Pickton told police he had 'one more planned'
Published Monday, August 9, 2010 5:05PM PDT
Robert Pickton played a cat-and-mouse game with police interrogators, telling them that he had "one more planned," and suggesting he might be willing to tell them more.
But an expert on serial killers cautioned against putting too much faith in anything Pickton might have promised, saying psychopaths routinely lie when it suits them.
The video of Pickton's 11-hour interrogation by police was made public Monday and in it, he comes tantalizingly close to a full confession.
"I had one more planned, but that was, that was the end of it. That was the last I was gonna shut it down, that's why I was just sloppy. Just the last one," Pickton told Staff Sgt. Don Adam.
Adam replied: "You were going to do one more."
Pickton continued: "That was the end of it. That's why I got sloppy because the other thing never got that far."
Pickton never elaborated on what the "other thing" was.
In a couple of places during the interview, Pickton suggested he might be willing to tell police more if he had a chance first to have a private conversation with a woman friend police have suggested may have been involved.
Pickton also appeared to suggest he'd be more co-operative if police stopped digging up his family's property.
"I'll finally admit to everything if you pull the fences down."
But later, Pickton invited the police to dig up as much as they wanted.
In the end, the video was one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence jurors saw, but it also leaves many questions.
Pickton made reference to the possibility of another body -- a man's. He referred to himself as the "head honcho," but if he were leading a group, he offered no indication of who his followers might be.
Harold Schechter, an English literature professor at Queens College of the City University of New York, has written several books on serial killers, including "The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers."
He said if Pickton really did kill 49 women, as he claimed to the undercover cell plant, that would "definitely rank him on the high end in terms of body counts of North American serial killers."
Pickton told a CTV interviewer last week that he was not responsible for the killings, but Schechter said it's not uncommon for serial killers to lie and create convincing stories about blaming someone else.
"You're dealing obviously with incredibly slippery personalities. Extreme psychopaths, like Pickton, they'll say whatever suits them at the moment. They're extremely convincing liars, which is one of the reasons they're able to get away with their atrocities."
The interrogation video was supposed to have been released Friday, the same day as the release of a video of Pickton in conversation with an undercover officer placed in his cell. Technical issues delayed its release to Monday.
Release of the key pieces of evidence was made possible after the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the six second-degree murder convictions against Pickton, prompting the Crown to drop the remaining 20 murder charges against him.
Schechter said while Pickton's unkempt and stilted speech patterns defy the stereotype of celebrity serial killers as smooth and good-looking, that stereotype is a myth.
"The notion of serial killers as these handsome, super-intelligent Jekyll and Hyde types is pretty much a function of Hollywood fantasy," he said.
"Most of them have above-average intelligence. ... A lot of them are nothing to look at. A lot of them are actively repulsive-looking."
Calls for a public inquiry have been mounting in the last two weeks. The Vancouver Police Department has said it will soon issue a detailed report of its investigation into the case and the RCMP has also said it has done a similar report.
Politicians, though, have been non-committal about an inquiry.
Last week, Premier Gordon Campbell said inquiries aren't always the best way to get answers and on Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his cabinet hasn't been considering an inquiry, but may.
"Obviously, we'll want to look at what we need to do to prevent this kind of thing or detect it much earlier in the future, because we obviously don't want to see a repetition of any of these horrific events," the prime minister said.
The B.C. Coroners Service said Monday it has contacted family members of the six women Pickton was convicted of killing to discuss the return of their remains.
The coroner's service is also reviewing applications from relatives of the 20 women Pickton was charged with killing but never stood trial for.
Jeff Dolan, a coroner's service spokesman, said the agency can give the remains back to loved ones now that Pickton's legal odyssey has come to an end.
He said the remains range from partial body parts to traces of DNA.
"Death certificates were issued for the six following the conclusion of that trial and now that the appeals process is complete, the coroner will be returning the remains to those families," Dolan said, though he couldn't say exactly when they'll be returned.
"The applications (for the remaining 20) are all being reviewed. The chief coroner is essentially reviewing all of these cases as missing and presumed dead cases."
He said there is a significant amount of information to review before death certificates for the 20 can be issued.
The stepmother of one of the 20 women says she won't be holding a memorial for her stepdaughter.
Marilyn Kraft says seeing a picture of the freezer that Cindy Feliks' DNA was traced to was enough.
Feliks, a vibrant, loving woman, was last seen in December 1997.
Kraft was visited by police officers Sunday, some of whom cried while discussing the case.
"It has been very emotional for all of us and even the police who have had to live with this for years," Kraft said. "One of them broke down crying. I know they cared about what happened."