Wednesday, July 26

Detectives Release Photos of Women in Search of Victims

Retired investigators going through old cases discover unidentified photos of women taken by a man convicted of two murders.

By Richard Winton
Times Staff Writer
July 26, 2006

When photographer Bill Bradford was found guilty in 1987 of murdering two aspiring models, he made an ominous statement to jurors deciding whether he should be sentenced to death.

"Think of how many you don't even know about," he said.

Bradford, now 60, was eventually sent to death row, but detectives never forgot his warning.

Nearly 20 years later, Sheriff's Department officials took a new look at his file and found something that gave them chills.

Inside were snapshots of 50 women Bradford photographed between 1975 and 1984, when he ran a fledgling amateur photography business on the Westside.

Detectives began trying to locate the women — a difficult task because there are no names and the images are so old.

So officials took the rare step Tuesday of releasing the 50 photos, hoping someone might help identify them.

Sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy said that although detectives believe some have been murdered, they can't say conclusively and hope the publicity might encourage witnesses — or the women — to step forward.

"What we have here is a very large group of pictures of women that we do not know for the most part who they are," Peavy said. "Many of them could have likely been homicide victims themselves. Many of them may have just been women that he met in bars and took home and took photographs of."

Investigators said they suspect Bradford killed one of the women in the photographs, Donnalee Campbell Duhamel, who was found decapitated in 1978 in a Malibu canyon days after she was seen leaving a Culver City bar, the Frigate, with Bradford.

The photo display released by the department shows rows of mostly smiling women, some with the feathery Farrah Fawcett hairstyles that were popular at the time.

One woman is wearing an Uncle Sam hat, another a rhinestone cowboy hat.

Peavy said retired Dets. Bob Wachsmuth and Richard Adams, brought back to review old cases, came upon the photos and recalled Bradford's chilling statements.

Peavy said some of the women are from Southern California but others might be from Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, Kansas or Louisiana. Bradford was arrested in 1978 in Michigan for sexually assaulting his wife. Two years later, he was accused of sexual assault in Valparaiso, Fla.

Within minutes of Tuesday's news conference, a woman had called KCBS-TV Channel 2 to say she was in photos 16 and 17.

Bradford moonlighted as a photographer out of his Mar Vista apartment, where he was the complex's handyman. He hung out at popular Westside bars, including the Meet Market.

It was at the Meet Market that Bradford met Shari Miller, a 21-year-old model and actress. At his trial, prosecutors said Bradford took photos for her portfolio as a way of gaining her trust. Then, he drove her to the Mojave Desert for a photo shoot. Sometime after the photos were taken, authorities said, Bradford strangled Miller and left her partially clothed body wrapped in a bedspread behind a Pico Boulevard carpet store. Her car was found outside the Meet Market.

Six days later, on July 12, 1984, Tracey Campbell disappeared. The 15-year-old had recently moved to Mar Vista from Montana and was staying with relatives in an apartment a few doors from Bradford.

Authorities alleged that Bradford may have lured Campbell to the high desert for another photo shoot, strangled her and left the body there.

Although authorities didn't have fingerprints or much physical evidence, they did present photos that Bradford took of Miller in the desert and showed that Campbell's body was found nearby, draped in a snail-patterned blouse that witnesses testified belonged to Miller.

They also noted that Bradford had been convicted of raping his ex-girlfriend in the same desert area near Edwards Air Force Base.

From the beginning, detectives believed Bradford might be responsible for more murders. During his sentencing in 1987, prosecutors described him as a serial murderer and said he could be responsible for up to eight other killings, though they offered no details.

Back then, detectives believed their strongest case centered on Mischa Stewart. The body of the 23-year-old man was found in an alleyway outside a Santa Monica bar, the Pink Elephant, in 1982. At the time, authorities said they could not file charges in his case because a key witness could not identify Bradford.

Peavy said Tuesday that the Stewart case remains under investigation, along with the slayings of Duhamel and Patricia V. Dulong, who frequented the Big Tree bar in the South Bay and was last seen with Bradford.

Bradford's attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Bradford has continued to make headlines over the years on San Quentin's death row.

