Sunday, July 20, 2003

Did a serial killer dump victims near my parents' house?

My parents live in a small town in southern B.C. How small? It's so small that the town's burghers will probably have kittens when they read about a search for dead bodies nearby as this follow-up story about the search for alleged victims of an alleged serial killer starts making Canadian newspapers on Monday morning.

Robert Pickton, a Port Coquitlam pig farmer, is alleged to have killed at least 15 women from Vancouver's skid road. Following a break in the case, 52 scientists will soon start combing a parcel of Fraser Valley wetlands to search for alleged victims. (There's a mistake in the CP story linked above, by the way. At least part of the slough that is being searched sits in Maple Ridge, which is next to Mission.)

The slough is near, but not too near, where my parents live, so when my mother gave me a lift home this afternoon we made sure to drive by and see if there was any excitement. There was. On a Sunday afternoon, they had already erected wire storm fencing along both sides of the Lougheed Highway, which is the main arterial road for the region and happens to border the search area.

Several police cars were already in place and police had erected an electronic sign banning anyone from walking along the road past the search site. Cars and motorcycles are banned from stopping and no flights over the search area are allowed. However, I did manage to see that they had a trailer there already and were erecting a wind shelter. A heavy truck was there along with a smaller truck with a "cherry picker". I saw a team of six men already wading though the marshy land, one carrying a shovel and another a ladder.

This is big news as nothing ever happens where my parents live. It's quiet and sleepy, but unfortunately the only time that the area makes the national news is when people snap and death ensues. My parents, nevertheless, will be quite safe.

By the way, I should also note, for airship fans, that the Goodyear Blimp flew low over the strip mall where Mom and I ate lunch today. We thought it was neat.