17 Year-Old Unsolved Murder Case – Vancouver, BC

Here is another unsolved murder in Vancouver, BC (Edgar Leonardo) that happened in 2003.    https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/vancouver-police-hope-new-technology-will-lead-to-arrest-in-2003-murder   This case is 17 years old!

In the Edgar Leonardo case, there was unknown male DNA evidence found at the crime scene yet the case remains unsolved. In Lindsay’s case, there was NO unknown DNA found at the crime scene or fingerprints that led investigators to the identity of the killers. The lack of forensic evidence makes Lindsay’s case that much more difficult to solve. I have highlighted a few points in the 17-year- old unsolved Leonardo case and compared it to Lindsay’s case, which also remains unsolved after 12 years.

There are a few similarities in both these unsolved murder cases, the difference is, no one is accusing the VPD of corruption, or covering up Leonardo’s murder, or accusing the VPD of being involved in the murder itself.  No one is accusing the two women who found Leonardo’s body of being involved in the crime like they are about the two men who found Lindsay’s body. No one is demanding Leonardo’s file be removed from the VPD because Leonardo’s case remains unsolved after 17 years. No one is demanding the file be turned over to the RCMP.  No one is deliberating fabricating false allegations towards the investigators working on Leonardo’s case. No one is accusing the family members of the women who found Leonardo’s body of being involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

It appears the police have handled the “information sharing” about these two cases pretty much the same.  Both cases obviously have hold-back information.  In both cases, the police are asking for help from the public.  Unfortunately, in the absence of solid information, there will always be a group of ignorant people who will conjure up all kinds of ridiculous conspiracy theories as well as fabricate false accusations towards investigating officers.  These people are like a pack of wolves.  They spend a lot of time sniffing around social media regurgitating their ridiculous conspiracy theories and spurt false allegations against investigators who work on Lindsay’s case.  They stalk their prey and you’ll notice that these ferocious packs of wolves follow a group hierarchy.  They are often in a group of two to three wolves(always the same group) led by an alpha male and alpha female. From there, the couple’s pups comprise the rest of the pack. You’ll notice they always attack as a pack, never as a lone wolf. The wolf pack claim all they want is justice for Lindsay and that they don’t care who the killers are, as long as they are caught. If that were true why does the wolf pack spend so much of their time fabricating false allegations against the SPD and painting a false picture that a certain family is responsible for Lindsay’s murder? Clearly, the investigators have shared a lot of facts about this case and none of those facts point to a certain family as being involved in Lindsay’s murder.

Lack of solvability in both these cases is due to a lack of solid evidence to charge the individuals responsible for these two murders. (hence no identifiable DNA, fingerprints, confessions, etc). That is the REALITY of these two cases. Lack of criminal charges in Lindsay’s case is NOT an indicator of poor investigative skills, poor job performance, corruption, cover-ups, etc. as some people would like their social media audience to believe. As with many other unsolved murder cases, the investigating team already knows the “what, who, where, when and why” but they don’t have the solid evidence to prove it in court. That is the only hold up in Lindsay’s case. If any other agency investigated this case they would yield the same results as the SPD/RCMP have, which is, no solid evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the POI murdered Lindsay Buziak, therefore no one can be charged.  As with Leonardo’s case, investigators are also hoping that people will step forward with information to help solve the case.

Leonardo/ Buziak’s case similarities’:

1.(L) Police sketch released 15 years after the murder. Vancouver police hope new technology will lead to an arrest in a 2003 murder. Investigators released the resulting Snapshot sketch exclusively to Postmedia News, hoping it will generate some clues about a person of interest they believe had been with the victim. They hope the picture will lead to fresh tips in the 2003 case.

1.(B)  Saanich police spokesman Sgt. John Price released a sketch yesterday, a year and a day after Buziak’s death, of a Caucasian woman, 35 to 45 years old, with short blond hair. Police said the male suspect is believed to be Caucasian, six feet tall with dark hair. Police arrived at the descriptions through statements from several witnesses, Price said. When asked why police didn’t release the information sooner, Price said police wanted to ensure that it met with our investigative needs.
Asked why it was relevant now, Price said police wanted to take advantage of the resurgence of interest in the case, referring to media coverage about the anniversary of Buziak’s death.

On Tuesday, police released this sketch of the woman’s face in the hopes that someone will recognize her. “We know that there are people out there who know something and they’re just waiting for the opportune time to talk. We believe now is that time,” said Sgt. John Price of the Saanich Police. Police said Tuesday they are CONVINCED THE COUPLE, a tall, well-dressed Caucasian man and a Caucasian woman between 35-40 years old, wearing a distinctive pink, black and white cocktail dress, ARE RESPONSIBLE for Ms. Buziak’s murder.

Buziak’s family was recently notified of the break in the case. We’ve known that they had other evidence for a period of time but what specifically that was they don’t tell us, said Buziak’s uncle and family spokesman, Art Reitmayer. There are certain things they can and can’t share with us and … we understand that. I’m sure there’s other information they haven’t released either.

2.(L) Leonardo was a gay man with an active social life, and Heard believes the murder in his Comox Street apartment in Aug. 2003 was a crime of passion. (He will not reveal the cause of death because of the ongoing investigation).

