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Key to the Farm
Author's note: it was an assignment for creative writing class
Psychopath; we’ve all heard the term before, but can we truly grasp the meaning? Some words you think of may be: no remorse, shallow emotion, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as normal by hiding emotions and lying about their pasts. You may ask, “So what is the true definition of a psychopath?” That question will soon be answered.
My name is Tyler Reece Lead Investigator of the Missing Women in Eastside Vancouver. December 27th, 1998 I received a call for the murder of a young girl found in a Low tracks alley. Lidia was a 22 year old female prostitute, with long dark brown hair, tall, with piercing green eyes. She was found strangled with a piece of wire and had multiple stab wounds to her back, in an alley on the East side of Vancouver. When my eyes made contacts with her limp, lifeless body, I couldn’t breathe. I froze and chills shot up my spine. I knew her face; I had seen her exactly 4 years and 11 months before her murder.
In the cold and unfriendly month of January, I was brought to the hospital where she had faced a similar fate, but lived. She had multiply stab wounds to her legs and abdomen, one puncturing her left lung. She was found hand-cuffed, drugged, and running for her life. When I asked if she knew who her killer was she said “I don’t know.”
I waited a few days to see if she could remember any details, but her mind was blank. She had been too doped up to even remember why she was in the hospital.
Seeing her again here, murdered, was surreal. When the body was brought in for analysis and her clothing was removed, they made an odd observation. There was a small, silver key with the number “302” engraved in it, taped to her back. I was baffled; when I tried to trace any sort of evidence from the tape, there was nothing. No fingerprints, no hair, no fibers, nothing.
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighborhood in the Province of British Columbia – Or in Canada for that matter. It’s a 10 block urban wasteland, full of rundown hotels, pawn shops, gutters and alleyways littered with garbage, and stained and fractured sidewalks. The Eastside or as it’s more commonly called “Low Tracks” is the heart of Canada’s rock-bottom drug scene. The drug of choice is usually heroin or crack cocaine supplied by the motorcycle gangs and Asian cartels that run the streets. Most women support their habits through prostitution. There have been over 60 disappearances of female prostitutes from the low tracks dating back to 1971.
A group of over 40 detectives and I have been working to solve the odd disappearances of these women. Most of the girls have been reported months, or even years after their disappearances, so finding evidence or witnesses of any kind, was extremely difficult. Lidia had come to see me about a week after she was released from the hospital. She said she was very sorry that she was no help the couple days before. She said she wanted to help anyway she could.
I asked her “What could you do to help? “
She said” Let’s face it; I can go places you can’t, and get information you need. I want to help find the man who did this to me. I have a feeling he might be the same one causing all these disappearances.”
“I appreciate your offer but I can’t agree to this, I’m sorry but I just can’t put another person in danger.”
That night the key had rattled my brain for hours on end; how could someone place the tape so perfectly, without leaving some trace of evidence? Perplexed, I began my search the next day in Lidia’s apartment. There was nothing out of the ordinary; it was a typical apartment of a young adult. It was a small 2 bedroom apartment; the kitchen had bare cupboards, organized piles of mail and magazines on the counters, and a pile of clean dishes stacked in order of size. The house was kept very organized. The living room had a small television, a small couch and coffee table. I walked down the hall towards Lidia’s bedroom and continued looking for anything that was out of the ordinary.
Her room was like the rest of the house, everything had its own place and nothing was misplaced. I entered her room, I felt like something had been missing; the girl who once lived in the house, and slept in the same bed that lay before me. After further searching of her room, I found shoe boxes stacked in her closet, and oddly in the middle of the pile, one box was turned sideways. Inside the box was a book. It read, “Satanic rituals”. My instant reaction was that this book didn’t belong to Lidia, but why was it in her room? I skimmed through the pages and came to a marked off page with the same number “302”. There was an address written on the page: 1302 main street, Eastside Vancouver, British Columbia.
I immediately drove to the address written in the book. It took me to “Eastside Pawn Shop”. There was a short stubby man standing behind the counter that was almost too tall for his stature. I’m assuming this is the manager of the terribly run-down establishment. I asked if he knew any information about Lidia. He replied “Who’s this Lidia? Why would I have known her?”
“She is part of a criminal investigation and your address was found in a note she left behind.”
“I’ve never even heard of a Lidia, but ill check my receipts and see if anything comes up.” He said.
He had nothing in the purchase history. A dead end? No, I was almost positive Lidia had wanted me to find the book, almost like she had set out a trail. I asked about the key, still nothing; in disbelief I sat near a gun case and read the number $301.99. THAT’S IT! I thought. I asked them if any other price tags matched the one on the rifle. He said he had sold a similar hunting rifle at the same price to a man named Peter Murray.