In 1998, he announced that he would drop all his appeals and accept his death sentence. But a few months later, within five days of being executed, he changed his mind and restarted his legal fight.

That year, he provided a Los Angeles Times reporter with some of his poetry, including this work:

Many nights I have dreamed of


Greeting me with welcome


Tempered with a searing


Within these dreams I have

discovered a


Serene, extreme place

Which dissolves the last drop

of fear . . .

Photos of the women may be viewed at

INFORMATION WANTED,1,2041161,full.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

From the Los Angeles Times

Monday, July 17

Many make trek with heavy hearts

Pamela Cowan
The Leader-Post
Monday, July 17, 2006

CREDIT: Joshua Sawka, LeaderPost
REMEMBERING THE MISSING: Lesley Maple, a cousin of Amber Redman, touches a poster of her missing relative just before the start of the walk in Fort Qu'Appelle on Saturday.

FORT QU'APPELLE -- With heavy hearts, hundreds went on a walk to remember.

A walk to mark the disappearance of Amber Redman and Dolores Whiteman and to honour the many missing First Nations children, sisters and brothers was held Saturday.

The trek began at the Country Squire Inn's parking lot in Fort Qu'Appelle -- the site where Redman was last seen July 15, 2005 -- and ended at the Standing Buffalo School.

Before the walk, Redman's mother, Gwenda Yuzicappi, expressed feelings of guilt.

"If you have a loved one that is missing, please report it right away," she said. "That was my barrier in regards to my daughter's investigation because I waited three days and I feel that maybe she'd be here with me today if I'd reported it the next day. Amber's boyfriend was the one who made the missing person report -- I still believed that she was coming home and so I waited."

After a sleepless Friday night, Yuzicappi welcomed support from family and friends.

"I'm here to support my sister and to mark the one-year disappearance of Amber," said Glendice Machiskinic.

Redman's story is all too familiar to families all over Saskatchewan.

Dolores Whiteman has been missing since the mid 1980s. Her adopted daughter, Lori Whiteman, from Regina only spent two years with her. Then she was gone.

"I want to know that somebody couldn't go missing and nobody would notice -- that's so contradictory to our cultural beliefs because we're so community oriented and our families are so strong, but somewhere along the line we've lost those things," Lori said. "Part of my being involved in this is trying to establish those connections."

With the 42-year-old were her teen daughters Kate and Kelsey Aitcheson, who have only seen a Grade 6 photo of their grandmother.

"I've heard so many times about women going missing, but nothing actually happening," Kelsey said. "You have to raise awareness before you can do anything about it."

Chief Pat Sparvier of the Cowessess First Nation and Lawrence Joseph, vice-chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, carried a banner with Redman's picture on it.

"Gwenda is very dear to my heart so I'm here to support her and the community as well," Sparvier said. "You can only imagine what she's been going through with the loss of her daughter -- not knowing where she is."

Joseph said many First Nations people feel isolated and "no one hears us."

"We have to bring about awareness, not only about missing aboriginal women, but all people who are missing," he said. "All nations must band together to make sure that no one out there hurts like these families are hurting. It's something that has been very marginalized in the past."

Remembering Tamra Keepness, who was reported missing July 6, 2004, were her great-aunt Ellen Keewatin and Lucinda Toto, whose husband is Keepness' grandfather.

"I wanted to support Gwenda and the family because I know what it is to wonder, to shed tears," said Keewatin. "I think about Tamra every day. When I'm driving, I look at bags in the ditch and I wonder if that's her. . . I would not wish this on my worst enemy."

She encourages those with information about missing people to contact police.

"We have to keep Tamra's memory alive and let them know that she's still missing. Maybe something will jog their memory and something will come out of it," Keewatin said. "We've never lost hope."

There must be more awareness about the missing, said Toto.

"Our people are precious and life is short," she said tearfully.

Helen Betty Osborne was 19 when she was murdered in 1971. Relatives, including her cousin Darlene Osborne, travelled 15 hours from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba to attend the walk.

