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Week 1: Case set out before jury

Continued from Page 1

Police found the severed heads, hands and feet of Ms. Joesbury and Ms. Abotsway stuffed into two white five-gallon plastic pails lying on their side in a chest freezer at the back of a workshop on Pickton's suburban farm.

One pail was inserted into another. The uppermost bucket had the decomposed partial remains of Ms. Joesbury, her head cut vertically in two. Her left and right hands and the front part of her left and right feet were also in the bucket.

A bullet had entered the right rear of the head and exited through the left eye. Her jaw was divided by two cuts, one through the jaw and face up to the front of the bone near the top of the head and the second through the rear of the skull extending to the top of the head. The skull fractured where the two cuts ended. Police also found one of Ms. Joesbury's teeth in the bucket, court heard.

When police separated the buckets, they discovered the head, hands and feet of Ms. Abotsway in the bottom one. A cut had been made along the rear of the head, moving across the skull and stopping on the right of the forehead above the right eye. A second cut went through the centre of the face, stopping in the middle of the forehead. Court heard that police also found evidence of a decapitation between second and third vertebrae and a gun shot wound in the head.

Also, a shot had entered the head at the ear, passed through the brain and lodged in the lower section of the skull, Mr. Prevett told court. A .22 calibre bullet was recovered from the bucket, he said. The severed heads, hands and feet of Ms. Wilson, were found in a garbage pail outside a slaughterhouse on the pig farm. The skull had also been vertically bisected and a bullet had penetrated the back of the head. A bullet was recovered in the frontal lobe of her brain.

The Crown said police found only jawbone fragments of Ms. Frey and Ms. Wolfe. Ms. Wolfe's lower jawbone, with five teeth, was found in dirt and debris in a trough beside the slaughterhouse. A fragment of Ms. Frey's jaw with three teeth was found on the farm during an intensive excavation of the grounds.

Mr. Prevett also told the jurors that investigators found one bone from Ms. Papin's hand among a number of bones mixed with debris and manure in a pig pen outside the slaughterhouse of the Pickton farm. They did not find any other body parts of the six women.

But they found personal belongings of some women in Mr. Pickton's trailer, including Ms. Abotsway's asthma inhaler and Ms. Joesbury's date book. The investigators also found a .22 calibre revolver on a shelf above the furnace in the laundry room of the trailer. The barrel of the gun had a dildo (a sex toy) stretched over it. The upper portion of the dildo yielded DNA profiles of both Mr. Pickton and Ms. Wilson.

Earlier, Mr. Prevett said the evidence will prove the women were murdered and Mr. Pickton murdered them over the course of several years.

He told court Mr. Pickton took women to his home in the isolated acreage in Port Coquitlam. "There, the Crown intends to prove, he murdered them, butchered their remains and disposed of them. He had the expertise and equipment for the task. He had the means of transportation available and the means for the disposal of the remains."

The arrest of Mr. Pickton and the subsequent discoveries of female body parts occurred in 2002. By then, dozens of women from the Downtown Eastside had been reported missing. The women — largely drug-addicted prostitutes — began vanishing in the late 1980s. For years, their families and advocates complained that police did not take the disappearances seriously.

RCMP Inspector Don Adam, the first witness to be called, confirmed that suspicion.

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