I looked at the files we had on Peter Murray, but all we could find was a hunting license and a land purchase for 15 acres of land far on the outskirts of town. But I still pondered about how the key tied into all this. We tracked down Murray to his trailer home on the property, we asked about his recent purchase and his connections with Lidia. To my disbelief he replied
“That’s my daughter; I haven’t seen her since she moved out at 17. She wanted my forgiveness about her drug abuse, but she’s dead to me.”
I asked if he had any idea of who might have wanted to harm her. His facial expressions didn’t change throughout the conversation; I remember his blank, careless stare. “She’s a druggie. Who knows who she has bad blood with, could be anyone.”
His stare didn’t even change when I informed him about the death of his daughter. His only response was “can you leave so I can hunt now?” I told him that the gun was a piece of evidence and we needed to take it into the lab for examination.
After taking apart the gun, I discovered another clue. Inside the barrel of the gun was a small piece of paper coiled up. I removed the paper, unraveled it and read Bank of security, Vault 302, Madison place, Burnaby. FINALLY! We were getting somewhere with the investigation!
I rushed down to the bank and asked for vault 302.
“Password?” said the guard.
Of course I had no password, why wasn’t it given in the notes? This is going to be impossible, I thought to myself. Wait; just think…what has to do with the key, a book, a father, and 302. The key was found taped to her back, the book was about satanic sacrifices, the father, unforgiving, and 302...the number of the vault for which the password remains a mystery. Wait, I thought; I blurted out “Unsolved Mysteries?”
The guard replied “That is correct.”
Finally! I would see what Lidia was trying to keep safe, the vault was opened all that remained was a small stack of papers.
The first note was a paper from Lidia personally, it read:
I know you said you couldn’t accept my help, but I just couldn’t say no. I know there is a killer, and he will continue attacking women if he is not stopped. I know you’re probably thinking this is Lidia. What Lidia didn’t tell you is that she had a twin. My name is Kimberly. I was the one who approached you trying to go undercover, not my sister. I need you to meet me somewhere safe. No cops involved, just us. And I promise this case will be solved.
I was in complete shock. Why didn’t Murray mention Lidia had a twin? I flipped the page over and discovered an address printed on the back. I decided that this was the best lead I had, and I had nothing to lose. I went to the house outside of Port Coquitlam; I entered the house through the front door that looked as if it hadn’t been used in years. I called out Kimberly’s name and several times “Is anyone there”?
There was no reply, so I continued searching the house. Everything was worn down, and unused. I was questioning whether or not this had been some sick joke. But shortly after I contemplated leaving, Kimberly came up from the basement and apologized because she didn’t hear me from the basement.
“If you don’t mind me asking, you don’t actually live here do you”?
“No, no. Of course not”? She said.
“Then may I ask why are we here”?
“Come I’ll show you”.
We headed towards the basement which was shockingly cleaner than the rest. The right back wall was covered in newspaper articles and written pieces of paper; picture, addresses and timelines.
“What is all this”? I asked
“I’ve been collecting information about the case since my sister’s first attack. She couldn’t bring herself to tell anyone but me who her attacker was, she didn’t want the risk of him finding out she remembered him, but she knew he had to be stopped. You wonder why I’m in this run-down dump. This house has a view that can see into the yard of the Pickton’s. I’m positive he’s responsible for the death of these women and my sister.
I starting asking my sister about her attack and I wrote down everything she told me on this piece of paper, here, read it”.
I remember feeling the effects of my withdrawals starting to kick in and I was desperate for the feeling to just go away. One thing you don’t understand is when you start living off drugs; it makes you sick not to do them. I met up with a group of people saying they were going to “Piggy’s Palace” for a party that was going on. After that I didn’t remember much else. So I went undercover and back to Piggy’s for another party.
There wasn’t too much out of the ordinary just a normal drunken rave that the Pickton’s held every weekend. I had looked at the drug dealers there, but none seemed familiar. I was approached by Robert Pickton, or Willie as most called him and he offered to shoot me up. We left the Piggy’s and went to his trailer that was across the property, I remember seeing huge boars probably 600 pounds patrolling the yard like vicious guard dogs. As we passed his pig pens, I looked at the dozens of pigs gnawing at the food on the ground. When we reached the trailer he did what he said he would and shot me up. He told me since he did me a favor; he wanted a favor in return. He wanted me to sleep with him, so I did. As soon as he had me on the bed, he began choking me. I was in a panic, I always kept a knife with me so I stabbed him in the leg and ran. Before he could catch up with me I ran into the nearby shack…. What I saw next I will never forget. There was a girl, or what was left of one, gutted, and hanging on a butcher hook that hung from the ceiling, I couldn’t believe it I had to get out, I headed back toward Piggy’s while Willie ran the opposite way looking for me. I asked a man for help and he took me out of there and to the hospital, I was extremely lucky.”
