How Many Victims Did Willy Pickton Really Kill And Feed To His Pigs?

Murderers — at least, those who aren't interested in getting caught — have to go to great lengths to cover up their crimes. Any physical evidence left behind can be enough to put someone behind bars for life, and in some states, can lead to a death sentence. That means that getting rid of the murder weapon, the body, and any other signs of the crime should be the criminal's top priority.

One Canadian murderer had at his disposal the perfect way to get rid of the bodies of his victims. Robert "Willy" Pickton worked on a pig farm, according to Murderpedia, and he may have fed the remains of at least some of his victims to his livestock. Indeed, another, unconfirmed rumor is that he fed ground-up flesh of his victims and combined it with pork from his pigs and gave it to friends and visitors to the farm.

As is often the case with serial killers, the true number of victims of Pickton is unclear. Serial killers sometimes brag about (and exaggerate) the number of victims, and the number Pickton claimed is considerably higher than the number of murders for which he was actually convicted.

Willy Pickton may have killed as many as 49

There are several reasons for the ambiguity about the number of victims of Robert "Willy" Pickton, but one major part of the narrative is the fact that his victims were sex workers and other people who lived on the margins of society, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia. Inasmuch as many of these people have no friends or family to look after them, it's possible that Pickton could have murdered several more women than those for which he was tried and convicted.

Indeed, Pickton was only convicted of six murders, though he was charged with 27 of them. The murderer, for his part, allegedly bragged to a cellmate — actually an undercover police officer — that he killed 49 women, and that he wanted to kill 50 but got caught before he could complete the goal, according to Murderpedia.

As to the number of victims eaten by pigs, that figure could be anywhere between zero and 49 or more. The operation to search Pickton's farm for human remains turned up hundreds of thousands of bits of physical evidence, including DNA samples. However, due to the advanced state of decomposition, it's impossible to say if they'd been eaten by pigs or insects, or decomposed naturally in the elements.