Friday, March 31

That nice guy next door may be a horrifying killer

That nice guy next door may be a horrifying killer


March 31, 2006

The double life of a psychopath can mean the nicest guy next door is also a horrifying, bloodthirsty killer.

Doubling - dividing of one's self into two functioning wholes - is a common characteristic of serial killers, enabling them to live life as a seemingly good person when they need to, while doing unspeakable things when they want to, said Steven Egger, a criminologist at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

"It's similar to how the doctors worked in Nazi concentration camps," he said.

"They could do brutal surgical experiments on live people with no anesthetic and then go home and have dinner with their wife and kids like nothing had happened."

He also said psychopaths are tremendously good actors who are able to manipulate people - even their closest friends and family - into thinking anything they want them to.

"They have no empathy for their victim even though they act like they have it with the other people in their lives," said Egger.

Because of that, they are rarely ever suspected of the heinous crimes they commit, even as body counts rise and police examine every possible clue.

"They compartmentalize themselves and keep the killing part separate from the rest of their lives," Egger said, adding the people closest to BTK killer Dennis Rader never suspected he was capable of his crimes.

Rader, a 60-year-old former church congregation president and boy scout leader, pleaded guilty last June to 10 murders between 1974 and 1991. He was arrested in 2005.

Prostitute killer 'will get caught'

Prostitute killer 'will get caught'
Cop who put Green River killer away says Edmonton's serial slayer will be captured 'sooner rather than later'


March 31, 2006

A single slip-up on the part of a serial killer has brought many of them to justice, and police say the man who's killing local prostitutes will also soon be stopped.

No one knows the daunting task of catching a serial killer better than Seattle's Det. Tom Jensen, who was instrumental in putting Green River prostitute killer Gary Ridgway in prison and has shared his experience with investigators here.

After one of the longest and largest serial murder investigations in U.S. history, Ridgway, a suspect for more than 15 years, pleaded guilty in 2003 to 48 counts of murder after emerging DNA technology finally pegged him as the killer.

"It was mind-numbing," Jensen said of when the bodies were piling up. "The FBI had provided us with a basic profile of several killers - so basic, it covered most of the people in our office."

Once the Green River task force was put together in the early 1980s, the killings seemed to stop and it was thought the killer had moved on.

"He turned out to be killing one or two a year while we were looking for him," Jensen said. "He was here the whole time."

Because of evolving forensic technology, Jensen said he's confident the Edmonton killer will be caught sooner rather than later.

"The likelihood of him being there for 20 years is slim."

Meanwhile, no tip from the public is ever too small or insignificant and could lead to the break cops need to put an end to the killing, said a Project KARE investigator.

Const. Tamara Bellamy, of the RCMP-EPS joint task force, said people need to get past their fears of getting others in trouble because the right tip will put an end to the killings.

"Any tip could be the one," she said, adding police are approaching all subjects of tips with respect and sensitivity.

"If people are reluctant to report something for any reason, it may allow that person to hurt again or to not be caught."

Project KARE is investigating the killings of 12 prostitutes in and around Edmonton since 1988 and 72 cases of missing and slain people, mostly women, involved in high-risk lifestyles.

Bellamy said Project KARE has compiled a list of hundreds of persons of interest, and a smaller list of suspects.

"Let's just find this person and make them stop and be held accountable for their actions," Bellamy said, adding no new bodies found in 11 months doesn't mean the killer is gone or that anyone should let their guard down.

"We can't hope he's moved on," she said. "Even if he has, he's probably killing somewhere else."

Bellamy also said the killings impact everyone.

"These girls come from all walks of life, and when people are sitting in their suburban homes with their two kids and think this doesn't affect them, they're wrong," she said. "These girls came from that too. Or they could be babysitters of your kids who took a wrong turn in life."

Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Boston's Northeastern University, said carelessness is a factor working against many killers.

"(Catching them) is usually a stroke of luck on the part of the police," Levin said.

"It's one fatal mistake on the part of the killer that brings them to justice.

"He feels invincible and starts to cut corners after a while. He gets caught when he takes chances and lets his guard down."

Call Project KARE with your tips at 1-877-412-5273.

Profile tips may help identify beast

Profile tips may help identify beast


March 31, 2006

Serial murderers of women living high-risk lifestyles tend to fit a particular profile, according to Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Boston's Northeastern University.


- A middle-aged man -- in his 30s or 40s -- who kills as a hobby, getting a thrill at the expense of his victims.

- He could be at a time in his life when he feels he's losing his machismo and kills to get back the feeling of power and dominance.

- He doesn't see prostitutes as human beings and may feel he's doing society a favour by killing them.

- Most killers attack people of the same race as them because it makes them stand out less when seen with his victims. Note: In the case of the Edmonton prostitutes, police say there is no one race being targeted.

- Many serial killers have a small circle of friends and relatives who he treats with dignity and respect and whom are off limits to their killing spree, leaving them baffled when they find out what he's done.

- In appearance, he's likely the last person one would suspect and doesn't look like the monster the public thinks him to be.


- Drive a truck, van or SUV and feels comfortable driving in rural areas.

- Be a hunter or fisherman.

- Have some connection south of Edmonton in areas such as Camrose, Leduc or New Sarepta.

- Often cleans vehicle, sometimes at odd hours.

Thursday, March 30

Anguish over lost children never ends, but killing must stop, say families

Anguish over lost children never ends, but killing must stop, say families at 18:22 on March 30, 2006, EST.

940AM Radio-Montreal

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. (CP) - The anguish, heartbreak and tears never end, but the killing must stop, emotion-wracked family members said Thursday as they poured their hearts out over the loss of their murdered or missing daughters.

The family members of nine women who have gone missing or who were discovered murdered along Highway 16 took turns standing on a stage in a hockey arena filled with more than 500 people to tell their story of pain.

Through tears and shaking hands, the victims of the so-called Highway of Tears had two messages: they will never heal, but they are willing to do whatever they can to ensure no other woman is murdered along the highway.

Aboriginal groups, community leaders, politicians and police are in Prince George for the two-day conference to examine why women are dying or disappearing in the North and what to do about it.

Since 1990, nine women have been murdered or disappeared along the northern B.C. highway that stretches almost 750 kilometres from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

Police, who have yet to make an arrest in any of the killings or disappearances, won't say if they suspect a serial killer is prowling British Columbia's northern roads.

"This is my sweetie pie, Aielah," said Audrey Auger, pointing to a large photograph of her daughter Aielah Saric-Auger, who had just turned 14 when her body was found last month along the highway outside of Prince George.

She sobbed as she chanted a prayer in an aboriginal language for her departed daughter.

Auger continued sobbing as she recounted her last moments with her daughter in the parking lot of a local shopping mall.

"My little girl said, 'don't worry, I'll be home,' and she blew me a kiss, 'I love you."'

Family friend Angela Chalifoux said Aielah was the youngest of the victims.

The family could not have an open casket funeral, she said.

"These violent deaths are unacceptable," Chalifoux said, adding that women, especially aboriginal women, are the targets of "sick individuals."

The conference started when the mother of one of the murder victims walked into the arena to the sound of pounding drums and singing.

"The devil walks among us in so many ways," said Matilda Wilson in an evangelical speech.

"These people or the one person will be caught. God have mercy on his soul."

Wilson was wearing a yellow reflective vest with her daughter's name, Ramona, emblazoned across the back. She had walked from Smithers to Prince George, a distance of about 400 kilometres. Others started their journey in Prince Rupert.

Ramona Wilson disappeared in June 1994 in Smithers. Her body was found in April 1995 near the Smithers airport.

Matilda Wilson told the gathering her walk was an effort for aboriginal people and others living along the highway to gather strength and raise awareness of the threats that lurk nearby.

She was accompanied on the last leg of her walk by parents of other victims. Some of them carried placards into the symposium calling for action.

One huge poster showed a map of the highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert. A tiny pair of moccasins hung on the spot where each of the nine women went missing or were found murdered since 1990.

Ruby Taylor of Fort St. James, about two hours northeast of Prince George, made a laminated poster with pictures of every dead woman on it. She said she did it to ensure neither of her two daughters get caught up in the tragedy.

Others said there are more than 30 missing people along the highway.

One woman, Mabel Jack, has lost her children and now her husband is missing, the conference heard.

In August 1989, her son Ronald Jack, who was 26; his wife Doreen, also 26; and their children Russell, 9; and Ryan, 4; vanished. The family was offered a camp job by an unknown male and haven't been seen since.

Police have investigated the disappearance, but never found a trace of the family.

Last September, Casimel Thomas Jack, 70, who is Mabel's husband, disappeared while hunting near Burns Lake.

Among the missing or dead women along the highway since 1990 are Saric-Auger, 14, Tamara Chipman, 22, Lana Derrick, 19, Ramona Wilson, 15, Delphine Nikal, 15, Roxanna Thiara, 15, Aleisha Germaine, 15, Nicole Hoar, 25. Only Hoar, who has been missing for four years, is non-native.

