B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton attacked in Quebec prison

Robert Pickton is hospital after an attack in a federal penitentiary. Pickton was convicted of killing 6 women, and believed to be responsible for dozens more. Many of Pickton's victims were Indigenous, sex workers, or both.

Robert Pickton, the convicted serial killer from British Columbia, was attacked by another inmate over the weekend and critically injured in Québec’s maximum Port-Cartier Institution.

A spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec, the province’s police service, said the 74-year-old Pickton was assaulted by a 51-year-old inmate at around 5:15 p.m. ET on Sunday and airlifted to a Québec City hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) confirmed with CityNews that Pickton was the victim of a “major assault,” though the circumstances are unknown.

“We can confirm that inmate Robert Pickton was involved in a major assault on May 19. This assault did not involve any of our staff,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “The safety and security of institutions is paramount, and an investigation into what occurred is currently underway.”

In a news release issued on Monday, the CSC said that the Sûreté du Québec is investigating the incident but did not name Pickton as the victim.

“The assailant was identified, and the appropriate actions have been taken,” the news release states. “In order to improve practices aimed at preventing this type of incident, the Correctional Service of Canada will review the circumstances of the incident and take the appropriate measures.”

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said he was informed of the incident on Sunday and said his thoughts were with corrections staff at the institution.

“One of the primary concerns that I have obviously is around the security of these institutions and the men and women who work in these prisons … these are very difficult and dangerous working conditions. So as I was informed of this incident, I also thought of the women and men who work protecting Canadians in the institution,” he said on Tuesday.

Port-Cartier Institution is a maximum-security federal prison located about 600 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

Prison attack follows statement from Pickton’s family over chance at parole

Pickton was convicted in 2007 of the murders of six women. He was arrested in 2002, and his trial began in 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder in Canada.

The remains or DNA of 33 women, many of whom were taken from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, were found on Pickton’s farm, and he once bragged to an undercover police officer that he killed a total of 49.

Pickton’s confirmed victims were Papin, Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Ann Wolfe and Marnie Frey.

The investigation into Pickton’s crimes was one of the largest in Canadian history. The case led to significant changes in how law enforcement handles missing persons cases, particularly those involving marginalized communities.

In February, family members of Pickton’s victims spoke out after he became eligible to apply for parole, but it’s not known if he ever made an application. 

This forced a dozen mayors from around Metro Vancouver to call on federal Attorney General and Justice Minister Arif Virani to deny Pickton’s chance at parole and reassess the parole and sentencing system for “prolific offenders and mass murderers.” 

The letter stated Pickton’s lack of remorse and the depravity of his crimes make him “irredeemable,” and granting him parole would be a “chilling message” for crime victims. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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