The Notorious Serial Killer Robert Pickton

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1572 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Words: 1572|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

The case of Robert Pickton was a horrifying, disturbing event that left a lasting impact on all of Canada. Pickton was a notorious serial killer, convicted on six charges for the murders of up to twenty-six different women. Pickton had grown up and worked on a pig farm in Vancouver, British Columbia where, evidently, the gruesome deaths and murders of the various missing women would take place. The mysterious disappearances of the Vancouver women began in the 1970s, yet Pickton was not found guilty and convicted of the murders until 2002. Multiple factors contributed to Pickton’s ability to escape imprisonment and remain free to continue his diabolical and murderous schemes. These reasons included the biased opinions the Vancouver police had towards the missing women, and their reluctance in responding to the various reports they received, which suggested Pickton’s involvement with the missing women. The flaws within the justice system were brought to light when the Pickton case was revealed, promoting and revolutionizing crucial changes that had to be made in order to avoid such a tragic crime spree again.

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Many of the women who went missing had worked in the sex trade and were often Indigenous women, drug-users, or mentally-ill; citizens often looked down upon by society. As reports of these missing women began to surface, the lack of effort put forth by the Vancouver police force became reflective of their bias and discrimination appointed towards these particular women. The harsh opinions surrounding the Aboriginal women who were a part of the sex trade only made capturing and murdering these women easier for a predator like Robert Pickton ( Pickton lured these vulnerable women into his car with the use of drugs and money, to which they were then brought back to his pig farm to face their untimely deaths. Pickton would seek out these defenseless, indigent women from Vancouver’s Eastside, a grungy, crime-filled, and dangerous area of the city. When family members of those who went missing stepped forward to report the incidences, the police failed to consider if these disappearances could be pinpointed to one common cause: murder. The Vancouver Police Department chose to believe that these Aboriginal women had gone missing because of drug overdoses, suicide, or that they were “returning to their reserves” (Robsoncrim). The police had claimed that their disappearances were inevitable, considering their high-risk and dangerous lifestyles (canadianencylopedia). Through the police’s eyes, the missing women were responsible for their lives and if they were placed into a threatening situation, they must deal with the outcome themselves. Not only had the police turned a blind eye to a serious situation; but the media had also neglected to show concern or bothered to report much on the problem. The ignorance of both the police and media is linked all the way back to the days when Aboriginal children were forced into residential schools and stripped of their native culture ( Although years have passed in Canada since the residential school days, the negative and biased view of Aboriginal women were clearly still engraved into society, as the police continued to not prioritize searching for the Aboriginal women’s whereabouts. An obvious lack of concern contributed by the Vancouver Police Department had only constructed an easier platform for Pickton to kidnap and murder these women, without causing suspicion amongst society.

The Vancouver Police Department continued in failing to further investigate claims of the missing women and the RCMP failed to investigate Robert Pickton’s accusations that were made over the course of the years. Pickton was found on the end of multiple suspicious reports. For example, during March of 1997, Pickton was in the midst of handcuffing one of his many victims whom he had brought back to his farm for sexual purposes. The woman, whose identity remains unknown, was able to grab a kitchen knife to defend herself against Pickton. Both of them received multiple stab wounds and the woman lost an alarming amount of blood yet, despite her injuries, still managed to escape and call for help. Both Pickton and the woman were checked into the same hospital to be treated for their stab wounds when an attendant came across a key in Pickton’s belongings that matched the handcuffs attached to the injured woman’s wrist. Pickton was later arrested for assault, but the charges were eventually dropped because the victim was a known drug addict and could not be considered a valid witness (Butts). Once again, based on the victim’s personal life, their claims were overlooked by the police and not taken into serious consideration or investigated further. Pickton was not considered...Two years later, around the beginning of 1999, a man by the name of Bill Hiscox, who was working for the Picktons, came forward to report women’s clothing and identification found on the property that could possibly belong to the missing women (Butts). However, Hiscox had gained this information from one of Pickton’s close friends, Lisa Yelds. Yelds refused to reveal further information to the police, and Hiscox could not provide valid evidence, considering he was not the individual who physically witnessed the women’s belongings on Pickton’s property (Butts). Due to the lack eyewitnesses and evidence, the police were unable to obtain a search warrant and Pickton had, once again, remained free to continue his killing spree. As the Vancouver police continued receiving information regarding the missing women, the RCMP dealt with the accusations made towards Robert Pickton. If the two agencies coordinated information, they may have concluded Pickton as a suspect responsible for the women gone missing. However, no correlation was made, further proving the authorities are to blame for Pickton’s many killings. Despite the multiple similar reports against Robert Pickton, a serious investigation was never taken into action by the authorities and Pickton was not arrested until years later.

