The Murder of Lindsay Buziak

Nov 28/2022 Lindsay Buziak – The Deadly Silence that surrounds her murder

WHEN CRIME IN SAANICH HAPPENS, IT IS “HERE TODAY – GONE TOMORROW.”

I recall the BMO Bank Robbery that happened in Saanich on June 28, a tragic senseless crime that will never be forgotten.  Six officers shot, one seriously injured, a life-changing experience for every officer shot and every officer that attended the scene.  And let’s not forget the employees and the other people caught inside who were held captive for what seemed a lifetime prior to the cops arriving.  Many of them will suffer the effects of PTSD for years to come.   A full police investigation was ordered and a report by the IIO was expected to be released in the coming months.  Bank employees were instructed not to speak to anyone about the event – NDA’s – standard police procedure I’m told. Well, it’s been 5 months now and we’ve still seen no sign of this final report.  Surely, there has to be some explanation as to what led up to this tragedy and the sequence of events that went down in the bank that day.   There is far more to this story than we know, and the public deserves answers.

British Columbia’s independent police watchdog has cleared several officers of wrongdoing

after twin brothers were shot and killed in a gun battle with police outside a Vancouver Island bank earlier this year. Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie, 22-year-old brothers from Duncan, B.C., were struck down in a hail of over 100 police bullets as the heavily armed men exited a Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, B.C., on the morning of June 28. Six officers from the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team were injured in the gunfight shortly after their unmarked van careened into the bank parking lot as the brothers exited the main doors

In a 10-page report released Wednesday, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. said it could not determine who fired first in the deadly exchange.

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“We can’t say whether the assailants shot first or the police shot first,” Ronald MacDonald, the office’s chief civilian director, told CTV News on Wednesday. However, the agency’s report cited witness statements and bank surveillance video in determining that one of the Auchterlonie brothers fired a single shot from his semi-automatic rifle into the ceiling of the bank shortly after 11 a.m. The gunmen went on to fire approximately 10 shots at police, striking five officers, while a sixth officer was injured by a ricocheting police bullet. “They were unfortunately very effective” in targeting the police, MacDonald said.

GUNMEN SPENT 16 MINUTES IN BANK

The brothers parked their car in the parking lot next to the suburban bank on Shelbourne Street, north of Victoria, and exited the car wearing baggy windbreakers, gloves and balaclavas. Under their windbreakers, they were clad in olive-green body armour and wore rigid leg protection and combat boots, according to the report.

Each was armed with a 7.62-millimetre caliber SKS rifle with an extended magazine. One of the brothers had a large knife hanging on the back of his belt and carried a large black bag.

The gunmen left the car’s trunk door slightly ajar. Investigators would later find “a large cache of weapons, ammunition and improvised explosive devices” inside, according to the report. Once inside the bank, the Auchterlonie brothers corralled employees and customers into the back of the building, near the vault. “They were able to obtain only a very limited amount of cash, and appeared to be disappointed,” the IIO reported.

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“They then spent several minutes pacing around and occasionally looking out through the vestibule windows into the parking lot,” the report added. “While there is no ‘typical’ bank robbery, usually persons in this situation would attempt to escape as quickly as possible. [The gunmen] did the opposite.” Mathew Auchterlonie had applied to join the Canadian Army but did not pass the aptitude test, a military spokesperson says. (Facebook)

‘A SERIES OF DRAMATIC AND VIOLENT EVENTS’

Sixteen minutes after entering the bank, the brothers walked back out the front doors, still carrying their rifles. They turned towards their parked car as the unmarked van carrying seven heavily armed officers from the emergency response team entered the parking lot near the front doors. “A series of dramatic and violent events then occurred in the space of mere seconds,” the report said. One brother raised his rifle at the police van. The vehicle’s side door was flung open and one officer, the team’s medic, threw a flashbang grenade at the brothers before the door slid forward again as the van braked.

“The stated intention of the GVERT members was to exit the van, to challenge the suspects and to arrest them, and the [flashbang] was expected to distract or even stun them momentarily, making the arrest quicker and safer,” the investigation found. What happened instead was a near-simultaneous exchange of gunfire. “It is not possible to determine definitively whether police or the affected persons fired first,” the report found. “The experience of the GVERT officers inside the van was that, as soon as the side slider was fully opened, officers armed with rifles who were preparing to step out were struck by incoming bullets,” the IIO said.

“It may well be that one of those officers took the first shot in response to [the gunman] raising his rifle in the direction of the GVERT van. In either event, the interval between the first shot from [one of the brothers] and the first shot from an officer appears to have been very, very short. “Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie of Duncan, B.C., were struck down in a hail of over 100 police bullets as the heavily armed pair exited a Bank of Montreal branch in Saanich, B.C., on the morning of June 28. (Instagram/@isaacauchterlonie867) One officer in the van was wounded in both legs and one arm. The officer exiting the van in front of him briefly returned fire before he was laid out on the van floor, shot through the upper abdomen and thigh, according to the report. “All he’s able to do is just exhale,” the officer behind him later told IIO investigators. “Staring through me.”

