Only a handful of people turned out Tuesday at a planned memorial in Vancouver to mark the one-year anniversary of serial killer Robert Pickton's conviction on six counts of murder.
The memorial to Pickton's victims and the dozens of other women who have disappeared over the years from the city's notorious Downtown Eastside was held in a park only a few blocks from the sex-trade strolls once haunted by Pickton's victims.
About 15 members of the media showed up, but only a handful of friends and family braved a wet, dreary Tuesday to acknowledge the grim milestone.
"We want the world to know that on this day and on every Dec. 9 we'll gather here acknowledging our people that have gone missing and are being continually murdered," said Jayson Fleury, who wore a poster around his neck with a picture of his deceased half-sister, Mona Wilson.
Pickton was found not guilty of first-degree murder but was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Wilson, Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin, Brenda Wolfe, Sereena Abotsway and Andrea Joesbury.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment and will not be eligible to apply for parole for 25 years.
He could face 20 more murder charges, depending on the outcome of appeals in the case that will be heard by the B.C. Court of Appeal in March.
Fleury blamed the inclement weather for the poor turnout Tuesday.
"I think the rain prevented a lot of people from coming out today," he said.
Quietly, one woman later walked into the park and placed a poem at a marker dedicating the park, officially known as Portside Park.
"I knew some of the women," said Selina Barton. "I come here almost every morning.
"I thought there would be more people here. A lot of the women I knew died on the Downtown Eastside," she said.