Skip navigation

Week 15: Details about missing woman upset witness

Continued from Page 2

One of the women that Mr. Pickton allegedly murdered, Andrea Joesbury, disappeared shortly after her friend who lived at the hotel was released from jail and returned home.

In response to questioning by one of Mr. Pickton's lawyers, Ms. Major, a spunky elderly woman with straggly dyed hair gathered together in a long ponytail, said she did not see Ms. Joesbury after Ms. Joesbury's friend came back from jail.

"The girls disappear one by one down there," she said. "First you see them and then you don't and you wonder ... they could not all go back home."

Ms. Major also told the court that she never saw Ms. Joesbury with Mr. Pickton and Mr. Pickton never came to the hotel to ask for her.

Court also heard from a superintendent at a rendering plant who said lax security prior to 2002 enabled many people to dump their loads of animal remains with little or no checking of the contents.

Merle Morris, who has been the superintendent at West Coast Reduction for about 10 years, said it was possible for some people who brought animal entrails to the plant for disposal to essentially drive in and dump their loads.

Another employee of the plant, James Cress, told the jury that he knew ``Bob" Pickton and used to pick up barrels of pig remains at the Pickton property.

Mr. Cress recalled that the accused would sometimes help him dump the barrels into Cress's truck.

``Did you ever look in the barrels," asked Crown prosecutor Jennifer Lopes.

Mr. Cress said there were sometimes ``big chunks of pork" and that some were burned black.

Ms. Lopes asked if it was usual to find chunks of pork and Mr. Cress replied ``yes and no," adding that it was usual to use every piece of meat possible.

Mr. Morris told the jury that security at the rendering plant became much tougher in 2002 because of the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001, increasing numbers of mad cow reports and worries about animal activists disrupting operations.

Mr. Morris said the plant hired security guards, added fences and began to pay closer attention to the materials that were brought in starting in 2002.

Mr. Pickton was arrested in February 2002.

A rendering plant, Mr. Morris explained, takes entrails from many different animals, including pigs, cows and sheep, and converts them to meal or tallow for soap and cosmetics after a grinding and cooking process. The material comes to the plant from large operators who gather it at abattoirs, stores and butcher shops, but small operators also use the plant.

The jury at Mr. Pickton's trial heard in the Crown's opening statement in January that it would hear evidence that mr. Pickton regularly used a rendering plant in Vancouver to dispose of pig remains.

The opening statement and a video viewed later by the jury showed Mr. Pickton and an undercover cell plant having a conversation.

In the video, the jury heard the undercover officer tell Mr. Pickton that the best way to dispose of a body is to use the ocean.

Mr. Pickton responds that he did better than that and used a rendering plant.

Recommend this article? 41 votes

Back to top