Monica Ignas was 15 when she disappeared from the highway in December 1974 and 27-year-old Alberta Williams vanished on Aug. 27, 1989.

Cecilia Anne Nikal, a cousin of Delphine Nikal, has been missing since 1989.

Aboriginal leader Dan George, who is leading the conference, said he's concerned the issue of race is distracting from an effort to get all members of the community to do something about the disappearances.

Some people refuse to believe the aboriginal community is being targeted, but eight of the women who have disappeared are aboriginal, said George.

He also pointed to the 2004 conviction of a Prince George provincial court judge who had violently assaulted young aboriginal prostitutes and to the fact that most of the missing women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside are aboriginal.

"Many of our people do not believe that this is a coincidence," he said.

Wednesday, March 29

The Highway of Tears Awareness Walk - from Tony

NEW! The Highway of Tears Awareness Walk finished in Prince George today.

Florence Naziel and Gladys Radek shared some of their pictures. They can be seen at

Please pray for the success of the Symposium happening March 30 and 31.

Tony Romeyn
Victim Resource Site
Missing Loved Ones
Keeping Families Together
Stop Child Abuse
Because He Cares.......

Families, police, government to discuss 'Highway of Tears' murders

Families, police, government to discuss 'Highway of Tears' murders

Camille Bains
Canadian Press

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

VANCOUVER (CP) - It's dubbed the Highway of Tears and families whose loved ones have been murdered along it or disappeared in the area say it's time for action.

On Thursday, the provincial government, the RCMP, First Nations agencies and relatives of the dead and missing women will gather in Prince George for a two-day symposium to discuss what can be done to prevent the violence that has shaken their communities.

The numbers of exactly how many women are missing depend on who you talk to.

Officially, nine have gone missing or been killed on Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George since 1990.

But two other women also disappeared from the highway - in 1974 and 1989, said RCMP Sgt. John Ward, who remained tight-lipped about any details of the ongoing investigations.

Aboriginal groups say the number is actually over 30.

Ward wouldn't discuss whether a serial killer may be at work in any of the cases, saying police do not believe the cases are linked.

The latest victim was 14-year-old Aielah Saric-Auger, whose lifeless body was found last month by a passing motorist, although police say her death may not be connected to the highway cases.

Among the missing or dead along the highway since 1990 are Saric-Auger, 14, Tamara Chipman, 22, Lana Derrick, 19, Ramona Wilson, 15, Delphine Nikal, 15, Roxanna Thiara, 15, Aleisha Germaine, 15, Nicole Hoar, 25. Only Hoar, who has been missing for four years, is non-native.

Monica Ignas was 15 when she disappeared from the highway in December 1974 and 27-year-old Alberta Williams vanished on Aug. 27, 1989.

Tamara Chipman was last seen hitchhiking on Highway 16 in September 2005.

"It's not like her to not contact us," her stepmother, Christine Chipman, said. "She was really close to both me and her father."

And Tamara Chipman would never abandon her two-year-old son Jaden, her stepmother said.

"We're hoping that somebody will eventually come forward, somebody who knows where she is or where her remains are or something."

Priscilla Naziel, Tamara's cousin, believes there are actually 34 women who have disappeared.

"I feel it's racial that's nothing being done yet," Naziel said of the police investigation.

Others say the Mounties are doing their best to resolve the case.

Rena Zatorski, a counsellor with the Lheidli T'enneh Nation in Prince George, B.C., which helped organize the symposium, said her group wants an emergency readiness team formed for the Highway 16 corridor.

When someone goes missing, the team would have one person acting as a liaison with police and other agencies in an effort to ensure fast action.

The symposium will also discuss the need for First Nations communities to address issues such as the perils of risky behaviour like hitchhiking, Zatorski said.

"It's not so much about First Nations women hitchhiking," she said. "It's about why are they hitchhiking and what gives those creeps or psychopaths out there the right to arbitrarily take a life? Why are we being picked off as prey?"

But there are also long-standing issues that aboriginal people will need to touch on, Zatorski said, such as the disconnect between youth, their parents and their communities.

Aboriginal leadership also needs to include more women, as was traditionally the case among First Nations, Zatorski said.

"Aboriginal women's roles have changed and we don't feel that they're granted as much respect."

Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said his group will send a representative to the symposium.

"Clearly, one of things that we must do more effectively is public education on the issue of violence against women because women are too vulnerable, too often," Fontaine said from Gatineau, Que., where he had just wrapped up a meeting of about 200 national chiefs and leaders.

"Poverty is just a huge issue and we understand that poverty places too many of the women in our community at risk."

John Les, British Columbia's public safety minister, said the symposium will bring a heightened awareness to what's happening along Highway 16.

"We have a local community here taking a leadership role saying, 'Let's discuss this and let's ensure that we prevent these tragedies in the future,' " Les said.

"So I think it's a good template for the future should other communities ever have to go through this kind of tragic scenario."

© The Canadian Press 2006

Highway of Tears



Calgary Herald

Published: Saturday, March 18, 2006

Re: "Not a prudent career switch," Editorial, March 16.
Instead of applauding the German initiative to try something new to help sex-trade workers, you would stick to the status quo, which, if one looks at the mounting death toll on our streets, is clearly not working.

You also enforced society's perception that sex trade workers are somehow less deserving of career options.

Such prejudice detracts from the herculean efforts of those women trying to make the transition back into society.

As a former addict and prostitute, I could not have moved away from that gruelling life without the firm belief, commitment and unwavering support of individuals and employers.

I have worked with seniors, children and in the medical field, but you would have others believe I would have only been good enough to unplug toilets.

Shame on you!

Could your editorial staff please be progressive enough at least to stop using the degrading word "hooker"?

Elizabeth Hudson, Calgary

© The Calgary Herald 2006

Reference editorial

Not a prudent career switch

Calgary Herald

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2006

Helping prostitutes get off the street and turn their lives around is a noble venture, but do seniors really want to spend their declining years being cared for by hookers?

The German government has set up a program that will train prostitutes to become geriatric nurses and then put them to work in nursing homes. The residents of those homes won't be told of their nurses' backgrounds.

No doubt seniors aren't regaled with their caregivers' life histories, as a rule, but the picture of vulnerable old folks being heavily dependent on care from former drug addicts and sex-trade workers is a shabby-looking one.


By: Elizabeth Hudson
'Snow Bodies, one woman's life on the streets'

CBC Outfront
Painted Lady - Part 1
Painted Lady - Part 2

Monday, March 27

Saric Murder Investigators Looking for Woman

Saric Murder Investigators Looking for Woman

Prince George RCMP are looking for a woman who may have information on the murder of Aielah-Saric -Auger.

Aielah's body was found off Highway 16 east near Tabor February 10th. She had been last seen alive around 10p.m.February 2 in the area of the First Litre Pub.

The woman police would like to talk to is described as being Caucasian, 30 years old, 5'5" medium build and has shoulder length straight blonde hair.

Investigators say she "recently surfaced during the course of the investigation" and they need to speak to her.

If you have any information as to the whereabouts or identity of this woman, contact Prince George R.C.M.P. at 561-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the crimestoppers website at

Find Nicole Hoar

Saturday, March 25

Mounties monitoring a website promoting movie based on Pickton

Mounties monitoring a website promoting movie based on Pickton
Mar, 23 2006 - 8:20 AM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - The Mounties are still monitoring a website
promoting a movie based on accused serial killer Robert Pickton.
The families of several women who disappeared from Vancouver's
downtown eastside were told about the low-budget film in January.

Since then, the RCMP has been checking the website to determine if
any laws have been broken.

Sergeant John Ward says the 55-year old Pickton, who's facing 26
counts of first-degree murder, has not been convicted of
anything. "Well, certainly, our concern is about the publication
ban," Ward said. "Until we can determine that there is in fact
something, it's very difficult to even start thinking about breach of
the publication ban."

Ward says it doesn't appear the American-made film has been released,
but if it surfaces, police will buy a copy as part of their

Friday, March 24

It's about 'why'

It’s about why

Terrace Standard

JUST PART of the story of the murdered and missing young women along Hwy16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George rests within the voluminous files accumulated over the years by the RCMP.

Inside those files is the evidence gathered after each disappearance, clues that have either turned into nothing or which remain as mysteries and suspicions of who is responsible.

We're going to get a look at some of what's in those files at a symposium the end of March in Prince George. It's being organized by the Lheidli T'enneh Nation in response to the death of 14-year-old Aielah Saric-Auger whose body was found east of Prince George in February. She's the latest in a string of disappearances, murders and deaths involving young woman dating back decades along Hwy16.

The list begins with Monica Ignas whose body was found in 1974 east of Terrace. It grew longer last fall when Terrace resident Tamara Chipman disappeared while hitchhiking just outside of Prince Rupert.

There's been much work over the years to determine if there is a connection between any or all of the cases. And neither the provincial government nor the RCMP are publicly talking about creating an overall task force but expect them to edge closer at the Prince George symposium.

