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Pickton, 56, is accused of killing 26 women after luring them to wild parties at his farm outside Vancouver, British Columbia. Investigators believe Pickton disposed of the bodies by putting them into a wood-chipping machine and then feeding the remains to his pigs. Derrill Prevett, prosecuting, said Pickton told police, including an undercover officer planted in his jail cell, that he had intended to increase his tally of victims by one to However, Pickton told them: "I made my own grave by being sloppy".
Pickton went on to describe himself as a mass murderer who deserved to be on death row, the court heard. After his arrest in February , health officials issued a tainted meat warning to anyone who might have obtained meat from the farm amid concern that it contained human remains.
He has pleaded not guilty to all of them. The victims come from a list of more than 60 women who are believed to have vanished from the impoverished Downtown Eastside district of Vancouver since about Most of them were prostitutes or drug users, and the majority disappeared in the late s. Mr Prevett said the prosecution would prove that Pickton murdered the six women and butchered their remains.
As a successful pig farmer, he said, Pickton had the expertise and equipment to dispose of them. Presiding British Columbia Supreme Court Justice James Williams ruled that the 20 other charges would be heard in a later trial to avoid overburdening the jury. Details of the case have until now been kept secret and several relatives of the victims left the court in tears as information emerged. When police first visited the farm in to investigate, they found two skulls in a bucket inside a freezer in Pickton's mobile home, the court heard.
DNA testing identified the skulls as belonging to two missing sex workers prostitutes. Pickton, clean-shaven with a bald crown and shoulder-length hair, sat emotionless in a specially built defendant's box surrounded by bulletproof glass. During pretrial hearings, he occasionally chuckled to himself or scribbled in a notebook.