The next witness at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry will be Vancouver Det. Cst. Lori Shenher, who had primary conduct of the missing women investigation for the VPD from June of 1998 until late 2000.  Before joining the VPD, she was a Calgary journalist.  She is also credited as a technical advisor and writer on 25 episodes of Da Vinci’s Inquest, where a fictional missing women’s case was a recurring theme on the show.  

In July and August of 1998, Shenher received information from Bill Hiscox that a Port Coquitlam pig farmer named Robert “Willy” Pickton was likely responsible for the disappearances of women from Vancouver’s downtown east side.  She determined that the information was credible, and soon learned that Pickton had been charged with the attempted murder and forcible confinement of a Vancouver sex trade worker the year before.  (The Crown dropped those charges; the Commission is supposed to inquire into the facts concerning that decision)  Although three more informants independently came forward with information fingering Pickton as a likely serial murderer, neither the VPD nor the RCMP apprehended him.  On February 5, 2002, a junior Coquitlam RCMP member investigating an apparently unrelated matter found evidence of some of the missing women on a property owned by Pickton and his brother and sister.  Pickton was subsequently convicted of six murders and twenty other first degree murder charges against him were stayed, the Attorney General decising that “it would not be in the public interest” to prosecute him further. Pickton is believed to be responsible for as many as 49 murders, which would make him Canada’s most prolific serial murderer.  The case reportedly cost Canadian taxpayers as much as $200 million dollars to investigate, prosecute and defend.