Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women” as Want to Read:
On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  392 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Now that the publication bans are lifted, you need Stevie Cameron to get the whole story, which includes accounts of Pickton's notoriety that police never uncovered. You need On the Farm.

Covering the case of one of North America's most prolific serial killer gave Stevie Cameron access not only to the story as it unfolded over many years in two British Columbia courthouses,
...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 13th 2010 by Knopf Canada (first published April 29th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On the Farm, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about On the Farm

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 922)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
This book was tough going but extremely well researched. I respected the author’s choices in what to include & what to omit, it could easily have been just a litany of gore and depravity - it’s far better than that. I’ll admit to putting off reading this deeply disturbing story of Canada’s most prolific serial killer - knowing it would just fuel my anger & sense of frustration with Vancouver’s Police Department and politicians. For years this city was well aware that women were disappear ...more
Stephanie
Apr 07, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes you through the stories of the missing women and their families alongside Robert Picktons up bringing and family history to the full investigation and hearing that took place. Really unsettling how long this went on for. This story will be remembered in Canadian history forever
Amber
Sep 03, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forty nine drug-addicted prostitutes vanished from Canada's 'poorest post code', and despite numerous missing person's reports made the police were not interested in looking into how and why people's mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts were disappearing.

Rumours spread about 'The Farm' and the things that happened there. One name kept cropping up - Willie Pickton - but still nothing was done. Not until one of his friends needed money and sold him out to the police for having illegal guns on his pr
...more
Alacia Barteski
Sep 17, 2014 Alacia Barteski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It came highly recommended, and as I true crime enthusiast I had truly high expectations.
The amount of information, and NEW information in this book is thrilling. I couldn't put it down. The biographical component is strong; I felt like I got to know both the girls and the Pickton's in a more personal way then I have previously. This book read like a series of facts. If Mr. Cameron has a strong opinion about anyone featured in this book, he does a good job of keeping that fro
...more
Michael
Nov 24, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to learn everything about Robert "Willie" Pickton and the horrible things he did, this book got you covered. 700 pages and never a dull moment. Heart breaking and maddening. People like this guy will make you think that the death penalty is actually a pretty good idea. Crazy guy, crazy story. All I know is, if anyone ever makes ground chuck outta me, and you are unfortunate enough to eat it, considering some of the crazy things I've consumed over the years....that might be a tough ta ...more
Nat
Aug 31, 2015 Nat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s taken me a while to get through this one, not because it has over 700 pages, but because there aren’t enough hours in the day! And most certainly not because I wanted to put it down!!! This would have to be one of the best true crime books I’ve read yet.

If you’re like me and not too familiar with the serial killers in Canada, then I suggest that you make this book your first. Robert William Pickton is one of three sibling born in western canada. He admitted to killing 49 prostitutes, saying
...more
Jules Goud
An excellent book on the crimes of Robert Pickton. An excellent book about the handling of the investigation by the police. An excellent book about the investigation and the victims.

That is my favourite thing about this book. Cameron didn't forget about the victims. Everyone has no problem remembering the murderer, but when it comes to those who are murdered, nobody can name names. Cameron talked about each women and went deeper than just saying that they were prostitutes. She dug into their liv
...more
Aaron Wilkinson
“On the Farm" gives readers an inside look at the people whose lives were affected by the Pickton murders. Robert “Willie" Pickton was convicted of 6 murders, accused in dozens of others and suspected of having killed almost fifty women. The book does a good job of filling in the blanks left by the publication ban placed over the proceedings but doesn't give readers familiar with the case any further insight into the man who could be Canada's most prolific serial killer.

Stevie Cameron takes gre
...more
Thebookmistress
Oct 11, 2010 Thebookmistress rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tpl
The book is very detailed, not in the gross details on the women's deaths, but in life - Picton's childhood, women's paths to Vancouver's East Side, police work to catch a killer. I know a lot more about the case now. And yet, somehow, it was not a satisfactory experience.