"We lost our granddaughter too -- Felicia Solomon Osborne," said Darlene. "On Mar. 24, 2003 she went missing. That same year in October, we had a call. Her right thigh and arm were found. The rest of the remains were not found . . . That was very devastating for the family."

After Darlene met Yuzicappi in April she promised she'd try to attend the walk.

"I got so attached to them because we feel the same pain," she said.

Daleen Bosse, a member of the Onion Lake First Nation, was 25 when she went missing May 18, 2004.

Her mother was also in Fort Qu'Appelle.

"These people aren't statistics -- they are family members who are missing and are missed by their families," said Pauline Muskego, from the Onion Lake First Nation, 30 miles north of Lloydminster. "My daughter has a five-year-old daughter, Faith, who is still waiting for her mom to come home."

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

Saturday, July 15

Walk to remember missing women

Pamela Cowan, Saskatchewan News Network
Published: Saturday, July 15, 2006

REGINA -- Gwenda Yuzicappi keeps busy to help her cope with the disappearance of her daughter Amber Redman.

All day Friday, Yuzicappi and her sister, Glendice Machiskinic, went from store to store buying and loading Yuzicappi's extended van with enough hamburgers, hot dogs and watermelons to feed 500 people at a barbecue that will be held today, the one-year anniversary of Redman's disappearance.

The community barbecue is hosted by family members of Redman and Dolores Whiteman, who has been missing since the early 1980s, the Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation community and the Fort Qu'Appelle RCMP.

The meal at the Standing Buffalo School, located in the Fort Qu'Appelle area, will follow an awareness walk that is being held to honour missing First Nations children, women and men.

"It helps being busy, it keeps me from not thinking, and this walk has really given me a lot of focus, which is to raise awareness of all those who are missing," Yuzicappi said.

Redman was 19 years old when she was last seen outside a Fort Qu'Appelle bar at about 2:30 a.m. on July 15, 2005.

Despite an extensive search of Fort Qu'Appelle and the surrounding area, she remains missing.

"I know that she's still alive," Yuzicappi said. "There's always tips coming from the public about my daughter. They come and tell me and I pass it on to either the offi cers in the Fort (Qu'Appelle) or to Regina (RCMP). That is my release. I welcome the information." But sometimes, instead of fuelling Yuzicappi's hope that her only daughter is alive, rumours conjure up harsh images of what may have happened to Redman.

"People have come to my home with horrible information and they don't realize the impact it has on my family," Yuzicappi said.

"They've come with information stating that Amber's body was found in the garbage dump and they told my son, Amber's brother. That devastated him. . . . It's so diffi cult living this lifestyle.

"In my family there have been suicide attempts. When I go and talk to them, they say it's because they miss Amber." The community also feels the loss of Amber, Yuzicappi said.

"There's no words that can explain what we're going through," she said.

But Yuzicappi believes the awareness walk will help.

"Each step I will pray to the Creator and to all my relatives to watch over her," she said.

The walk is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Country Squire Hotel, continue along the B-Say-Tah highway and end at the Standing Buffalo School gym.

While Yuzicappi waits for news of her daughter, she recalls happier times.

"I think back to when I was carrying Amber and each memory that I have," she said. "I pray for that time I had with her and her smile and her laughter and her beautiful personality -- being a mom, I'm so proud of her."

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006

Friday, July 14

Highway of Tears numbers still unknown

By Ryan Jensen
July 14, 2006

More than 30 women may have been murdered along the 724-kilometre Hwy of Tears, according to the Highway of Tears Recommendation Report, released publicly on National Aboriginal Day last month.

In addition to nine confirmed killed or missing women along Hwy 16, the report has added two more names.

Alberta Williams, 27 years old when she disappeared in 1989 and Monica Ingnas, 15 at the time she went missing on the highway in 1974, were named in the report along with the nine previously-identified Highway of Tears cases.

“There is much community speculation and debate on the number of women that have disappeared along Hwy 16 over a longer 35-year period,” the report states. “Many are saying the number of missing women, combined with the number of confirmed murdered women exceeds 30.”

