British Columbia Canada

The disturbing story of David Shearing and the Wells Gray Park camping murders in Canada

david shearing Wells Gray murders

In August 1982, Bob Johnson, 44, and Jackie Johnson, 41, and their daughters Janet, 13, and Karen went on a two-week camping trip with Jackie's parents, George Bentley, 66, and Edith Bentley, 59. Sadly it was the last family vacation they were ever to go on, cut short by a sadistic, brutal killer obsessed with young girls. A sad and depressing story of outdoor adventure gone wrong, bad luck and a mission by two Royal Canadian Mounted Police detectives to find the perpetrator of these awful crimes.

Wells Gray murder victims

The group travelled to the remote Wells Gray Provincial Park. a wilderness park located in east-central British Columbia, Canada, around 300 miles (478 km) to the northeast of Vancouver. It covers 5,250 square kilometres  (1.3 million acres) and is British Columbia's fourth largest park, after Tatshenshini, Spatsizi and Tweedsmuir. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Wells Gray area was a valued hunting ground to the Secwepemc (Shuswap), Tsilhqot'in (Chilcotin) and Canim Lake aboriginal groups.

They pitched camp at a secluded area near the old Bear Creek prison site with the Bentleys arriving with a truck and camper van with a boat on top.

Wells Gray Provincial Park

On August 16, Bob failed to return to work at Gorman Brothers Lumber in Westbank which was very unusual for the 25-year employee. The group was reported missing on August 23, 1982.

On September 13th, a mushroom picker reported finding a burned-out car near Battle Mountain Road in a clearing off a mountainside logging road with the driver's side door open, thirteen aerial miles from Bear Creek and north of the town of Clearwater.  On September 13, that was similar to the car that the Johnsons were driving. 

Police found a pile of burnt bones on the back seat which were later identified as that of four adults and in the trunk were the remains of two girls. The charred remains were that of the Bentley's and Johnson's. Because of the location of the vehicle, it was quickly assumed that a local was responsible for the murders. 

Johnson Car Wells Gray murders
Johnson car Wells Gray murders

Forensic investigation of the bone fragments found that they had been shot with a .22 calibre gun. Locals had seen the family camped at Bear Creek and a search of the area found six spent .22 calibre ammunition shells. The Bentley’s 1981 Ford truck and camper and their camping gear, boat and motor and other possessions were missing. Some beer caps of the brand known to be drunk by Bob Johnson were also found as well as full bottles cooling in a nearby stream. Two sticks with sharp ends, probably used by the two girls to roast marshmallows were also at the site. 

 Replica of the Bentleys’ 1981 Ford camper truck

Replica of the Bentleys’ 1981 Ford camper truck

wells gray victims
wells gray victims

A Canadian wide manhunt was launched with some leads throwing investigators seriously off the scent. For example, two scruffy French-Canadian men were seen driving in a scamper van east towards Quebec but it turned out this was an unrelated vehicle. Many hours were wasted on these "wild goose" chases as the public phoned in thousands of sitings which all needed to be investigated.

But then on October 18, 1983, fourteen months after the murders with the trail running cold for the perpetrator,  the Bentley's camper truck was finally located by two forestry workers, near Bear Creek, on an old logging road near Trophy Mountain. The spot was only 15 miles from the murder site and 20 miles from where the Johnsons' car was located. It had been burned using an accelerant and was well hidden on the side of different mountain from where the car and bodies were found. It looked like there had been an attempt to drive it into a gorge but logs had blocked its path. The location confirmed a local was most likely involved as outsiders would have been unlikely to find the isolated spot.

David William Shearing who lived locally was identified by someone who told police that, over a year earlier, Shearing had enquired about how to re-register a Ford pickup and repair a hole in its door. Shearing lived three miles from the site of the murders and the police had never released the information about the bullet hole.

The RCMP found Shearing in Tumbler Ridge, north of Kamloops, where he was to appear in court in a few days on a possession of stolen property charge of a significant amount of tools. He was taken into custody for questioning. 

Despite his reputation and criminal record, Shearing came from a respectable family. His father, since deceased, had once been a prison guard and his brother was a sheriff. Shearing had graduated from high school and had successfully completed a heavy mechanic's course. 

