Murder of Lindsay Buziak

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Lindsay Elizabeth Buziak (November 2, 1983 – February 2, 2008)[1] was a Canadian real estate agent who was murdered on a property viewing in Saanich, an affluent suburb of Victoria, British Columbia, on February 2, 2008. The identity of the purported clients to whom she was showing the property – and who are the prime suspects in her murder – remain unknown, and thus as of 2019, her murder remains unsolved.

Background and events leading up to the murder[edit]

Lindsay Buziak was born on November 2, 1983 to Jeff Buziak and Evelyn Buziak (née Reitmayer). She had one sister, Sara.[1] In 2008, 24-year-old Lindsay was an ambitious Victoria estate agent who had made a promising start to her career and was described by her family, friends and colleagues as being popular and caring.[2] Her boyfriend, Jason Zailo, is part of a prominent and wealthy family that owns a successful real estate business.[3]

In late January 2008, Lindsay Buziak received a call from a woman who told Lindsay that she and her husband were looking urgently for a home to buy, with a budget of $1 million. According to Lindsay, the caller had a foreign accent that she could not place, sounding "a bit Spanish but not really.” Lindsay believed the caller may have been faking an accent in order to conceal her identity. Unnerved by the nature of the call, Lindsay asked the caller how she had got her personal cell phone number, as she was a relatively junior employee. The caller said that a previous client of Lindsay's had passed it on to her. Still feeling suspicious, Lindsay attempted to contact the previous client to check this, but they were out of the area and unreachable.[2]

Lindsay told her boyfriend, Jason Zailo, and her father, Jeff Buziak, about the call and revealed her concerns. Jason encouraged Lindsay to take on the client because of the high commission she would get from the sale, and to reassure her, Jason offered to be outside the property in his car in case anything went wrong. Lindsay found a suitable property[4] and made an appointment with the client to view it at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2008. The client then told Lindsay that her husband would not be able to attend the viewing and that she would come alone.

Day of the murder[edit]

On Saturday, February 2, 2008, Lindsay and Jason ate a late lunch at a restaurant, paying the bill at 4:24 p.m. They left separately in their own vehicles. It is believed that Lindsay went home to change clothes before the viewing. Jason travelled to an auto shop to pick up a colleague. Jason was running late, and CCTV at the auto shop showed him and his colleague leaving at 5:30 p.m. Jason and Lindsay had exchanged several text messages and Lindsay was aware that Jason would be late.

The street on which the house is located, De Sousa Place, is a small cul-de-sac containing four houses. Number 1702 is at the outer end of the cul-de-sac, on the intersection of De Sousa Place and a main thoroughfare, Torquay Drive. The side of the property and the fence of the back garden run parallel to Torquay Drive.

Despite the client telling Lindsay that she would come alone, a couple turned up for the viewing. At 5:30 p.m., two witnesses saw a 6-foot-tall Caucasian man with dark hair and a blonde-haired woman aged between 35 and 45 wearing a distinctively patterned dress walking up the cul-de-sac.[5][6] The witnesses then saw Lindsay shake hands with the couple, and from the body language of their greeting it appeared that she had never met them before. The three of them then entered the house.[2]

Jason and his colleague arrived at the cul-de-sac at about 5:40 p.m. As they were driving up to the property, he saw a man and a woman coming out of the front door; upon seeing him, they immediately turned around and went back inside the house.[5]

Jason parked outside the property for about 10 minutes. He then decided to drive back out to Torquay Drive and park there, as he did not want to be "a nosey, interfering boyfriend".[2] After waiting another 10 minutes parked on Torquay Drive, Jason texted Lindsay to ask if she was OK. Lindsay never opened this message.[7]

After 20 minutes had passed since Jason had arrived and seen the couple go back into the house, Jason went to the front door and found it locked when he tried to open it. Through the mottled glass on the front door, he saw Lindsay's shoes in the entrance hall, but there was no sign of movement and no one answered his repeated knocks at the door. At this point, he called 911. While Jason was on the line with the operator, his colleague found a gap in the fence in the back garden, entered the garden and saw that the back patio door was wide open. He called out to Jason, who told the operator that they were going into the house. Jason then hung up.[2]

Jason's colleague came through the property to unlock the front door to let Jason in. Jason immediately ran upstairs and found Lindsay lying in a pool of blood in the master bedroom.[5] Jason called 911 a second time and the emergency services arrived soon after.

Lindsay was pronounced dead when the paramedics arrived. She had been stabbed more than 40 times. There were no defensive wounds, indicating that she had probably been initially stabbed from behind and had no inkling of what was about to happen.[5] None of Lindsay's possessions had been stolen and she had not been sexually assaulted.

Investigation[edit]

Jason and his colleague were taken into custody but were released without charge after their version of events was verified and the timestamped surveillance footage from the auto shop proved that they could not have committed the murder. According to the Saanich Police Department, Jason has been interviewed several times over the years and has always cooperated with the police. He has also passed a polygraph test. However, he has always refused to provide a DNA sample.[2]

Due to the complete lack of DNA, fingerprints or any other physical evidence at the scene, it is believed that the murder was a well-organized professional hit carried out by people who had killed before. The police are satisfied that the killers were leaving through the front door when Jason drove up to the property, and that they then fled through the back door, leaving the back patio door open and passing through the fence and back to a vehicle, which was presumably parked somewhere on or near Torquay Drive. This is consistent with the witness statements of the unknown couple walking (rather than driving) up the cul-de-sac, and the fact that all the vehicles on the cul-de-sac once the police arrived were accounted for.[5]

The cell phone used by the unknown woman to call Lindsay was purchased in Vancouver several months before the murder and had never been used until that call was made. It was activated under the name of Paulo Rodriguez, which authorities believe is a fake name. It was registered to a legitimate address in Vancouver, which is a business address, but it is believed that the business has no connection with the case and that its address was simply chosen at random.[2] The phone was deactivated soon after the murder and has not been used since.[8] Cell phone tower "pings" show that the phone travelled on the ferry from Vancouver the day before the murder. Authorities believe the phone was purchased for the sole purpose of the murder and was discarded afterwards.[4] This supports their theory that the murder was planned carefully and well in advance.