A total of 33 recommendations were made in the report, submitted by five Northern B.C. First Nations’ groups resulting from the Highway of Tears Symposium held in Prince George on March 30 and 31.

Among the recommendations are: establishing a shuttle bus between Prince George and Prince Rupert, increased RCMP patrols on Highway 16 in the region and increasing recreation and social activity opportunities for all First Nations’ youth.

Some of the root causes behind the disappearances and killings were listed as poverty and lack of access to recreation and business services for many of those living in the numerous First Nations communities located near Hwy 16.

Matilda Wilson, mother of Ramona whose remains were found near the Smithers Airport 10 months after she disappeared in June of 1994, said she feels many of the suggestions made in the document will be of benefit.

Wilson said strategically-located billboards along the Prince Rupert to Prince George Hwy 16 corridor will go a long way to educate young women about the risks of hitchhiking.

“[Posting billboards] is a very good idea,” Wilson said, adding she has been approached by Northern B.C. businesses who have pledged to financially support such an initiative.

Wilson said since she attended the symposium, her communication with the RCMP has improved but must continue.

Knowing the pain and devastation that go along with losing a loved one, victim family services is another area Wilson feels is important to develop.

“It gets pretty heavy sometimes, especially when you have to talk about things like this,” she said. “We really do need support groups for the victims’ families and that would be one step forward again.”

One common theme tying the recommendations together throughout the report was the need for cooperation between all levels of government, victim families and First Nations’ organizations.

Solicitor General John Les said his staff, and those from other provincial government ministries will be researching ways they can contribute to bringing this issue to a resolution.

“As we get through the next couple of weeks hopefully we’ll be able to start getting some shape around what we can do,” Les told The Interior News on Thursday. “I was pleased with the quality of the report, I was pleased at the tone of the report and I think some of the recommendations are certainly food for thought.”

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, who attended the spring symposium, said he will personally go after the federal government for help in making the recommendations a reality.

“All levels of government have a responsibility to help with prevention and education efforts and I will be pushing hard for meaningful federal assistance,” he said.

Meanwhile, investigations into the Highway of Tears cases continue.

RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Tom Seaman said officials are currently reviewing the report and its recommendations to see how they can be part of the solution.

“Our senior management and investigative team are reviewing the report,” Seaman said. “We’re going to do whatever we possibly can to work together with those involved.”

Under the direction of the North District office in Prince George, the RCMP are diligently following up on any information that comes their way, said Seaman.

“The investigations are, of course, very active and ongoing,” he said. “I can’t get into any of the specifics or details of the progress being made but we continue to receive tips from the public, which is encouraging.”

Recently, the police force has stepped up patrols of Hwy 16 and has been educating people on the dangers of hitchhiking, Seaman said.

Ray Michalko, a private investigator working on the cases, said he was called with some promising leads after an appearance on a CBC Radio program show.

“Whenever that happens, I get calls again,” he said of the response to his radio interview. “I ended up, that night, getting a couple more leads, one of which I think is really pretty sound. I can foresee another trip there fairly soon to interview some more people.”

Monday, July 10

Pickton Searchers offered counselling

Pickton Searchers offered counselling
Hunt for clues on accused serial killer's farm involved over 600

Lori Culbert
Vancouver Sun

Monday, July 10, 2006

Police and civilians investigating Canada's worst serial killer case were offered trauma counselling while searching a messy Port Coquitlam pig farm, where many had cuts from junk heaps, waded through piles of bird and animal waste and uncovered the gruesome evidence of 26 murders.

Details of the evidence found by police on the farm are protected by a court-ordered publication, but The Sun has obtained a health report prepared for the RCMP that illustrates some of the challenges faced by officers and civilian employees as they searched the property of Robert (Willy) Pickton.

"A lot of cuts needed to be dealt with because of the amount of metal, junk, old equipment laying around the farm. Ensuring that workers had up-to-date tetanus shots were an issue and concern," says the report, written after police concluded a 21-month search of the 6.8-hectare property in November 2003.

"Bruises were common as well, due to having to climb in and around buildings and equipment.... During some months, heat stress was an issue with staff."

