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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  44 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
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Published August 13th 2010 by Knopf Canada (first published April 29th 2009)
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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
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
Alacia Barteski
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
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
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
Iona Turner
Congratulations to the author for telling the story without dwelling on gore. The victims in the book are portrayed honestly and respectfully. Highly readable.
Amber
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
Carolyn
"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
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
Anna Phoenix
Dec 02, 2011 Anna Phoenix rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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--
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
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
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
Danie Tanaka
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
Christine
This was a fantastically written account of Robert Pickton's murders of the missing women of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Haunting, harrowing, and at times truly unbelievable, it never felt exploitative of the women's memories, nor did it feel like it left anything out. It is a heartbreaking tale of how the women of the Downtown Eastside were failed by society, by the police force (especially the VPD), and finally by the justice system. They deserved so much better.
Krysten
I went into this expecting to read a book that was equally as disturbing as a lethal marriage about paul bernado and Karla holmolka. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was an in depth look at picktons life and the lives of the women who were killed. I found it more interesting to learn about the individuals than the deeds that took their lives. It was a little long and I only wish they had gone into some more detail about what actually happened to all the women.
Scott Harris
This book is a tragic account of the mass murders of prostitutes in B.C. and the subsequent police investigation that led to the arrest of Robert Pickton. It represents decent true crime writing and provides good information about the process followed by police and crown. Moreover, it is particularly good at trying to surface the accounts of the women murdered, which often get missed in the telling of this particular horrific event.
Scott Harris
Cameron's work has twice won her the Arthur Ellis Award for True Crime writing. This most recent winner is a good book that provides a solid overview into the missing street women of Vancouver and the eventual arrest and trial of Robert Pickton, who will forever be known in Canada as "the Pig Farmer". A horrendous account of ignored stories of missing women that allowed far too many to be killed in this surreal true story.
Rudolfo
Amazing! what a gifted writer.

What goes into the making of a person like this? Well, there are numerous reasons, but one of them is expressed below, in a quote from the book, a neighbour who grew up with Robert:

"'We were all terrible to the Picktons, especially to Robert,'says a doctor's daughter who now lives in Alberta. Part of the reason was that the boys had speech problems...'I remember all of us taunting him'"
Shelagh Plunkett
I bought and read this after hearing Cameron lecture about the experience of writing it. She is an excellent writer who, in this book, managed to present a vast amount of background and detail related to the murder of dozens of BC women. I couldn't put the book down despite the fact that the subject was profoundly disturbing. I think she handled the details of this case with supreme fair handedness and grace.
Eva Fitzgerald
this is one sick person a monster,the things he did to those poor women when he killed them and after they died is so disturbing. he should of been hang.......
Bobi Tychynski
If you can handle reading about deplorable individuals and the deplorable acts they commit, you might consider reading this. What I liked most about this book was the way the author did his best to make it about the women who lost their lives and the people who lived on missing them. That made the story relevant rather than a piece of sensational garbage.
Patrick van Loosen
Took me a long time to get through it as I had to stop every once in awhile to centre myself and say a prayer for my sister in-law who was one of the victims it speaks about in the book.

Gave me a different viewpoint in which to look at what happened and see who were the hero's and who let the murders continue needlessly.

A good read.
Leslie Pauley
I was not able to get past 31% of this book in 7 months. The author goes over every miniscule detail about the victims' lives, and while a memorial is deserved, reading about where every woman went to high school and grew up became tedious and unecessary information. You can get the gist of the story by watching the special on TV.
Drew Zagorski
Mar 20, 2012 Drew Zagorski rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kurt Lichte
Shelves: true-crime, history
Very good book. Author does a great job of humanizing the victims - while they were drug addict prostitutes, they came from somewhere, people that loved them, daughters, sisters, mothers, friends. I think the story could have been a bit shorter though. One of the better true crime stories I've read in a while.
Kathryn Marshall
This is an extensive account of the Missing Women in Vancouver from the Downtown Eastside. It is very detailed and informative on the subject. Not a pleasant subject but certainly shows where the police and others went wrong and dismissed the victims as they were low income and from the eastside.
Carolyn MacDonald
powerful and disturbing. possibly more tragic from a personal note because I live in Port Coquitlam, and grew up around the corner from the Pickton farm. 'folklore' in my town was the those poor women were buried on the property. how could no one have listened?
i am so sorry.
Patricia
This is a behemeth of a book I stopped reading almost halfway through. Very depressing. Her other book on this case, The Pickton Files, didn't affect me this way. The copy I had was called On the Farm, not The Pig Farm as Goodreads has it.
Lindsay Beyerstein
Brilliant book by one of Canada's foremost investigative journalists. Steve Cameron tells the story of Willie Pickton, a Port Coquitlam pig farmer who murdered dozens of prostitutes from Vancouver's Downtown East Side over a number of years.
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