Cops watched porn, skipped work instead of investigating missing women: Galliford

By SUZANNE FOURNIER, The Province, Wednesday, 23 November 2011

RCMP Cpl. Catherine Galliford, the former calm, professional voice and face of the Missing Women Task Force, said Tuesday she knows her evidence will be “explosive” when she appears at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

Galliford, 44, is slated to testify at the inquiry in January, but says she won’t be testifying for the RCMP, but rather on behalf of the victims.

In an interview, and in a 115-page statement given to the RCMP, Galliford said top Mounties had “enough evidence for a search warrant” of serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm in 1999. From 1999 to 2002 14 women were brutally murdered by Pickton, a fact that haunts Galliford.

She says she will testify that both RCMP and VPD officers, even after the Missing Women Task Force was formed in 2001, engaged in sexual liaisons and harassment, watched porn and left work early “to go drinking and partying.”

“The saddest part of this is that the women who were killed were the most vulnerable people in our society, other than children,” she said.

“I will not be testifying on behalf of the RCMP at the inquiry,” she said, saying her first concern is for people whose loved ones didn’t have to die.

“Tell the families,” said Galliford, her voice breaking, in an interview with The Province on Tuesday. “I’ve got their back.”

Galliford’s statement to the RCMP contains serious allegations that have not been proven.

Galliford, who has been off work for four years with post-traumatic stress disorder, is agoraphobic and reluctant to leave home, but is taking Veterans Affairs’ medical aid, and is “finally healing” and plans to go to law school.

Galliford said she was constantly sexually harassed and bullied by some RCMP officers, although she emphasizes that she also worked with “many fine police officers, both men and women, who cared deeply about missing women.”

Galliford agrees with the conclusions of Peel, Ont., Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans, who has reported to the inquiry that top RCMP and VPD officers on the missing women case displayed “a lack of leadership and commitment.”

When very junior RCMP Const. Nathan Wells finally obtained a firearms search warrant on Feb. 5, 2002, for the Pickton farm, Galliford said, she confronted a top RCMP officer, telling him, “You’ve known this since 1999.”

The officer, who is also slated to testify, ignored her, she said.

“He is a misogynist, which is probably why he blew off the missing women investigation,” said Galliford, noting he got rid of other female officers.

One of the women he “bumped out” had developed a “brilliant protocol” to identify the women’s remains through DNA obtained from Pap smears, she said.

Perhaps the most chilling thing that happened to her, Galliford said, came after the gruesome details had begun to emerge about how Pickton butchered women and scattered their remains at his Port Coquitlam farm or dumped them at an East Vancouver rendering plant, West Coast Reduction.

A group of RCMP personnel were, she said, constantly “making jokes about sex toys,” laughing and giving each other “fist bumps.”

The officers, Galliford alleged, wanted to tell her about “their fantasy.”

“They wanted to see Willie Pickton escape from prison, track me down and strip me naked, string me up on a meat hook and gut me like a pig,” said Galliford, who also recounted the episode in her formal statement to RCMP.

Galliford said one officer did not join in and also was horrified. “He just looked at me, like, ‘Holy crap.’ He didn’t last, either.”

Galliford said she does not want to publicly name the officers to avoid legal repercussions and to help focus on the needs of the victims’ families to finally achieve justice.

Lilliane Beaudoin, whose sister, Dianne Rock, was confined, beaten and raped twice at the Pickton farm before Pickton finally murdered her in October 2001, predicts Galliford “is going to blow this inquiry wide open.”

“My sister would be alive today, along with 13 other women, if the RCMP and VPD cared enough about women going missing from the Downtown Eastside,” said a visibly upset Beaudoin as she read Galliford’s report late Tuesday.

“The real story of why the police let Pickton keep killing our sisters and daughters, when they had evidence about him almost murdering a sex worker at his farm back in 1997, is going to come out, for sure. We are waiting.”

At least 18 women were killed by Pickton after 1998. Vancouver police Deputy Chief Doug LePard has told the Missing Women Inquiry that by then police had “solid, corroborating” eyewitness and informant evidence that Pickton was killing women.

The inquiry is looking into how the VPD failed to stop Pickton from abducting women from 1997 until 2002, when Coquitlam RCMP finally arrested Pickton.

http://www.firstperspective.ca/news/3462-cops-watched-porn-skipped-work-instead-of-investigating-missing-women-galliford.html

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Posted on November 24, 2011, in Indigenous Women, RCMP-Police and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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