Provincial solicitor general John Les has paved the way for such a task force when he announced on Feb. 28 that another "detailed review" of the cases was underway.
While a task force will be welcomed (and some will say that it is long overdue) in anticipation of determining what has happened, what the RCMP cannot solve is the 'why' that weaves through each of the cases.

It's the 'why' young women, for whatever reason, place themselves in a situation of possible harm.

Not all of the cases involve hitchhiking. Not all involve being out late at night, possibly in the company of strangers in less than safe circumstances.
Yet there's enough of a thread here to indicate that there has been a failure to tie risky behaviour with possibly dangerous outcomes.

We'd all like to think the world is a safe place and that people, regardless of age, sex and circumstance, are free of danger. It's not.

And some might think the solution is as uncomplicated as saying "don't hitchhike" or to blame a person's upbringing, but that would be far too simple.

Working to solve the 'why' here is the other part and most important portion of the untold story. Figure that out and possibly, just possibly, there'll be no more missing women to mourn.

More information:

Find Nicole Hoar
Highway of Tears

Missing sister Sarah

Missing sister Sarah
PG Free PRess

Maggie de Vries was already an author and editor of childrens' books
soon after her younger sister Sarah went missing on the streets of
Vancouver in April, 1998. Years later, on August 6, 2002, Sarah's
remains were identified through DNA found in a police search of
Robert Pickton's Port Coquitlam farm. It was then, she knew she had
to write another book.

The book, Missing Sarah – a Vancouver woman remembers her vanished
sister - has been therapy for Maggie and helped her cope with her
loss. Published in 2003, the book has also won awards and public

De Vries is coming to Prince George in April to give readings and
talk about her book. She said her sister's journals, letters and
artwork helped fill in gaps about her sister's life and gave the
author greater understanding and insight into her world. "Sarah's
death led me on a long journey. I now understand my sister a lot
better. And I have great respect for her."

Sarah was adopted into her family in April 1970 when she was 11-
months-old, de Vries explained. "She was from a multi-racial
background, coming into an all white family and community, so it was
hard for her. She was eight years younger than me. And when she
disappeared, she'd been living for eight or nine years on Vancouver's
east side. I learned a lot about my sister and the world she lived in
after her death from journals and artwork she left behind. In her
journal, she wrote about the pain of the life she was living. At the
same time, I learned how she had touched people's lives and made a
positive difference. So many people told me stories about how she
helped them."

De Vries said she decided to write the book in 2002 when she at last
knew her sister's fate. "When she first went missing, I hounded the
police for answers. Then in 2002 with the search, suddenly people
came from all over. And when the gruesome details began getting
reported, I thought people needed to see the real images of these
women who worked in the sex trade or lived in the drug world. I felt
they were being stereotyped and that people were not seeing these
[dead and missing] women as human beings."

She has concluded, she said, that society must take some of the

"We tend to marginalize these people and push them away. That leaves
them in a dangerous place and more vulnerable to predators. Some of
our attitudes increase that vulnerability."

On April 3, Maggie de Vries will be at UNBC at 2:30 p.m. and at the
PG Public Library, Bob Harkins branch for readings at 7 pm.

Symposium set

Prince George Free Press

The Lheidli T’enneh Band will be hosting a symposium on how to end the murders and disappearances along Highway 16, called the “Highway of Tears,” March 30-31 at CN Centre.

The band called for the symposium following the death of 14-year-old Prince George resident Aielah Saric-Auger. Saric-Auger’s body was found along Highway 16 several kilometres east of Prince George.

Other women who have gone missing or been murdered along Highway 16 in the past decade include Nicole Hoar, Tamara Chipman, Ramona Wilson, Leah Alishia Germaine, Delphine Nikal, Roxanne Thiara, and Lana Derrick.

Lheidli T’enneh councillor Rena Zatorski said the response from RCMP, government and community groups to the symposium has exceeded expectations.

“It’s been a lot more than I expected. We didn’t think there would be much of a response at all,” Zatorski said. “It’s generated interest from anybody and everybody along the highway.”

Currently, Zatorski said, she expects about 500 people to attend the event.
“The reason why it’s in CN Centre is all the other venues in Prince George are booked until the end of April. We felt that wasn’t soon enough,” she said.

Zatorski said the more groups which take part in the symposium, the better chance it will have in succeeding.

“Everybody has something different to offer,” she said. “We are certainly going to develop something tangible that different organizations can take away with them and implement in the way they see fit.”

Zatorski said there will likely be a number of initiatives that come out of the symposium in areas like prevention of dangerous lifestyles and emergency response.
“We envision something similar to an amber alert,” Zatorski said.

The amber alert system is an information system which works to alert the public about missing children.

The symposium will give organizations and government an opportunity to better understand the causes of the problem.

“First and foremost people want to hear directly from the police about the process in place for investigating missing people,” Zatorski said, “Secondly people want government to hear at a grassroots level what is going on. We’re dealing with the problem as best we can, but we need tools and resources.”

A number of organizations have matched the Lheidli T’enneh Band’s contribution of $1,500 – including the Solicitor General’s office – and Zatorski expected more donations would be coming in.

“Anybody who’s interested in actively contributing [to crime prevention efforts] is welcome to come,” Zatorski said.

Monday, March 20

The many faces of prostitution

The many faces of prostitution
Opposition to legalized prostitution lies in its public perception as a drug-addled, violent, criminal trade. But the stereotype is not true.

Dan Gardner, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, March 20, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, Vic Toews, the new justice minister, was asked by a reporter how he would respond if, as expected, a Commons sub-committee studying prostitution recommended that prostitution be legalized under certain conditions. He'd oppose it, said the minister. "I don't particularly think that legalization is helpful, other than strengthening the hands of organized crime."

Ordinarily, a politician asked about a hypothetical recommendation from a committee that isn't close to finishing its work would say only one thing: I can't answer now. Ask me when I have the committee's report.

But here was a senior minister casually brushing off the whole idea, and the Commons sub-committee that may or not back it, without even pretending to have a look at the case for change.

It's not terribly surprising, and not only because Mr. Toews may be the most conservative justice minister ever to occupy the office.

Prostitution is one of those subjects about which most people think they know it all. They know about prostitutes and their customers and how the trade functions. They know exactly what the laws are and what they should be.

And they know all this because they've read a couple of newspaper articles about pimps and hookers. Or they have a friend who knew a prostitute once. Or they are social workers, prosecutors or doctors who have worked with prostitutes.

Or they just know it because it would be awful to be a prostitute, so it's obvious who's involved and why and what it does to a woman, isn't it?

A recent exchange in the National Post neatly revealed the layers of ignorance and ideology informing so much of the chatter about the oldest profession.

On March 4, the Post published an editorial calling for the legalization of prostitution. Mr. Toews is wrong, the editorialists argued. Legalization "would lower organized crime's hold" on the business and it would "protect the women drawn into prostitution."

Now, I happen to agree with the Post, but more interesting to me was the reaction of the Post's readers.

Most letters to the editor were deeply opposed.

"Your arguments in favour of legalizing prostitution are, as so many others I have read, completely blind to the issues that lead to the practice of prostitution," wrote one reader, "the primary one being severe childhood sexual and emotional abuse."

Another supported Mr. Toews for defending "the unfortunate women, and girls, who have been enslaved by organized crime. Instead of condoning this degrading profession, the government can elevate these women by helping them return to the safer confines of mainstream society."

A psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Mrozek, wrote to say that legalization would not free prostitutes from criminals because women in prostitution are "persons in various stages of arrested development, which results in various forms of disordered personality. They tend to be emotionally immature and dependent and crave affection at any cost."

Another wrote that all prostitutes are forced to do what they do, one way or another, because "nobody with true freedom of action voluntarily deprives themselves of their dignity, to sell their body for sex."

There are some obvious problems with all these claims. For one, there's the strange non sequitur of saying "prostitutes are victims, therefore we must continue to criminalize what they do and arrest them." It's also a little odd to point to the miserable results of the status quo as proof that the status quo must not be changed.

And the common claim that legalizing prostitution would amount to condoning it is not only inherently wrong -- adultery is not endorsed simply because we do not arrest adulterers, nor suicide because we no longer slap handcuffs on those who attempt it as they lie on their hospital beds -- it seems to be based on the mistaken belief that prostitution itself is illegal. It's not. The law forbids public solicitation, the keeping of a "bawdy house" and other acts that, in practical terms, make it close to impossible to conduct prostitution legally. But peeling back some of the restrictions wouldn't engage the alleged symbolism of making prostitution legal. It already is.

But the basic problem with all these letter-writers is that they talk about prostitution as if it were one thing -- as if there were one type of woman involved, one customer, one experience. And one conclusion about what should be done about it.

Who is a prostitute? For these letter-writers, as for so many Canadians, that's easily answered. First, she is a woman. No one pays much attention to the men offering sex for money, although they are a significant part of the sex trade.

