On The Farm: Robert William Pickton And The Tragic Story Of Vancouver's Missing Women

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On The Farm: Robert William Pickton And The Tragic Story Of Vancouver's Missing Women

by Stevie Cameron

Knopf Canada | October 25, 2011 | Trade Paperback

On The Farm: Robert William Pickton And The Tragic Story Of Vancouver's Missing Women is rated 3.8571 out of 5 by 7.
Now that the publication bans are lifted, you need Stevie Cameron to get the whole story, which includes accounts of Pickton''s notoriety that police never uncovered. You need On the Farm.

Covering the case of one of North America''s most prolific serial killer gave Stevie Cameron access not only to the story as it unfolded over many years in two British Columbia courthouses, but also to information unknown to the police - and not in the transcripts of their interviews with Pickton - such as from Pickton''s long-time best friend, Lisa Yelds, and from several women who survived terrifying encounters with him. You will now learn what was behind law enforcement''s refusal to believe that a serial killer was at work.

Stevie Cameron first began following the story of missing women in 1998, when the odd newspaper piece appeared chronicling the disappearances of drug-addicted sex trade workers from Vancouver''s notorious Downtown Eastside. It was February 2002 before Robert William Pickton was arrested, and 2008 before he was found guilty, on six counts of second-degree murder. These counts were appealed and in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its conclusion. The guilty verdict was upheld, and finally this unprecedented tale of true crime can be told.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 768 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.56 in

Published: October 25, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676975852