The report was prepared by the health services section of the RCMP in B.C., and was obtained by The Vancouver Sun under Access to Information laws.

Pickton, who was taken into custody in February 2002, has been charged with killing 26 women who vanished from Vancouver's drug-infested Downtown Eastside.

There have been limited media reports about working conditions on the farm because civilian searchers signed confidentiality contracts, and testimony given by police officers at Pickton's court hearings fall under a sweeping publication ban.

The Sun has obtained two reports and a memo relating to the search that give glimpses into the complex operation, which police have said was "unprecedented in Canadian history" for its investigative and forensic challenges. An RCMP press release has said the search involved sifting through 370,000 cubic yards of soil, tearing down the many buildings on the farm, and seizing thousands of exhibits that were tested in labs.

The documents obtained by The Sun indicate there were about 500 police and civilians employed by the task force, not including 102 anthropology students, operators of heavy machinery used to dig up the grounds and other civilian workers.

The report by the RCMP health services section says a first aid station was set up on the farm to deal with cuts and bruises because police didn't want the injuries to be handled externally "due to the secure nature of the investigation."

There were constant health concerns that needed to be addressed on the farm, which had at one time been home to pigs and other livestock, and more recently had been the base of a landfill operation.

"Water and soil analysis had to be done on a regular basis to check for contaminates that may cause health concerns for on-site personnel," the RCMP's health services report reads. "The investigators had to go through a lot of bird waste and animal waste, and infections from this was always a concern. . . . Gloves and masks [were] worn by all working on the site."

The report also notes that Dr. Roland Bowman, the RCMP's staff psychologist, monitored the well-being of police and civilian searchers.

"Supervisors were always watching for persons becoming distraught on the job and would ensure that Dr. Bowman was contacted immediately," the report said. "Students came from across Canada to work on this project. The supervisors were very conscientious of watching the students to ensure they received help immediately if they became distraught."

However, the report noted that more off-site administrative civilian workers became "distressed" than the investigators on the farm.

A memo written July 28, 2005 by task force leader RCMP Insp. Ward Lymburner, in response to an information request submitted by The Sun, said "a small number of individuals received some form of voluntary psychological assistance."

But he did not offer any specific details, saying it could take weeks or even months to manually search the files or notes of employees involved with the Pickton case for information on health and/or psychological services.

The cost of providing psychological services to task force employees was $17,000, but that didn't include any bills incurred by police or civilians who saw a psychologist who wasn't contracted by the RCMP, his memo said.

Lymburner said a small number of the injuries treated by first aid personnel on the farm resulted in employees taking time off work, but noted the details may be subject to privacy or confidentiality concerns.

Dr. Brian Johnson, a psychologist contracted by Bowman to assist civilians or police who became distressed on the farm, assessed the mental well-being of task force employees through a report he wrote on May 15, 2003, when the search was 15 months old, and still had six months to go.

Johnson interviewed 126 employees -- including 39 Mounties and six Vancouver police officers, 18 RCMP civilian employees and four excavation crew members -- who all averaged more than nine months working on the farm.

Also interviewed were 54 temporary civilian employees, presumably many of them anthropology students, who averaged 4.5 months on the farm.

Johnson's goal was to give the employees a chance to debrief about any "emotional distress" and to identify anyone experiencing "psychological symptoms requiring intervention."

His conclusion, two-thirds of the way through the search on the farm, was positive: "None of the employees interviewed demonstrated signs of being traumatized."

The 126 employees interviewed by Johnson filled out questionnaires that asked them about sleeping, eating and drinking habits; personal relationships; and physical and mental health issues.

Johnson's report said a very high percentage of police and other employees were happy working for the task force, and "did not look forward to the project ending."

However, the exceptions were a few of the temporary civilian employees, which included the anthropology students, who found their roles somewhat "repetitious," were concerned about the long hours on site, and were thought to have experienced interpersonal conflicts with other civilian searchers.

(The students mainly worked on conveyor belts searching for evidence in debris that was dug out of the ground by the excavators.)