She is probably working on the street. She is controlled by pimps and gangsters. She routinely suffers violence. And she got into the trade because of drug addiction, poverty and mental problems caused by her deprived and abusive childhood.

She hates her life. She hates herself.

Anyone who has spent time studying prostitution, as I have, knows that women like this do exist. But she is not the face of prostitution, because prostitution has many faces.

Most experts estimate that 80 per cent or more of the sex trade happens off the street and that sector is very diverse. There are escort agencies, women working out of their apartments, massage parlours and some strip clubs. Even the small minority of the trade that happens on the street is diverse, with different "strolls" being used by very different women and customers.

The presence of pimps, violence and drug addiction -- the three blights associated with prostitution in the public mind -- varies widely from one situation to the next. Some situations -- almost always on the street -- are rife with all three. Others are free and clear.

The image we have of the bedraggled junkie selling herself on the street is real, certainly, but it is just one of many realities in the sex trade. So is the educated woman who makes a very comfortable living accompanying her dinner companion back to five-star hotels. And between these extremes there is a wide array of realities, each as different as the women involved. Simplification is a mistake.

Pimps are an excellent example of how people get it wrong. Those who support legalization argue that prostitutes are forced to turn to pimps "to provide them with protection," as the Post editorial says, because they can't get it from the police. Those opposed respond, as Dr. Mrozek did, that pimps control prostitutes by manipulating their psychological needs, and legalization wouldn't change that.

The truth is, they're both right -- in some cases.

The big reason why simplistic images of the sex trade dominate the public mind is that they dominate the media. And they dominate the media for the simple reason that the commerce of sex, in almost all its forms, is illegal and it's hard to get credible, objective facts about a black market. So journalists are forced to turn to people who claim expertise in the subject.

Many of these experts are activists whose views are shaped far more by ideology than anything else. The most prominent of these are radical feminists for whom prostitution is, under any circumstances, slavery and who routinely depict the most pathological forms of prostitution -- the pimp-controlled, street-walking junkie -- as typical of the whole.

The other source journalists turn to are professionals who work with prostitutes: social workers, police officers and doctors. The problem with this is illustrated in Dr. Mrozek's comments: He assumes that because the prostitutes he has seen have personality disorders, all prostitutes must have personality disorders. It apparently hasn't occurred to him that prostitutes without disordered personalities aren't likely to see psychiatrists.

Similar mistakes are made all the time. Social workers generalize from their experience although they aren't likely to meet prostitutes who have their lives together. Police officers do the same even though police officers won't come into contact with prostitutes who conduct their business quietly and safely.

Unfortunately, simple images invite simple solutions that don't fit complex realities and can do real harm as a result. Forbid-and-arrest is the simplest and most wrong-headed simplistic solution. But so too is the idea that repealing the criminal law is enough.

What's needed is legalization -- and regulation. It is in the details of regulation that the contours of the complex reality can be mapped and the most effective solutions developed. This may be unsatisfying for ideologues, and it doesn't make for good cut-and-thrust of a newspaper debate, but if Mr. Toews and other parliamentarians are genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of prostitutes, they might at least consider it.

Dan Gardner is a senior writer at the Citizen. E-mail:

© The Ottawa Citizen 2006

Sunday, March 19

KARE cancels Net chat Got too nasty, say cops

March 17, 2006

KARE cancels Net chatGot too nasty, say cops

A local task force hunting a serial killer has pulled the plug on its Internet bulletin board, saying postings had degenerated to the point where officers had to referee disputes between users.

"It got to be overwhelming with non-KARE-related matters," said Insp. Mike Sekela, the head of the joint RCMP-EPS Project KARE.

KARE is investigating the murders and disappearances of more than 80 people who led "high-risk lifestyles," including a number of sex-trade workers.

Police believe one person is responsible for more than one of the deaths, but not all of them.

The KARE bulletin board saw a number of users post theories, tips and hold discussions online. But some of the chatter took a turn for the worse when users turned to personal attacks.

"They started getting nasty," Sekela said. "Three or four of them, they were accusing each other of different things.

"I was refereeing," he said.

He said addressing some of the posts was chewing up manpower, adding he personally responds to e-mails. Another staff sergeant monitors the website, and sometimes a third officer is involved, Sekela said.

KARE tried banning users, but they'd return under a different name, Sekela said.

Sekela said he doesn't think the bulletin board's suspension will deter tips from coming in. Tipsters can still e-mail or telephone.

Steven Egger, a criminologist at the University of Houston-Clear Lake who's looked at KARE's files, agrees.

"The website is still up and they're still receiving tips," said Egger.

"The big problem with the bulletin board is it wound up having people chatting about all sorts of things. I don't think they've lost anything."

Sekela admitted the serial killer may have made some posts, but added cops didn't have any concrete evidence of that.

Egger figures if that's true, the killer can still have contact with the task force via e-mail.

KARE plans to re-assess the suspension of the bulletin board after a cooling-off period. In the meantime, Sekela is encouraging tipsters to continue to e-mail or phone Project KARE.

The last body was discovered on May 6, 2005, but Egger figures the serial killer is just biding his time.

"My theory is he's still in the area and he's thriving on the power and control over when he kills next," Egger said. "He's going to pick his time."

Pig farmer Pickton pleads not guilty to murders

Pig farmer Pickton pleads not guilty to murders

By Morning Star Doherty, Raven's Eye Writer, Vancouver

Robert 'Willy' Pickton appeared in British Columbia's New Westminster Supreme Court on Jan. 30 and pled not guilty to the first-degree murders of 27 women linked to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside sex trade.

Sixty-eight women have disappeared from that section of Vancouver since 1991, many of them of Aboriginal descent. Investigators found DNA from 31 women on Pickton's property in Port Coquitlam, where he operated a pig-butchering business prior to being arrested four years ago.
After Pickton's not guilty plea, lawyers began the lengthy process of presenting arguments about what materials will be allowed as evidence during his trial. This stage is expected to last six months.

The trial is covered by a publication ban that prohibits reporting details of court proceedings so as not to influence jury members when the public begins to hear details beginning in the fall. If convicted of the crimes, Pickton would become Canada's worst serial killer.

As hundreds of people lined up to enter the courthouse, and supporters of the murdered and missing women gathered amid a large contingent of security, 12 First Nations people softly began to drum. As the drums warmed up and the beat grew louder, the Women's Warrior Song began, rising with the voices of those holding squares of a memorial quilt, created by people from the Downtown Eastside community to honor 90 women who have gone missing.

The morning sun streamed through the clouds, shining on the gathering. The scent of sage drifted throughout the assembly. As the Women's Warrior Song was sung, many tears of grief and sadness were shed. Mainstream media also were moved, with one national news reporter shedding tears as the scene was recorded.

"Vancouver's Downtown Eastside is the largest Indian reservation in Canada, and most of the violence in the area is against Aboriginal women," said Marlene Trick of the Carnegie Centre, who helped to organize the gathering.

"The names of the women on the memorial quilt come from the women's memorial brochure, which was started in 1991. The Downtown Eastside community felt powerless by the lack of response by the authorities to what was happening in Vancouver, and we wanted to communicate to the general public the urgency of the situation, and that the list of those missing was continuing to grow. The memorial quilt was started in the fall of 2004 and sadly continues to grow also."

She said the cost of the trial to date is $70 million, and could increase to as much as $120 million by the time it finishes.

"Today there are many more women stepping into the shoes of our missing and murdered women." She said what is needed in the community is money and resources.

"Over 75 children have been left behind by our murdered and missing women and the hurt will be felt for generations to come. These children will not have their mothers at the momentous events in their lives, such as their graduation, marriage, etc., and their children will not have a grandmother to love them. The families of our women are suffering so much. They need resources for trauma counselling, they need to be heard, to express their grief."

Trick said many Aboriginal women do not have access to resources made available to other Canadians. She said what was needed was more alcohol and drug treatment centres.

"We need strong sentences for drug dealers, who are literally getting away with murder, by selling crystal meth, heroin, crack, etc. on our streets. Just to save one woman is so important. We should never have to go through this again."

There has been severe criticism about the response of the Vancouver Police Department to tips about the missing women from the residents of the Downtown Eastside over the years. Many of the tips were never investigated.

The Aboriginal Newspaper of British Columbia & Yukon

Art commemorating Missing Women

Attention Arts and Entertainment Editors:
Art commemorating Missing Women/ International Women's Day 2006 focus
VANCOUVER, BC, JUAREZ, Mexico, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - An exhibition that focuses on the Missing Women in Juarez, Mexico and an art-based event commemorating the lives of women disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and those who, so creatively, carry on - will be highlights of a series of programs organized in Vancouver as part of International Women's Day/2006.

Monument to Ciudad Juarez, Only Women Who Die A Violent Death go to a Paradise, opens at Vancouver's Gallery Gachet, 88 East Cordova street, on March 3, 2006. The opening ceremony and performance is from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The exhibit continues until April 2, 2006.

