Jurors who begin hearing evidence Monday against a pig farmer accused of being Canada's worst serial killer have been warned by the judge to expect testimony "as bad a horror movie."
Robert William Pickton is charged with the deaths of 26 women, mostly prostitutes and drug addicts who vanished from Vancouver's impoverished Downtown Eastside neighborhood in the 1990s.
He is accused of luring women to his family's 17-acre (7-hectare) pig farm outside Vancouver, where investigators say he threw drunken raves with prostitutes and plenty of drugs. After his arrest in February 2002, health officials issued a tainted meat advisory to neighbors who may have bought pork from his farm, concerned that it may have contained human remains.
Pickton, 56, will first be tried for six of the deaths and has pleaded not guilty to each. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice James Williams decided that the other charges would be heard in a later trial to avoid overburdening the jury.