Canada Pig Farmer Now Faces 22 Murder Charges

This sounds mighty gruesome:

NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Seven new murder charges will be filed against , the pig farmer feared linked to the disappearance of more than 50 Vancouver area prostitutes over the past decade, prosecutors said on Monday.

The charges bring to 22 the number of first degree murder counts against Pickton, and an official refused to speculate if additional counts will be added as laboratories continue to analyze evidence collected in a 21-month search of Pickton's property. . . .

[P]ickton, 54, is accused of being the deadliest serial killer in Canadian history. He has not entered a plea to the criminal charges, but denied any connection with the missing women in a related civil lawsuit. . . .

[A] court order prohibits publishing details of the evidence until his trial, which is not expected to begin until September 2004 at the earliest.

All of the women Pickton is accused of killing were drug addicted prostitutes who disappeared without a trace from Vancouver's poor Downtown Eastside neighborhood.

Police raided Pickton's ramshackle farm in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam in February 2002, and it took crews of archeology specialists until last month to complete their digging up of the 10-acre farm property.

Prosecutors said laboratories are not expected to complete their initial DNA analysis of all evidence collected from the farm until June 2004, although they have begun to use special robotic equipment to handle the material.

"Special robotic equipment"??? Reuters' has the details here via