Remembering our Sisters highlights some of the sixty-five commemorative quilts produced by women of the Downtown Eastside. Poetry and music will be featured at an event scheduled to take place at 119 West Pender Street, on March 8, 2006, International Women's Day. A special guest, poet and Guatemalan woman's activist Sandra Moran is scheduled to perform and bring greetings from the women of a country also devastated by hundreds of cases of missing and murdered women.

Monument to Ciudad Juarez, a video/installation/performance is the work of Colombian Canadian artist, Claudia Bernal. The exhibit travels to Vancouver from Bernal's home in Montreal. (see attached details and background).

Remembering Our Sisters uses the celebratory occasion of International Women's Day to both commemorate the more than sixty-five women who have disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and to celebrate the art and political activism of those who continue the struggle for equality and survival among some of Vancouver's most marginalized women.

The organizations Wish Drop-In Centre, PEERS and PACE groups that provide counselling services for current and exiting sex-trade workers, are hosting the celebration, art and performances with broad community support from women in BC's Labour Movement and others. (see details attached).
Another associated activity planned for later in March is a lecture and workshop by well-known feminist, activist, educator and author Silvia Federici whose most recent book is Caliban and the Witch, Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Specific details on this event will be communicated as details are finalized.

Support for these programs comes from BC Federation of Labour Women's Committee, CUPE BC, the Federation of Post Secondary Educators and the BC Government Employees' Union (BCGEU), as well as CUPE Local 389, City of North Vancouver Employees, CUPE Metro District Council, Megan Ellis & Company and others. Claudia Bernal's work is supported by the Canada Council and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. In addition the projects have been supported by a tremendous amount of volunteer labour.

For information about the IWD events or to arrange interviews with
Claudia during her time in Vancouver (February 28 to March 10) contact: Louise Leclair: 778.838.0699


Graduated in Philology and Languages from the National University of Colombia, Claudia Bernal immigrated to Quebec in 1991 and completed her master's in French Linguistics at Laval University. Her ongoing research on the different modalities of language led her to concentrate on the multiple forms of esthetic expressions. She graduated in 1999 with a BA in Visual Arts/Creation at the University of Quebec in Montreal and started an MA in History of Latin American Art in Mexico City. Claudia Bernal has developed a particular approach focused on the fragmentation of urban space and its impact on society and culture. The concepts of movement, migration, space, and identity are recurrent in her artworks. As an interdisciplinary artist (painting, installation, video, performance, etching), she stands out for the originality, energy and power of her works and for her involvement in the artistic and culture scene in Canada and abroad. She has presented both
collective and solo exhibitions in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico and Germany. Colombia-born and Canadian, Claudia Bernal lives and works in Montreal.

About the exhibit: Monument to Juarez: Only Women Who Die a Violent Death
Go to a Paradise;

Monument to Ciudad Juarez is inspired by what at first were considered isolated events but now are clearly the expression of an historical sacrifice, a holocaust against women: the violent assassinations since 1993 of more than 300 women in the city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
In abandoned cars and run-down motels, in wastelands, the outlying desert and the suburbs of this cursed city, the bodies of these women and girls were discovered murdered after having been kidnapped, tortured, mutilated, sexually brutalized and strangled according to some sort of fixed ritual. To these 300 must be added an unknown number of disappeared women whose bodies were never found or claimed.
"With the video installation, I pretend to 'raise and bury' in a symbolic way 300 murdered women in order to fix the facts (the murders) in the past and give these a certain a-temporality (through the burying)," says Bernal. "Thus, I bring to the forefront the real violence against women in general, and the brutality of the Ciudad Juarez assassination in particular."
Located at the border with the United States, a "no ones and everyone's land," Ciudad Juarez is a city of transit where thousands of women survive dreaming of "paradise." This impressive artwork combines ceramics, wood, ropes, fabrics, stones, corn tortillas, and a video projection where the desert, haunted by feminine silhouettes, is a metaphor of isolation, solitude, and uprooted identity.
It is no coincidence that Gallery Gachet is hosting this exhibition, which runs until April 2. Located in the Downtown Eastside, where the disappearance and death of more than 65 women went unheeded by authorities for years, Gallery Gachet has a mandate to support issues of mental illness, abuse, and trauma and to provide a focal point for artistic discourse around these issues. In that sense, Bernal's artwork expands the dialogue on gender-based violence, promotes healing, and highlights those who
survive, as well.

About the Organizations of Wish Drop-in Centre, PEERS and PACE

These organizations provide support, advocacy and training to current and exiting sex-trade workers in Vancouver.

For information about the IWD events or to arrange interviews with
Claudia during her time in Vancouver: contact Louise Leclair:

Saturday, March 18

She's walking for missing women

She's walking for missing women

Mar 15 2006

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS are set to welcome a grandmother to Terrace from Prince Rupert on her walk to raise awareness about the Highway of Tears.

Florence Naziel, 56, of Moricetown, left from Friendship House in Prince Rupert March 11 to walk each day in honour of the women who are missing or have been found murdered along Hwy16. She expects to reach Terrace this Friday.

One of these women is Florence's cousin's daughter, Tamara Chipman, who was last seen hitchhiking from Prince Rupert to Terrace last September.

Florence's walk is the first of a continuing series along Hwy16 which will conclude in Prince George at the end of March at a symposium being held to discuss the missing and murdered women.

Florence's sister Betty Joseph, 57, Chipman's stepmother Christine, Gracie Holland, and Birgitte Bartlett joined her on the walk.

"It's quite a challenge and I'm looking forward to it," she said the day before her sojourn began. "Oh yes, I'm trying to push for 30 [kilometres] for sure."
They're walking from 8 a.m. until sundown each day.

Florence was equipped with her own hiking boots plus two pairs of shoes and 10 pairs of socks donated by the Moricetown band and the Office of the Wet'suwet'en in Smithers.

For the first three nights, at the end of each day, she travelled back to Prince Rupert once the sun set to stay overnight.

As she gets closer to Terrace, she'll be spending her nights here before travelling back out on the highway to resume walking. She plans to arrive here this Friday by 3 p.m. at the latest.

Florence's daughter Priscilla, a legal support worker in Smithers, worked with the Kermode Friendship Society here to coordinate the walk.

Priscilla said women from a downtown east side shelter in Vancouver and Chipman's aunt, Gladys Radek, also of Vancouver, were expected to come up.

"It's turning out big," said Priscilla, adding Prince Rupert mayor Herb Pond and North Coast NDP MLA Gary Coons were present when her mother set off.

Florence decided to walk the highway after Chipman went missing.

"My daughter kept saying 'mom what can we do to help?'" she said.

Florence trained for her trek by walking constantly and working out three or four times each week.

She said her doctor told her she could complete the walk in five days.
"I said 'No, I don't plan to run or jog,'" she said.

Florence hopes the walk will raise awareness and honour the families of the missing women.

"Years down the road I hope we don't see any young people hitchhiking," Florence said.

People around the province and country are already joining the quest to raise awareness about missing women after hearing about Florence, said Priscilla.

A New Brunswick group of women is planning a walk called Tears Moncton to remember all the missing women there.

Last Monday, members of four First Nations took part in the Tsawout Health Centre march along the highway outside Victoria.

Florence said 18 volunteers will continue her walk from Terrace to Smithers, with an intended arrival date of March 22.

Matilda Wilson, mother of the missing Ramona Wilson from Smithers, will continue the walk from there to Prince George, accompanied by her family, the Gitxsan Spirit walkers and several nurses from the Bulkley Valley Regional Hospital.

They will be joined again by Florence outside of Prince George for a two-hour walk into town for the opening ceremony of the Highway of Tears Symposium at CN Centre March 30 and 31.

© Copyright 2006 Terrace Standard

Project KARE shuts down web bulletin board

Project KARE shuts down web bulletin board

Edmonton Journal

Friday, March 17, 2006

Project KARE, a police task force investigating the slayings of a number of prostitutes in the Edmonton area, has shut down a portion of its website because of conflicts between people posting information.

An RCMP spokesman says police were spending more time mediating postings on the website’s bulletin board than investigating homicides and missing persons.

Cpl. Wayne Oakes said officers monitoring the message board for potential ideas related the investigation had act as a referees between people on the site when the dialogue became heated.

“There would be a volley of negative comments,” he said. “That would result in a backlash from the initial person who put up the contentious issues and things very quickly would digress.”

Project KARE is a joint effort by RCMP and municipal police forces trying to solve a number of sex-trade worker deaths. It is currently investigating 83 cases of missing or dead Albertans who led high-risk lifestyles, including the slayings of 12 prostitutes who have been found dead in the greater Edmonton area in the past 16 years.

It is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest in the deaths.

It seeks assistance from the public through its website (click here.)

Oakes said only the bulletin board portion of the website has been shut down indefinitely. People can still provide tips by going to the site’s home page and clicking on “contact us.”

“Every tip is important,” Oakes said.

