Son of Pickton victim supporting Myran family during Winnipeg serial killer’s trial

Casey Abraham wanted to help because his mom was murdered by Robert Pickton

son of Pickton victim

Casey Abraham, whose mother was murdered by B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton, with his dog, Devo. Photo: Kahtleen Martens/APTN News

Warning: This story shares graphic details of murder trials. Please read with care.

Casey Abraham has sat through the criminal trials of two serial killers.

The first, Robert Pickton, who killed his mother, Sharon Abraham of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba.

The second, Jeremy Skibicki, murdered his friend’s sister, Marcedes Myran of Long Plain First Nation, also in Manitoba.

“Never in my life did I think that I would be involved in another serial killer situation,” said Casey, 35, after the Skibicki trial wrapped up in Winnipeg on June 10.

“It’s not a pattern that I hope keeps up.”

Sharon Abraham in front of the Vancouver Aquarium with her son, Casey, (left) and eldest daughter. Photo: Courtesy Casey Abraham

In 2004, Casey’s world was shattered when homicide investigators from Vancouver, along with victim services workers, knocked on his foster family’s door outside Winnipeg.

“My mind started reeling because a week before that, I was in high school, we were all passing around the paper about Pickton and we’re all discussing this … something that I had no idea my mom was involved in.”

Sharon, who lived in New Westminster, B.C., had been reported missing by her roommate.

Police told the oldest children they found her DNA – along with the DNA or remains of 32 other women, many of whom were Indigenous – on Pickton’s pig farm in Port Coquitlam outside Vancouver.

“My sister crumpled in my (foster) mother’s arms … I remember getting very, very angry that my sister was so upset.”

An undated photo of Sharon Abraham of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. Photo: Submitted

Casey said his mother, who was 39, had returned to B.C. after losing custody of her five children in Manitoba.

“We were in and out of foster care our entire lives,” he said in an interview. “They made her jump through a lot of hoops in order to get us back. After a while it just becomes too painful or too hurtful.”

Children from First Nations families make up the bulk of cases in Manitoba’s child-welfare system, statistics show. Advocates say when children are apprehended, mothers lose family benefits and housing, throwing them into poverty and onto the street.

Mental health issues and drug addiction made his mom even more vulnerable, added Casey.

“The stories that I hear from people who knew her (are that) she was a very loving mom. That’s all she wanted was to have us all together.”

Sharon Abraham with her son (left) and eldest daughter. Photo: Courtesy Casey Abraham

The victims of Pickton and Skibicki, who preyed on homeless women, are part of the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) in Canada.

“I was in Grade 9 and (police) asked us to (give) a blood sample,” said Casey. “Basically, (they said), ‘We have an idea that your mom was on his farm.’ They just wanted to match up some of the DNA.

“They kind of told us, ‘We’re pretty sure he’s responsible for the death of your mother.’”

There wasn’t enough evidence to charge Pickton, who had bragged about killing 49 women, with Sharon’s slaying. He was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder in 2007.

The ordeal led Casey into his own battle with addiction that he’s beaten for now.

son of Pickton victim
Sharon Abraham holds her son Casey, who was born in B.C. Photo: Courtesy Casey Abraham

But he said it was the prophetic words of a youth camp counsellor that ultimately set him on his healing path.

“In some weird way, I kind of forgave (Pickton) for what he did because I knew that I would sit there for the rest of my life, destroying myself,” he told APTN News. “I hear stories from other people, where they want to rip off his fingernails and do exactly what he did. And that’s kind of almost thinking the same as him.

“I knew it would destroy my life and I didn’t want to end up in, perhaps, the same situation if alcohol and drugs had taken me there.”

Honouring his mom

Casey does remember a nightmare he and his older sister shared about a field of bodies with his mom’s hand reaching up.

“I did feel, I guess, guilty at some point that there wasn’t anything I could have done to have brought her out of that place. That’s why I felt the pull to get involved with Camp Marcedes.”

Casey volunteered for 100 days at Camp Marcedes on the grounds of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in downtown Winnipeg. The camp was named in honour of Marcedes Myran, one of four First Nations women slain by Skibicki in 2022 and one of two victims whose remains are believed to be in the Prairie Green Landfill outside the city.

The camp, which the family closed last month, was there to pressure politicians into searching for the women’s remains and educate visitors about MMIWG.

It’s where Casey became friends with Marcedes’ sister, Jorden Myran, and eventually shared his personal experience.

“I didn’t tell anybody my story or why I was there for a very long time because I wanted them to know I was just there to help them and support them,” he said. “I think because I wasn’t able to do anything for my mom – because I was so young – that this was a way of honouring her as well.”

Read More:

               Skibicki ‘would have done it again,’ says psychiatrist at self-confessed killer’s trial

Casey said he would have liked to search Pickton’s farm for his mother’s remains and wants to help with the recently announced search of Prairie Green if the Myran family approves.

Being at the camp “was healing,” he said. “There was something about having your bare feet to the ground there … I felt 100 per cent better as a person being there.”

Casey, his older sister and his aunt attended the Pickton trial for three months with the costs covered by B.C. Justice.

He said Pickton was shielded behind a bulletproof glass wall while sitting inside a bulletproof glass box, unlike Skibicki who observes the proceedings from a prisoner’s box flanked by two Sheriff’s officers.

“I was just shocked that he was just out in the open and so close to us,” said Casey, who sat behind Marcedes’ grandmother in the front row. “I felt a little queasy the first day.”

son of Pickton victim
Sharon Abraham with her son, Casey. Photo: Courtesy Casey Abraham

He advised the family not to look at the killer when he was being escorted into and out of the courtroom.

“I said, ‘Keep space for yourself and your mental health.’ We would sit behind them so we knew when their bodies were starting to shake and rub their back and make sure they get some water.”

Seeing Skibicki being served water in the courtroom was upsetting for Casey.

“He’s on trial for ending the lives of four Indigenous women who can no longer have a glass of water but he can? He should have gone thirsty as well.”

Skibicki, 37, has admitted to killing Myran, Morgan Harris, Rebecca Contois and a fourth yet-to-be identified victim known as Buffalo Woman, but his lawyers have argued he should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

Meanwhile, Pickton died last month after being violently attacked by an inmate in prison.

“With him getting murdered in prison that’s even more closure,” noted Casey. “I was ecstatic.”

The Skibicki verdict is expected to be delivered on July 11.

Support is available for anyone affected by these reports and the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people. Immediate emotional assistance and crisis support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a national hotline at 1-844-413-6649.

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