ISBN - 13: 9780676975857

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read but with some flaws Stevie Cameron clearly put in a lot of work writing this. It was gripping to read, but frustrating on two parts for me: one being that she can sometimes word how she describes the missing women in a less-than-polite way (that said, I am very glad that she places a huge emphasis on the women who went missing because they are the most important part of the story) and two being all the missing commas... She misses a lot of commas in her writing, which was off-putting and jarring.
Date published: 2013-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Put it in your cart Picked up this book because it is such an infamous Canadian story about one man but ended up on a journey into the lives of so many people impacted who were far more important to this world. It is a lengthy read and may take some time. There are so many people involved and so much information that the auther does a good job organizing but you do have to pay attention. It is engaging enough that I stuck with it. You learn about a monster created by a bizarre upbringing and how he was able to function. It's fascinating that this story takes place over so many years. Beyond that, I loved the way the book focuses on the woman; making sure the reader is fully aware of who they were and highlighting the people that loved them. It is also an interesting look into police politics, arrogance, and incompetence. Eventually, you end up following an investigation and forensic nightmare. Well worth picking up but be prepared for lots of names and information overload.
Date published: 2013-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good informative book. This book is a very good book, some parts were a little dry and repetitive but interesting non the less. I wish the author would have put in all of the victims pictures in the book, or even the alleged women that were killed there. I think that could have given a better sense of who the unfortunate women were and where they came from.
Date published: 2011-10-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An absence that is heavy enough to feel like a presence Anyone who feels anything towards him must hate Robert "Willie" Pickton with a furious passion. Having just finished reading investigative journalist Stevie Cameron's gripping, 700-page account of the tens of murders he committed at the turn of the century, terrorizing Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, it's impossible to understand how he was sent to jail charged only with second-degree murder in the deaths of six drug-addicted, neglected prostitutes. Cameron's painstaking reporting, using hundreds of sources, and going through every detail of the grisly horror story Pickton created, leaves no doubt in the reader's mind. Pickton is guilty, alone and singlehanded, in the murders of at least 32 women and this was proved by the police task force that investigated all DNA evidence they could find. He further admitted to a cellmate that he had killed 49 women, wanted to make it an even 50, and had planned to continue with another 25 after taking a break, but "got sloppy". The story defies belief and imagination; it is impossible to understand such a complete lack of empathy and emotion, such relentless self interest, on the part of another human being. The negligence of the Vancouver police department is equally incredible in their overlooking the disappearances, despite substantial clues and tips - largely because the vanishing women were ignored and looked down upon by society. The horrific ordeal has spanned three decades, from the first disappearances and murders as early as 1979 to its very recent conclusion in August 2010. Then, the Supreme Court upheld Pickton's original conviction for second-degree murder in six women's deaths, staying charges in another 20 cases. He was given life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years, which the Crown has said is the maximum penalty that can be imposed in Canada. Cameron's crusade of a book transports the reader into the hearts, minds and world of the women living in the Downtown Eastside, on the farm (which is also, literally, the book's title), and Pickton himself. While it's hard to see him as anything but a monster, Cameron avoids sensationalizing his character or actions, allowing them to speak for themselves. This allows the reader to understand him in a way that wasn't possible before, and once one can understand something it is possible to overcome fearing it. The feature that stuck with me the most was his horrible smell, described as rude and animal-like by several women, and as Cameron put it, his feral expression. Similarly, even though it is exhausting reading about so many women who went missing, Cameron doesn't let the reader escape into the anonymity of numbers; every life earns its fair share of words. After reading it, I visited the site www.missingpeople.net, created by the friend of one of the murdered women, Sarah de Vries. It contains personal accounts of the women, a collection of news stories, banners with slogans like "not forgotten". It is a simple site; unsophisticated, clearly designed solely to communicate information. Looking at it I felt a deep, stark sadness that I suddenly realized will never go away. No matter how much time passes, the loss will not. The families will have to learn to live with the absence of the women who were murdered, Cameron wrote, an absence that is heavy enough to feel like a presence.
Date published: 2011-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Compelling & full of facts but very disjointed It goes without saying that the case of Willie Pickton and the murdered women from Vancouver's downtown eastside will go down as one of Canada's darkest moments. Both Pickton and the women's stories need to be told and while its attempted in On The Farm its done rather clumsily. Cameron has included all the relevant facts of the case but has laid things out in a rambling and nonlinear fashion. She'll quickly alternate between participants in this horrific crime at times who don't have anything to do with each other and similarly with the timelines flipflop throughout the years. It's mind-boggling to keep track of all murdered/missing women, police officers, Pickton's dodgy acquaintances, witnesses, lawyers, etc.. Add to that the various DTES hotels, cities and towns throughout the lower mainland at some point you need to make your own notes if you want to keep an organized record of what transpired. While she goes through great lengths to give each of the murdered or missing women a voice and humanizing description of more than "she was a drug addicted prostitute" (which I agree serves a valuable purpose) it makes her book turn into more of a tribute or remembrance and not a narrative of the crimes themselves, Pickton or his motives. Was also disappointed that while it was briefly explored Cameron didn't delve further into the rumors and speculation that there were others directly responsible for the murders. Found that omission odd given it was the cornerstone of Pickton's defense teams strategy. Yes worth the read but by no means the definitive account of Willie Pickton and the women of Vancouver's DTES.
Date published: 2011-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well Written ... Thorough overview of Pickton and the events On The Farm. Readable and easy to follow, more or less, with the number of people and years involved. If you are searching for any explanation of the Aboriginal component for this gruesome history of Canada Cameron is very conservative of any suggestion Aboriginal women being targeted by Pickton. Despite the fact that a large majority of Picktons victims are First Nations women no exploration of Aboriginal social or political analysis is provided by Cameron, a blemish on an otherwise great piece of work.
Date published: 2010-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping account of Canada's worst serial killer. Gripping account of Pickton and his victims reads like a novel. Best Canadian true crime book since Kirk Makin's Redrum the Innocent.
Date published: 2010-09-15

– More About This Product –

On The Farm: Robert William Pickton And The Tragic Story Of Vancouver's Missing Women

by Stevie Cameron

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 768 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.56 in

Published: October 25, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676975852

ISBN - 13: 9780676975857

Read from the Book

Chapter One THE FAMILY FARM     Calling the Pickton place a farm back in 1995 is probably a nice way of putting it. The property, at 963 Dominion Road, across the road from a new shopping centre, was nothing more than a junkyard of old cars, trucks and machinery and enormous mounds of dirt, many of which were covered with black plastic tarps. The Pickton brothers, among their many interests, were in the dirt-moving business. Their shabby white clapboard farmhouse needed painting and repair; the wooden outbuildings—a rickety mess of garages, workshops and sheds—always seemed on the verge of collapse. A shanty that had housed a pigpen had fallen down completely and no one had bothered to tidy up the mess. With no place to keep the pigs, Robert was now stuffing the live weanlings he bought every week at animal auctions into a small horse trailer until he got around to slaughtering them. Only an unpainted hip-roofed Dutch barn looked as if it could last a few more years.   Even though Port Coquitlam was a working-class town of fifty thousand people where few had money to spend fixing up their places, the Pickton farm was infamous, and not just because it was a mess. People knew that the Picktons, who were making a fortune selling off chunks of the land to real estate developers, could easily afford to keep the farm in good repair; it just never occurred to them. That was just how they’d been brought up, not to mind a little mess.   This prope
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Table of Contents

