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An artist drawing of serial killer Robert Pickton, fourth from left, listening to the guilty verdict in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster, B.C. on Sunday, December 9, 2007. Pickton was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women from Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.FELICITY DON

Six people are receiving their shares of a $100,000 reward that was offered for information leading to a conviction in the case of women missing in the Pickton case, Vancouver police announced Tuesday.

The shares sent this week to each of the six, whose names were withheld by the Vancouver police board, vary depending on the impact of the information they provided.

Jason McLean, the board member designated to speak on the issue on Wednesday, said the information did not lead to Robert Pickton's conviction but was helpful in the case.

The information was "useful and important" to the investigation, but Mr. Pickton's 2002 arrest came as a result of a "serendipitous" firearms check by RCMP on his family's property in Port Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, Mr. McLean said.

Still, he noted the information "was helpful in filling in the details and a lot of the information was very accurate."

Mr. McLean said in an interview that the division of funds was based on unanimous recommendations from the solicitor general's ministry, police investigators, the city's legal department and Vancouver police.

"There was no debate among the experts closest to investigation about how they felt we should deal with the disbursement," he said.

"We are really confident that the funds were dispersed fairly."

He added: "It's always easier to just cut the pie up equally, but this was done with great care so that it was fair and proportional."

The reward consisted of $70,000 from the B.C. ministries of public safety and the solicitor general and $30,000 from the Vancouver police.

The reward announcement is among the last items of business related to the Pickton case.

The Supreme Court of Canada last month upheld Mr. Pickton's 2007 conviction on six counts of second-degree murder.

Mr. Pickton has received a life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years - the maximum penalty.

Because his sentence begins at the time of his arrest, Mr. Pickton will be eligible for day parole and unescorted absences by 2024, and eligible for full parole in 2027, but would have to persuade parole officials to let him out.

After the Supreme Court ruling, charges were stayed in 20 other cases. Mr. Pickton is thought to have murdered up to 49 women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, where he preyed on women who worked as prostitutes to support drug habits.

Asked how many people wanted a share of the reward, Mr. McLean would only say "the list of applicants and recipients are different."

Also on Wednesday, the B.C. Supreme Court justice who presided over Mr. Pickton's trial upheld a publication ban barring the identification of a former sex-trade worker Mr. Pickton in 1997 had picked up for sexual acts that led to a fight in which both were injured.

The woman has been clean and sober for five years, is no longer involved in the sex trade, now has three children with her husband and is gainfully employed, James Williams said in his ruling.

She feared an intense media spotlight without the ban.

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