A book written by a Canadian man considered to be the worst known serial killer in history has been pulled from bookshelves amid uproar over his profiting in any way from the many murders he committed.
Robert Pickton, 66, was convicted in 2007 of killing six women after investigators found the DNA and remains of 33 women on his Port Coquitlam pig farm.
Because he received the maximum sentence under law of life in prison with no possibility for parole for 25 years, 20 other murder charges were stayed.
Some of the women believed to have been murdered by Pickton. (change.org)
The former multi-millionaire is believed to have killed at least 49 women, who disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside between 1978 and 2001.
He lamented in 2002 to an undercover cop posing as a cellmate that he hadn’t made it an even 50 victims before he was caught, saying in a video: “I made my own grave by being sloppy. Doesn’t that just kick you in the ass now.”
Authorities believed Pickton may have ground up human remains and mixed it with pork that he sold to the public, leading to a health warning to the public. Others theorized that he may have fed the bodies of his victims directly to his pigs.
The so-called “Pig Farmer Killer,” however, claims he was innocent all along in a 144-page book that he self-published with the help of an American company, writing in “Pickton: In His Own Words” that he was the victim of an inept investigation.
“The [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] were desperately failing to do their job properly, while looking for someone to take the fall, which is truly evil,” Pickton wrote, according to CTV News Vancouver.
But the families of Pickton’s victims said his publishing a book was yet another way for him to inflict pain, urging prospective readers to opt to not buy it.
Steve Rix, common-law husband of victim Mona Wilson; Lynn Frey, stepmother of murdered woman Marnie Frey. (Getty)
Ada Wilson, sister of victim Mona Wilson; Ernie Crey's sister Dawn was killed by Pickton. (Getty)
“He’s taunting us—the victim’s families. Yeah, there’s no question, he’s taunting us,” Ricky Papin, the brother of victim Georgina Papin, told Global News.
“Frankly, I am disgusted by It,” Ernie Crey, whose sister’s DNA was found on Pickton’s property, said to NEWS 1130. “There are books out there in the marketplace written by reputable, high-profile writers about the murders committed by Mr. Pickton.”
The book was published on January 29 by Outskirts Press, a Colorado-based self-publishing service, and eventually listed for between $20.50 and $22 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
But both companies quickly pulled Pickton’s work from their websites as a petition calling for the book’s banning gained traction.
“In honour of all the families who were affected by the horrible crimes of this predator, who were denied agency in his ‘trial’ and who are still going through their healing processes, Amazon needs to refuse to sell ‘Pickton: In His Own Words’ on its website,” the Change.org petition read.
A makeshift memorial for the victims of Pickton took form at his farm after his arrest (Getty)
The petition amassed more than 55,000 signatures, including from those who lost loved ones to Pickton.
“Because Brenda Wolfe was my daughter and she does not need to be exploited again again(sic), family members are continuing to be victimized by this person,” Elaine Belanger posted on the petition.
“I am the cousin of Tanya Holyk who was murdered by Robert Pickton and I find this very disrespectful AMAZON and MICHAEL CHILLDRES,” wrote Lorelei Williams.
Chilldres reportedly published the book with his name on the cover—not Pickton's—after it was sent to him by another prisoner serving with Pickton, CTV News reported.
He told the National Post that he originally had no idea who Pickton was and that he published it as a “favor” to a friend.
“If I had to do it all over again, I would say ‘no,’” Chilldres told the paper.
Pickton surrendered all publishing rights when he gave away the manuscript, Chilldres said.
Outskirts Press reportedly contacted retailers to ask to withdraw the book from sale, saying in a statement: “We have a long-standing policy of not working with, nor publishing work by, incarcerated individuals.”
The company also released a statement to the Associated Press, saying said in a statement “Outskirts Press apologizes to the families of the victims for any additional heartache this may have caused.”
The typo- and Bible passage-laden work was no longer available for purchase on book retailer’s sites by Tuesday, which petitioners celebrated.
“Because of your participation a serial killer has been denied the publicity he sought and the families of his victims will have a little more peace of mind,” the petition read.