Although the Pickton case was incredibly tragic and horrifying, the publicity of the case brought crucial issues into attention regarding important changes that must be made to improve Canadian society. Pickton was finally caught and arrested in 2002 after years of killing a large number of women. However, it was not the multiple women Pickton had murdered in his pig farm that brought the authorities to his door, but an unrelated report. The RCMP was informed Pickton possessed illegal weapons within his trailer home (Butts). Pickton was arrested and while kept under custody, his farm was searched and women’s items, handcuffs, and DNA linked to missing women were uncovered. Pickton was, at last, arrested and would later be charged for twenty-six murder charges and be sentenced for life in prison, a punishment much deserved. In 2010, an official inquiry was established to examine Pickton’s case and to analysis the reasons it took authorities an unjustified amount of time to catch Robert Pickton ( The inquiry addressed the police department’s discrimination against the missing women and the poor investigations on their behalf. Commissioner Wally Oppal discussed major issues of the police department within the inquiry. For starters, the commissioner mentioned the lack of investigation techniques put to use during the time of the murders that could have unveiled Robert Pickton as the culprit. Therefore, a new Vancouver police force was established to increase the system’s efficiency and to avoid the neglect that took place during the case of the disappearing women ( The Vancouver Police Department set a new and improved guideline for dealing with similar reports in the future, including rules that were required to be followed, such as starting investigations right away and frequently reporting back to a victim’s family ( Along with these additions, new services and corporations were produced to aid women in difficult, dangerous, and life-threatening situations. Emergency shelters were built for women who are a part of the sex trade and compensation for the missing women’s children was provided ( The “Sister Watch Program” was also formed with the purpose of dealing with violence faced by the women in East Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department has also released a public apology in the hopes of patching up the poor reputation they withheld in Canadian society. Since the Pickton case, police have become much more aware of the serious issues women in society, especially the sex workers and aboriginals, are forced to endure. The constable has even claimed since Pickton, the police department and the community’s relationship has grown stronger ( Vancouver and Canada as a whole has exemplified the significance of an unbiased perspective.Vancouver has grown as a city and although many suffered from Pickton’s ways, the police department has now improved its tactics and has formed a safer environment for its citizens.

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Canada will always remember one of the country’s worst and most ruthless serial killers, Robert Pickton. He committed vile and gruesome crimes and will serve the rest of his days in prison in return. The Vancouver Police Department has admit to their faults and the systematic biased behavior they have had in the past. If it were not for the authorities discrimination of the missing women, lack of investigations, and overall ignorance, Robert Pickton would not have fled freely for as long as he had. Yet, the Pickton case has been the start of very significant changes within Vancouver to improve their justice system for the better. Although years have passed since Robert Pickton was caught, people still mourn the women who have passed and will always remember the wrongs of the Vancouver Police Department and RCMP.             

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The Notorious Serial Killer Robert Pickton. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“The Notorious Serial Killer Robert Pickton.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
The Notorious Serial Killer Robert Pickton. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
The Notorious Serial Killer Robert Pickton [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from:
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