Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton dies after assault in prison | Canada

Robert Pickton, a notorious Canadian serial killer who fed his victims’ remains to his pigs on his farm near Vancouver, has died after being assaulted in prison.

The Correctional Service of Canada said in statement that Pickton, 71, died in hospital on Friday, following the attack on 19 May by another inmate of Port-Cartier Institution in the province of Quebec.

A 51-year-old inmate was in custody for the assault on Pickton, a police spokesman, Hugues Beaulieu, said earlier this month.

Robert “Willie” Pickton was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2007, with the maximum parole ineligibility period of 25 years, after being charged with the murders of 26 women.

Police began searching the Pickton farm in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam more than 22 years ago in what would be a years-long investigation into the disappearances of dozens of women.

The remains or DNA of 33 women, many picked up from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, were found on Pickton’s farm in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. He once bragged to an undercover police officer that he killed a total of 49 women.

During his trial, prosecution witness Andrew Bellwood said Pickton told him how he strangled his victims and fed their remains to his pigs. Health officials once issued a tainted meat advisory to neighbors who might have bought pork from Pickton’s farm, concerned the meat might have contained human remains.

Cynthia Cardinal, whose sister Georgina Papin was murdered by Pickton, said she was “overwhelmed” with happiness when she received a text message earlier this month with the news that he had been attacked. She called it “karma”.

Vancouver police were criticized for not taking the cases seriously because many of the missing were sex workers or drug users.

Canada’s correctional service said it was conducting an investigation into the Pickton attack.

“The investigation will examine all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the assault, including whether policies and protocols were followed,” the service said in the statement.

“We are mindful that this offender’s case has had a devastating impact on communities in British Columbia and across the country, including Indigenous peoples, victims and their families. Our thoughts are with them,” the statement said.

Pickton’s confirmed victims were six: Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe, Papin and Marnie Frey.

At the time of Pickton’s sentencing, the British Columbia supreme court justice James Williams said it was a “rare case that properly warrants the maximum period of parole ineligibility available to the court”.

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