David William Shearing

Royal Canadian Mounted Police detectives, Sergeant Mike Eastham and Constable Ken Liebel were convinced David Shearing was guilty from the beginning and tried to get his confidence. Eventually, they got him to confess to the crimes by getting him to relax and defer appointing a lawyer.

Initially, he was led to believe the arrest was related to a hit and run incident which he quickly confessed to before the detectives confronted him with the Bennett-Johnson case. Quickly, Shearing accidentally admitted to Eastham that he had heard the murders were committed at Bear Creek which was not information released to the public. After effort and persuasion, Eastham managed to convince Shearing to confess to the six murders and he eventually agreed to re-enact the murders and even to turn over the murdered family’s possessions. Crucially he handed the police a .22 calibre Remington pump-action rifle, which was forensically matched as the murder weapon.

Shearing initially stated in his confession that he shot the four adults as they sat around their campfire, then shot the girls as they slept in the tent, saying he only wanted to rob them. He told the RCMP that he loaded the bodies into their car, drove it by night to the mountainside, and set it on fire using five gallons of gasoline. He said he cleaned the campsite, then took the truck/camper back to his nearby property, only to burn it later when he discovered how difficult it was to re-register.

David Shearing pleaded guilty to six counts of murder on April 16, 1984, and was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for twenty-five years. This was the maximum possible penalty for second degree murder and the first time in Canadian history that it had been handed out.

Following Shearing’s conviction, Mike Eastham re-interviewed him and got the disturbing truth behind the killings - paedophilia. He lusted over the young girls and was determined to sexually abuse them even if it meant killing the parents and grandparents.

 Mike Eastham 2018

Mike Eastham 2018

He said he saw the family when they set up camp and spent several days spying on them, with a fantasy to have sex with Janet and Karen. At dusk on August 10, 1982, walked into the campsite with his rifle and shot Bob Johnson, then Jackie and then George and Edith in cold blood.

The two girls were already in their tent, ready for bed. Shearing said he looked in, told them a dangerous biker gang was around and their parents had run for help. While they stayed in the tent, he said, he loaded the bodies of their parents and grandparents into the back seat of the family car and covered the bodies with a blanket. Then he crawled into the tent with the girls.

Shearing told Eastham he kept the girls alive for nearly a week, staying with them both at his ranch and at a small fishing cabin on the Clearwater River whilst repeatedly raping them.

They left the cabin after they were nearly discovered. A prison guard was supervising prisoners from a local jail who were fishing on the river. He came to the door of the cabin to tell Shearing not to be alarmed. But Shearing hid the girls behind the door and told them to stay quiet. The guard noticed nothing unusual.

The next day, Shearing said he took the girls back to his ranch and on August 16th, one at a time, he took each girl for a walk in the woods, told her to turn around so he could urinate, then shot each sister in the back of the head. He took the bodies back to the Johnson family car, which he’d hidden and put them in the trunk. He drove the car to a secluded spot and burnt it.

To double-check the story, Eastham found the prison guard. He remembered the meeting exactly as Shearing had described it. Then, RCMP Constable Ken Leibel hiked through the bush to the fishing cabin. Shearing told Leibel he carved his initials on the wall there. Leibel found them next to a second set, JJ, for 13-year-old Janet Johnson.

In his ten-minute summation at Shearing's trail, Supreme Court Justice Harry McKay described the crime as “a cold-blooded and senseless execution of six defenceless and innocent people...a slaughter that devastated three generations in a single bound. What a tragedy. What a waste, and for what?”

In September 2008, David Shearing was up for parole. The National Parole Board ruled that he still had violent sexual fantasies, hadn't completed sex offender treatment and was not ready for freedom. His second application, in 2012, was also rejected when a petition with 13,258 signatures was presented to the National Parole Board. Shearing then applied again in 2014, then withdrew the request a month before the hearing. In the meantime, online and paper petitions got 15,258 signatures urging the parole board not to release him. He now goes by his mother's maiden name, Ennis and is married to a woman he met whilst in prison.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_Gray_Provincial_Park

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_Gray_Provincial_Park_Family_Murders

http://dyingwords.net/david-shearing-the-monster-from-wells-gray-park/#sthash.hUyyi6wR.PxXToWpg.dpbs

http://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/shearing-david.htm

Further reading and viewing

The Seventh Shadow : The Wilderness Manhunt for a Brutal Mass Murderer by Michael Eastham and Ian McLeod (1999, Paperback)