He said bulletin board posts regarding the legality and morality of prostitution drew vigorous debate from those on both sides of the issue, which didn’t aid officers.

“It would be irresponsible if something negative happened as a result of this in which Project KARE led two combatants to actually face one another,” he said.

While it’s important to have a venue for concerned citizens to share their ideas, Oakes said the bulletin board deteriorated from its original purpose. It’s currently on “brief hiatus” and Project KARE officers will take some time to decide whether to bring it back in its current form or to change the format.

Oakes said the shut down affected about 10 to 20 occasional user and 5 to10 regular users. He added that no tips came from that portion of the website.

Tuesday, March 14

Wounded Canadian soldier to be transported home

Wounded Canadian soldier to be transported home

Matthew Fisher
CanWest News Service

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

LANDSTUHL, Germany -- Capt. Trevor Greene, badly wounded in an axe attack in Afghanistan 10 days ago, blinked his eyes upon command for the first time Monday as doctors and nurses prepared him for his return to Canada Tuesday by air ambulance.

"It is important for Trevor to get back home to continue his medical care. They're ready for him at Vancouver General Hospital. We've spoken to his neurologist there," his father, Richard, said Monday in an interview in this town in the western Rhineland where a U.S. military hospital specializes in treating the most severely injured soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"It is going to take a long time and it really is too early to tell, but we're very confident he'll come back and be his old self."

The strapping, rugby-playing, 41-year-old reservist from the Seaforth Highlanders, who as a civilian had authored books on Japan's homeless and prostitutes in his home town, Vancouver, remains in serious but stable condition after neurosurgery here last week. There have been a series of encouraging medical signs in recent days.

"Capt. Greene was deeply comatose when he came here, but the coma has now lifted to the point where he opens his eyes spontaneously in response to voices," said Lieut. (N) Catherine Gray, the Canadian doctor overseeing his care in Germany.

"That does not mean he can look around at this point, or tracks a pen by following it with his eyes. But we asked him to blink his eyes today and there was definitely a purposeful blink. However, he is not obeying commands to move his arms or legs."

Greene was cut down by an axe-wielding Afghan teenager, screaming, "Allah Al Akhbar," as several Canadian soldiers sat and discussed with village elders ways they might help the community. He was taken by a U.S. medevac helicopter to Canada's main base at the Kandahar Airfield from where he was flown to Germany.

Greene is to resume his journey today, flying to Vancouver on a chartered civilian medevac flight.

The officer's recovery since being wounded has followed the normal path for someone being treated for such a traumatic injury, U.S. army neurologists have told Gray.

"This was a severe head injury that resulted from the use of a very unusual mechanism a hatchet," said Gray, who is usually based at Esquimalt, B.C. "It looks like it has been survivable, but the million-dollar question at this point is whether he comes out of this and is able to be the Trevor Greene that he was.

"I have no answer to that question, but there are encouraging signs. The CT scan taken after neurosurgery shows his memory centres and his centres for consciousness and memory did not suffer injuries that could be seen."

Greene was part of a military-civil affairs unit dedicated to helping Afghans rebuild their lives after 25 years of war. The team, which operates from a small base in Kandahar, spends its days out meeting and working with Afghans.

"We knew beforehand that there was a very good possibility that he might be involved in a firefight, because we had discussed that with him," said Greene's father, a retired RCMP staff sergeant living in Mahone Bay, N.S. "But the accident that happened was totally unexpected."

Richard Greene said his son was lucky to be alive and that he owed his life to a series of "angels of mercy."

"Trevor is a very lucky boy," he said, his voice catching with emotion. "From my time in the Mounties, I had seen a lot of car crashes and fatalities and I know how important it is to get immediate first aid.

"I intend to thank the U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crew who picked him up. I also know that Canadian doctors in Kandahar performed a procedure that saved his life. He has had outstanding medical care at the U.S. hospital and the support for us, from Gen. (Rick) Hillier down to our driver here has been phenomenal. There are just so many people to thank. It is hard to find words."

A number of individual measures saved Greene's life, Gray said. U.S. doctors in Landstuhl "had recognized that the Canadian doctors down range in Afghanistan had done a great job preventing him bleeding to death and cleaning and stabilizing his wounds," she said.

© CanWest News Service 2006

Picktons seek tax break

Picktons seek tax break
Board rejects farm-assessment appeal

Keith Fraser
The Province

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The family of accused serial killer Robert Pickton is going to B.C. Supreme Court over the $5.9-million assessment of the notorious Port Coquitlam pig farm and its reclassification as residential land.

They appealed the assessment of the six-hectare vacant land, zoned agricultural but designated residential under the city's official community plan, to the Property Assessment Appeal Board of B.C., but had their case rejected.

Pickton, his brother, David Pickton, and his sister, Linda Wright, want to have the land classified as farmland, which would lower its assessed value and its property taxes.

In a document signed by board chairwoman Cheryl Vickers, the board seeks B.C. Supreme Court support for its decision.

The document notes that due to an RCMP investigation, the Picktons and the public were barred from entering the property from Feb. 5, 2002, until Dec. 1, 2003.

Due to the ongoing investigation, residential development is not likely to proceed for several years, it says.

Over 10,000 exhibits were taken from the property by the RCMP and Pickton was charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder, making the property the "worst crime scene in the history of Canada," alleges the document.

"During the two-year criminal investigation, all of the soil including the original organic soil down to the bedrock level and filled area . . . on the 15.06-acre site was put through a screening process looking for evidence," the document states.

The board noted that the property was not a "developing farm" within classification regulations.

"The board found that the assessor could not have reasonably determined that the appellants had a "development plan" for the property that would have produced the required volume of agricultural production within the next 12 months."

The family insists the property should be designated as farmland.

"The subject property is and has been necessary to the integrated farm unit and has been and will be predominantly for hay production," Alan Brown, an agent for the family, says in one document.

"Hay sales are and have been part of the overall income derived from the integrated farm unit for many years."

© The Vancouver Province 2006

Saturday, March 11



The Cultural Memory Group

"Silence and invisibility go hand in hand with powerlessness."

Women are murdered by men every day, yet these acts of femicide barely
make the news. Feminist memorializing and the acts of remembrance
prevent these murders from becoming invisible and forgotten.

Across Canada, there are over fifty monuments to women murdered.
Each memorial tells at least two stories: the terrible one of
unremitting violence against women and the triumphant one of women
joining against all odds to seize public space, name the violence, and
insist that society remember. This book is the first to record over
thirty of these monuments, and in so doing names the women
re­membered and the circumstances of their deaths. The authors
document the re­sponse of the feminist community and the initiatives
taken to build memorials along with the official attempts to keep
these memorials out of public view. Acts of remembrance are also
expressed through annual vigils and demonstrations. In Vancouver, the
Aboriginal women's Valentine's Day March; in Chatham, the annual
march and memorial service for victims of sexual harassment; the
December 6th candlelight vigils in communities across the country.

Remembering Women Murdered by Men features the voices of memorial
makers and the truth they tell about bringing public attention to the
issue of femicide. It inspires all of us to speak out.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: The Cultural Memory Group is Christine Bold,
Professor of English at the University of Guelph; Sly Castaldi,
Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis; Ric Knowles,
Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph; Jodie
McConnell, Human Rights and Equality Advisor; and Lisa Schincariol,
Ph.D. candidate in Communications and Culture at York University.


1415 Bathurst Street #202 Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 3H8 Tel:



Marker of Change

Wendy Poole Memorial

Lest We Forget

A Vision of Hope

Women's Grove Memorial

Helen Betty Osborne Memorial
(The Pas)

Memorial Rose Garden for Theresa Vince (Chatham)
London Women's Monument

Marianne's Park

End the Violence

Women Won't Forget


Nef pour quatorze reines

Courage and Hope

Annie Kempton
(Bear River)

312 pages 6"x9" pb B&W photographs $28.95 Cdn $25.95 US


The Cultural Memory Group

"murdered by men"

Chapter 1:
Vancouver: Missing, Murdered, and Counting

Chapter 2:
Calgary and Edmonton: Lest We Forget

Chapter 3:
Winnipeg and The Pas: In Memory of Helen Betty Osborne

Chapter 4:
Chatham: In Memory of Theresa Vince—Stop Sexual Harassment

Chapter 5:
London: The War Against Women

Chapter 6:
Guelph: Take Back the Night

Chapter 7:
Hamilton: End The Violence

Chapter 8:
Toronto: Women Won't Forget

Chapter 9:
Ottawa: Women's Urgent Action

Chapter 10:
Montreal: Lieux de mémoire

Chapter 11:
Moncton and Riverview: Courage and Hope

Chapter 12:
Bear River: In Memory of Annie Kempton

Chapter 13:
First Nations Women Remember

Against All Odds

Works Cited

pleased to invite you
to celebrate the launch of

Christine Bold, Sly Castaldi, Ric Knowles, Jodie McConnell & Lisa

6:30 – 9:30 PM
63 Gould St. (corner of Church, north of Dundas)

Dramatic reading by Monique Mojica * Spoken Word Performance by Leah
Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha * Authors' Panel Discussion Facilitated
by Judy Rebick & Lisa B. Rundle * Slide Show of Memorials * Light
Snacks & Cash Bar * Specially Priced Books


For further information, contact Sumach Press at 416-531-6250.

