Undercover Pickton video made public
For the first time, the public is being given the opportunity to see convicted murderer Robert Pickton talking to police about the women who were killed on his Port Coquitlam pig farm.
A jail cell recording of a discussion with an undercover officer posing as his cellmate was released late Friday.
A second video of a police interrogation that took place the day after Pickton's arrest in February 2002 is expected to be released Monday.
Transcripts have also been made available.
Related: Read the full transcript
In the transcript of the jail cell conversation, Pickton boasts to his cellmate of killing 49 women. However, that section of the discussion is not included in the video made public on Friday.
"I was going to do one more, make it an even 50. The big 5-0," Pickton says as he's giggling and eating a bowl of chili.
Pickton goes on to tell his cellmate, who was actually an undercover officer, that he was then going to kill another 25.
Although Pickton was portrayed by his defence as dimwitted, the former pig farmer appears to clearly understand his situation.
"They're going to nail me to the cross," he says more than once.
At one point during the 11-hour police interrogation that took place in a small room in the Surrey, B.C. detachment of the RCMP, then-Sgt. Bill Fordy suggests Pickton's arrest had made him a national celebrity.
"You're bigger than the Pope, you're bigger than Princess Diana, you're just like f——-' (Osama) bin Laden. You know you're on the front page of every paper in the country today. Every one."
"In the paper?" Pickton asked.
"Everybody knows who you are right now," Fordy replied.
"In the paper today? They put me in the paper?" Pickton asked again, clearly unable to hide his growing excitement.
There is no question of the public's interest in Pickton's case, but the head of the B.C. Civil Liberties Union is reluctant to encourage people to view the tapes.
"I think it would be really unfortunate if we essentially lionized Robert Pickton and created a celebrity of him by focusing on the salacious details," David Eby told CTV News Channel.
Reporting from Vancouver, CTV's Janet Dirks says the tapes nevertheless provide insight into Pickton's character.
"At first, Pickton appears as a naive guy who doesn't seem to understand anything," Dirks said.
"But as the hours go by and they bring in a senior officer you see a different side of him. You see him put his feet up, he's cocky, he's sort of playing with their minds."
Evidence released after conviction upheld
The tapes' release comes after a longstanding publication ban was lifted after the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Pickton's conviction. Crown prosecutors then decided to stay 20 murder charges against him, clearing the way for the release of evidence.
Pickton was first charged with murder in 2002 after police launched an exhaustive search of his pig farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C., about 30 kilometres east of Vancouver.
The three-year investigation ultimately uncovered the dismembered bodies, bones and DNA of more than two dozen women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Last week, Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Doug LePard publicly apologized for his department's failure to catch Pickton sooner.
"When faced with the worst, we should have been better," he said, acknowledging that there were indications a serial killer was at work.
Among the documents revealed to the public this week was the testimony of a woman who said Pickton took her to his farm in 1997, put her in handcuffs and tried to kill her. The two struggled in a knife fight that ended with both of them in hospital.
Pickton was charged with attempted murder, but the charges were stayed in 1998. That same year, a special team formed to review missing women files rejected the possibility of a serial killer hunting women in downtown Vancouver.
In 2001, the RCMP and the Vancouver police formed a joint task force to step up their investigation.
Pickton was arrested in February the following year. All the murders for which he was convicted occurred after the 1997 attack.
This week's revelations have stirred renewed calls for a public inquiry into the Pickton investigation. B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell said Thursday his cabinet would decide on the matter in the coming weeks.
Pickton is currently serving a life sentence for six counts of second-degree murder. With no chance of parole for 25 years, he is unlikely to ever be released.