I was in shock by her story. It almost seemed made up because it was so outlandish, but what if this was all true?
Kimberly began to speak “ I know this is a lot to take in all at once, but I’ve been watching him for a long time and I’ve learned his daily patterns. What I have isn’t enough to get a warrant, but I know how. And I want you to help. I want to play a prostitute and you need to come in under cover and help make an arrest. Contact you’re team and we will do this tomorrow night. Are you up for it”?
“Okay. Tomorrow it is”. I said
Kimberly and I entered Piggy’s while a group of the law enforcement stayed close by two blocks down. We were doing what everyone else was, drinking dancing, but for our safety, not doing drugs. I saw Willie approached Kim. “Haven’t I seen you before?” He asked.
Then, she froze. He was the one. The one who killed her sister that night, and the one who was going to try and kill her tonight. I said “Yeah I’ve been here the past few weeks; I’ve had a lot of fun. But, I’ve heard about things, really intriguing things”
Willie replies “What is that?”
“I’ve heard you perform satanic rituals, and I really wanted to be a part of one.”
“Well, you’ve come to the right place, theirs a ritual tomorrow at sun down if you are committed as you say, you should join us.
“I most certainly will!”
Kim came and told me it was off and it would be safer to go through with it tomorrow where we for sure will have evidence.
It was the next night fall; Kim and I arrived at Piggy’s Palace. We had gotten there before the others and decided we would try and find some sort of evidence. We managed to sneak passed the boars and go into Willie’s slaughter house. I crept over passed the overcrowded pig pens that smelt of such stench unbearable to anyone human. I snuck over to the small slaughter shack next to the pig pens and quietly opened the door. As a grabbed at the wall searching for the light switch, at that moment I wish I hadn’t. The light flickered on and off till it stabilized at a certain brightness. I couldn’t fathom what I had just seen. Lidia was right.
Across the room on the bloody overused pig hooks, hung a gutted, severed torso. No head, no arms, no legs, blood draining out of what was once a body. I stood there in shock wondering what other horrific evidence would appear. There were body parts in the freezer, mixed with the meat he has sold to the people. I was modified; as I looked deeper, there were 2 severed heads and various body parts, I couldn’t bare to look anymore. I ran out of the shack and ran near the pig pens. I saw what I though was bones of a human and had to take a second look; I had spotted a jaw bone. The pigs had been fed parts of the victims; a blood trail was there from the pig pen to the wood chipper. No, no how could one person be so sickly twisted? Still unaware of our presents, Willie didn’t search for us, but we bumped into another cult member.
“You part of the ritual”? Kim asked
“Of course! Follow me”. He replied
We met with Robert and a group of others; some were older adults, some young in their twenties, and some, just children. As we prepared to start the ritual, the children were placed in a ditch and covered with a dark tarp and a mattress. We continued into the room. There was a huge Pentagram drawn on the floor, because we were new, we were to watch how meetings occurred. One of the children was brought from the ditch, a boy, no older than 12 joined us in the room. All I could hear were mumbling chants along which I could only make out few words…..“Innocent blood for the demon…Our Sacrifice.”
I watched as the boy was killed in the name of Satan, I saw the life drain from his eyes. It was the hardest thing I had ever endured.
“Beautiful isn’t it? The sacrificing we give for our lord.”
”I played along and pretended as if I was overwhelmed by the intensity of it all.”
We have the evidence; now we have to get out I thought. I clicked a button that had been attached to my pager that would send a signal to the other cops down the street.
They stormed in the room and took Pickton away.
“We did it Kim, and if it wasn’t for you and Lidia, this would still be going on”
The next morning, the team and i began the search of the farm; it was just like Lidia had described. There were body parts found in the freezer, and bones found in the pig pens. Finally we got him. We found several I.D.s and purses from the missing prostitutes in Pickton’s mobile home. After days and weeks of searching, we found a total of 48 women that showed up on his farm. Finally the families most of the victims had some type of closure.
Willie said “I’m disappointed in myself, I was so close. My goal was 50…but then I got sloppy.”
This is the true definition of a psychopath.