The Murder of Lindsay Buziak

UNSOLVED MURDERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA


BC’S CHARGE APPROVAL STANDARD IS THE HIGHEST IN CANADA

Despite lengthy complex investigations many homicides remain unsolved.

Police officers investigating murder cases say that while the public might be alarmed by the number of unsolved files, there are several reasons why there are so many murder cases in Metro Vancouver where charges have never been laid.

Supt. Kevin Hackett, the veteran Mountie in charge of IHIT, says the vast majority of his agency’s open files, investigators have identified a suspect. “I would think that in 90 per cent of our investigations, if not more, not only do we have an idea, we could likely, if we lived in another jurisdiction arrest them and charge them,” Hackett said in an interview.

In every other province besides Quebec, police have the power to lay charges where they believe on “reasonable grounds” after a thorough investigation that an offence has been committed, according to Justice Canada.

But in B.C., Crown prosecutors decide if and when a charge is laid using a two-pronged approach. First, the Crown must be convinced that there is “a substantial likelihood of conviction,” based on the police report outlining the evidence. And secondly, the Crown decides whether it is in the public interest to lay a charge.

An in-depth study was done by Province Reporter-Columnist KIM BOLAN and her team, with the use of POLICE RELEASES, NEWS ARCHIVES, AND COURT FILES. The results showed that there had been 290 unsolved murders in the Lower Mainland between 2002-2013. This information was verified by the Integrated Homicide Investigation team.

Criminologists have said the failing rates are coming about, in part, due to underfunding and a redistribution of resources away from major crime.

86% of the unsolved homicide cases in the Lower Mainland are men.

VANCOUVER: 86 cases SURREY 76 cases BURNABY 22 cases ABBOTSFORD 24 cases

Fatal shooting accounted for 168 of the 290 victims.

One woman or girl is killed every other day, on average, somewhere in our country.
 About once a week, a woman is killed by her male partner in Canada
.

https://femicideincanada.ca

UNSOLVED MURDERS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND

15-year old MOLLY JUSTICE was murdered in Saanich in 1943. Her body was found face down in the snow beside the railway tracks that crossed Darwin Road. (today’s Galloping Goose Trail). Molly had been struck twice on the head by a heavy object and stabbed almost 20 times. The cause of death was from loss of blood from her throat wounds. A suspect was arrested but never charged in her murder.

18-year old CHERI LYNN SMITH was murdered in Saanich in 1990. Her body was dumped in the underbrush of a Saanich Regional Park. She was savagely beaten to death and six months pregnant.

24-year old LINDSAY ELIZABETH BUZIAK was murdered in a vacant home in Saanich in 2008. She had been showing the home to a couple who had called to set up an appointment to view the property. Her body was found lying in the master bedroom. She had been stabbed multiple times.

PETER HUNTER THOMAS, a James Bay resident was found murdered in 2015.

THERE WERE 6 HOMICIDES IN 2017 AND 2018 ON VANCOUVER ISLAND.

Many of the murder investigations remain unsolved but the head of the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit said that isn’t unusual. “The work we do is increasingly complicated, the volume of material we’re trying to manage is increasing, it’s doubling,” said Insp. Dave Hall. “It’s taking us longer to get to the point of recommending charges.”

Often the police know who did the crime, but are lacking the hard evidence that is needed before charges can be laid against a suspect(s). They need hard evidence if they are to ever see a conviction in the Courts, and more than anything the police want closure for the families that have been torn apart for years by losing a loved one.

THE 1993 MURDER OF JENNIFER CUSWORTH — WITH NEW DNA TECHNOLOGY THE CASE WAS REOPENED IN 2006. THIS 16-YEAR OLD B.C. MURDER CASE IS NOW SOLVED.

19- year old Okanagan College student Jennifer Cusworth was murdered in Kelowna. Jennifer was last seen at a house party on the evening of October 17/1993. Her body was found the following day in a ditch off Swamp Road. She had been beaten and strangled, and suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Hundreds of tips were followed up and hundreds of persons interviewed, and DNA was collected from the scene. The police were quite certain they knew who had murdered Jennifer but they did not have the evidence needed to lay charges.

On October 23/2009, the suspect Neil George Snelson was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder. The RCMP had used new DNA techniques to analyze old evidence, and improvements in forensic science helped crack the case. At trial in 2011, Snelson was not found guilty of 1st degree murder, but found guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter. Snelson later appealed the verdict at the BC Court of Appeal, which ordered a retrial in 2013 based on an error made by the original trial judge. In 2015, he was retried, found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eleven years.

Each day of his 6-week trial Snelson could be seen smiling, winking, and blowing kisses to his family. Because of his grandiose, cavalier and callous behavior Jennifer’s mother said, “Snelson is a coward who refused to accept responsibility for his cold-blooded, brutal actions, and dragged not only us, but his own family through a very long painful trial. Forgiveness is not an option for us. He was stealing our grief and substituting it with disgust and anger.

Jennifer’s parents Terry and Jean, never doubted that a suspect would be found. Over the years they stayed in close communication with the Kelowna RCMP, and each year they would travel to Kelowna from their hometown of Nelson to hold a vigil in Jennifer’s memory at the spot where her body was found. Jean, who was an elementary school teacher in Nelson, said her family never gave up hope that one day the Kelowna RCMP would make an arrest.

