Robert Pickton 88.
(photo credit: )
A Canadian pig farmer confessed to killing 49 women and was caught before he could reach his goal of making it an even 50, prosecutors told jurors at the start of his murder trial Monday.
Robert William Pickton, 56, has been charged with killing 26 women, mostly prostitutes and drug addicts who vanished from Vancouver's impoverished Downtown Eastside neighborhood in the 1990s.
Prosecutor Derrill Prevett stunned the courtroom by saying that Pickton told investigators, including an undercover officer planted in his jail cell, that he had slain 49 women.
"I was going to do one more and make it an even 50," Prevett quoted Pickton as telling investigators. "I made my own grave by being sloppy."
Pickton has pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder in what is expected to be the most macabre and lengthy murder trial in Canadian history. It covers the deaths of Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Georgina Papin and Marnie Frey.
The other 20 counts are expected to be heard at a later trial. If convicted, Pickton faces life in prison; Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976. And if Pickton is found guilty of more than 14 charges, he would become the worst convicted killer in Canadian history.
Pickton and his brother, David, reared pigs on the family's farm outside Vancouver, where investigators say they threw drunken raves with prostitutes and drugs. After Robert Pickton's arrest in February 2002, health officials issued a tainted meat advisory out of concern that pork from the farm may have contained human remains. David Pickton has not been accused in the deaths.