Pickton Chronology

October 24, 1949: Robert William Pickton is born in Port Coquitlam, BC, where he lives with brother and sister until his arrest.

1991: Relatives of a growing list of missing women, along with advocates for sex-trade workers, establish annual Valentine's Day remembrance and press for tougher police investigation.

September 1998: Vancouver police set up team to review files of as many as 40 women missing as far back as 1971. Families of victims begin offering RCMP tips about Pickton’s property. Missing persons reports are filed, but police take no action.

September 2001: Vancouver police and RCMP form a joint task force - Project Evenhanded - to replace the stalled city police investigation.

February 2002: RCMP officers, accompanied by missing-women task force members, enter the Pickton property in suburban Port Coquitlam on a firearms warrant. Task force officers use their own warrant to begin searching the property for clues in missing women case. Robert Pickton is charged with weapons offences as property search continues. Robert Pickton is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

April 23, 2002: The first law suit is filed by a victim’s family against government (Karin Joesbury, mother of Andrea).

June 6, 2002: Police and archaeologists begin excavating Pickton’s farm.

September 19, 2002: A second law is suit filed against the government (Father of Marcie Creison).

January 13 - 23, 2003: Preliminary hearing in provincial court in Port Coquitlam, Honorable Judge David Stone presiding. Pickton is committed to trial for 15 counts of murder.

November 18, 2003: Investigators wrap up mass excavation and search of Pickton property.

February 20, 2004: B.C. government reports investigation costs will likely run up to $70 million, money which has been set aside in the provincial budget.

March 25, 2005: Honorable Judge Geoffrey Barrow to preside.

May 2005: Crown increases number of first-degree murder charges to 27. Pretrial applications begin. Indictment is issued.

June 2005: Pre-trial hearings begin in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, under publication ban. Justice James Williams replaces Barrow for reasons of scheduling.

October 2005: Pre-trial hearings end.

January 30, 2006: Legal arguments [voir dire] begin on admissibility of evidence.

March 2006: Total murder charges against Pickton number 26, after one charge is ruled a nullity.

August 9, 2006: Mr. Justice Williams issues a decision to sever the charges based on concern that proceeding on all counts would impose an unreasonable burden on members of the jury. He rules that six charges are materially different from the others and should be severed from the rest.

August 2006: Thomas Loudamy, a California resident, claims he received three letters from Pickton while posing as a “down on her luck” woman. In these letters, Pickton allegedly speaks about the expense of the trial, asserts his innocence, quotes the Bible, and praises the trial judge.

September 2, 2006: News of the letters’ existence is broken by the Vancouver Sun.

September 8, 2006: The Crown announces its decision to proceed first on the six counts, with the rest to be tried separately at a later date.

October 4, 2006: A new indictment is filed for the victims Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Georgina Faith Papin, and Marnie Frey.

December 12, 2006: The Jury selection process is completed, after just two days.

January 22, 2007: The jury trial begins. Pickton faces six counts of first-degree murder charges. The media ban is finally lifted, and for the first time Canadians hear the details of what was found during the investigation.

January 23, 2007: The jury begins hearing Pickton’s 11 hour police interview. Police admit lying to Pickton to extract his testimony in which Pickton says he had “one more planned but that was to be the last,” and admits he got “sloppy” near the end.

March 1, 2007: The Jury hears that Pickton’s younger brother David is still a suspect.

March 5, 2007: The jury hears that Pickton’s brother is not under active investigation as a suspect in the case.

December 6, 2007: Justice James Williams suspended jury deliberations on after discovering an error in his charge to the jury. Earlier in the day, the jury had submitted a written question to Justice James requesting clarification of his charge, asking "Are we able to say 'yes' [i.e., find Picton guilty] if we infer the accused acted indirectly?"

December 9, 2007: Picton was convicted of second-degree murder in the deaths of  Sereena Abotsway, Mona Lee Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Marnie Lee Frey, Georgina Faith Papin.

Robert William Pickton

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