Manitoba woman ‘without answers’ about sister’s death after serial killer Robert Pickton seriously assaulted

Myrna Abraham felt mixed emotions when she learned convicted B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton is in critical condition, after he was assaulted by another inmate in a Quebec prison on Sunday.

Pickton, a notorious serial killer from Port Coquitlam, B.C., was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of six counts of second-degree murder in late 2007.

The remains or DNA of 33 women, many of whom were Indigenous, were found on Pickton’s pig farm in Port Coquitlam, about 25 kilometres east of downtown Vancouver.

The Correctional Service Canada (CSC) confirmed in a statement Tuesday that Pickton was the victim of a “major assault” at the maximum-security Port-Cartier Institution. Two sources, including one police source, told Radio-Canada that he’s between life and death.

“I was happy, I wanted to celebrate, and then I was angry,” Myrna told CBC on Tuesday. “Angry because we may never ever have any closure for the ones that he did not get charged with [murder for].”

Myrna’s older sister, Sharon Abraham, was a 39-year-old mother of five reported missing before her DNA was found on Pickton’s farm in 2004.

Although the RCMP believe Pickton was responsible for Abraham’s death, no charges were laid.

Since her body was never found, Myrna says Sharon is still considered missing.

“We are without [Sharon], and without answers.”

A woman's picture is seen on a T-shirt.
Sharon’s family buried an empty casket for her with tobacco, letters and hair from two of her children inside, Myrna said. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

They grew up mostly separated from each other, but spent a couple of years together as children. As adults, Sharon spent some time in Manitoba before losing custody of her children, and hitchhiked back to B.C., Myrna said.

Her family buried an empty casket for Sharon with tobacco, letters and hair from two of her children inside, she said.

She felt a bit of satisfaction to learn about the assault on Pickton, but said there’s no real closure for her family unless they find out what happened to her older sister.

“You really don’t get any justice, if he lives or if he dies,” Myrna said. “It just doesn’t feel like enough. It’s just not enough, because you want closure.”

Abraham testified about Sharon during the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and has taken part in countless marches in the decades since her disappearance, even walking as far as Sault Ste. Marie, O.N., and Prince Rupert, B.C., she said.

She says her family has never truly felt able to rest since Pickton’s conviction, because his name would pop up in the media at least once a year.

“It’s like you get a little bit of a sense of relief, and then …. something else happens,” she said

“I had to tuck everything else away so I could raise my children.”