The Wells Gray Gunman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unFwrrYLZH8

The Detectives The Wells Gray Gunman S1 E1  (Canada only)https://watch.cbc.ca/the-detectives/season-1/episode-1/38e815a-00d94f07a15       

David Koch - Strange deaths on Canadian mountains

David Koch, disappeared May 25th, 2005, Body found June 7, 2005, Grouse Mountain, British Columbia

David Koch Grouse Mountain death

Dave Koch, 36, a publisher for DM Weekly, a technology magazine, called his wife at 7.30 pm. on Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 to tell her he was on his way from a business meeting in Seattle to one in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He told her he planned to watch the sunset on Grouse Mountain once he got into town.

Grouse mountain

Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore Mountains of the Pacific Ranges in the District Municipality of North Vancouver and is 1,200 m (4,000 feet) in altitude at its peak. It is the site of an alpine ski area, Grouse Mountain Resort, which overlooks Greater Vancouver with four chairlifts servicing 26 runs.  Public access to the mountain top is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, or the Grouse Grind hiking trail (Open for hiking May-October.)

 Grouse Grind trail

Grouse Grind trail

Credit card slips and video show that he purchased a ticket for the Skyride tram at around 8pm. The Skyride operates 365 days a year, departing every 15 minutes from 8.45am to 10.00pm. He was seen riding up by other passengers at 8.30pm, then walking for about 10 minutes in the atrium at the top of the mountain. Later, video revealed he left the atrium and headed to either the visitor's booth or the bathroom. He was wearing sandals and light clothes and no hiking boots. At that point he vanished. 

Dave's laptop, business suit and cell phone were left in the rental vehicle, which was found Friday, May 27 in the parking lot near the tram.

He had been to Grouse Mountain by himself and with his wife Suzanne before as he travelled to Vancouver around twice a year due to his business. Though it was late in the day, he probably knew the route he had in mind and that he could make it back down before it good dark.  

CCTV footage showed him taking long and purposeful strides, knowing he would have to hurry to make his desired destination as he glances at the clock at the upper gondola terminal. Sunset that night was just half an hour later, so he checked the time as he never wore a watch. The clock is also located where the surveillance camera is kept made it seem like he was glancing around, when in fact he probably was looking directly at the clock. 

Koch's wife, flew to B.C. from Wisconsin shortly after her husband went missing and maintained her determination to find him throughout the frustrating search. She said during the search that her husband was an avid outdoorsman who would "rather be in nature than go for a beer or a round of golf."

More than 400 people spent 10 days scouring the trails and bush on the mountain looking for Dave.  

Grouse Grind trail

On Monday, June 6th, 2005, a solo searcher who had been combing the trails and woods of Grouse Mountain for more than a week looking for clues in disappearance of Koch noted the location of a circling eagle and returned first thing Tuesday morning. That day he had hiked up and down the mountain three times. The 50 year old, worked independently of North Shore Search and Rescue, but cooperated and communicated with the team and was very familiar with the trails on Grouse Mountain.

Just before noon, the anonymous searcher discovered the body in a drainage gully east of the Grouse Grind, 650 metres east of the Bluffs Trail, where it had likely been carried down the mountain by rainwater and snow melt run-off. The steep gully was strewn with rocks, logs and other debris.

Strangely, searchers and dogs went over the area where Koch's body was found several times but failed to turn up any clues. The team speculated it was because the body was submerged in a pool of water. George Zilahi, the operations manager for the volunteer-based North Shore Search and Rescue said "Those gullies are usually dry except in areas where there are depressions in the rock where there may be pools of water. He more than likely was in a pool and then when the heavy rains came on Sunday the water level would have risen and then he would have been carried downstream and then onto this portion of the creek-bed."

It appeared he had left the tram station and walked towards the top of the Bluff Trail, arriving at around 9pm, sunset. The authorities believe he fell at that point due to his footwear. 

Dave's body was airlifted out to the coroner's office Tuesday afternoon, where the precise cause of death was determined as hypothermia. 

North Vancouver RCMP Const. John MacAdam said there was no evidence of foul play and "it appears to have been an accidental death."

