Prosecutor: Canadian Pig Farmer Admits to Killing 49 Women, Says He Wanted to Murder One More

A Canadian pig farmer on trial for killing dozens of women and feeding them to his animals told police that he was planning one final murder to bring his tally to an “even 50”, the prosecutor said.

At the start of what promises to be a gory year-long trial, Derrill Prevett, representing the state, told the court in Vancouver that Robert “Willie” Pickton had confessed to killing 49 women.

Pickton told police, including an undercover officer planted in his cell, that he was plotting his last kill to reach a half-century before he “shut it down”, the prosecutor said.

“I was going to do one more and make it an even 50,” Prevett quoted the pig farmer as telling investigators. “I made my own grave by being sloppy.”

Pickton, 56, has pleaded not guilty to 26 counts of first-degree murder in Canada’s worst serial-killing case. Prosecutors said that he lured the women — mostly prostitutes and drug addicts from Vancouver’s red-light district — to his family’s 17-acre pig farm, nicknamed the Piggy Palace, where he threw wild parties.

Among the women Pickton is accused of killing is Sarah de Vries, a prostitute who disappeared in 1998 when she was 28. A 1995 entry in her diary revealed that she feared for her life after women began disappearing. “Am I next,” she wrote. “Is he watching me now? Is he stalking me like a predator and his prey?”

“The Crown (the state) will say that over the course of several years he had these women to his farm,” Prevett told the court. “There he murdered them, butchered their remains and disposed of them. He had the expertise and the equipment for the task. He had the means of transportation available and the means for the disposal of the remains.”

Pickton was arrested in February 2002 when police visited his farm to search for an unlicensed shotgun and found an asthma inhaler and identification cards belonging to some of the missing women.

Investigators believed that Pickton disposed of most of the bodies in a wood-chipper and fed them to his pigs. Police were said to have discovered the severed hands and feet, as well as the heads of two women, in buckets in the freezer. “The heads of the individuals had been cut in two, vertically,” Prevett said. “With the skulls were left and right hands and the front parts of the left and right feet.”

Both skulls had bullet wounds caused by .22-calibre bullets, he said. Investigators found a Smith & Wesson rifle covered in plastic. Attached was a sex toy that had traces of DNA from Pickton and one of the victims.

Pickton is being tried on the first six counts, after Justice James Williams ruled that the other 20 charges should be heard in a later trial to avoid overburdening the jury.

Peter Ritchie, for the defence, told the jury that Pickton did not kill or participate in the murders of any of the six women.