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Canadian serial killer fed bodies to pigs

Robert "Willie" Pickton admits to a friend that he has murdered and butchered several prostitutes before feeding parts of their bodies to pigs in his suburban Vancouver farm.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2007 15:00 IST

In sensational and gruesome testimony at the trial of accused Canadian serial killer Robert "Willie" Pickton, a former friend told jurors that Pickton admitted to him that he had murdered and butchered several prostitutes before feeding parts of their bodies to pigs in his suburban Vancouver farm.

Canadian media outlets reported that Andrew Bellwood, who worked for Pickton and lived at the farm for three weeks in 1999, testified that Pickton told him that he had strangled numerous prostitutes after luring them to his farm from Vancouver's troubled downtown Eastside neighbourhood with promises of money and drugs.

Bellwood, 37, testified that the admission came as the two watched television in Pickton's mobile home.

The 57-year-old alleged serial killer confided that he would handcuff the women while they were having sex and strangle them to death before taking them to a slaughterhouse on the farm where he would hang, bleed and gut the bodies, Bellwood said.

He claimed Pickton told him he was shocked at how much the women bled when he butchered them.

Bellwood testified that parts of the remains would be fed to Pickton's pigs. What the pigs left behind was mixed with animal remains and sent off the farm.

Bellwood, who told the court on Monday that he battles crack cocaine and alcohol addictions, is the last major witness for the prosecution in the trial, which began in January. He told the court on Monday that he never hallucinated during his cocaine binges, which would often last several days.

The defence had attempted to discredit an earlier witness who had also used drugs. Earlier this month, Lynn Ellingsen, a crack cocaine addict and former friend of Pickton who frequently stayed at the farm, testified that she stumbled on a blood-soaked Pickton butchering a woman hanging from a chain in the slaughterhouse.

In cross-examination, Pickton's defence team put forward the idea that Ellingsen, who admitted to being on a drug binge at the time, mistook a butchered pig for a person.

Pickton is facing trial for six murders. He will face another trial next year for the murders of 20 other women.

In January, prosecutors alleged Pickton told police that he had committed 49 murders, one short of what he allegedly said was his 'cut off' of 50. Pickton has denied the charges.

The trial, expected to be the longest and most expensive in Canadian history, is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the year.

If convicted at both trials, Pickton would be Canada's worst serial killer.