The Cusworth family was greatly impacted by their daughter’s murder and will never fully recover from their loss. Jennifer’s uncle Ted said his family went into shock and he fell into a depression after the murder. He was plagued by the idea he “failed his sister’s daughter” who had just moved in with his family in Kelowna at the time of her death. His depression led to a divorce.https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2011/2011bcsc1808/2011bcsc1808.html?autocompleteStr=snelson&autocompletePos=2https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2015/2015bcsc1882/2015bcsc1882.html?autocompleteStr=Snelson&autocompletePos=3

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/article_fdd00be4-428f-595e-9759-e120698f965f.html

THE 1993 MURDER OF VICKI ROSALIND BLACK IS NOW SOLVED

23-YEAR OLD VICKI ROSALIND BLACK, was murdered in March 1993. Her body was found wrapped in a bedsheet, in a dumpster in the 2000 block of East Hastings in downtown Vancouver. The Provincial Unsolved Homicide Unit and cold case detectives were able to expand on the work done by Vancouver detectives, identify a suspect, and gather enough evidence to support charges. In 2019, the suspect STEPHEN LAROCHE was charged with 2nd degree murder. Laroche was arrested in Oakville Ontario and returned to B.C.

Chief Supt. Manny Mann of the B.C. RCMP’s Major Crime section said, “For Vicki’s family I am pleased we are able to announce criminal charges. No matter how many years pass by, police are committed to ensuring justice for victims of homicide.

Vancouver Police Department Supt. Cita Airth said, “For the Vancouver Police Department it is important that those that commit serious criminal acts be help accountable, regardless of how long it takes.

Black’s family said in a statement, “Her family wishes to thank the members of the unsolved homicide unit and all those involved in the investigation that has led to this arrest.

THE MURDER OF SHEILA HENRY FEBRUARY 5/1993 VANCOUVER BC UNSOLVED

SHEILA HENRY Sheila was raised in beautiful Kimberley BC and enjoyed skiing and the outdoors. When she went away for school to the University of Victoria, she met her husband David. After Sheila studied nursing at Mount Royal College , her and David moved to Kitsilano B.C. Sheila worked as a nurse, and David did occasional freelance computer programming. He was also tremendously fond of playing Dungeons and Dragons. Sheila, a 26-year-old nurse who worked at Vancouver General Hospital, was killed in the late afternoon on February 5th, 1993. She was beaten to death, likely with a flashlight, and was smothered with a pillow when she refused to succumb to her injuries.

Her husband, David Henry, called 911 after discovering Sheila’s bloody body in their Kitsilano home at 3356 West 7th Street. at approximately 8pm. Since Sheila’s brutal murder, her parents, Gary and Linnea McIndoe, have fought for justice for their daughter. Through the years, they’ve grieved both the loss of their daughter and their unborn grandchild. Gary took early retirement to be with his wife, and they’ve both been in counselling to deal with their grief. Sheila’s father painfully recounted his ongoing heartbreak in 2007: “I feel like I have failed my daughter by not bringing her murderer to justice. I still wake up at night with Sheila screaming for her dad to help her, but I never can.” 

Sheila could’ve been killed by a stranger. This seems highly unlikely, however, since there was no sign of forced entry. Moreover, if Sheila’s murder was a robbery gone bad, it seems odd that nothing was out of place in the home or missing. And, from what I’ve been able to uncover, this theory has never been suggested by the police.

Sheila and David shared their duplex with an unnamed friend. Although details are sketchy, the media reported that the roommate was cleared as a suspect. The roommate and other friends of the couple also consented to be polygraphed, so I think it’s highly unlikely that any of them were involved in Sheila’s murder. It would be nice, though, to know if the roommate had an alibi. David, Shelia’s husband, is the primary suspect in her murder. He is, in fact, the only suspect that the police have publicly named. David told the police that he went out shopping and to visit friends at 3pm on the day Sheila was killed. He said returned around 8pm to find her dead. In a bizarre turn of events, David informed the police that he had lost his wedding ring while on holidays in Florida. However, the police found the wedding ring stashed behind a couch cushion in the detective’s lounge. Yes, you read that right! After David’s discarded wedding ring was located, he was read his rights. Since that moment, David has refused to talk to the police. David’s lawyer, Harold Rusk,  sent the police a letter stating, “Mr. Henry will be continuing to exercise his right to silence.”

Sheila’s parents fought hard for an inquest into their daughter’s death, no doubt to try to get David to talk. During the inquest, David denied killing his wife and trying to date one of his wife’s friends. At the end of the inquest, the jury decided that a reward should be offered to help identify Sheila’s killer. After prosecutors refused to charge David with Sheila’s murder, citing a lack of evidence, Sheila’s family sued David for the wrongful death of their daughter under the FAMILY COMPENSATION ACT in 1999. The courts dismissed the case because the law states that a family only has a two-year window from the time of the crime to sue, and refused to make an exception.

The police are counting on the public to come forward to help solve this heinous murder. If you have any information about the murder of Sheila Henry, please contact the Vancouver Police Department at (604) 717-3321.

The Unsolved Murder of Sheila Henry – The True Crime Files

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