Police officers working for the task force were among the most experienced and talented in the province, and Johnson's report said a number of them said they had never before been offered an individual psychological debriefing.

"At the conclusion they frequently remarked that it was a useful exercise and perhaps should happen more often," Johnson wrote.

RCMP spokesman Staff Sgt. John Ward said he would not discuss the contents of the material obtained by The Sun for fear of violating the publication ban on Pickton's pre-trial hearings.

"(The report) speaks to the enormity of what we were facing, but we just want to stay away from anything that could show up in the media saying this was the kind of event [we were investigating]," Ward said.

Ward refused to say how many, if any, RCMP employees went on sick or stress leave as a result of working on the farm.

The RCMP's health services report was prepared to give the Mounties advice on how to handle equally sensitive investigations in the future. It recommended that the health services unit become involved at the beginning of a case -- which didn't happen on the pig farm -- so that first aid attendants or nurses are on-site as soon as possible.

"The regional psychologist needs to be involved at the beginning to ensure early detection that an investigator is distressed to ensure they are dealt with before they derail," it says.

Pickton's pre-trial hearings began in New Westminster Supreme Court in January. His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 8, 2007.

© The Vancouver Sun 2006

Sunday, July 9

A boiling pot

Prostitute-resident confrontations escalating

July 9, 2006

A prostitute says that a neighbourhood patrol has become so menacing toward streetwalkers in the area that she's worried violence will erupt.

And an outreach worker warns the in-your-face approach could leave patrollers vulnerable to violence, especially if they inadvertently confront the serial killer preying on the sex trade.

"I don't like to be called trash, a whore and a slut," said sex-trade worker Carol-Lynn Strachan. "I'm getting to the point where I'm just getting sick of it.

"I've got a feeling one of these 'activists' is going to get physical with the girls."

Strachan retired from the sex trade last year, but said financial pressures forced her back into it.

Aside from verbal abuse, Strachan complains the patrollers, wearing reflective vests and riding bicycles, follow prostitutes and stand next to them with signs to drive away johns as they work a stretch of 118 Avenue near 66 Street.

"They're taking food out of their mouths," she said, adding they'll either drive prostitutes into dark alleys where they'll become more vulnerable to a serial killer or cause the opposite: actually drawing more prostitutes onto the street as they band together against the patrollers.

"We've got a serial killer around here. Do they care?"

But David Johnson, vice-president of the Montrose Community League, said the Montrose/Santa Rosa Street Patrol said none of the group harasses sex-trade workers, pimps or johns.

He said they have every right to stand next to prostitutes to scare away johns, but they don't verbally abuse anyone.

Johnson said the patrol is only supposed to be the "eyes and ears" of police.

He admitted that a "vigilante" dressed the same as the patrol and riding a bike in the area is confronting hookers, johns and pimps, but Johnson said that person isn't a member of the patrol.

Johnson said he didn't know the identity of the man but figures he'd face criminal charges if caught.

Johnson said residents of what was once a quiet, working-class neighbourhood have become angry and disillusioned with an invasion of vandals, burglars and crack heads. The increased crime, he said, has brought prostitution into their area.

"Within the community, we've had a lot of complaints," said Johnson.

The patrol groups, composed of two to eight individuals, ride bikes throughout the neighbourhoods and call police when they see illegal or suspicious activity, he said.

"They're just trying to keep a lid on a boiling pot," said Johnson.

JoAnn McCartney, a former vice cop who now works with the Prostitution Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton, said residents in various neighbourhoods along 118 Avenue have been confronting johns and prostitutes for years, and it worries her.

"It's a very dangerous thing to do," said McCartney. "One of those johns could be the serial killer."

Many of the johns have violent criminal pasts, McCartney noted, and sex-trade workers are often armed to protect themselves from so-called "bad dates."

Many are high on drugs, making them more violent, she added.

She urged patrollers to contain their anger, call police and not to speak with prostitutes or johns.

Local cases grow cold

Khanna vanishes, Jondreau abducted, Oliver student assaulted
By MAX MAUDIE and CARY CASTAGNA, Staff writers

July 9, 2006

Cops have run into brick walls in three high-profile crimes that have shocked Edmonton this year.