A third officer in the back of the van started shouting that he was shot in the neck. The medic who threw the flashbang was armed only with a pistol when he stepped out of the van and took a position in front of his wounded colleagues to return fire, according to the report. The GVERT sergeant in command of the team was behind the wheel of the van when he fired “at least 28 rounds from his pistol out through the windshield,” the report said. He exited the driver’s side door and continued shooting from behind a bush in the bank parking lot. He was eventually hit in the foot by a ricochet from a police bullet. Two GVERT members exited through the van’s rear door, both of them wounded in the legs. One fastened a tourniquet on the other’s “badly bleeding leg while the shooting was still continuing,” the report said.

“The officer who had shouted that he had been shot in the neck (and was indeed badly wounded in the shoulder) was only able to pull himself half out of the vehicle through the rear doors,” the investigation determined. By then, Saanich police officers were running along the sidewalk from the north, toward the gun battle. Some of those officers fired their weapons while others moved to administer first aid to the wounded GVERT members.

GUNMEN DEAD AT THE SCENE

One of the brothers was moving towards their parked car when he was struck in the head by a police bullet and fell to the ground, the IIO said. The other brother was shot several times but was still firing at police before he also fell, according to a civilian witness. Investigators determined the magazine in his rifle was damaged when he hit the ground and his gun was no longer functioning. A Saanich police officer told the IIO he saw the suspect on the ground, crawling towards his brother, whose gun was lying beside him. “There was more firing from police at that time,” the IIO said.

A surveillance camera captured the second gunman’s fall “several seconds after” the flashbang was detonated. Unused bullets can be seen “spilling from the broken magazine of his rifle,” the report found. The brother then “crawls away out of the view of the camera, leaving the weapon lying on the ground behind him” and moving towards his brother and their vehicle when he is killed. “The bottom line is they were having a really, really hard time stopping him and that was because of the body armour,” MacDonald, the IIO director, said. “They had to stop him before he got to that gun.” When the gunfire ended, some officers were still administering first aid while others moved to handcuff the two suspects and seize their weapons. “But they were both already deceased at this time,” the IIO found.

Autopsies revealed that one brother had three gunshot wounds while the other brother was shot nine times. Several more police bullets were stopped or deflected by the gunmen’s body armour, the IIO said. “It is estimated that altogether, police fired just over 100 rounds, which is not surprising given the circumstances and that many officers were firing rounds during the incident,” the agency said.” Given this, the number of wounds suffered by each [gunman] was relatively low, a likely testament to the effectiveness of their body armour.”

GUNMEN POSED CLEAR, IMMINENT THREAT 

The report found that, aside from the single shot into the bank’s ceiling, the brothers fired all of their rounds at the police van. Two bullets from one gunman’s rifle strayed across the street, with one striking the window of a bistro and the other entering a dry-cleaning business. “Even the exhaustive analysis conducted by IIO investigators has not been able to eliminate ambiguity about exactly who first discharged a firearm in the incident,” the investigation found, adding that if the brothers “were doing no more than walking to their car, rifles pointed at the ground, it could not be said that it would be reasonable for police to immediately open fire on them, without any challenge or opportunity for surrender.”

Instead, the report found that at least one of the brothers “reacted to police arrival by turning in their direction and raising his rifle.” “Whether he pulled the trigger at that exact moment, or not, he was a bank robber leaving the scene of the crime, and he was pointing a high-powered assault rifle at police,” the IIO said.In those circumstances, both gunmen “posed a clear and imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm to officers and to the public, and the use of lethal force in response was justified,” the IIO report concluded.  The IIO is tasked with investigating all police officer-related incidents in B.C. that result in death or serious injury to a member of the public, regardless of whether there is any allegation of police wrongdoing.

I recall the murder of young 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak in February 2008.

 After nearly 15 years her murder remains unsolved and the deadly silence that surrounds this horrific crime still haunts the community. Lindsay’s murder was featured on a Dateline NBC show called “The Dream House Mystery” in Sept 2010. The show drew millions of viewers from all over the world, and at the end of the show viewers had formed their opinion of who they believed was responsible for her murder. That video was live for a few years after the show aired, then it disappeared, never to be seen again.

