As the year draws to a close, a look back at the top news stories includes a serial killer, the Spice Girls and growing Olympic excitement. Here is a review of what made the news in 2007.


Dec. 10 — Pickton gets life



undated television image

Robert Pickton, seen here in his Port Coquitlam home.

After a nearly year-long trial, on Dec. 9 Robert Pickton was found guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women who disappeared from the Downtown Eastside. A judge ordered the 58-year-old serial killer to serve 25 years before being eligible for parole, drawing cheers from the victims’ families who waited several years for justice.

Dec. 2 — Spice Girls

rafe arnott/metro vancouver

Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls at GM Place.

Perhaps the biggest girl band of all time, the Spice Girls, kicked off its 45-show reunion tour in Vancouver at a sold-out GM Place on Dec. 2. The girls sparkled in gold and bronze outfits by Italian designer Robert Cavalli and performed a selection of their greatest hits.

Summer, fall — Strike

rafe arnott/metro vanCouver

D’Arcy Stainton, with CUPE 391, outside the Vancouver Public Library main branch.

About 6,100 civic workers — inside, outside, and library — walked off the job on July 19. Vancouverites were left without garbage pickup, community centres, libraries, park services, and a multitude of municipal services. The strike dragged on for 82 days, until inside workers finally settled on a 17.5 per cent wage increase and other benefits on Oct. 9. Outside workers and librarians settled shortly after.

Oct. 14 — Taser outrage

bystander video

Robert Dziekanski is seen minutes before he was Tasered by RCMP on Oct. 14.

The world reacted with anger to a bystander-shot video of a Polish immigrant being Tasered by RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport. On Oct. 14, Robert Dziekanski, 40, became agitated after a miscommunication kept him waiting for his mom at YVR for about 10 hours. He died minutes after being Tasered, prompting the launch of several inquiries into how police handled the incident.

Nov. 27 — 2010 mascots

rafe arnott/metro vanCouver

Vancouver 2010 Olympic mascot Quatchi.

The Olympic mascots were unveiled on Nov. 27. A group of roughly 800 Surrey schoolchildren were the first to meet Miga the sea bear, Quatchi the young sasquatch, Sumi the animal spirit, and their virtual sidekick Mukmuk, an endangered Vancouver Island marmot. The designers drew inspiration from West Coast aboriginal myths and legends.

Oct. 19 — plane crash

jeff hodson/metro vancouver

An investigator examines a Richmond condominium on Oct. 21, two days after a twin-engine Piper Seneca crashed into the ninth floor.

A small plane flew head-on into a Richmond condominium on Oct. 19, killing the elderly pilot and seriously injuring two residents. More than 135 people were left homeless as repairs to the building continue to this day.

Oct., Nov. — pedophiles

Alleged pedophile Christopher Paul Neil.

A worldwide manhunt was launched after police unscrambled the photo of an alleged pedophile. The suspect turned out to be a Lower Mainland man, Christopher Paul Neil. The 32-year-old man was arrested in Thailand on Oct. 19. Neil had been a substitute teacher in Port Coquitlam and volunteered at a school in Maple Ridge. A second B.C. man was arrested a few days later, on Nov. 1, also accused of being a pedophile in Thailand.

Oct., Nov. — gang violence

jeff hodson/metro vancouver

Insp. Dean Robinson holds a .50-calibre rifle seized from a man’s broom closet in Surrey.

Nineteen people died in gang-related violence in Metro Vancouver this year. The most shocking fatalities occurred in a Surrey apartment building where six men, two of them innocent bystanders, were killed execution-style on Oct. 19. So far, no one has been arrested for the murders. In November, police reacted by forming the Violence Suppression Team, which they say will aggressively track and confront known gangsters.

Nov. 7 — high loonie

On Nov. 7, the Canadian dollar briefly hit an all-time high of just more than $1.10 US, after gradually creeping up in value for months. Seattle retailers benefited greatly as British Columbians crossed the Peace Arch in droves to shop for everything from cars to Christmas gifts.

Aug. 24 — bloody day

jeff hodson/metro vancouver

Three RVs were destroyed when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed on Aug. 24.

Aug. 24 was a bloody day in the Lower Mainland. A hot air balloon carrying 12 passengers burst into flames as it was about to launch in Surrey. The fire burned through the ropes and the balloon rose 120 metres in the air, then plummeted to the ground, killing mother and daughter Shannon and Gemma Knackstedt. Hours later, a truck plowed into a pre-wedding party walking along a road in Abbotsford, killing six and injuring 17, including two infants.