A 144-page memoir reportedly written by Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton has been removed from Amazon’s website a few hours after going on sale, CBS News is reporting.
Outskirts Press, which published the book, Pickton: In His Own Words, released a statement Monday saying it had asked Amazon to stop sales of the book — at $20.17 — and apologized to the families of the victims and the heartache the book had caused.
The convicted serial killer, 66, who is presently serving a life sentence for his crimes, claims he was innocent and accuses police of framing him for the murders of 6 sex workers after their remains were discovered on his 17-acre pig farm in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
According to CBS News, family members of Pickton’s victims started a Change.org petition to have the book struck from Amazon. A sister of one of the victims, Janet Henry, who went missing after visiting Pickton’s pig farm in 1997, told CBS News “It really disgusts me knowing that the worst serial killer in history has the nerve to write that book and reopen wounds.”
Book written by serial killer Robert Pickton is no longer available online. Amazon has removed book from website. pic.twitter.com/LbzZ2CPvZJ
— CityNews Vancouver (@CitytvNews) February 23, 2016
There is currently no law in Canada stopping convicted killers from publishing books in prison. But more than 50,000 people signed the petition urging Amazon to remove the book from its website “as a sign of respect to the families affected by the horrible crimes and who were still going through their healing processes.”
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told parliament that investigations were underway to find out how the manuscript was smuggled out of the Kent Institution Maximum Security Prison in British Columbia. There is no actual proof that Pickton wrote the book. But British Colombia Solicitor General, Mike Morris, said they are using all available means to ensure that the former multi-millionaire did not profit from the book in any way.
Pickton was only convicted of six counts of second degree murder, 20 other related murders were suspended. Pickton picked up his victims from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and lured them back to his grubby farm with promises of money, drugs, and alcohol. After killing them, he butchered their remains and fed them to his pigs. After his arrest, health authorities issued a contaminated meat advisory to everyone who might have bought pork from his farm, worried that the meat contained human remains.
Pickton was charged with unlawful confinement and attempted murder in the case of sex worker Wendy Lynn Eistetter in 1997. She claimed she had been attacked and handcuffed. Pickton argued that he had acted in self defense and for reasons that remain vague, the charges were dropped. At the time of his arrest in 2002, Pickton had been tied with over 40 disappearances as far back as the 1980s.
Police found 2 skulls in the freezer in his mobile home. An official said “the heads of the individuals had been vertically cut in two. With the skulls were right and left hands and front parts of the right and left feet.” Both skulls carried wounds caused by 22-caliber bullets. Investigators found the weapon, a Smith and Wesson rifle, in the laundry room.
During his trial, videotaped interviews showed Pickton denying he ever knew his victims, asking police officers if he looked like a murderer. Prosecutors say that Pickton told an undercover officer planted in his jail cell that he killed 49 women and wanted to make it ” an even 50″ before he was caught.
Do you believe Amazon was right to pull the serial killer’s book, or should they have left it up for readers to make their own decisions about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Yeamake]