WELL, JUST LAST WEEK THE FULL VERSION OF THE DATELINE DREAM HOUSE MYSTERY MAGICALLY APPEARED ON U-TUBE

and as the word spread, multitudes of people were racing to find it, especially people who had never seen the video before. For them this was a fresh look at the case they had only read/heard so much about. Along with that re-run came a resurgence of interest in the case, and after watching the video people were expressing their thoughts on U-Tube’s public opinion platform. What is not surprising is that the opinions of today are pretty much the same as the opinions expressed back in 2010 after the Dateline show originally aired.

It’s not just the re-run of the Dateline Show that has caught people’s interest, it’s the multitude of other videos about Lindsay Buziak’s murder that are constantly turning up on U-tube, and websites such as Unsolved Murders, Reddit, Vibrant Victoria etc. Lindsay’s murder will never be forgotten because there are too many people that care and are making sure that will never happen.  People have raised questions, come to their own conclusions and been very vocal when expressing themselves on several different sites on the internet. 

IN 2019 THE CAPITAL DAILY NEWS HIRED JOURNALIST ZANDER SHERMAN TO WRITE A STORY ON THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF LINDSAY BUZIAK.

 Zander Sherman is a journalist who lived in Ontario at the time. Why hire a journalist from back East to write the story when you have highly qualified journalists in Victoria that could do the job? In 2020 the Capital Daily went to court seeking previously unreleased materials into the death of Lindsay Buziak. The Saanich Police and Crown consented to release dozens of Judicial authorizations related to the Lindsay Buziak murder case, for the first-time giving a behind the scenes look at the search for those responsible for Buziak’s death.

Many pages remain blacked out, and many people’s names besides Buziak’s are still redacted. Capital Daily then assembled the most complete description yet of the last days of Lindsay Buziak’s life. Sherman and a small team of journalists had been working behind the scenes to find out what happened.

Capital Daily followed up with a headline story claiming that they had interviewed dozens of people, obtained more than 1,000 emails and petitioned the BC Supreme Court to unseal 35 applications to obtain judicial authorizations. After a recent ruling by Justice Robert Punnett, those documents were partially released to the public. These documents reveal previously unknown details of the case, including Buziak’s online activity mysteriously dropped off in the days before her death, and the police appear to know far more about the “crime phone” used to contact Buziak than previously disclosed. Read Capital Daily News story below.

EXCLUSIVE: Unsealed police documents reveal previously unknown details about the death of Lindsay Buziak – Capital Daily

APPARENTLY, THAT HEADLINE STORY ONLY FUELED THE CAPITAL DAILY’S THIRST FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CASE,

Of course, they were looking for another story! They headed back to the courts in an attempt to have more unredacted materials released. On March 27/2021, the Judge denied their application. Back again they went. Dec 9-10, 2021, March 9-11, April 12, 25, 28, & Oct 31, 2022. Once again, their application to have further materials released was denied. Representing the Capital Daily in the courts was two high-priced lawyers out of Toronto, and I suspect a legal bill that would likely be in the range of $100 – $200K. 

Just who is bankrolling the Capital Daily and why? Isn’t this a fairly new newspaper that is often asking the public for donations? What’s going on here defies all logic. If the applicant Capital Daily’s legal fees were in excess of $100K, can you just imagine how much money it cost the Saanich Police/Crown to fight this in the courts. And just who was representing the Saanich Police Department in this case? Two high-priced lawyers from Vancouver of course. It’s not just about the money, but the man hours of preparing files, redacting information, phone calls, emails, meetings etc. All those resources, time and money that could have been spent on solving Lindsay Buziak’s murder.

The Crown, and the Saanich Police have fought a long hard battle in the courts in an effort to maintain the integrity of the investigation and ensure that no further materials get released to the media. The courts are following the letter of the law, in order to protect the identity of informants, the identity of 3rd parties, the identity of Crime Stopper informants and other critical material, that if released could inadvertently identify informants. On the other hand, this murder has gone unsolved for 15 years so what is really going on here? If the police know who conspired to murder Lindsay Buziak why has no one been charged?

2022 BCSC 1899 (CanLII) | Capital City News Group Ltd. v British Columbia | CanLII

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING – THE SECRETS ARE POISON – AND THE LIES AND DECEPTION ARE ENDLESS.

ARE THOSE RESISTING ARREST AND CONVICTION IN LINDSAY’S MURDER SO POWERFUL AND CONNECTED?

Cover-ups are often initiated by people in Teflon glass towers, people who have something to hide and at the end of the day it’s always about the money. Are we dealing with organized crime – money laundering – human trafficking – drugs? What about the civil lawsuits that are flying around every which way. Intimidation tactics? Where is this all leading to? Covering one’s ass by filing lawsuits in order to deflect what’s really going on. We urge the police to use all the resources at their disposal because it is high time this murder was solved!

WHERE DOES THE HELL END AND JUSTICE BEGIN?

EMAIL ADDRESS: muderondesousa@gmail.com

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