2.(B) Detective Staff Sgt. Horsley: Some of the things that people take as the gospel are certainly incorrect. You know the poor victim there, injuries to the victim were never disclosed, autopsy report never been disclosed, although we have admitted this was a horrific attack we have never indicated any type of injury or nature of injuries.

The SP said that reports of injuries were GREATLY EXAGGERATED by CHEK 6 news. The total number and nature of wounds are a very closely guarded secret.
There are many aspects of this file, such as the extent of the injuries Lindsay suffered, that must be protected in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and prevent any negative impact in its course, Brajcich, said.

At the same time, investigators confirmed that Ms. Buziak died from multiple stab wounds, according to a forensic autopsy conducted Tuesday. But in order to protect the ongoing investigation, they wouldn’t reveal the extent of her injuries, other than to say there was no evidence she was sexually assaulted.

Up to 16 detectives have been investigating the case since Buziak’s body was found, said Price. But they don’t want to jeopardize their investigation, or even future court proceedings, by revealing TOO MUCH, he said.

3.(L) Police have not been able to put a name to DNA found at the crime scene. There was no match in the national crime database, so the person who left it behind has never been convicted of a crime. Forty-five people who knew Leonardo have been checked out by investigators, but all were ELIMINATED AS POSSIBLE SUSPECTS. Detectives don’t know the name of the man they’re looking for, but science tells them he is most likely northwestern European with fair skin, blue/green eyes and blond/brown hair with some freckles.

3.(B) We do know from the forensic evidence that both the man and female did go through the home, said Sgt. Horsley. We do have evidence of them leaving the home, however we don’t have anything in the form of DNA or fingerprints which would lead to a suspect identification.

February, 2009: Police said, for the first time yesterday, they’ve cleared Buziak’s live-in boyfriend as a suspect.

September, 2010: “Our detectives are satisfied that the Zailos have no knowledge or any participation in this horrific crime.”

Police aren’t yet willing to DIVULGE if they have a suspect, saying the focus remains on putting together the most detailed and accurate case they can, to ensure success if and when it goes to court.

When you don’t have a smoking gun, the investigation is complex, and I believe that the majority of your readers know that, said Price.

Police consider it a “whodunit,” not a simple “smoking gun” homicide, McColl said. It’s common that these investigations are measured in YEARS, not months.

It certainly makes it harder when these are pre-planned events and people have conspired beforehand to make sure they are not apprehended, Horsley said.

4.(L) Heard hopes, as the city prepares to celebrate the annual Pride Parade on Aug. 6, that the composite sketch will jog some memories. Perhaps someone saw Leonardo with a similar-looking person, and perhaps witnesses who were unwilling to come forward in 2003 might be more willing now.

I’m hoping now with the passage of time — people’s memories, maybe more acceptance of the lifestyle now — that people will be willing to step forward to help us solve this case, said Heard, who along with his now-retired partner remains committed to making an arrest.

I think there are a number of people out there who at the time may have been living a dual life, when now they could be more open and more willing to come forward with information.

4.(B)  2009 – We think some of the people we’ve talked to may have gone away and since learned additional information, said Sgt. John Price, Saanich police spokesman. We’ve talked to 1,400-odd people and they’ve given us a level of information — some of them have shared completely, some of them have shared partly, McColl added. There are people who were probably expecting police to knock on their door and say, ‘What do you know about this?’ Perhaps we haven’t got to that for a variety of reasons … and we want to talk to those people. Don’t wait. Talk to the police now.

2010: This case would NOT BE SOLVED based on “forensics”. Someone who has information about Lindsay’s murder needs to step forward. This case will be solved based on “loose lips.

5.(L) “Edgar was a good person and didn’t deserve this happening to him. He was an innocent victim,” said Vancouver police homicide detective Sgt. Mike Heard. “He was socializing, he was young. Because of his lifestyle choices, it cost him his life.”

5.(B) “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.

Police said: “You can be a person who just works and minds their own business in Victoria, yet through a very brief network of FRIENDS, you could be absolutely CONNECTED to people that are involved in very bad things”.

6.(L) Police believe he met someone on Saturday night, brought the man back to his apartment, and was dead before sunrise. Edgar did not show up for work on Monday or Tuesday, prompting anxious colleagues to phone his brother, who filed a missing person’s report. The next day, Wednesday, Aug. 27, a worried Eric asked the apartment building manager to check inside Edgar’s place. She had a quick look but saw nothing amiss. Later in the day, though, Edgar’s good friend and co-worker Tracy Tomic stopped by the building and insisted the manager let her have another peek inside his suite.

Although police will not let Tomic discuss the crime-scene details, she found her friend’s body somewhere in the bedroom and ran screaming from the apartment.

“I’ll never let this go. It’s always going to be with me. It had a really negative impact on my life. It gave me fears that I never had before,” she said, adding her friend didn’t deserve such a death. “He was always happy. He was always smiling. He was a real pleasure to be around. He never had a bad thing to say about anybody. He was just a really nice, good, genuine person.”