The family of Jason Zailo were investigated due to their connections with the cul-de-sac. De Sousa Court is named after developer Joe De Sousa, a friend and business associate of Shirley Zailo, Jason's mother.[2] Part of the cul-de-sac was still under construction at the time of the murder, and De Sousa himself was at the location an hour before the murder, supervising the construction work.[7] However, the police have stated that no one in the Zailo family is a suspect.[5]

In September of 2010, NBC aired a DateLine episode,[9] "Dream House Murder." The Saanich Police Detectives, Horsley and McColl revealed that in December 2007, about 8 weeks prior to her murder, Lindsay tried to contact the friend of her ex-boyfriend while on a visit to Calgary. On January 22, 2008, the largest drug bust in Alberta's history took place and the friend was arrested as being a major participant in the illegal drug trafficking operation.[10] It was speculated that Lindsay's murder may have been ordered by a drug cartel because she was believed to be a police informant. The detectives investigated the possibility but quickly ruled it out as a motive because she was not an informant and the personal nature of her murder did not fit a hired killer's method of operation. Crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary and veteran Homicide Detective Dwayne Stanton[9] both agree that Lindsay's murder was not a contracted murder related to a drug cartel; it was brutal but too amateurish. Both seasoned investigators stated that they do believe that Lindsay's murder was very personal and planned by someone very close to her; someone who had access to inside information from the Re/Max office where she worked.

Speculation regarding another drug bust related to this group of people was also investigated as a link to Lindsay's murder. Jasmohan Sing Bains'<phone had been tapped because of his high level of involvement in the trafficking and sale of illegal narcotics in British Columbia and Alberta. During the wire taps, law enforcement uncovered information that led to the BC Legislature Raids in 2003. Lindsay's and her boyfriend's phones at the time were also tapped because of his association with Jasmohan. Although this theory was interesting it was quickly dismissed because Lindsay was never known to be involved in drug use or trafficking and was not on the witness list released to the defense during the trial.[9]

Later events[edit]

Later in 2008, a close friend of Lindsay's, called Nikki, claimed that she was woken by a telephone call in the middle of the night from an unknown number. As she was half-asleep, she did not register much of what the female caller was saying, but she noticed that the caller had a strange accent that she could not place. She became scared when she remembered that Lindsay had reported that her unidentified client (and possible murderer) had an odd accent that she could not put her finger on, and which she thought may have been fake. Now fully alert, she called the number back but no one picked up. She called repeatedly, "20 or 30 times", until someone answered. The person on the other end of the line was Shirley Zailo. Nikki asked Shirley why she called her and how she had her number, as they did not know each other. Shirley replied that she meant to call another Nikki, her secretary, and that she didn't know why this Nikki's number was in her contact list but presumed that her son Jason must have added it. Shirley Zailo categorically denies that this event occurred, and it has not been publicly revealed whether Nikki's claim was followed up by the authorities.[2]

In February of each year, Lindsay's father Jeff leads an annual walk in remembrance of Lindsay and to keep her case in the public eye.[11][12]

In August 2017, a public message was posted on lindsaybuziakmurder.com, the investigative website run by Jeff Buziak. The message, which contained misspellings throughout, stated: "I killed Lindsey [sic] and stupid cops will never prove it."[13][14]

The murder of Lindsay Buziak has not been solved and the Saanich Police refuse to classify it as a cold case,[15] request help from more experienced investigators, or release any additional information to the public although there are currently no detectives assigned to the file.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lindsay Buziak's Obituary on The Times Colonist". The Times Colonist. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Case 28: Lindsay Buziak – Casefile: True Crime Podcast". Casefile: True Crime Podcast. 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  3. ^ "The Zailo Real Estate Group • Homes In Victoria BC". Shirley Zailo. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  4. ^ a b "Foreign accent may be clue in B.C. homicide: police". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Who killed Lindsay Buziak? Realtor's murder believed to be targeted hit". crimewatch. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  6. ^ DeRosa, Katie. "Archive: Have you seen this woman?; Police release sketch, description of suspects in Buziak killing". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  7. ^ a b "LINDSAY BUZIAK MURDER TIMELINE". Lindsay Buziak Murder. 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  8. ^ Derosa, Katie. "Father believes killer of Lindsay Buziak still in Victoria area". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  9. ^ a b c Unsolved: Dream House Murder, retrieved 2019-01-29
  10. ^ Jun 08, CBC News · Posted:; June 9, 2009 11:25 AM MT | Last Updated:; 2009. "Cocaine bust largest ever in Alberta, police say | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  11. ^ Bell, Jeff. "Lindsay Buziak murder: father holds annual walk to ensure she's not forgotten". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  12. ^ Pastime, Your friends at. "Pastime: Case 28: Lindsay Buziak | Update". www.pastimeapp.com. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  13. ^ "Chilling confession, taunt from purported killer renews focus on stalled B.C. murder probe". National Post. 2017-08-12. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  14. ^ "Website confession jolts Lindsay Buziak murder case – Surrey Now-Leader". Surrey Now-Leader. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  15. ^ News; Canada (2017-08-12). "Chilling confession, taunt from purported killer renews focus on stalled B.C. murder probe | National Post". Retrieved 2019-01-29.

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