Monday, December 10, 2007
Pickton and the Pig Farm Murders
When I heard that Robert Pickton had been convicted of second degree murder in the case of the missing women of Vancouver, at first I was disappointed. It didn't seem fair.
It didn't seem enough for a man who not only murdered so many women. But also tried to destroy all traces that they had ever existed. Just like the Nazis did.
But then I realized the convictions would probably be enough to keep him in jail forever. I remembered that this case was bigger than that miserable monster. And it was NEVER fair.
All those women who disappeared were failed first by society. And then by the police. Because they were poor, and so many were native women, or drug addicts, or sex workers, police didn't care about them enough...until it was too late. And the pig farm was soaked in blood and full of shredded body parts.
Even though every human life counts .... no matter how poor or how miserable. Even though all the women had families and friends who loved them. Just like Sarah De Vries did.
You can read more about Sarah De Vries....and see some haunting video of her...in this post.
If there is a second trial....and there should be one....Sarah and the 19 other women Pickton is accused of killing will get a measure of justice. And so will those who loved them.
But of course it's way too late. And it will never be enough.
So what I am hoping for is a full public inquiry. Not just to determine once and for all why things went so terribly wrong. Why a killer was allowed to go on killing. And so many lives that could have been spared were lost.
But also because hopefully it will finally bring some help to the desperately poor and vulnerable people of the Downtown Eastside. So they can be treated like human beings at last. And escape the nightmare that is Canada's shame.
During my brief stay in Vancouver a few years ago I saw some sights in that neighbourhood that haunt me to this day. It wasn't scary or threatening just terribly depressing and sad. I saw so much poverty and despair it was hard to believe I was really in Canada. So I can only imagine what it must be like to live and die there.
Just like so many women who disappeared did. And so many desperate women still do.
In her diary not long before she disappeared Sarah DeVries wrote:
"Will they remember me when I'm gone...or will their lives just carry on? Will the tears fall from their eyes? When they try to say their goodbyes..."
Nobody who loved these women ever had a chance to say goodbye. Their tears will flow forever. And life does carry on.
But if the rest of us want to remember Sarah and all the others...and try to extract some good out of this monstrous tragedy and horror show.
The only decent and Canadian thing to do is try to make sure that something so cruel and so horrible... and so shameful.
Never ever happens again...