6.(B) Buziak was targeted — that much authorities say with confidence. Police say real estate agent Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 while showing a home to some new clients she never met before. Now they needed to determine just who the couple is that she was meeting with. At the time, police knew nothing of the couple they now believe carried out the attack, or how they were able to slip out of the house undetected. Only who they found when they arrived on the scene — Lindsay’s boyfriend Jason Zailo and one of his friends.

We locked down the house immediately. Mr. Zailo and his friend were both taken into police custody,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Horsley.

Turns out, it was Zailo who called police to the house. And at the station, he gives investigators a breakdown of his whereabouts that day.” At 6:05 p.m., Jason Zailo calls police to express his concern. “Between the police arrival and that first 911 call Jason and his friend noticed a rear French door is ajar on the home,” said Horsley. Then, as seen in police video recorded at the crime scene shortly after the murder, Zailo tells investigators how his friend entered through the back and let him in through the front.

“Mr. Zailo and his friend were under intense police scrutiny. However, Mr. Zailo was cooperative with police,” said Sgt. Horsley. “He also partook in a polygraph exam, and he passed. “Based on forensic evidence, timeline of communications, witness testimony, video surveillance, we know he’s not the killer,” said Sgt. Horsley.

Police say the evidence supports Jason Zailo’s version of events.

“She does not personally appear to have any enemies, so what is the motive for the killing?” said Horsley.

Police do have some strong theories though. One of them tied to a trip Lindsay Buziak made to Calgary just six weeks before her murder. “This was in December and the murder was in February,” said Sgt. Horsley. Apparently, while Lindsay was in Calgary, she reached out to an old acquaintance from Victoria, once by phone and another time through Facebook. What they do know is that the person she contacted was the family member of a man named Erickson Delalcazar, and that shortly after Lindsay went back to Victoria, Delalcazar, along with 13 other people, was caught in the biggest drug bust in the history of the province. “What we can say is that people lost a lot of money and the people that lost the drugs know that someone spoke to the police,” said Horsley. “A witch hunt occurred where people were being questioned, people were being pulled out of their beds in the middle of the night and asked ‘Who have you spoken to?’ because they know someone spoke to the police.”

“Lindsay Buziak was the target of this murder but it may have been a target of opportunity where they needed to solve a problem and she was the solution.”

Lindsay Buziak was the kind of girl other people wanted to be around. Especially people like Jason Zailo. “She was with Jason, at the time, and I knew that she was extremely happy,” said Sara Buziak, Lindsay’s sister. “I absolutely adored him.”

7.(L) Film from a camera police found in Leonardo’s apartment contained 25 photos of him with various men taken about two weeks before his death. Police have identified and contacted about 18 of them, but there are still a half dozen for whom they don’t have names.

All other leads have been exhausted. Officers have interviewed a hundred people for this case, travelling to Ontario and Alberta multiple times, tested more than 40 DNA samples, issued a $10,000 reward and released a CrimeStoppers video.

7.(B) Police pored over Buziak’s life — interviewing her friends, previous boyfriends, family and work colleagues. To date(2009), detectives have interviewed 1,471 people, said Insp. Rob McColl, head of the major crime unit. Some interviews were conducted in B.C., others in cities such as Calgary.

By 2009 officers chased down 752 tips and executed 30 search warrants looking for evidence, McColl said. They searched the Songhees condo where Buziak and Zailo lived, and collected dozens of footprints from real estate agents and clients, in an attempt to weed out suspects from legitimate prospective buyers who had toured the home. Yet the killing remains unsolved. Police consider it a “whodunit,” not a simple “smoking gun” homicide, McColl said. “It’s common that these investigations are measured in years, not months.” Police aren’t yet willing to divulge if they have a suspect, saying the focus remains on putting together the most detailed and accurate case they can, to ensure success if and when it goes to court.

The Greater Victoria Real Estate Board and CREA have joined with the Buziak family to post a $100,000 reward for information that would solve the brutal murder of 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak, a Re/Max Camosun sales rep.

The reward, open for six months, is keeping the public focus on the two-year-old murder. Saanich police held a news conference on the 2010 anniversary to release new details in the investigation. Police are looking for information relating to a middle-aged couple seen at the home as well as information on the name Paulo Rodriguez, the user name of the cell phone that called Buziak to her death. “Lindsay was intentionally targeted, she was intentionally lured to the home and she was intentionally killed,” said police in a news release.

 

As you may have noticed in the Leonardo case forty-five people who knew Leonardo have been checked out by investigators, but all were eliminated as possible suspects. In Lindsay’s case, there are people who claim everyone should be a suspect until arrests are made and no one should be eliminated as a possible suspect. That isn’t reality though. Police have gone on record and said over the years “they’ve had suspects and they’ve RULED out suspects.” https://globalnews.ca/video/embed/4000618/

You may have also noticed that the police did not reveal the cause of Leonardo’s death because of the ongoing investigation. Although the case is 17 years old it is still an active investigation. In Lindsay’s case, the police would not reveal the extent of Lindsay’s wounds and her case is also still active.  Police procedures are the same in both cases. 

Let’s hope there is justice one day soon for both these victims.

 

 

 

 

 

Author: FAC