Volunteers match found bodies, missing persons

Volunteers match found bodies, missing persons

By Leon Alligood, USA TODAY

LIVINGSTON, Tenn. — Todd Matthews' hobby begins with a nameless corpse — the remains of somebody who died, probably violently, and was found without identification.

Todd Matthews of Livingston, Tenn., spent 10 years trying to determine one body's identity.
By Billy Kingsley, Tennessean Photo

There are almost 6,000 unidentified bodies — John and Jane Does — listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, according to the FBI. "They're all someone's mother or daughter, father or son," Matthews says. And they can be forgotten by law enforcement agencies that are short on time and tight on resources.

That's where Matthews and like-minded volunteer researchers from the Doe Network come in. An Internet-based alliance of more than 600 people in 23 countries that began in 1999, the network tries to match the unnamed dead with bereft families hoping to find a missing relative.

The Doe Network's primary tool is the Internet. Network members are known for their persistence: No database or message board is too obscure, no clue too tangential, no amount of e-mailing too much in search of the leanest of facts.

The network reports on its site,, that it has identified 36 bodies. That might not sound like many, but considering that Doe members work on their own time without pay and that many of the "unknowns" have been dead for years, the number is a source of pride for members.

Kylen Johnson, 36, who works for an Internet technology firm in Rockville, Md., became a Doe Network volunteer about five years ago. In 2002, her work gave a Kentucky family the closure it had sought for 18 years.

The facts of the cold case were these: Roger Gene Jeffreys was 22 when he left his home in Clay, Ky., in September 1984, bound for Canada. He called home from Maryland but was never heard from again.

Jeffreys' ex-wife, Loretta Conrad, never gave up hope of finding him. She contacted the Doe Network and ended up working with Johnson. "As she was telling me the story, I told her it sounded like an 'unidentified' up in Vermont that I knew about," Johnson says.

The body in Vermont had been found by hunters in a shallow grave in 1985, and it had been there for several months. The person had been killed by a blow to the head.

A critical clue helped make the connection. Conrad said her former husband had "RGJ" tattooed on his shoulder. Vermont's John Doe had a similar marking. The men were one and the same.

Vermont State Police
Jeffreys' tattoo was a critical clue.

"Being in the Doe Network, where you learn a lot about other cases all over the country, helps you to make those connections," she says. "I love doing this kind of thing."

Detective Pat Ditter of the Washington State Patrol turned to the Doe Network in 2004 to help him solve a decade-old hit-and-run case.

On Feb. 1, 1993, a man's body had been found along State Route 24 near Moxee, Wash. It had no identification. On the same day in Amarillo, Texas, Judge David Glen Davis' wife reported him missing.

Eleven years later, with the help of a photo posted on the Doe Network website, Ditter connected the cases. Moxee's unidentified dead man was Amarillo's missing judge.

"They're fulfilling a service that we don't have. We don't have photos in the NCIC database," Ditter says. "When you've used the resources that we normally have at our disposal, that's all you can do. It's good to have an organization like the Doe Network."

Matthews says the work is "akin to grasping at straws."

"You just hope to pull out one piece of information that leads to a more crucial piece."

Matthews broke his first case in 1998, a puzzler that had confounded him for more than a decade and kept him in front of the computer screen for hours on end.

The Jane Doe whose identity he sought had been known simply as "Tent Girl" since 1968, when her body, wrapped in a canvas tarpaulin, was found near Georgetown, Ky.

The man who discovered her remains was Wilber Riddle, Matthews' father-in-law. Matthews married Lori Riddle in 1988. "It was one of the first things we talked about when I started dating Lori," he says.

"For some reason, the story of the Tent Girl got inside of me and I couldn't let go. It changed my life," he says, noting that his marriage suffered as he spent time and energy on the case.

The night he connected Tent Girl to a Lexington, Ky., woman missing since 1967, he was browsing on a hunch. A message on a genealogy website got Matthews' attention.

"My sister Barbara has been missing from our family since the latter part of 1967," the posting said. "She has brown hair, brown eyes, is around five feet, two inches tall, and was last seen in the Lexington, Ky., area."

The message was from Rosemary Westbrook of Benton, Ark., who was seeking information about her sister, Barbara Taylor. Matthews shakily typed a reply: "This girl is my girl."

Westbrook thought so, too. The family persuaded Kentucky authorities to allow an exhumation, and a DNA comparison made it certain: Tent Girl was Barbara Taylor.

Matthews, 35, a quality control inspector at an company that makes parts for auto air conditioners, says he regrets his search for clues caused him to ignore his wife and two boys at times, but he calls the discovery of Tent Girl's identity "a life-fulfilling moment."

"I spent 10 years of my life searching for Tent Girl's name. I could have gotten a college degree and an advanced degree in that time, but she taught me a lot more."

Contributing: Alligood reports daily for The (Nashville) Tennessean

USA Today

Friday, March 10

Killer has moved on - expert

Killer has moved on - expert
Sex-trade slayer stays mum

It's been 10 months since the body of Ellie-May Meyer was found in a Strathcona County farmer's field.

The grisly discovery was the third time in 2005 that the body of someone connected to the city's sex trade was found.

It was also the last.

An expert on serial killers, who's followed the case, suspects it's because whoever was stalking local prostitutes has moved on to greener pastures.

Steven Egger, a University of Houston-Clear Lake criminologist, says the killer has likely "moved on and is killing where the ground is more fertile."

Egger consulted with Project KARE, which is investigating the deaths and disappearances of people who led high-risk lifestyles.

But Egger added there are other possible reasons that the serial killer hasn't struck since the grisly remains of Meyer were found on May 6, 2005.

Egger figures the killer could be dead, doing time for another crime, or sitting back and enjoying the "power he exudes over police."

Said JoAnn McCartney, who works with prostitutes: "I think any of those are possibilities."

But if he is still out there, Egger said it's just a matter of time before Project KARE gets its man.

"Based upon what I've looked at, they're going to catch him," said Egger.

That's because Project KARE is well organized, cops are organized and co-operating, they're taking prostitutes off the street, warning them and collecting DNA and other information.

"Serial killers are very hard to catch," Egger, a former homicide detective, said.

Because most serial killers prey on strangers, Egger said once investigators rule out family and friends "you've got the whole universe to investigate."

Egger, who was in Edmonton last month to attend a conference, said he made some suggestions to investigators, but wouldn't share them.

Remains those of Melanie Geddes

February - 2006
Remains those of Melanie Geddes

Cheryl Petten
Sage Writer

The family and friends of Melanie Dawn Geddes are mourning the loss of the young woman and the RCMP have launched a murder investigation to try to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.

Geddes, who was 24 years old and a mother to three young children, had been missing since Aug. 13, 2005. She had been attending a party on the 900 block of Robinson Street in Regina and left at around 1 a.m. to walk home, but never made it to her destination. Her family reported her missing to the Regina Police Service the next day.

On Dec. 20, 2005, a group of people riding horses discovered human remains in a field southeast of Southey, along the banks of the Qu'Appelle River. At the time RCMP indicated the remains were those of an adult female but further forensic testing was required to identify the deceased.
On Feb. 1, RCMP announced the results of those tests, confirming the remains were those of Geddes. RCMP Major Crimes investigators have begun reviewing the work done by the Regina Police during their investigation into Geddes' disappearance, and will continue to work to try to identify who is responsible for her death.

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Alphonse Bird issued a statement following the RCMP announcement identifying the remains as those of Geddes, offering condolences to the family on behalf of the FSIN executive, member nations, senate and staff.
"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Melanie Geddes. All First Nations mourn with the family," he said. "We will continue to support and work co-operatively with all government agencies and police departments to ensure that justice is served. Our message is that violence against First Nations women will not be tolerated. We expect and want the assurance that the justice system will also enforce this message."

The FSIN's Saskatchewan First Nations Women's Commission has been working with Melanie Geddes' family and George Gordon and Kinistin First Nations since Geddes went missing.
Okanese First Nation Chief Marie-Anne DayWalker-Pelltier, who chairs the commission, also issued a statement in reaction to the news. "There is a victimization that is happening to our First Nations women that is plaguing both our urban and on-reserve communities," she said. "Finding the remains of Melanie Geddes is only one step in solving this particular tragedy. We expect the police services to continue to fully investigate all circumstances that lead up to and including the disappearance of our women. Until that time we still urge caution to all people to practice safety in their everyday activities."

The Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women's Circle Corporation (SAWCC) has also been working to support the family since Geddes' disappearance.

