Families of Pickton victims struggle for closure
Ernie Crey knows the police will never be able to say for sure who murdered his sister Dawn, one of more than two dozen women whose remains or DNA were found on serial killer Robert Pickton's farm.
But Pickton was never formally charged in Dawn Crey's death, and the Crown says it won't pursue any more cases against the 60-year-old serial killer now that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld his six second-degree murder convictions.
"I've drawn my own conclusions, but the police may never be able to come to me and say, definitively, 'Mr. Pickton or somebody else is responsibly for your sister's death,"' Crey said Friday after the court's decision.
"I've given it a lot of thought, and where I am today, I'm glad the convictions are upheld. Even if he did go to trial on the other counts, we'd end up in the same place with him in jail for the rest of his life. He won't be able to harm anyone else."
Dawn Crey was among six women whose DNA was found on Pickton's farm, but no charges have been laid in their cases.
There are also 20 outstanding murder charges that have not gone to trial, and the Crown has announced it will not pursue those charges because Pickton is already serving life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Cynthia Cardinal, whose sister Georgina Papin was among the six women Pickton was convicted of murdering, said she's happy Pickton will never get out but feels the families of the other 20 women need to know what happened.
For her, however, the priority now is to have Papin's remains turned over to her family so she can finally be buried.
"We'll arrange a funeral for her, and we'll try to bury her by my mother," said Cardinal.
"I just want to have this behind me so me and my sisters and brothers can move on."
Wayne Leng was originally a customer and later a friend of Sarah DeVries, another victim whose case is among the 20 outstanding murder charges. He said he already had all the closure he needs.
"She's dead, Pickton is in jail," said Leng, who for years maintained a website on the missing women. "The word closure, I really don't like. The word for me is resolution. It means I can move forward."
RCMP and Vancouver city police investigators plan to visit each of the families to explain the evidence they have in their relatives' deaths, even in the cases where Pickton was not convicted or charged.
Maggy Gisle, a former prostitute who knew several women whose remains were found on Pickton's farm said there needs to be a full inquiry.
"Without a public inquiry, how do we know what to fix?" said Gisle.
"I've always said that we need to make changes, that rather than pointing fingers at who's wrong, that each entity take a look at themselves to see how they can improve so this can't happen again."
Crey said there is no excuse to wait any longer to call an inquiry.
"I don't think they should be teasing us," said Crey after B.C. Attorney General Mike de Jong failed to announce one after the top court decision.
"They should sit around the cabinet table in Victoria and decide: we're going to have a public inquiry."