A Surrey woman who works with victims of sexual assaults is outraged after finding a drink named after a notorious B.C. serial killer on a restaurant menu.
Robert "Willie" Pickton is serving a life sentence at Kent Institution in the Fraser Valley, after being convicted of killing six women. The remains or DNA of 33 women were found on his Port Coquitlam farm.
He also confessed to an undercover police officer that he had murdered 49 women -- many of them sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
That's why finding a boozy shooter named after him at Surrey Wings has left such a bad taste in Rebecca Brass's mouth.
"My initial response was complete shock that I'm sitting in a restaurant that prides themselves as a family restaurant, meanwhile they're profiting off of families' tragedies and trauma," said Brass.
She discovered the "Willie Pickton" – a drink made of blue curacao, blackberry, melon, orange juice and cranberry -- on the menu at Wings while eating lunch one day. Brass immediately sent an email to the restaurant's head office explaining why she found it offensive.
"Businesses, just like us, need to be held accountable for perpetuating violence against women," she said.
Nobody from the restaurant, which has 11 B.C. locations, would talk in person about the drink, but in a statement the company blamed it on a manager who used to work at the Surrey location.
"We have sent an internal memo out to notify the restaurants that all drink menus and lists need to be approved by the Head Office first and always as per our procedures and guidelines," reads part of the statement.
Working as a sexual assault counsellor with Women Against Violence Against Women, Brass personally knows people with family members murdered by Pickton.
"It's shocking, but at the same time it's not, because the desensitization of violence against women is real," she said. "It's like society thinks it's OK."
The drink no longer appears on the menu at the Wings in Surrey but Brass says she still won't go back.
Though he's been locked up as part of a life sentence handed down in 2007, Pickton also made headlines earlier this year when he managed to smuggle a book he wrote behind bars outside of a maximum security prison.
Pickton's communications are closely monitored, but he passed the manuscript to a former cellmate, who sent it to a friend on the outside.