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The Pickton File [Paperback]

Stevie Cameron
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 30 2007
Stevie Cameron turns her renowned analytical eye from the "crooks in suits" of her previous books to the case of Vancouver's missing women and the man who has been charged with killing 27 of them, who if convicted will have the horrific distinction of being the worst serial killer in Canadian history.

It's a shocking story that may not be over anytime soon. When the police moved in on Pickton's famous residence, the "pig farm" of Port Coquitlam, in February 2002, the entire 14-acre area was declared a crime scene -- the largest one in Canadian history. Well over 150 investigators and forensics experts were required, including 102 anthropology students from across the country called in to sift through the entire farm, one shovelful of dirt at a time.

A woman who is considered by many to be this country's best investigative journalist, Cameron has been thinking about the missing women of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside since 1998, when the occasional newspaper story ran about families and friends of some of the 63 missing women agitating for action -- and being ignored by police and politicians. Robert William "Willie" Pickton has been on her mind since his arrest, that February five years ago, for the murders of two of the women, Mona Wilson and Sereena Abotsway, both drug-addicted prostitutes from the impoverished neighbourhood where all the missing women had connections.

Living half-time in Vancouver for the last five years, Stevie Cameron has come to know many of the people involved in this case, from families of the missing women to the lawyers involved on both sides. She writes not only with tireless investigative curiosity, but also with enormous compassion for the women who are gone and the ones who still struggle to ply their trade on the Downtown Eastside.

"We had no idea [in 2002] how massive the investigation would be. We had no notion that the police would sift every inch of dirt on the Pickton farm, a process that lasted from the spring of 2002 to late 2004. We did not foresee the broad publication ban that would prevent any word printed or broadcast of what was being said in court in case it influenced a potential juror. We couldn't know that there would be, by 2006, 27 charges of first-degree murder against Pickton and that the police would continue to investigate him on suspicion of many other deaths. And we didn't know that the police and other personnel involved in the case, under threat of ruined careers, were forbidden to talk to reporters. In blissful ignorance, all I could do was begin…"
--Excerpt from The Pickton File

Frequently Bought Together

The Pickton File + On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women
Price For Both: CDN$ 32.21

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Product Details

Product Description


Praise for Stevie Cameron:
"The finest investigative reporter in the land."

About the Author

Stevie Cameron is the multi-award-winning author of four bestselling books, including The Last Amigo, Blue Trust and On the Take. She is a graduate of UBC and lived in Vancouver for several years. She heads up an Out of the Cold program, where food and shelter are provided to more than 250 homeless men and women in Toronto, where she now lives.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst Aug. 2 2007
This is one of the worst books I have read this year. The author, Stevie Cameron, had been commisioned to write this book in 2002 when evidence of Robert W. Pickton first came to light. It seems as though Kroft Canada put a deadline in place for the book to be finished regardless of the details of the Pickton case. As the crown case against Pickton is still in trial, much of the details of the evidence and the facts surrounding the case remain under a publication ban. Therefore Ms. Cameron filled her book with few details about Robert Pickton and facts or stories surrounding the case, but many uninteresting memoirs of how she spent her time in Vancouver and personal refections of her family during those years. I have learned more about Robert W. Pickton in a single National Post newpaper article than I did reading this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book about writing the book? Aug. 22 2007
By Deb H
This book had a very odd release date...given that the trial is ongoing and we cannot know the outcome, it's rather dissatisfying. I suppose it was always going to be! It's almost as though it was thought that enough time had already been spent and that the book must be therefore be published anyway. I see Stevie Cameron has "The Pig Farm" due to be published next year, presumably wrapping up with the verdict and an indepth analysis of the case.

This book is the story of how the author approached her research and her own experiences in examining the case (complete with struggles with housing and car troubles), which was interesting to a certain extent but not what I expected. I (perhaps naively) expected more details about Pickton's life during the years the women were going missing, the case against him, how the investigation was carried out, possible accomplices or defences...

I feel rather short changed and wish I'd waited for "The Pig Farm"...(or read the Vancouver Sun's archives instead?)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Dec 25 2007
Having read a lot of material about the Robert Pickton case, I was very excited to dive into this book, and get to know more about the man convicted of killing six women.
However, I found myself learning more about the author and her journey to dig up information - very little of which was actually included in the book.
There were little tid bits here and there about Pickton's life as a child, and his interactions with others. But they were few and far between, and the author skims through them, to get back to writing about herself.
She mentions many times that she can't tell us much about the case because of the publication ban. I don't know what that ban includes, but I would have relished in Pickton's back story. His childhood, teenage life, social life, and exactly how police tore up the farm piece by piece.

Instead this book almost seems like a teaser for what will surely be a series of publications on the subject.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Jan. 31 2009
I have not read a book in a long time that I was looking forward to finishing, but this is one of them. I have found myself skipping paragraph after paragraph, trying to get back to some inkling of what I bought the book for, to learn more about this case.
Just about the time she gets back on track, off we go again to her world, the apartment hunting, problems with the leaky windsheild in the jeep, what she ate for lunch, and on and on.
Some have said that she had to "fill" pages because there was a publication ban of the trial on at the time.
I agree that she deliberately "filled" pages.
If it was because she could not keep on subject for lack of material, then I would question her credibility as an author, and her motives, for releasing this book, when she has already proposed to release another book after the trial.
Sounds like "double dipping" to me (at my expense).
If not, then I would have to say the she is pretty much "full" of herself
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading Nov. 20 2010
This book was released while the court imposed publication bans were in place. So do not buy this book thinking you will learn all the gory details surrounding Willy Pickton and his deviant behavior. The Pickton File will introduce you to the cast of characters, locations etc. and will give the reader a better understanding of the case, thus preparing them to read "On the Farm" also by Stevie Cameron once a majority of the publication bans were lifted. Essential Reading if you want to fully understand the Crowns case (R v. Pickton.)
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