It has been 13 years since Robert Pickton was sentenced to life in prison for the serial killings of 26 women in the Lower Mainland.
The RCMP are hoping to destroy a number of items found on a Ruskin, B.C., property linked to Pickton – and have recently overcome a legal obstacle after a B.C. Supreme Court judge shot down the applications of two people attempting to block the police.
In January, Mounties began the court process seeking to get a judicial green light to dispose of over 100 items seized from the years-long investigation, in the early 2000s.
Items include both innocuous pieces of clothing, shoes, and hair pins – including one with hair still in it – to more daunting pieces of evidence, such as a “black penis-shaped, rubber-like, hollow sexual aid,” and a rusty .303 calibre bolt-action rifle.
The items are currently being stored by the RCMP in warehouses but are taking up substantial space and continue to run up costs, the RCMP’s application argues.
At least one person – by the name of Norman Vincent Traversy – recently attempted to argue that the evidence should not be destroyed and instead saved for future lawsuits and out of respect for the victims’ families.
Traversy appeared before a judge by teleconference in late July, and claimed he spoke with a group of “Clan Mothers,” or First Nation elders, who said they were concerned by the RCMP’s plan.
Traversy also claimed that a number of crimes – including that of genocide and crimes against humanity – have been committed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and that evidence related to the Pickton probe could play a role in those prosecutions.
According to a GoFundMe account, Traversy has raised $144,000 in less than a year to cover legal expenses in his bid to have Trudeau charged in connection to the SNC-Lavalin affair, a political scandal that led to a probe by the ethics commissioner who determined Trudeau had pressured the former attorney general to halt criminal prosecution of the Quebec engineering company.
Zsuzsanna Holland – the other intervenor – failed to show up for the hearing.
In his decision, Justice Bryan Williams dismissed both applications, noting neither person has a direct interest in the case nor has a valuable contribution to make.
“In short, the material upon which this application purports to be founded is largely nonsense and quite at odds with any standard of evidentiary acceptability,” he said.
Pickton, who owned a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years on Dec. 11, 2007, for the second-degree murders of six women between 1971 and 2001.
He was originally charged for the killings of 26 women. The remains or DNA of at least 33 women were found on his farm.
A jury found him guilty in the second-degree murders of Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin, Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Brenda Wolfe and Andrea Joesbury.
Evidence presented at trial included illegal guns stashed on the property, human remains, sex toys and bloody running shoes.
Pickton, who is behind bars at the federal maximum-security prison Port-Cartier Institution, in Quebec, has requested to take part in the application process by video conference.
The next hearing date is set for Sept. 14.
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