When The Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Serial Killer Cocktail


Rebecca Brass, who who works with victims of sexual assault, was stunned to see an alcoholic beverage called “The Willie Pickton” on the drink menu of a British Columbia restaurant called “Surrey Wings.” It wasn’t the drink itself, which contains  blue curacao, blackberry, melon, orange juice and cranberry and sounds yummy, that troubled her, but the fact that the name honored local serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton, currently serving a life sentence at Kent Institution in the Fraser Valley.

Though Willie was convicted of killing only six women,  the remains and DNA of 33 more were found on his farm. He also confessed  that he had murdered 49 women total, many of them Vancouver prostitutes. Brass, in her role as a sexual assault counselor with Women Against Violence Against Women, personally knows people with family members murdered by Pickton.

She contacted the restaurant’s head office, and the drink was pulled from the menu. Apparently it didn’t appear on the menus of any of the chain’s other eleven locations. “The Willie Pickton” had been placed on the menu by a previous manager. As a way to embarrass the company? As a joke? As a genuine homage? Nobody knows. But the company sent out an internal memo reminding all of  the restaurant managers that drink menus and lists need to be approved by the head office and must be consistent with procedures and guidelines. And that honoring serial killers is discouraged.

Rebecca Brass, unfortunately, couldn’t resist using her temporary spotlight to turn the incident into a broad indictment of the culture and more evidence of the “rape culture,” telling reporters,  “It’s shocking, but at the same time it’s not, because the desensitization of violence against women is real. It’s like society thinks it’s OK.”

You know, she’s right! I’ve been noticing all of those drinks named after the Green River Killer, the Hillside Strangler, the BTK Killer, and Zodiac.

Just joshing: Rebecca is, rather, full of malarkey, and trying to exploit the irresponsible and nasty conduct of one jerk, whose ethics alarms either malfunctioned, or who has none. That’s bad enough. Her suggestion that the offensive drink name indicates a societal-wide belief that killing 49 women is “OK” is irresponsible, and makes me want to chug a “Rush Limbaugh.”


Pointer: Fark

17 thoughts on “When The Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Serial Killer Cocktail

  1. You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one Limbaugh-inspired restaurants named Dittos. I once ate in one against my will, but I don’t recall checking the drink menu.

  2. And then there are these:

    and HITLERWEIN with a picture of Hitler on the bottle… http://www.inostalgici.it/en/component/virtuemart/?page=shop.product_details&category_id=1&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=42

    and this:


    … there’s obviously a market selling to crude people and people who admire evil people. Have you ever analyzed the personality types who laugh at cruel, sexist, and sick jokes? I’ll try not to write anything about Trump supporters…..

    • Oh, please do. I honestly don’t know any, and few surface on the blog. There are some who take a different position from mine regarding the duty to vote against TRump, because of well-founded objections to Clinton, but real Trump supporters? Busted ethics alarms, and more.

      You know, I’m sure, that sick jokes, black humor, gallows humor and the rest have the same psychological benefits, in their place, as horror movies and Stephen King books. In 1968, students at the University of Colorado Boulder named their new cafeteria grill the “Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill” after the infamous cannibal of Western lore. Was that disrespectful of his victims of more than a half century ago? Nah, it’s funny. The pendulum has swung way too far the other way. But by the time Packer was evoked in jest, the story had passed into mythology and lore. That’s a big difference from honoring a man whose victims’ relatives are still around.

  3. Personally, I hate the phrase violence against women. Every time someone uses it, I want to ask them the following:

    “So, you’re okay with violence against men and boys, then?”

    Why can’t we just be people against violence?

    • This opens another area of discussion and immediately brought to mind the criticism against the Black Lives Matter movement, especially of the name. The overlap is obvious. In this country black lives do not matter as much as white lives in the criminal justice system. In another way, not identical but similar, women’s lives don’t matter as much as men’s lives in the criminal justice system. The later has made the news in the past few days when the Justice Department report on the Baltimore police and court system was released showing that cops and prosecutors find excuses not to follow up on rape cases.
      “For one thing investigators found that “only 17 percent of BPD’s rape cases in 2015 were closed by arrest– a rate less than half the national average. And in the course of investigation, detectives ask female victims of assault mindbogglingly insensitive questions.” http://fusion.net/story/335125/12-insanely-horrifying-things-we-learned-from-the-justice-departments-report-on-baltimores-police/
      and this
      “Some Women Won’t ‘Ever Again’ Report a Rape in Baltimore
      The Justice Department found that Baltimore officers humiliated … the department found, rape … Baltimore Police Fostered a Bias Against Women. …”
      Search domain http://www.nytimes.comnytimes.com/2016/08/12/us/baltimore-police-sexual-ass...

      • That’s not evidence of sexism, or that cops hate women…that’s the difficulty of prosecuting and dealing with rape cases, especially in a place like Baltimore where crime is rampant. You may not be aware that prison rape (male victims) goes criminally under-prosecuted as well, and not just in Baltimore.

        Generally, in the public perception, women’s lives do in fact matter more than men’s, and I appreciate that. The male instinct generally is to be more likely to want to protect, defend, and avenge females, who are, on average, physically less able to defend themselves from predatory men. Ironically, it is feminists more than anyone who now want to dissolve that instinct (and all gender imbalances altogether) which would, if achieved, disproportionately harm women.

      • “women’s lives don’t matter as much as men’s lives in the criminal justice system.”
        Yes, but they matter more in divorce court, so everything balances out.

  4. Would it be ethical to name drinks after people who were good at killing soldiers, instead of innocent and largely defenseless victims? We could drink a Lyudmila Pavlichenko, or a Hiromichi Shinohara. I’m no drinker myself, but I’d happily mix up a Simo Häyhä* for anyone who wanted one.

    *The Simo Häyhä would have to contain lots of very strong vodka, to commemorate how good Simo was at killing Russians.

    • War, Tice, is an honorable profession, when conducted by professionals who are interested in keeping casualties on both sides down. When fought by politicians, with political goals as the only concern, it becomes, generally, a bloodbath. Micromanaging a war, as LBJ did, ought to be an executable offense. It never will be, of course, but how about a “Sun Tzu Sunrise”.

  5. The true pathology of Canadian culture is…whatever weapon Pickton used to kill those people. And Canada’s love affair with whatever weapon it was.

  6. Representative Tim Moore sponsored a resolution in the Texas House of Representatives in Austin, Texas calling on the House to commend Albert de Salvo for his unselfish service to “his country, his state and his community.” The resolution stated that “this compassionate gentleman’s dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.” The resolution was passed unanimously. Representative Moore then revealed that he had only tabled the motion to show how the legislature passes bills and resolutions often without reading them or understanding what they say. Albert de Salvo was the Boston Strangler.

  7. Speaking of ethics-did anybody from the restaurant secure permission from Mr. Pickton to use his name? I’m sure that there must have been a license fee and/or royalty agreement, right? Just because you’re a convicted serial killer doesn’t mean that you can’t profit-after all, this is Canada.

  8. I realize that what I’m about to say is 90 degrees off course. I’d like to see a bar prepare me a Bastard Amber Followspot.

  9. For those who are not lepidopterists, it’s a rarely seen luminous species of moth found in the Western Amazon Basin. I always thought there should be a drink named after it.

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