Sangeeta Khanna, a 41-year-old Mill Woods mom, vanished April 13. She hasn’t been seen since.

Khanna's Suzuki Grand Vitara turned up in the parking lot of a Royal Bank branch near 26 Avenue and 66 Street.

The night before, she told her family she was making a quick trip to the bank.

EPS spokesman Dean Parthenis said tips have dried up in the Khanna case.

“That trail’s cold right now,” he told the Sun, adding that investigators have looked at every possibility in the missing person case.

Madhu Mohan, Khanna's older sister, said her family has all but given up hope. They’ve searched for Khanna and even consulted psychics over her disappearance.

“We’re not doing anything now, because we were counting on the police,” said Mohan.

“The family is down, especially her son,” she said, adding Kuran is living with his father in Mill Woods now.

Khanna is divorced; she’s been separated from her husband since 2000. Family members have said they don't believe her ex-husband, who’s remarried, has anything to do with her disappearance.

Krishna Mohan, another sister, pleaded for anyone with information on her sister’s disappearance to come forward.

“If they know something, please come forward. Tell us, or the police.”

Khanna is the second woman to go missing on the south side this past spring.

Melissa-Ann Jondreau, 21, disappeared for nearly 12 hours last month in an apparent abduction before being found safe and sound.

Cops are stumped on that case too, Parthenis said.

Jondreau, a receptionist at Southtown Hyundai, at 36 Avenue and 99 Street, stepped out for lunch on June 14 and didn’t come back.

Her car was found later that afternoon with its door open and keys in the ignition in a movie theatre parking lot at 99 Street and 36 Avenue.

Jondreau called someone she knew at about 2:30 a.m. the next morning. That person called police, who picked her up at a gas station at Mill Woods Road and 50 Street.

It’s still not clear who abducted her.

Parthenis said there’s nothing to indicate the story was fabricated.

Cops said they were hunting two tattooed native males who may be driving a brown van in connection with Jondreau’s brief disappearance.

Police said Jondreau told them she was assaulted after she was abducted.

The suspects are described as native males in their mid- to late-20s, average height and build and clean-shaven.

One had a tribal tattoo covering his arm and the other had a spider web tattoo on his wrist.

Another puzzling high-profile case that police are actively investigating involves the sex assault of a Grade 2 student at a downtown school in April.

The girl was attacked when she went to a washroom during recess April 3 at Oliver School, 10227 118 St.

Despite receiving hundreds of tips after releasing a composite sketch of the suspect, police have yet to make an arrest.

Thursday, July 6

Police botched case: Son

His mom not dead, as family was told

Raina Delisle
The Province

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Michael Lands is demanding an investigation into the handling of his mom's disappearance by the Joint Missing Women Task Force.

Mary Florence Lands, 42, was among 67 women presumed missing from the Downtown Eastside and possibly slain by accused serial killer Robert Pickton.

Her family was told she was dead.

Last month, she surfaced in Cochin, Sask., where she has been living with a partner and unaware she was assumed missing.

In 2004, her daughter reported her missing and last heard from in 1991.

"The police didn't do their job on my mom's case," Michael Lands, 24, told The Province.

"They were totally lazy and just didn't care about her."

Michael Lands filed formal complaints with the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP last week. Yesterday, he met with members of the task force, but still has some unanswered questions.

The Lands family wants to know why Mary Florence wasn't found, since she's been collecting provincial disability cheques for 16 years and never changed her social insurance number or name.

In 2004, Saskatoon police even questioned and cleared her in a welfare-fraud case, Michael said.

Saskatoon police and Saskatchewan RCMP couldn't confirm to The Province that Lands was questioned.

RCMP Cpl. Tom Seaman said Lands was added to the list because she couldn't be located in government databases and she'd been involved in drugs, alcohol or prostitution.

The week before Lands contacted her family, her sister, Marie, received a letter from the Crime Victim Assistance Program stating she was granted the maximum $5,000 for pain and suffering related to her sister's supposed death.

