A pig farmer accused of killing 26 women appeared to acknowledge his crimes during a videotaped interview shown to jurors Thursday and told police they were making him out to be more of a killer than he actually is.
Robert William Pickton, 56, is charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder in a case that has drawn widespread attention. Most of the victims were prostitutes and addicts who vanished from a drug-ridden Vancouver neighborhood in the 1990s.
He is accused of luring women to his pig farm outside Vancouver, where investigators say he threw drunken parties with prostitutes.
In the interview shown to jurors on the fourth day of the trial, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers told Pickton they had enough DNA and eyewitness testimony to put him in prison for good, so he might as well confess. They pressed him on how many women he killed: 10, 20 or 30?
“You’re making me more of a mass killer than I am,” Pickton told Staff Sgt. Don Adam.
Pickton denies any involvement in the murders and has pleaded not guilty, but he also appeared to repeatedly contradict himself during the 11 hours of interrogation.
“I made my own grave,” he told Adam, who also asked how he got caught after so long. “Carelessness on my behalf,” Pickton replied.
‘I was sloppy’
Adam told Pickton he didn’t do a good job of cleaning up the women’s blood. “I was sloppy,” Pickton appeared to concede.
Adam asked Pickton in the videotaped interview how many women died in a trailer home on the farm. “I’d say two. Probably two. Maybe three,” Pickton said.
Adam told Pickton that one of the women, Mona Wilson, probably died around the end of November or the beginning of December in 2001.
“You’re close,” Pickton acknowledged.
Prosecutors maintain Pickton told an undercover officer planted in his jail cell that he killed 49 women and intended to make it “an even 50.” He is on trial for the deaths of six women — Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Georgina Papin and Marnie Frey. A separate trial will be held for the other 20.
Defense attorney Peter Ritchie has told the jurors that his client was innocent and asked them to play close attention to his level of intellect and sophistication during the police interview.
Prosecutors have said evidence against Pickton includes skulls, teeth and blood found on the farm.
Adam told Pickton during the interview shown Thursday that a former friend, Lynn Ellingsen, told police she saw the defendant hang and skin a woman on a meat hook.
Pickton laughed and said sarcastically, “Yeah, right.”
Pickton, wearing a white dress shirt with blue stripes, sat expressionless in his bulletproof witness cubicle during the testimony Thursday, while Adam glared at him. The trial has recessed until Monday.