By STEPHANIE LEVITZ
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. (CP) – The Crown says it can prove that Robert Pickton murdered six women, butchered their remains and disposed of them.
Crown lawyer Derrill Prevett told the jury in his opening statement that Pickton had the expertise, equipment and the means to dispose of the victims’ remains.
He told the jury the murders were the work of one man over the course of several years and that the women had been at his home, an isolated farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Prevett said it’s not in dispute the six women are dead and their remains were found on the pig farm in Port Coquitlam.
He said the police investigation began because the women suddenly stopped calling their family members and they stopped frequenting their neighbourhood on Vancouver Downtown Eastside.
Pickton is charged with killing 26 women, but the current case deals with only six charges.
Some key facts in the case of more than 60 women missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside:
Accused: Robert (Willie) Pickton.
Born: Oct. 24. 1949 (age 57)
Trial start: Jan. 22
Charges: 26 counts of first-degree murder: first trial on six counts; second trial on 20 counts.
Location: B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, B.C.
Length of trial: Estimated 12 months.
Number of witnesses: Crown expects to call about 240 witnesses, followed by unknown number of defence witnesses.
Principals: Justice James Williams; lead Crown Michael Petrie; lead defence Peter Ritchie.