My issue, I think, is with what wasn't it the book. First of all, the story is somehow pointless. This may not be the fault of the book, but of the situation. There isn't a conclusion or a thesis, even the putative one of offi
...more
Amy
Though I believe this is one of the most important stories in Canadian history and highlights a major injustice to a neglected segment of our society, I was not a huge fan of the book overall. I felt the author started out strong and really drew me into the landscape and history of the Pickton's and the surrounding community. However, once the author gets into the sequence of missing women, it seems as though she was bogged down by the scale of Pickton's murders and defaulted to a very academic, ...more
Iona Turner
Oct 03, 2011 Iona Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Congratulations to the author for telling the story without dwelling on gore. The victims in the book are portrayed honestly and respectfully. Highly readable.
Ellie
Apr 15, 2016 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to want to read this book. You have to seek it out and set aside a chuck of your life to live with this book. It is a long, frustrating, disheartening, remarkably thorough exploration not just of Pickton's crimes but of the lives of the victims and the systemic failures of our society that made them vulnerable in the first place. The book makes it very clear that his body count (30+) would not have been so large if law enforcement had taken the epidemic of missing women seriously. This ...more
Rheo3000
A good read about a horrifying monster, my main beef is that so much detail in this book is repeated and facts are included that take away from the immediacy of the reporting. For example, the fact that Larry Campbell was the basis for Da Vinci's Inquest was included on about 5 different occasions, when Larry Campbell is not a major player in this recounting. Another example, recounting details from cases that the lawyers worked on in the past - it felt like the author felt tried to tie this cri ...more
Claire
Jun 01, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was there. I remember this. I drove by the farm. I saw the police cars. I read the newspapers. When I heard about all the missing women of the Lower Eastside of Vancouver I initially thought they were a group of sad women who really did not have a fixed address and had no way to be formally determined as missing or not. Or, perhaps they were alive but somewhere else? This book changed me and my view. This story is an example of how a couple of guys and their friends can survive in the fringes ...more
Carolyn
Aug 20, 2011 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver's Missing Women","Stevie Cameron"
"This is a long, thorough investigative report on how the Picton crimes were solved, but more importantly how the case was mismanaged. for years.The reported deserves a lot of credit for not concentrating on the gory, sensational aspects of the crimes any more than necessary, but mainly how the police, especially the Vancouver police department bungled not only through ignorance, but delibera
...more
Cat
Oct 08, 2010 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written a little differently compared to other serial killer non-ficton I have read. It was basically divided into thirds. The first third of the book I liked. It was dedicated to describing Picktons childhood and family life. It was informative and interesting. Gave some insight into the man who would later murder 49 woman. The second part was spent describing and getting to know the victims in depth. It was fairly repetitive as all the victims were prostitutes and usually drug us ...more
Hm
Jan 11, 2016 Hm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly difficult book to read, and not for anyone who avoids descriptive true crime details – especially related to crimes against women. However, it is expertly researched and well written. With a large focus on the women who were ultimately victims, and insight into who they were before they were victimized. I especially appreciated the commentary on how these women were (/are) systemically marginalized and how they were failed by many law enforcement groups, it’s both frustrating and h ...more
Boone
Jun 30, 2016 Boone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the greatest writing, but informative.

It was easy to drift off trying to stay with this book; it could be very harsh and gritty at times and would then just float off into a lot of political gossip and speculation.
Regardless of writing skill, the author spends a good amount of time really bringing the victims' stories to light. This serial killer was a true predator, and tragically succeeded in preying on a group of women that were deemed disposable for far too long. Theirs is a story that
...more
Anna Phoenix
Dec 02, 2011 Anna Phoenix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vancouverites, true-crime fans
I lived in Vancouver at the time this story broke and remember one of the biggest questions being, How could this have gone on for so long before he was caught? Cameron has done a fantastic job of remaining unbiased and presenting all the facts of the case, from Pickton's childhood through to the aftermath of his crimes; she doesn't shy away from being honest about the role of the police department in their delays, the clues and tips they had and why they didn't act on these when they were recei ...more
Jonas Healy
I became interested in this case because I came across some mention of it and found it funny that this wasn't something everyone was talking about as it was happening over the last 10 years. It's funny how ignorant we as Americans are about our neighbors to the north. Being the most prolific serial killer in North American history, you'd think this'd be front page news, and yet, because it happened in Canada, most Americans could give a rats ass.

