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Serial killer inquiry slams police

A report said 11 women might never have been victims of Canada's worst serial killer had police acted on evidence four years before his arrest.

A Vancouver Police Department internal review into convicted killer Robert Pickton's case file said the women went missing after the city's police force first forwarded information about Pickton to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1998.

The report comes three weeks after Canada's top court denied Pickton's final appeal.

The farmer was convicted in 2007 of butchering six women and feeding them to his pigs.

Pickton, who killed his victims at his farm in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam, was also accused of 20 other killings, but those charges never went to trial. Police have said it is Canada's worst serial murder case.

Pickton had confessed to an undercover police officer planted in his cell that he had killed 49 women and intended to keep killing.

The 450-page report blames the Vancouver police force and the federal police body for errors that prevented either police force from arresting Pickton after he had been tagged as a prime suspect in 1999 as police investigated reports of missing sex workers.

The report said Pickton was interviewed by the RCMP in 2000, and the farmer consented to a search of his land, but no search took place.

The RCMP eventually entered the property in 2002 as a result of a firearms warrant. During that search, they found identification belonging to some of the missing women.

They then conducted a following search under a murder warrant and uncovered the remains and DNA of dozens of women.

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