What happened to Dave Koch that day? He was clearly in a rush to get to somewhere on Grouse Mountain since he arrived at the Skyride terminal late in the day at 8.30pm, with sunset less than half an hour later. Did he trip whilst on the Grouse Grind trail in fading light and fall into the steep gully? As MacAdam said, probably accidental death but who knows what happened on that mountain that evening.

It was strange that his body was discovered in an area searched twice before, but the search and rescue blamed the fact that Dave's body was apparently obscured by water. A case which on the face of it appears to be misadventure whilst hiking without the right footwear and clothing but who knows.

Sources

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/missing-us-hiker-found-dead/article18229275/

http://www.downtheavenue.com/2005/05/david_koch_miss.html

https://onmilwaukee.com/family/articles/finddave.html

The strange phenomenon of the human feet in running shoes on the coast of the Salish Sea, British Columbia in Canada

Salish Sea human feet in trainer

Since 2007, thirteen human feet in running shoes have been found on the beaches of British Columbia and Washington State, from Jedediah Island to Botanical Beach on the coast of the Salish Sea. Eight have been identified as pairs and the remaining single feet belonged to men. Most of these have been right feet and all of them have worn running shoes or hiking boots including three New Balances, two Nikes and an Ozark Trail.

Two shoes that could have belonged to children have been found. On August 27, 2010, on Whidbey Island in Washington State, either a woman's or child's right foot was discovered, without a shoe or sock. This foot was determined to have been in the water for two months. On December 5, 2010, in Tacoma, Washington, 40 km south of Seattle, the right foot of a boy's size 6 'Ozark Trail' hiking boot was found and likely belonged to a child or small adult

On December 14th, 2017, the latest foot was found. Mike Johns was walking with his dog on a beach in the hamlet of Jordan River in British Columbia. He discovered a tibia and fibula attached to a left human foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe.

The source of these shoes has been a mystery but there has been plenty of theories and speculation about where they came from. These have included suicides, serial killers, alien abductions, bodies from the tsunami of 2004, to the work of drug dealers and human traffickers. Thousands of people die at sea every year, and anybody that ends up in the ocean naturally starts to disarticulate or break down, as scavengers attack the bodies. One explanation is that some of the feet are those of four men who died in a plane crash near Quadra Island in 2005 and whose bodies have not been recovered, though one of the feet has been determined to be from a female. Perhaps a serial killer is on the loose, leaving the body parts behind as trophies.

Salish Sea British Columbia

In February 2012 one foot in a boot and sock which washed up was finally identified, 25 years after it was found. Fisherman Stefan Zahorujko’s boat overturned on January 5th 1987 off the coast of Vancouver but his body was never found and an investigation proved it was him.

Human feet have a tendency to produce adipocere (a soap-like substance formed from body fat), which makes it hard for forensic experts to find clues. Under optimal conditions, a human body may remain intact in water for as long as 20-30 years.

The coroner’s office in BC has ruled that all of the identified individuals committed suicide or died accidentally, most likely due to storms near the coast.They postulate that the feet are separating from the bodies during decomposition in the sea as there is no sign of any force or trauma being applied to the bones to sever them or any tool marks on them in any of the cases. Decomposition may separate the foot from the body because the ankle is relatively weak, and the buoyancy caused by air either inside or trapped within a shoe would allow it to float away.

But why did the feet only start appearing on British Columbian beaches since 2007? The coroner's office put forward the explanation that training shoes are using air pockets or light foam in their designs, which means they are lighter and more likely to wash up. However, finding feet and not the rest of the bodies is very unusual and finding two feet in the same area after many years seems implausible. Researchers have described this as "an anomaly" and with so many cases now it raises the possibility of foul play. 

After the first two feet, both right, were found in British Columbia just six days apart from one another, locals became alarmed and authorities expressed surprise.“Two being found in such a short period of time is quite suspicious,” Cpl. Garry Cox of the Oceanside Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Vancouver Sun in August 2007.“Finding one foot is like a million to one odds,” Cox said, “but to find two is crazy. I’ve heard of dancers with two left feet, but come on.”

Botanical beach British Columbia

Some have postulated the “Vicious Cycle” theory, which suggests that once people became aware of the phenomenon, they started subconsciously or deliberately searching the coastline for shoes.

Another theory is that ocean currents in BC and Washington State have a way of channelling items such as floating feet into the same general area because of semi-enclosed coastlines. Fraser River, False Creek, Burrard Inlet are somewhat semi-enclosed. The tidal currents and the winds can keep things that are floating recirculating in the system.