Regarding the book, if I had to describe it in a p
...more
Ashley D--
Feb 18, 2012 Ashley D-- rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adults
I can't say I enjoyed reading this book. I had to read it near people who would periodically show me pictures of cute things just to get through the brutal details. Even though it had more detail than I really wanted, it wasn't exploitative and it didn't include graphic re-imaginings of the murders. It is a super long book and I wish it had been shorter, but it goes into every single detail of all the events that are or could be related to the crimes that happened. Cameron gives a full picture o ...more
Dianne Westvelt
This is a difficult book to get through. It's filled with facts, and I found that the information was repeated over and over. I am glad I read the book, as I was uninformed as to Pickton's life, his crimes and his trial, and a whole other world of desperation, addiction and depravity that exists right here in Canada. I come away from the book feeling that after society failed these women and Pickton did his worst, our systems of law and justice failed them utterly yet again.
Chantal Bissonnette
Found this book very interesting especially after following the court cases, I only didn't like how much they spoke about the trials I found it got boring after so much reading of it. Large book that I believe didn't have to be that big but still enjoyable
Gossymotto
Jan 30, 2012 Gossymotto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of horror story that you can't make up. Stevie Cameron has done an excellent job in telling the tale of the "Poor Pig Farmer" Robert "Willy" Pickton. Her book covers everything from the first half-skull found in 1995, to the final result in Supreme Court in 2010.

She tells the tale in a Matter-of-fact way with no bias. It's a story that needs nothing added, just the facts are enough. The Author does a proper job in presenting each and every victim in a way that allows the reader
...more
Fishface
Jan 16, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A horrifying read. Well worth a look for anyone interested in police incompetence, victims' rights, marginalized social groups, serial murder, or the lingering question of whether your hamburger is HIV-positive.
Aliea M
A story that needs to be told. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing. Style is good and she paints a clear picture but the writing could drift into political gossip and speculation pretty quickly.
Lindsay
It was a fascinating story but it almost included too much information in over 700 pages. Seems to me this story could have been told in less.
Danie Tanaka
Dec 11, 2011 Danie Tanaka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing and amazingly heartbreaking. Where the book Butcher by Gary C. King tried to find Robert 'Willie' Pickton's past, this book takes an extensive look at every single victim and humanizes them to the reader. It was touching and all the more heart wrenching to read. But these kinds of books are NECESSARY to read. Evil exists in our world. This time some kind of unrelenting evil took over the Pickton farm. The Pickton Farm is an evil unto itself. And the reason we must look at p ...more
Gillian Trommeshauser
Really in depth look at the crimes. Liked how the focus was largely on the victims, they were given a face and a voice!
Justin Wayne
Apr 16, 2015 Justin Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now i know what it was like to see what happened on the farm through my dads eyes wow life changing.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Karla: A Pact with the Devil
  • The Black Donnellys
  • Runaway Devil: How Forbidden Love Drove a 12-Year-Old to Murder Her Family
  • Nice Recovery
  • A New Kind of Monster: The Secret Life and Chilling Crimes of Colonel Russell Williams
  • Missing Sarah: A Vancouver Woman Remembers Her Vanished Sister
  • The Night Shift: Real Life In The Heart Of The E.R.
  • Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
  • When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence
  • Nothing Is Strange with You: The Life and Crimes of Gordon Stewart Northcott
  • Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial
  • Prisoners of the North
  • Through the Glass
  • Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk
  • Loose End
  • Cockeyed: A Memoir of Blindness
  • Disturbed Ground
  • Camouflaged Killer: The Shocking Double Life of Canadian Air Force Colonel Russell Williams

Share This Book