After 28 years with the Vancouver Police Department, Dave Dickson continues to work with men and women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, known as the poorest postal code in Canada. This area has people living in extreme poverty, hunger, mental ill health, and isolation. Dave has been recognized for his work in this community. He has won nine awards including The Queens Jubilee and an international safety award – for creating a safety program for survival sex workers. He brought a list of women who had not picked up their welfare checks to the attention of the VPD. That act eventually led to the arrest of Robert Pickton the serial killer who was charged with second-degree murder of six women.
Robert William “Willy” Pickton (born October 24, 1949) in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia is a Canadian serial killer convicted in 2007 of the murder of six women. He was also charged with the deaths of an additional 20 women, many of them from Vancouver Downtown Eastside; however, these charges were stayed by the Crown in 2010. In December 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years – the longest sentence then available for murder under Canadian law.
During the trial’s first day of jury evidence, January 22, 2007, the Crown stated that he confessed to 49 murders to an undercover agent from the Office of Inspector General, posing as a cellmate. The Crown reported that Pickton told the officer that he wanted to kill another woman to make it an even 50, and that he was caught because he was “sloppy.”