Pickton’s conviction says more about us than we’d like to admit


Originally uploaded by eyeye.

Truthfully I have not been following the Robert William Pickton [wp] Trial with any keen interest. I get a sense that people are just tired of it, most of us having made up our minds about his guilt as we watched footage of the RCMP and VPD combing through his pig farm. He deserved a trial, and he got one, and now he will fade off into memory; just a supposed aberration and footnote in Vancouver’s history.

He’s been convicted [cbc] but before we let him become just a bad memory, we should be asking questions of the city, the police and ourselves about how a man managed to kill so many women over such a long period of time before he was caught. Do we just not care enough about each other, or was it because they were for the most part from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside?

Well before I was born, my uncle who had a drug problem moved from Edmonton to Vancouver and vanished from the Downtown Eastside. None of my family ever heard from him again, and to this day nobody knows what happened to him. We’ve stopped being worried about what happens to the people there, and now we as a city are faced with a man who has been convicted of killing six people, charged with twenty more murders and suspected of nearly fifty.

Fifty people, one at a time, over a span of years were (allegedly) killed by a man who by all accounts is not exactly a criminal mastermind. Face it that’s a damning indictment of our city’s ability to take care of those who fall through the cracks of society. Yes Pickton’s a monster, but we let him exist by not caring about each other enough to connect the dots years before we did and by not giving a shit about the people that we’ve pushed into a ghetto of poverty so that they don’t lower property values anywhere else.

The worst part is that I don’t have an answer for the problem, and I don’t know if anyone does. This is how our world is working and changing it is such a big job that it might never happen. We can all point fingers at society, Vancouver, the police and obviously Pickton himself (who is still a monster) but I wish I could offer solutions and change as opposed to my pointed finger.

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