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'It was sickening': Victim's relative disgusted by Robert Pickton T-shirt sold by comedy group

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Warning: This article contains details and an image that some may find offensive.

The first time Lorelei Williams saw a T-shirt being sold by the Canadian comedy group Danger Cats, which depicts a grinning cartoon Robert Pickton and the caption “Over 50 Flavours of Hookery Smoked Bacon,” she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“It was sickening. I actually felt sick to my stomach,” said Williams, whose cousin Tanya Holyk is believed to be one of the serial killler’s many victims, after her DNA was found on his Port Coquitlam farm.

Pickton was sentenced to life in prison for six murders, but told an undercover officer he killed 49 women.

“They are referring to my cousin as a flavour, and that’s disgusting. These people are sick people – they have sick minds,” said Williams. “They’re objectifying my cousin. They’re making money off of this.”

B.C. Premier David Eby is also outraged at the T-shirt.

“All I can say is how deeply disappointed I am by the idea that the lives on vulnerable women could be trivialized like this,” said Eby. “These were women with families and friends who were murdered, and then their lives ignored. And the fact that they were considered less than or less worthy, less human, was one of the reasons why Mr. Pickton was able to operate and kill them with impunity for so many years.”

The write up on the Danger Cats website claims, “By wearing this shirt, you bring a light to a grave injustice that is still on going.” But Williams doesn’t buy it.

“Their statement written under the T-shirt does not go with the T-shirt. They’re mocking my cousin,” she said.

“I just really encourage this group to think carefully about this sad attempt at humour, and to apologize to the families of the victims, because those are the people they really hurt with this,” said Eby.

The Danger Cats, who did not respond to a request for comment from CTV News, are scheduled to perform at the House of Comedy in New Westminster in March.

“I just can’t believe they would let these kind of guys into their establishment,” said Williams.

In a statement given to CityNews 1130, the House of Comedy said it has recommended to Danger Cats that they remove the T-shirt, but it won’t cancel the show.

“It is our position that canceling the performance would go against our commitment to fostering an environment where diverse voices can be heard, even when the material may be controversial. While we acknowledge the concerns raised, it's crucial to recognize the distinction between our role as a venue and the creative choices made by the performers,” the statement said.

“Our hope is that the performance will serve as an opportunity for meaningful conversations about the boundaries of comedy and free speech.”

Williams said if the show does go ahead, there will be a protest.

“I understand there is free speech, but this is hate speech,” she said. “If they come to Vancouver or New West, I’m going to be there. I will be there with people with our drums with our posters.”

She wants everyone who attends the show to know Pickton’s victims were loved, and their murders have no place in comedy.  

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