The Human feet discoveries timings: 

  • August 2007: Foot 1 – A right foot was found on Jedediah Island. DNA analysis linked this foot to a male that went missing in 2004.

  • August 2007: Foot 2 – A right foot was found on Gabriola Island. DNA analysis linked this foot to a male that went missing in 2006.

  • February 2008: Foot 3 – A right foot was found on Gabriola Island. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot 5 and a male that went missing in 2006.

  • May 2008: Foot 4 – A right foot was found in the Fraser River near Richmond. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot #6 and a female that went missing in 2004.

  • June 2008: Foot 5 – A left foot was found in the Fraser River. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot #3 and a male that went missing in 2006.

  • November 2008: Foot 6 – A left foot was found near Kirkland Island. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot 4 and a female that went missing in 2004.

  • October 2009: Foot 7 – A right foot was found in the Fraser River near Richmond. DNA analysis linked this foot to a male that went missing in 2008.

  • August 2011: Foot 8 – A left foot was found in False Creek, Vancouver. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot 10 and an unidentified male.

  • November 2011: Foot 9 – A right boot was found in Sasamat Lake, Port Moody. DNA analysis linked this foot to a male that went missing in 1985.

  • October 2012: Foot 10 – A right foot was found in False Creek, Vancouver. DNA analysis linked this foot to foot #8 and an unidentified male.

  • February 2016: Foot 11 – A left foot was found on Botanical Beach. Anthropological and circumstantial analysis linked this foot to foot 12.

  • February 2016: Foot 12 – A right foot was found on Botanical Beach. Anthropological and circumstantial analysis linked this foot to foot 11.

  • December 2017: Foot 13 - A left foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe on Jordan River in British Columbia.

Highway of Tears in British Columbia, Canada

Highway of Tears movie poster 2015

Canada's Highway of Tears

"Highway of Tears" a documentary film by director Matthew Smiley was released in 2015 to critical acclaim. It is well worth a watch and if you go to the link you can pay to rent or buy. The film is very focused on the ill treatment of the indigenous first nations people by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the impact of high unemployment and the numerous unsolved murders along Highway 16 in Canada's British Columbia. The road is 720km long  and runs from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

Highway of Tears missing images

Since 1969, an estimated 40 women have gone missing or have been found murdered somewhere along Highway 16 and its huge surrounding forests. Over half of these women have belonged to Aboriginal First Nation communities. Across Canada since the 1960s, nearly 600 Aboriginal women have been reported as missing or victims of homicide.  It is therefore no wonder that Highway 16 has been colloquially renamed the "Highway of Tears".

Highway 16 and the Highway of Tears British Columbia

The story goes way back in Canada with the poor treatment of the indigenous population by the authorities, just like in Australia or USA. 150 years ago residential schools were set up in Canada with mandatory attendance for all 7-15 year olds.  Around 80,000 children were forcibly removed from families, homes and community to assimilate aboriginal youth into mainstream "Canadian Culture". They were allegedly abused, badly fed and housed. The kids were allowed no contact with family, nor allowed to practice any part of their culture. In 2008 there was finally an official apology from the Canadian government, but arguably many years too late.  A real blight on Canada and its administrators.

The interesting thing is the residential homes and the Highway of Tears are linked. The RCMP were the people who took children away and were the truant officers when kids ran away. So there is an intrinsic mistrust by the first nations of the police. They are seen aa perpetrators against people, causing fear and retaliation. Many people from poor communities in British Columbia don't have vehicles and rely on hitch hiking as essential services like hospitals are located far away.  Many people in the communities turn to alcohol, drugs, stealing, gambling and violence as a distraction. This puts people at risk and also means the mainstream Canadian media has been historically hostile.

Despite many disappearances on Highway 16 over the years it was only when a white woman, Nicole Hoar, age 25, disappeared on June 21 2002 and the case was picked up by the media. Before this indigenous aboriginal women went missing for years, but there was little publicity as the media in many cases falsely labelled many of them as prostitutes or drug users, who almost deserved to go missing (though of course some fitted this description). 

