The latest stage of the trial against alleged serial killer Robert William Pickton wrapped up Monday (November 26) when the defence presented its summary comments to the jury.
Jury deliberations are set to begin at the end of this week.
The case against Pickton - six counts of first-degree murder, with another 20 pending a second trial - is widely considered to be the largest criminal case in the history of Canada. According to journalist Stevie Cameron, who has followed the case since the beginning, the Crown disclosed over 500,000 pages of documents. The farm itself became the largest crime scene in Canada's history, its 16 acres hand-screened in search of bone fragments and other evidence. Cameron writes that though she appreciates the diligence, "I began to feel as if we were being choked with numbers, statistics and little fact nuggets."
Pickton has pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Pickton by the numbers
> Number of Crown witnesses expected to testify during the Robert William Pickton trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster: 240
> Estimated length of the Pickton trial: 1 year
> The years in which Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin, and Brenda Wolfe (the women Pickton is being tried in B.C. Supreme Court for killing) were reported missing: 2001, 2001, 2001, 1998, 2001, 2000.
> Number of days that Pickton was in custody between his arrest in 2002 and the beginning of the trial in 2007: 1,795
> Estimated cost of the missing-women investigation: more than $100 million
> Number of lawyers on the Pickton defence team: 3
> Number of lawyers on the Pickton prosecution team: 7
> Number of summonses to prospective jurors for the Pickton trial: more than 3,500
News: Pickton verdict won't be cause for celebration
Backgrounder: Robert William Pickton backgrounder
Documents: Robert William Pickton's indictment
News: "Women say it's time to heal"
Interviews: "What has changed since women on the Downtown Eastside started going missing?"
Personal: "A rash decision to attend the Robert Pickton trial"
Books: Review of Stevie Cameron's The Pickton File