'Creepy' millionaire pig farmer threw raves on his land - but some guests never left

Officials believe Pickton mixed the remains of some of his victims with pork sold at the farm
-Credit: (Image: TS/Keystone USA / Rex Features)

A millionaire farmer ran massive raves on his property, but behind the scenes held a dark secret which had fatal consequences for some of his guests.

Robert Pickton was initially arrested for the attempted murder of a sex worker in March 1997. However, he was later released when law enforcement deemed the sole witness, who suffered from substance abuse issues, to be unreliable.

Five years elapsed before the true nature of Pickton's deeds came into light. He he confessed to slaughtering 49 women in and around the Canadian city of Vancouver.

"They got me," he told detectives. "I was kinda sloppy at the end, getting too sloppy. I was going to do one more to make it an even 50"

Pickton chillingly confided in an undercover officer about his preferred methods of corpse disposal. The conversation took a terrifying turn when Pickton boasted that he'd outdone the cop's suggestion of discarding bodies at sea.

Instead, the pig farmer gloated: "I did better than that a rendering plant."

The tale turned even more macabre after the Canadian government issued a public health warning upon finding evidence indicating that Pickton may have ground human remains and mixed it with pork from his farm, subsequently sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Investigative podcaster Christina Randall delved into Pickton's past, stating: "Robert and his younger brother David began working at the family pig farm at a very early age and they worked hard."

"Their mother Louise was known to be very strict and demanding of them and forced Robert and his brother to work very long hours."

Pickton's life took a dramatic turn when he lost both parents within a year during his late twenties, inheriting a lucrative agricultural business with his brother. The siblings cashed in part of their estate for $5m, securing a comfortable lifestyle while they ran the pig farm.

A former employee described the Pickton farm as a "creepy-looking place", noting that a massive boar was kept as an unconventional "guard dog".

Christina recounted a witness's impression of Robert, saying: "Robert was a pretty quiet guy who was hard to strike up a conversation with even if you talked to him and you tried to it was just really short one-word answers."

From childhood, Pickton was known to be introverted and had an unusually close bond with his mother, a formidable woman. Christina shed light on a grim incident from the past, suggesting the mother's potential influence on her son's darker tendencies.

She revealed: "Back in October of 1967, David was driving his father's truck just after getting his driver's license when he ended up hitting a 14-year-old boy named Tim Barrett who was down the side of the road when David hit him."

In a state of panic, David rushed to inform his mother about the incident. However, instead of calling an ambulance for the severely injured boy, Christina claims that Louise tossed him – still alive but in dire need of medical help – into a pond.

"When they did an autopsy on his body they found that he had passed away from drowning," Christina revealed. "Which means obviously that he had not passed away before he was put in the water. His injuries were really severe but they would not have ended his life if he had gotten the medical attention that he needed."

Upon receiving their inheritance, the two brothers started throwing massive parties for up to 2,000 people in the farm's slaughterhouse, inviting a diverse crowd of Hell's Angels and sex workers to the raucous all-night raves.

Some of those invited never returned home. One woman, a sex worker named Wendy Lynn Eistetter, recounted how Pickton had attempted to stab her after handcuffing her.

It was only after a lengthy struggle that she managed to seize the knife and stab her attacker. A police investigation determined that Eistetter was a drug addict and therefore unlikely to be a credible witness, so no charges were filed.

Five years later, police arrived at the Pickton farm following reports of illegal weapons being stored there. After finding evidence linking Pickton to a missing woman, Sereena Abotsway, a more comprehensive investigation was initiated, leading to some gruesome discoveries.

A loaded pistol with a dildo attached to the barrel was found in Pickton's trailer he had apparently been hoping the sex toy would function as a crude "silencer."

In freezers dotted around the farm, forensic experts discovered the fragmented remains of at least six sex workers who had vanished from nearby Vancouver between 1997 and 2001. In some instances, their heads were sawn in half and their hands and feet were placed inside their skulls.

Christina revealed Pickton's particularly macabre method of disposing of the bodies: "He would either take the bodies to a meat rendering plant or he would grind them up himself and feed them to the pigs on his farm."

"Because the professionals knew that he was capable of grinding human meat the government reported that Robert had may have actually ground up human flesh mixed it with pork and sold it to the public for years."

The Canadian authorities admitted uncertainty over how much of the flesh from Picton's victims might have been combined with pork sold from the farm. Dr. Perry Kendall, speaking to journalists, said: "We can't rule out the possibility of cross-contamination," adding, "It's very disturbing to think about, but [there is] the possibility of some cross-contamination. But the degree of it or when or how much we really don't know."

Despite being associated with over 40 murders and confessing to 49, Pickton was ultimately found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder sufficient to imprison him for life.

His life came to an end on May 19 this year when he was assaulted by a fellow inmate at the Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec. The assailant, Martin Charest, is said to have "speared" Pickton in the head with a "broken broom-handle".