In the autumn of 2005, the British Columbia RCMP initiated Project E-PANA, created to investigate the unsolved cases of nine missing or murdered women along the Highway 16 route. In 2007, E-PANA expanded their investigations to cover the cases of eighteen women -  13 homicides and 5 missing people incidents, dating from 1969. But it is estimated that over 600 women were murdered in Canada over this period and half the cases have never been solved. The project managed to link DNA to Portland drifter, Bobby Jack Fowler with the 1974 murder of 16 year-old hitchhiker, Collen MacMillen. 

Robert William "Willy" Pickton the pig farmer from hell

Willy Pickton serial killer pig farmer Canada

Another damning example of incompetence by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was the case of Willy Pickton.

Robert William Pickton (born October 24, 1949) of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia was a multi-millionaire pig farmer and owned a property 27km from Vancouver. 

He was to be a prolific serial killer and convicted in 2007 of the second-degree murders of six women. He was also charged in the deaths of an additional 20 women, many of them from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In December 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years – the longest sentence then available under Canadian law for murder.

On February 6, 2002, police executed a search warrant for illegal firearms at the property. After the brothers were taken into custody, police obtained a second court order to search the farm as part of the BC Missing Women Investigation. Personal items (including a prescription asthma inhaler) belonging to one of the missing women were found at the farm, which was sealed off by members of the joint RCMP–Vancouver Police Department task force. The following day Pickton was charged with storing a firearm contrary to regulations but later released and kept under police surveillance.

On February 22, Pickton was rearrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sereena Abotsway and Mona Wilson. On April 2, three more charges were added for the murders of Jacqueline McDonell, Diane Rock and Heather Bottomley. A sixth charge for the murder of Andrea Joesbury was given on April 9, followed shortly by a seventh for Brenda Wolfe. On September 20, four more charges were added for the murders of Georgina Papin, Patricia Johnson, Helen Hallmark and Jennifer Furminger. Yet more more charges for the murders of Heather Chinnock, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving and Inga Hall were laid on October 3, bringing the total to fifteen, making the investigation the largest of any serial killer in Canadian history. On May 26, 2005, 12 more charges were laid against him for the killings of Cara Ellis, Andrea Borhaven, Debra Lynne Jones, Marnie Frey, Tiffany Drew, Kerry Koski, Sarah de Vries, Cynthia Feliks, Angela Jardine, Wendy Crawford, Diana Melnick, and Jane Doe (unidentified woman) bringing the total number of first-degree murder charges to 27.

During the trial's first day of jury evidence, January 22, 2007, the Crown stated he confessed to 49 murders to an undercover agent from the Office of Inspector General, posing as a cellmate. The Crown reported that Pickton told the officer that he wanted to kill another woman to make it an even 50, and that he was caught because he was "sloppy".

Forensic analysis proved difficult because the bodies may have been left to decompose or be eaten by insects and pigs on the farm. On March 10, 2004, it was revealed that Pickton may have ground up human flesh and mixed it with pork that he sold to the public; the province's health authority later issued a warning. Another claim was made that he fed the bodies directly to his pigs.

At a press conference, Deputy Chief Constable Doug LePard of the Vancouver Police Department apologised to the victims' families, saying "I wish from the bottom of my heart that we would have caught him sooner. I wish that, the several agencies involved, that we could have done better in so many ways. I wish that all the mistakes that were made, we could undo. And I wish that more lives would have been saved. So on my behalf and behalf of the Vancouver Police Department and all the men and women that worked on this investigation, I would say to the families how sorry we all are for your losses and because we did not catch this monster sooner".

In October 2010, three years after Pickton was sentenced, pressure from the Vancouver community forced the Canadian government and RMCP to start a missing women's enquiry which concluded that they did not investigate the disappearances properly. Over $100 million were eventually spent on the enquiry and trial. 

The various government enquires finally recommended that:

  • A Shuttle bus transportation system using GreyHound buses be established on route 16 (as of 2017 the bus service is under threat due to budget cuts)

  • Number, type and frequency health and social services be improved

  • RCMP continue its E-PANA investigation into missing women

It is believed that several serial killers have stalked route 16 over the last 30-40 years. The big question remains why is Canada so full of these serial killers in the area to the east of Vancouver. It is purely a response to the way that the indigenous population have been portrayed or something more sinister as a result of genetics and the frontier culture.

Highway of Tears girls don't hitchhike poster

For your own safety, no hitch hiking in British Columbia!