After a swift and stinging response, including a 38,000-name online petition, Amazon has stopped selling a book written by serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton.
Pickton has penned a book from prison, angering families of victims and the provincial government.
Pickton has written a book called “Pickton: In his own words,” which was available on Amazon for a short time Monday for $20.17.
It was listed as authored by California’s Michael Chilldres, who reportedly assisted by typing it up and getting it to a publisher.
Families of victims and the B.C. government reacted swiftly, saying it was an outrage that Pickton could profit from the killings.
An online petition created by change.org, generated almost 38,000 names in a few hours.
By Monday afternoon, Amazon had pulled the book from its list of offerings.
When it was written, or how it landed in the hands of a publisher from Kent Institution, is not clear.
Pickton, 66, is serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of six women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He is suspected of killing another 20.
One of the six women he was convicted of killing was Surrey’s Sereena Abotsway.
The foster child of Bert and Anna Draayers was 29 years old when she went missing in August 2001. At the time, she was living in the Downtown Eastside.
She promised the Draayers she would be home for her 30th birthday, but never arrived.
Sandra Gagnon’s sister Janet Henry used to go to Pickton’s farm and went missing in 1997.
“It really disgusts me knowing that the worst serial killer in history has the nerve to write that book and re-open wounds,” she told CBC News.
The back jacket of the book calls Pickton the “fall guy.”
On Monday morning, B.C.’s Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Morris said in a statement his office was appealing to Amazon to stop selling the book.
“We are taking this very seriously and investigating every means available to ensure that the families involved are protected from further harm and that Robert Pickton will not profit in any way from this book,” Morris said. “It is not right that a person who has caused so much harm and hurt so many people could profit from his behaviour.”
B.C. does not have a laws prohibiting people from profiting by publishing a book about their crimes. The province is now considering enacting such legislation.
~with files from CBC News