Forensic unit assisted RCMP in one of the largest criminal investigations in Canada
Back in 2003, the RCMP forensic service was working on the Robert William Pickton murder case. Pickton was eventually convicted of six counts of second-degree murder and given multiple life sentences in relation to the disappearance of women in the lower mainland of BC.
The RCMP asked the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch’s forensic unit to help identify some biological samples obtained from a search warrant executed at the Pickton farm in British Columbia. The forensic unit has extensive experience and expertise in identifying what species even the smallest tissue samples came from. The samples were analyzed using the same kind of test regularly used in wildlife crime investigations, which follows the accepted protocols for all criminal forensic investigations.
Tom Packer, a forensic biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, was then subpoenaed to the trial of Pickton in New Westminster, British Columbia. He was qualified as an expert witness in protein identification and testified about the results of his analysis.
Although this case was very different from the usual investigations undertaken by the forensic unit, they bring the same level of professionalism and skill to each and every case that comes before them. In fact, Tom Packer recently received a commendation from the RCMP for his contribution to the case.
It reads: “As a forensic biologist, Mr. Packer worked with the forensic laboratory services for the Missing Women Task Force to assist in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. His expertise and exemplary work ethic bring credit to himself and to Alberta fish and wildlife.”