VANCOUVER -- The children of four women who disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside while Robert Pickton prowled the streets are suing the convicted serial killer, his siblings, the B.C. government and various Metro Vancouver police agencies.
The seven claimants filed suit in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday seeking compensation for psychological harm they say they endured in the wake of their mothers’ disappearances.
Lawyer Neil Chantler, whose firm is representing the families, said his clients wished they didn’t have to file suit.
“They were optimistic that after (Missing Women’s Commissioner Wally Oppal) released his report, the government would act swiftly in implementing his recommendations.”
Those recommendations, made public in November, included a compensation fund for the children of Pickton’s victims. The Port Coquitlam, B.C., pig farmer was convicted of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women.
Chantler added the families are seeking “fair compensation” from the courts.
DNA of the women at the centre of this civil case — Yvonne Boen, Sarah de Vries, Cynthia Feliks and Dianne Rosemary Rock — was discovered on Pickton’s farm.
Feliks’ daughter, Theresa Mongovius, stated in court documents her mother’s disappearance resulted in emotional and financial loss, eventually leading to her problems with depression, addiction and insomnia.
The case takes aim at the RCMP, as well as the Vancouver and New Westminster police departments, which the plaintiffs claim were grossly negligent in investigating Pickton.
The missing women’s children blame Vancouver police for not warning the public a serial killer could be roaming the streets, despite the fact two investigators told their superiors it was a possibility.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs also hold the Crown responsible for not prosecuting Pickton on an attempted murder charge stemming from a 1997 incident — five years before his arrest.
His siblings, David Pickton and Linda Wright, are also among the defendants. The case alleges the pair had an obligation to protect the safety of those who entered the farm they co-owned along with their brother.