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B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton dead following prison attack


Convicted B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton, who preyed on women he lured from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to his rural pig farm, has died.

The 74-year-old was violently attacked by a fellow inmate in a Quebec prison on May 19. Pickton was rushed to hospital where he was put into a medically induced coma before succumbing to his injuries Friday.

"The inmate's next of kin have been notified," the Correctional Service of Canada said in a statement confirming the death. "We have also contacted registered victims, in accordance with their specified notification preferences."

Quebec provincial police say the assault occurred around 5:15 p.m. inside the Port-Cartier Institution and a 51-year-old suspect remained incarcerated following the attack.

"The major crimes investigation division is currently conducting an investigation to shed light on this event," police spokesperson Hugues Beaulieu said in a statement last week.

The Correctional Service of Canada says staff at the maximum-security prison were not involved in the assault.

"The assailant has been identified and the appropriate actions have been taken," the agency said following the assault. "The safety and security of institutions is paramount and an investigation into what occurred is currently underway."

The Port-Cartier Institution is approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, and can accommodate more than 230 inmates, according to the correctional service.

'Devastating impact'

Pickton was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after being charged with the murders of 26 women.

The remains and DNA of 33 women were found during a search of Pickton's pig farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C., though the killer had bragged about murdering a total of 49.

Pickton's confirmed victims were Sereena Abotsway, Marnie Frey, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin, Mona Wilson and Brenda Ann Wolfe.

"We are mindful that this offender's case has had a devastating impact on communities in British Columbia and across the country, including Indigenous peoples, victims and their families," the correctional service said Friday. "Our thoughts are with them." 

'Good riddance'

The victims were also top-of-mind for B.C. elected officials as they marked Pickton's death Friday.

"For some, the death of this notorious serial killer may bring closure and for others it will reopen old wounds," said B.C. Premier David Eby, in a statement.

"It is a difficult day for anyone who lost someone they loved because of his cruelty and heinous crimes."

Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth also reiterated commitments to help those still seeking justice for lost loved ones.

"We will continue to do everything we can to support the families of the victims in finding answers and justice for those they have lost," Farnworth said.

"Robert Pickton preyed on the most vulnerable people in our society," Eby added. "These women were cast aside as less than equal, and less than worthy because of who they were. We are committed to recognizing the dignity of every person to avoid something like this happening ever again. Good riddance." Top Stories

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