remember when a fellow who worked for the local authorities developed a sophisticated geographic profiling system which very strongly suggested that it WAS happening:

....Kim Rossmo, a geographic profiler at the time who specialized in serial crime, had wanted the police department to issue a public warning in 1998 that a serial killer was possibly preying on women in the Downtown Eastside.

But other officers strongly objected to Rossmo's suggestion, so the department instead issued a news release saying police did not believe a serial killer was behind the disappearance of so many missing women.

And I also remember when those same local 'authorities' essentially ran Mr. Rossmo out of town because he kept on saying that it WAS happening in an effort to stop it.

In the Downtown Eastside, it was long rumoured a serial killer was taking women. But, in 1998, when Rossmo tried to send out a news release about that possibility, his superiors shut him down. He was soon demoted, his unit dismantled. He left the force and lost a wrongful-dismissal suit against it.

Pickton, arrested in February 2002, was long known to police and was a credible suspect early on, said Rossmo.

Please note the timeline, because a lot of terrible things happened between 1998 and 2002, including, it would appear, the deaths of many of the six women that Mr. Pickton was convicted of killing today:

Name: Andrea Joesbury
Born: Nov. 6, 1978 in Victoria
Children: Daughter
Police say last seen: June, 2001
Quote: "They (the missing women) didn't wake one day and be like, 'Well, you know what, I'm going to be a prostitute. Then I'm going to have HIV and then I'm going to get murdered.' " - Heather Joesbury, Andrea's sister, on frustration that police didn't move more quickly to investigate the disappearance of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Name: Georgina Faith Papin
Born: March 11, 1964
Children: Seven, including one set of twins
Police say last seen: March, 1999
Quote: "Everywhere we went, people always went 'Oh hi Georgina.' Everybody knew her. I was really proud that she was my mom." - Kristina Bateman, Papin's daughter.

Name: Marnie Lee Anne Frey
Born: Aug. 30, 1973, Campbell River, B.C.
Children: Daughter Brittney, born 1992.
Police say last seen: August 1997
Quote: "She played like a boy. She loved outside. She didn't care if it rained, snowed or was hailing. She didn't care. She'd be the only kid in the neighbourhood." - stepmother Lynn Frey about Marnie as a child.

Name: Sereena Abostway
Born: Aug. 20, 1971. Born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Occupation: Prostitute, community activist
Police say last seen: Aug. 2001
Quote: "You were all part of God's plan. He probably took most of you home. But he left us with a very empty spot." - from a poem written by Abotsway about her friends that had disappeared from the Downtown Eastside.

Name: Mona Lee Wilson.
Born: Jan. 13, 1975
Children: Son
Police say last seen: Nov. 2001
Quote: "I remember her smile. I remember what a great girl she was. She would have been a great wife and a great mother. She had true love in her heart." - Greg Garley, Wilson's foster brother for six years.

Name: Brenda Wolfe
Born: Oct. 20, 1968, likely in the Lethbridge, Alta., area.
Children: Known to have had a son.
Police say last seen: February, 1999.
Occupation: Street enforcer in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, waitress, bouncer.

So what does Kim Rossmo, who went first to Washington D.C. after he left Vancouver and has since become a professor in Texas, have to say about it all now?

Well, he's still not pulling any punches, as told to us NOT by local media outlets like CITY-TV, BCTV or even the CBC, but instead by the BBC:

"These women have been victimised multiple times," former Vancouver police official Kim Rossmo - the first to suspect a serial killer was at work - told the BBC News website.

"By Pickton, by the system and the police because of the lack of response and, in some ways, they are being victimised in some interaction between the families and the media," he added.

Many were drug addicts, working in the sex trade to fund their habits - part of a transient and disenfranchised community.

According to Mr Rossmo, now a criminology professor at Texas university, the low social status of these women, many of whom were of aboriginal origin, contributed to the police's lack of concern.

"If these women had been from the affluent Westside of Vancouver, you can count on the fact that it would have been a very different response," he said.

In other words, what we really do NOT need to see, read and hear about, right here and right now, on CITY-TV, BCTV and/or even the CBC, are more, and even more lurid, details of the awful, heinous and truly evil acts of debauched cretins.

Because we already know enough about all that.

Instead, what we really DO NEED to see, read and hear about, right hear and right now, are stories about the specific processes and procedures that the local 'authorities' have put in place to make sure that nothing like this ever, ever, ever happens again.


No matter who the potential victims may, or may not, be.



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