It read: "The Missing Women's Task Force identified [Marie's] sister, [Mary Florence], as a victim of homicide."

Said Seaman: "We would have never confirmed that she was the victim of homicide unless we positively identified her."

Officials with the task force wouldn't comment further because Lands' complaint is under investigation.

Since the task force was launched in 2001, investigators have found more than 100 women thought to be missing. The number doesn't include women connected to Pickton.

© The Vancouver Province 2006

Saturday, July 1

Pickton trial jury-duty call set for fall

Thousands to be tapped for 'large and complicated' proceedings

Lori Culbert
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, July 01, 2006

SUMMONSES - An estimated 3,500 people, who will most likely live in New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or Port Moody, could receive letters this fall telling them they could be potential jurors in Canada's largest serial murder trial.

In a regular murder trial in B.C., about 500 summonses would be issued. But seven times that number will be mailed out in late September or early October for the high-profile trial of Port Coquitlam pig farmer Robert (Willy) Pickton, who is accused of murdering 26 women who vanished from the Downtown Eastside.

"Normally, [court sheriffs] try to select a jury pool from the area in which the crime happened, so one would anticipate the letters would be sent to the Tri-Cities area," said Carol Carmen, director of communications for the Ministry of Attorney-General.

Residents of New Westminster will likely also be included because Pickton is being tried in the Supreme Court in that city. However, Carmen noted that final plans for Pickton's jury selection process will not be confirmed until the judge in the case meets with court sheriffs to iron out the details.

"There's no question it [the jury selection pool] will be an unprecedented number because of the length of this trial and the complexity of this trial," Adrian Brooks, one of Pickton's defence lawyers, said outside court Friday.

Given the media attention on Pickton since his arrest in February 2002, defence lawyers don't expect to find 12 people who have never heard of him -- but, instead, those who have not made up their minds yet on his guilt or innocence.

"I'm sure people have heard of this case -- there's no way around that. The whole point is: Keep an open mind and make a decision based on the evidence that they hear," Brooks said.

Under Canadian law, lawyers are typically not allowed to ask potential jurors questions, but the defence hopes to get permission to do so this time to weed out biased people.

Brooks said the trial could last two years, but added that Crown and defence are working hard to whittle it down.

Those who receive the letters will be gathered together Dec. 9 and then given dates to return to court in smaller groups for jury-selection hearings, which will begin Dec. 11. It is anticipated the jury will be selected before Christmas.

In court Friday, Justice James Williams lifted the publication ban that usually enshrouds Pickton's pre-trial hearings so the media could report that the trial will begin Jan. 8, 2007.

He added that the public should be informed of developments when possible "so we're not seen as a society of people in black who huddle in a courtroom every day."

It was hoped that the trial would start in September, but Williams said the "enormous complexity and the magnitude of the trial" have resulted in that being delayed until January.

"I'm sure there are those in the community who think that this is taking far too long and they are not able to understand why this [trial] hasn't been dealt with and finished by now. My response to that is to say this is a uniquely large and complicated matter. We're proceeding as expeditiously as we can, while at the same time ensuring that it is done properly," he said.

Pickton's pre-trial hearings, which began in January, will determine what evidence will be heard by a jury. That process is expected to continue until October, which Williams said will be time well-spent to make the trial itself as short as possible for jurors.

"We all recognize that those who serve as jurors are asked to make serious sacrifices in fulfilling an important civic duty," he said.

Williams noted this mega-trial is very complicated because police are still investigating leads and forensic labs are still analysing evidence, so new information continues to be sent to the lawyers.

Both the Crown and defence said in court Wednesday that, despite public criticism that the case has dragged on for years, they've been advancing as quickly as possible.

"Everyone is concerned . . . about having this matter placed before the jury as quickly as that can happen," said Crown prosecutor Michael Petrie.
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What jurors are paid in B.C.:
- $20 a day for the first 10 days of a trial.
- $60 a day for Days 11 through 49.
- $100 a day for Day 50 and onward.
Source: Ministry of Attorney-General
Ran with fact box "Trial paycheques", which has been appended to the end of the story.

© The Vancouver Sun 2006