"They said they are coping with it as best they can," said Judy Hughes, vice-president of SAWCC. "In terms of what SAWCC can do at this point is providing our support and resources and making ourselves available to assist them with funeral arrangements and any other kind of advice or information that they require during this time."

The organization is also hoping to be able to organize a vigil to coincide with Geddes' funeral, but are awaiting approval from the family before proceeding.

Geddes is just one of 28 women who had been listed as missing in Saskatchewan, many of whom are Aboriginal. In November 2005, the Saskatchewan government announced creation of a task force to help solve missing persons cases in the province. That announcement included funding to hire eight new police officers to work specifically on missing persons cases.

Wednesday, March 8

Jane Doe count not pursed

Jane Doe count not pursued
Crown 'to focus on ... 26 counts of first-degree murder' against Pickton

Lori Culbert
Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jane Doe does not have a name or a face, and the public may now never learn how she died.

The Crown announced Tuesday it will not re-charge Robert (Willy) Pickton with killing the unidentified woman, whose death became known to authorities Feb. 23, 1995.

Jane Doe was count 22 on a list of 27 first-degree murder charges that were laid against Pickton since police started searching his Port Coquitlam pig farm in February 2002.

Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice James Williams threw out count 22, ruling it was improperly worded and therefore was legally invalid.

In response to the ruling, which was a victory for the defence, the Crown said it would take until Tuesday to decide what to do next. The options available included rewording the charge and reintroducing it on a separate indictment, or appealing the ruling.

After "painstaking considerations," the Crown decided the trial would proceed without including Jane Doe as one of Pickton's alleged victims, spokesman Stan Lowe said.

"After a comprehensive review of the proceedings and the ruling surrounding the quashing of count 22 on the indictment, the criminal justice branch has determined that in consideration of the prosecution as a whole the most prudent course of action is to focus on the remaining 26 counts of first-degree murder," Lowe said.

At issue with count 22, he said, was the lack of an identity for the victim, as well as the "particularity of dates."

The arguments made by the defence to have this charge dropped cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

On the indictment -- a public document available on the Internet -- the 26 other counts indicate the alleged murder happened between the date the women disappeared and the date police started searching Pickton's farm. Count 22 said only that Pickton had been accused of murdering her before Feb. 23, 1995.

The 26 charges Pickton now faces all pertain to women who have been identified, so Lowe said the Crown does not anticipate any similar legal problems with the remaining counts.

Lowe maintained each count against Pickton is "separate and distinct," and insisted the development does not indicate a weakness in the Crown's case.

He said the Crown, in making its decision, had to ensure the trial will proceed "fairly and efficiently." He said Williams' ruling does not pertain to the evidence that was collected to support the Jane Doe charge, and that it is possible it could still be included in the trial.

Lowe would not comment on the possibility of charging Pickton with count 22 again, should police determine her identity.

The DNA of three other unidentified women has also been found on Pickton's farm, but he has not been charged in those cases.

Lead defence lawyer Peter Ritchie would not comment outside court on his client facing one less murder charge.

When Pickton's trial began Jan. 30, he uttered "not guilty" 26 times, but refused to enter a plea on Jane Doe because, Ritchie said that day outside court, the defence believed there was a flaw in the indictment.

Pickton's trial continues today in New Westminster Supreme Court in a voir dire stage, which tests the admissibility of evidence that can be brought before a jury. The arguments are protected by a publication ban during the voir dire stage, which is expected to last for several more months.

© The Vancouver Sun 2006

Petitition aimed at Killer Pickton flick

Petition aimed at Killer Pickton flick

The Tri-City News
March 8, 2006

A 1,200-name petition protesting the release of a horror flick titled Killer Pickton will be sent to film distributors today.

The petition is being sent out to coincide with International Women’s Day, March 8.
Organizer Vikki Marie, who knew many of the victims missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, collected the signatures in an online petition ( from Jan. 30 to March 1.

“[The movie] doesn’t even take into account these are real people, that their families are still hurting,” Marie said. “To put on a film like that, before the trial, is really irresponsible.”

Marie said she hopes the petition will send a strong message to Canadian distributors not to show it or for people to boycott it.

According to a website, the 85-minute film is written and directed by Ulli Lommel and stars Curtis Graan as “Billy.” It is produced by the Shadow Factory, which is based in Marina Del Rey, California and whose films include the Green River Killer, BTK Killer and Zombie Nation.

The company did not return an email about its latest work.

“We are aware of certain sites that are promoting a movie in regards to [Robert] Pickton and we are looking into these,” said BC RCMP E-Division spokesperson Cpl. Tom Seaman, on behalf of the Missing Women’s Task Force.

Pickton, 56, is charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of women from the Downtown Eastside.

Tuesday, March 7

BC soldier critical after Afghan attack

B.C. soldier critical after Afghan attack
Troops believe village ambush may have been a setup

Susan Lazaruk
The Province

Sunday, March 05, 2006

CREDIT: Jon Murray, The Province
After Trevor Greene moved to Vancouver, he worked in journalism and wrote a book about missing women on the Downtown Eastside.

A military reservist from Vancouver who is also an author, entrepreneur, fiance and father was seriously injured in Afghanistan after being hit in the head with an axe yesterday during an informal meeting with village elders that the military called an ambush.

Lt. Trevor Greene, 41, a reserve member of the Seaforth Highlanders Regiment who volunteered to serve overseas for six months, had surgery after being flown to Kandahar Airfield by a U.S. Black Hawk medical helicopter. He was in critical condition yesterday, according to Heather Brunner of National Defence.

"He has a very serious head wound," she said, adding arrangements were being made yesterday to fly him to the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

Greene, who has a toddler and is engaged to a Vancouver woman, according to friends, was deployed to Kandahar last month. He was one of 32 reservists among the 2,200 Canadian troops sent to the war-torn country to carry out Canada's plan to bring it security and help with reconstruction.

Greene's role was that of co-operation officer. He conducted "shuras," sitting down with elders to hear about problems in the hundreds of tiny villages that dot the Canadian area of responsibility.

At a meeting yesterday in the village of Shinkay, about 70 kilometres north of Kandahar, things went horribly wrong.

Capt. Kevin Schamuhn said he and Greene, who had removed their helmets and laid down their weapons out of respect, were sitting under trees on a riverbank having a relaxed conversation with dozens of elders when a man leaped out of the back of the crowd.

"The guy lifted up the axe and called out 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great] -- the jihad prayer -- and he swung the axe into Trevor's head," said Schamuhn, who said he thought Greene was dead because of the force involved.

Canadian and Afghan soldiers shot the attacker dead and then found themselves under small-arms fire from down the river as a second attacker threw a grenade that exploded but didn't cause any harm.

Schamuhn said he thought he and his soldiers might have been set up because there were no men of fighting age to be found in the village afterward and the children were escorted away just before the attack, although there was no other sign of trouble beforehand.

Greene, who has parents, siblings and friends in Vancouver, has had a varied career, graduating in journalism from King's College in Halifax before working as business journalist in Japan for seven years, writing a book about Japan's homeless and then working as an editor for a British bank, according to his website.

He joined the Canadian navy in 1995 and sailed the HMCS Oriole, a sailing vessel used for training, to Australia before settling in Vancouver and joining the army reserves, working again in journalism and writing a book about the women missing from the Downtown Eastside.

Before signing up for duty, Greene worked with an ecotourism company that built swinging bridges.

"He was somewhat excited about going to Afghanistan," said Ian Green, who co-owns the ecotourism company. "Trevor is a pretty adventurous guy. He gets along with people. He's a good guy for talking with people."

"Trevor was really passionate about street people and people on the low track," said Shane Gibson, who co-wrote a business book with him and last saw him when a group of friends gave him a sendoff lunch in Yaletown in January.

"He's very creative and he's an entrepreneur and extremely dependable. We're hoping for the best, and we are all looking forward to him coming back."

He also said on their website, "He is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians."

In Afghanistan, Col. Tom Putt called the attacker "absolutely cowardly, a maniac" and vowed the attack would not deter the Canadian battle group, which recently took over responsibility for Afghanistan's six southernmost provinces from the U.S.

"An essential ingredient in meeting with Afghan elders and developing this face-to-face rapport is the shura," he said. "[The attack] will not in any way stop what we're doing."

-- with a file from CanWest News Service

© The Vancouver Province 2006

Crown won't appeal Pickton decision

March 7, 2006

Crown won't appeal Pickton decision

NEW WESTMINSTER (CP) - The Crown won't appeal a judge's decision to throw out one of 27 murder charges against accused serial killer Robert William Pickton.

Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice James Williams quashed the charge involving an unidentified woman known as Jane Doe. He ruled the charge could not proceed because it failed to meet the minimum requirements set out in the Criminal Code.

Crown spokesman Stan Lowe says after reviewing the judge's ruling, prosecutors have decided not to launch an appeal.

But Lowe says this doesn't weaken the Crown's case in any way.

The murder charges against Pickton relate to women who disappeared from Vancouver's drug-infested Downtown East Side.