Accused triple murderer lashes out at police in confession

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 01:58:33 PM. Near the end of his interview with police, after recounting details about the cold-blooded killings of three women, accused triple murderer Basil Borutski suggested to his interrogator that authorities, including police, bore some of the responsibility for what had happened.

Near the end of his interview with police, after recounting details about the cold-blooded killings of three women, accused triple murderer Basil Borutski suggested to his interrogator that authorities, including police, bore some of the responsibility for what had happened.  

"I didn't get here by myself. Yous f--kers drove me crazy," Borutski told OPP Det. Sgt. Caley O'Neill on Sept. 23, 2015.

The interview was conducted the day after the bodies of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam were found at three separate crime scenes in and around Wilno, Ont.

Borutski knew all three victims and had been convicted of offences against Warmerdam and Kuzyk in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

His trial before a judge and jury began last week in Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa. He is representing himself but has not participated so far, and the court has entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

"I beg yous to do something," Borutski told O'Neill in the hours-long interview, the end of which was played in court Tuesday. "I went to the Pembroke police and I f--king told them about the wife beating me up, I told them the whole thing about her slapping me ... I told them about my lawyer, that asshole cop covered that all up, I don't know how."

'Why couldn't she have just said I'm sorry'

Asked whether he knew what he had done was wrong, Borutski answered, "Yeah."

Asked whether he would take it back, his answer was less clear.

"Of course I would. I don't know. Why? Doesn't make sense. Like when I asked Anastasia, 'Why did you lie?' Why couldn't she have just said I'm sorry, and I'm sure then I would have stopped. That would have been enough. … Or say it's because she lied, it would have stopped right there, but she still lied. And Carol lies, and I talked with her so much about being honest and the truth and positive, and then she still lied. ... I don't have a bad bone in my body."

Asked whether he was sorry, Borutski told O'Neill he was.

"Of course I feel sorry.... I was thinking, but not thinking. I think I was thinking a little better when I sat down at that picnic table and I started writing," Borutski said, referring to the moments before he was arrested.

'Would I ever like to know how this happened'

He said he had some bottles of booze with him, and that he had "planned on drinking and blowing my head off.

"But then by that time I started thinking about it, 'Yeah, you can't do that, Basil, you're innocent. If you blow your head off you'll never go to heaven," he tells O'Neill.

Later, Borutski makes a request for psychological help.

"I wish I could get some meds for my back for the pain, or see a doctor. Maybe I'd like to see a psychiatrist, geez, would I ever like to know how this happened."

O'Neill was the Crown's first witness in the trial, and most of his interview with Borutski was played in court Thursday and Friday last week.

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Forensic pathologist testifies

Later Tuesday, Crown attorney Jeffery Richardson called Dr. Christopher Milroy to the stand. He's the director of forensic pathology for the Ottawa Hospital and he performed the autopsies on all three victims.

Culleton died of upper airway strangulation caused by a white coaxial cable wrapped around her mouth and neck, Milroy testified.

"In this case, this was clearly forceful tightening of the coaxial cable around the neck. I don't think it could have been any tighter," Milroy told the jury.

She had defensive wounds on both hands, as well as on her right wrist and forearm, he added.

It's hard to know exactly how long Culleton would have survived with the cable around her mouth and neck, but likely less than five minutes, Milroy testified. She probably lost consciousness within a minute or two and died several minutes later.

Shots fired from 'relatively close distance'

Kuzyk died of a shotgun blast to the neck and upper chest area with a buckshot shell, which caused extensive damage to her spinal column, spinal cord and upper lung, Milroy testified.

Evidence shows the shot was fired from a "relatively close distance" of about a metre or two, he added, and minor injuries to her hand suggest she raised it when she saw the gun.

Milroy testified Kuzyk likely collapsed immediately after the shot was fired and died "probably under a minute" later.

Warmerdam also died of a shotgun blast in the neck area, but this time the shell that was used contained birdshot, Milroy testified.

She likely collapsed immediately and died after a short time, like Kuzyk, and the shot appeared to have been fired from a relatively close distance of about one to two metres, Milroy told court.

Neighbour with Burutski night before killings

Later Tuesday, court heard testimony from Borutski's neighbour, Elizabeth Recoskie, who spent time in his apartment the night before the killings.

In court Recoskie was nervous and had to check notes written by police during her interview in 2015 to refresh her memory as Crown attorney Julie Scott asked questions. Recoskie told the jury that the evening of Sept. 21, 2015, she took Borutski some chicken for dinner because she'd overheard an argument between him and his daughter the previous day.

Borutski told her he was depressed, she told court, and he spoke about the Bible.

"He was giving me an example between killing and murder," she told the jury. "He says, I could go and kill my ex-wife and the Bible would help him."

"He said, 'This Bible will be coming with me' if he would have killed his ex wife. If he'd be going to jail, the Bible would be coming with him," she testified.

He also told her he'd caught his girlfriend in bed with another man, and that he'd done work for the same woman at her cottage on Kanamiskeg Lake. While Recoskie couldn't recall any names, court had earlier heard that Culleton's cottage was on Kanamiskeg Lake Road, and that her killing took place there.

Lawyer James Foord, who was appointed to act as an amicus curiae — friend of the court — to prevent a miscarriage of justice, conducted a brief cross-examination, asking Recoskie if she'd made any notes of her conversations with Borutski or if their conversation the night before the killings had made any sense to her.

He also asked whether it was true that she told police Borutski had written a "very nice message" to one of the victims, and that police should see it. "Yes," she testified.

Video surveillance footage

The last witness called Tuesday was Lorraine Limlaw, who works for the County of Renfrew as a social housing supervisor. She testified that she met wth Borutski to sign a lease for apartment 204 at 5967 Palmer Rd. in Palmer Rapids, Ont., in May 2015, and that he moved there in June.

Limlaw also testified that she was asked to prepare video surveillance footage for police.

Three videos were shown in court, showing Borutski dressed in camouflage pants and a blue long-sleeved shirt, and carrying a white plastic bag.

The first video, shot between 11:50 p.m. Sept. 21 and 12:01 a.m. Sept. 22, shows Borutski leaving his unit, walking through the parking lot of his building and up to a vehicle parked in the space reserved for fellow tenant Shirl Roesler. Borutski then drives away.

The second video, shot between 1:20 a.m. and 1:32 a.m. on Sept. 22, shows Borutski driving back into the lot, parking in Roesler's spot and returning to his unit.

The final video, shot between 7:36 a.m. and 7:41 a.m. on Sept. 22, shows Borutski, now wearing a wide-brimmed camouflage hat, leave his unit, walk up to the car in Roesler's spot and drive away.

Borutski remains silent in court

Borutski's trial before Justice Robert Maranger is scheduled to run for 17 weeks.

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Borutski has sat motionless and expressionless in the prisoner's box so far, sometimes squeezing his eyes shut, sometimes watching the screen as the interview was played, sometimes looking at relatives and friends of the victims, and other times staring at the ceiling or the floor.

Maranger has repeatedly told Borutski and the court that his silence is being interpreted as acquiescence to the proceedings.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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