NEWS

Pickton claims innocence in sex worker killings

01/19/2012 12:05 EST | Updated 03/19/2012 05:12 EDT

Convicted serial killer Robert Pickton claimed he was innocent as recently as last August, telling an Ontario police officer tasked with preparing a report ahead of a public inquiry that he never did anything wrong.

Jennifer Evans, deputy chief of the Peel Regional Police, interviewed Pickton in August in preparation for a report she was commissioned to prepare for the inquiry. The inquiry is examining why police in B.C.'s Lower Mainland did not catch the man — ultimately convicted of the murders of six sex workers — sooner than they did.

Evans told the inquiry Wednesday that she asked Pickton during their 90-minute interview at the Kent Institution near Agassiz, B.C., how he had been able to evade police for so long.

"His answer essentially was, 'Because I never did anything wrong,"' said lawyer Cameron Ward, representing the families of several murdered and missing women.

"Because he didn't do anything," Evans said.

"He maintained his innocence?" said Ward.

"Yes, he did," said Evans.

"And did you think he was telling the truth?" asked Ward.

"No, I did not."

Admits picking up women

Pickton said he did pick up sex workers in Vancouver, but said he did not kill any of them, Evans said.

Pickton was convicted in 2007 of six counts of second-degree murder.

Investigators found the remains or DNA of 33 women on his farm.

"Did he strike you as someone capable of murdering 49 people by himself, given your police experience?" asked Ward.

"Yes," replied Evans.

Pickton did not testify at his trial.

Evans was commissioned to prepare a report for the Pickton inquiry which examined the timelines and contents of the various investigations into Vancouver's missing women prior to Pickton's 2002 arrest for murder.

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