Maps Author’s note   Part One: The Family Prologue: Jane Doe 1. The Family Farm 2. Dominion Avenue 3. A Mother’s Will 4. The Pickton Brothers 5. Geography Speaks 6. Cops under Fire 7. A Motley Crew 8. Prime Suspect 9. The Trials of Kim Rossmo and the Growing List of Missing Women 10. Lisa Yelds 11. Piggy’s Palace 12. Maggy Gisle, Cara Ellis and Sandra Gail Ringwald 13. Gina and Willie and More Missing Women 14. Sherry Irving and Marnie Frey 15. The Worst Year 16. Sarah de Vries and Sheila Egan 17. A Doomed Investigation 18. Project Amelia: A Bad Start 19. Roommates   Part Two: The Missing Women 20. What They Saw 21. What Did the Police Do? 22. Closing In on Willie 23. Another Close Call 24. Deadly Girlfriends 25. Rossmo Out 26. Panic on Skid Row 27. The File Review 28. Do Something 29. A Newsroom Leads the Way 30. Police on Trial 31. The Last Woman 32. The Rookie Cop 33. Twenty-Four Hours 34. The Largest Crime Scene in Canadian History 35. Scott Chubb   Part Three: On the Farm 36. Getting Ready for Willie 37. Mike Petrie Wants the Job 38. The Cell Plant 39. The Fordy Interview 40. Don Adam Takes Over 41. Back in the Cell 42. Taking Willie to the Judge 43. In the Workshop 44. The Forensic Team 45. Talking to the Families 46. What the Dead Reveal 47. Willie Goes to Court 48. Telling Tales: Andy Bellwood, Sandra Gail Ringwald and Gina Houston 49. The Last Witnesses 50. The Aristocracy of Victimhood 51. From Twenty-Six to Six 52. The Jury 53. Guil
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From the Publisher

Now that the publication bans are lifted, you need Stevie Cameron to get the whole story, which includes accounts of Pickton''s notoriety that police never uncovered. You need On the Farm.

Covering the case of one of North America''s most prolific serial killer gave Stevie Cameron access not only to the story as it unfolded over many years in two British Columbia courthouses, but also to information unknown to the police - and not in the transcripts of their interviews with Pickton - such as from Pickton''s long-time best friend, Lisa Yelds, and from several women who survived terrifying encounters with him. You will now learn what was behind law enforcement''s refusal to believe that a serial killer was at work.

Stevie Cameron first began following the story of missing women in 1998, when the odd newspaper piece appeared chronicling the disappearances of drug-addicted sex trade workers from Vancouver''s notorious Downtown Eastside. It was February 2002 before Robert William Pickton was arrested, and 2008 before he was found guilty, on six counts of second-degree murder. These counts were appealed and in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its conclusion. The guilty verdict was upheld, and finally this unprecedented tale of true crime can be told.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

A woman of many talents, Stevie Cameron is a successful author, investigative journalist, commentator and humanitarian. Her investigative reports have been published by the Globe and Mail and Maclean''s, among others, and her award-winning books have brought scandals to the public eye. They include the #1 national bestseller On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years and The Last Amigo: Karlheinz Schreiber and the Anatomy of a Scandal, winner of the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award. Cameron''s passions for writing, uncovering and dissecting stories of the day have earned her acclaim as one of Canada''s foremost investigative journalists. She lives in Toronto.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Rich with detail. . . . Should you buy this book and read it? Definitely.”
 — Neil Boyd, The Globe and Mail

"Stevie Cameron, who brought the art of political investigative journalism in Canada to new heights over the last three decades, has distinguished herself and her profession once again… [On the Farm] will surely remain a classic for generations of crime readers to come."
 — Winnipeg Free Press

"On the Farm is the book you were hoping for… A hard-hitting look at the botched police investigations of Pickton."
 — The Vancouver Sun

"No writer knows this story better than Cameron… [On the Farm] will go down as the definitive resource on the Pickton affair."
 — Maclean''s

"Stevie Cameron has written yet another great book exposing, as is her wont, the ''comfortable establishment'' in our country of indifference to societal ills that might be expensive nuisances to deal with."
 — The Tyee


From the Hardcover edition.
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