Canada's most notorious serial killer
In the 1990s, women were going missing from Vancouver's drug-riddled Downtown Eastside neighborhood at an alarming rate. They were prostitutes, junkies, and runaways, and the collective indifference of law enforcement and the community allowed this serial killer - like so many before him - to operate in peace for a long time.
To compound the problem, bodies were never found. Most serial killer cases start with a trail of bodies, but the women in Vancouver simply vanished. People just assumed the women had moved on to greener pastures (either metaphorically or literally).
Robert Pickton was a millionaire pig farmer, and his extensive property, local business ties, and impressive wealth also helped keep him clear of the law for a long time.
And all along, Pickton was picking up women from downtown Vancouver, bringing them to his pig farm, torturing and murdering them, and then feeding their remains to his pigs.
Not all their remains, though. He kept some of their parts (like their heads and hands) stashed around his farm. He also mulched up the remains of some of the women, mixed it with offal from his pigs, and sold it to various businesses in the Vancouver area. In other words, there is a chance that if you bought soap or sausage in the Vancouver area in the 1980s, you were consuming human remains.
No one in the Downtown Eastside was shocked when Robert Pickton was finally exposed as a serial killer. He had been notorious in the sex worker community for years. The women he picked up never came back. His identity wasn't a mystery - they all knew that he owned the pig farm on the other side of the Costco.
In fact, the Vancouver police knew about it as well. But since PIckton confined his attacks to the city's unsavory element, they didn't seem to care. One officer did, he insisted that a serial killer was active in Vancouver - and he was fired for it. It wasn't until an episode of Unsolved Mysteries forced their hand that the authorities ended Pickton's decades-long string of murders.