Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Graphic testimony heard in Vancouver trial of serial killer

AP , NEW WESTMINSTER, CANADA

The star witness in the trial of accused Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton testified on Monday that she walked into the barn at his suburban pig farm to find him covered in blood and a woman's body hanging from a chain.

"There was blood everywhere," Lynn Ellingsen told the court. "He told me if I was to say anything, I would be right beside her."

Ellingsen said she recognized the woman's body as that of a prostitute they had picked up earlier that night. She did not say when the event occurred.

Ellingsen did not call police at the time of the crime and only told police officers her story in 2002 after she was picked up in connection with the crime.

Pickton, 57 is being tried on the first six of the 26 charges of first-degree murder he faces in the deaths of women from the seedy Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancourver -- most of them prostitutes and addicted to drugs.

Pickton denies guilt, though he has acknowledged that human remains were found on the property he co-owns with two siblings in Port Coquitlam east of Vancouver.

Ellingsen, a former sex worker who lived at Pickton's farm for a month, testified that while she was staying there she went for a drive with Pickton one night to pick up drugs and a prostitute. When they returned she went to bed after smoking crack cocaine.

She said she was awakened by a noise and went to the barn, where a woman was hanging "the same way [Pickton] hangs his pigs."

Ellingsen says she remem-bers seeing the woman's feet at eye level and that her toenails were painted red.

Ellingsen acknowledged that she has a long history of drug abuse, including smoking crack , but insisted that the drug "doesn't make you hallucinate" and "doesn't make you see things that are not there."

Ellingsen glanced only briefly at Pickton as she identified him in court, and he looked at her for only a moment.

Ellingsen was among three people arrested but never charged in the deaths of women.

Prosecutors said when the trial opened Jan. 22 that Pickton told an undercover officer he killed 49 women and was caught before he could reach his goal of 50.

Witnesses have testified that three womens' heads were found in buckets at the farm.

Though Pickton has been charged with the deaths of 26 women, almost 40 names remain on an official police list of women who have been declared missing. The investigation into their disappearances is still active.

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