January 31, 2007
During his stint as a police reporter at the Vancouver Sun, Lindsay Kines was one of the first to write about a growing number of prostitutes missing from the city's Downtown Eastside and question whether a serial killer was targeting them.
"I'm torn about the whole thing," said Kines, a Red River College journalism graduate from Birtle who worked as a columnist at the Brandon Sun.
"I feel like we did some good work, but there's always a sense that we could have done more stories and put more pressure on."
Kines said he feels "profound sadness" for the women and their families when he hears of the gruesome details told to jurors at Pickton's murder trial.
"(Covering the disappearances) was a strain because I was getting a lot of calls from family members, and it was tough not (knowing) what to tell them or be able to tell them anything new," said Kines, who now covers the B.C. legislature for the Victoria Times-Colonist.
Wayne Leng turned to Kines when his friend, Sarah De Vries, vanished.
"I am grateful to him because he followed up on it. He was interested and concerned about what was going on," Leng said. "When Sarah went missing I contacted a lot of media ... but (no one else) got back to me."
Kines' first article, in 1997, told a woman's tale of how her sister disappeared. A year later, he wrote about De Vries and learned several others were missing.
He participated in a four-month investigation that uncovered a flawed police investigation. The report identified 45 missing women at a time when police said 27 had disappeared, Leng said.
Self-interest and a personal obligation to the families were his motivation to keep the story in the minds of readers and police officers. Kines shared a National Newspaper Award for his coverage of the police investigation at Pickton's farm.
"The families deserve a lot of credit for pushing it ahead," Kines said. "It was to try to answer their questions as much as anything that kept me going."