New testimony at the Pickton inquiry suggests police organizations bungled the investigations that eventually led to the arrest and convictions of serial killer Robert Pickton. Detective Constable Lori Shenher of the Vancouver Police broke down at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry as she recounted how her suspicions about Pickton went unheeded by her superiors. Shenher had worked for the VPD on its missing women file between 1998 and 2000, a period in which Pickton went from being a “person of interest” to a “prime suspect.” Thirteen more women went missing between 1999 and 2002, when Pickton was finally arrested. Investigators found DNA belonging to 11 of them on his farm.
Shenher told the inquiry that, between 1998 and 2000, she was the only person assigned to missing people during at the VPD, and worked mostly alone. But she still managed to ascertain that a serial killer could be stalking downtown Vancouver streets, and that it might be Pickton. “I thought ‘Bingo, this is the guy we’re looking for,’ ” she said.
When officers finally went after Pickton in 2002, Shenher said her guilt made her hope he wasn’t responsible. “If it had been someone really tricky or skilled, I could have handled that, but … it was this person that was so in my sights the whole time,” she said.
In December 2007, Pickton was convicted of six counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years .