If police had “adequately” followed up on an informant’s tip, convicted serial killer Robert Pickton might have been arrested in 1999 rather than in 2002.
Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward makes this claim in court documents responding to a defamation suit filed against him and three others by Cpl. Jim Brown.
In his submission this month to the B.C. Supreme Court, Ward states that Brown’s role in the Coquitlam RCMP’s investigation of Pickton “was not minor”.
Ward notes that in 1999, Brown “received highly relevant information provided by an informant, Ross Caldwell, and spoke to Sergeant Field of the Vancouver Police Department about it”.
“The information provided by Caldwell was accurate and, if it had been adequately followed up, might have led to the apprehension of Pickton three years before he was ultimately arrested,” he states.
Ward served as counsel for the families of missing and murdered women during the proceedings of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry presided over by Wally Oppal. In a submission to commission counsel on December 23, 2011, he named Caldwell as a witness who should be called to the hearings. The commission didn’t summon Caldwell.
In his submission to the commission, Ward wrote that Caldwell had informed police that Lynn Ellingson told him she had witnessed Pickton hanging a woman in the barn of the Pickton pig farm in Port Coquitlam. According to Ward, Caldwell also observed handcuffs in Pickton’s trailer, as well as a “special” freezer from which “strange meat” was served.