'Killing, not murder': Accused triple murderer's statement to police played at trial

Basil Borutski says women used the courts against him, that OPP prosecuted him maliciously

October 05, 2017

Basil Borutski has not spoken in court during his trial so far, even though he's representing himself. (Sketch by Laurie Foster-MacLeod/CBC)

The day after the bodies of three women were found west of Ottawa in September 2015, the man accused of murdering them told police in an interview he was there to talk about "killing, not murder," and that he'd been wrongfully accused by women and police throughout his life.

A then bald, 57-year-old Basil Borutski sat down for hours with OPP Det. Sgt. Caley O'Neill in a small grey interview room with a blue floor at the Pembroke OPP detachment the morning of Sept. 23, 2015.


During the interview Borutski painted himself, sometimes heatedly, as an innocent man charged wrongfully in the past by two of the victims, as well as others. He repeatedly asked O'Neill to look into those charges and get him a "fair trial," and said that only then could O'Neill understand what happened, court heard.

The previous morning, the bodies of 66-year-old Carol Culleton, 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk and 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam were found at three separate crime scenes in and around the small community of Wilno, Ont.

Borutski's trial on three charges of first-degree murder in their deaths continued Thursday with testimony from O'Neill, the Crown's first witness. He specializes in polygraphs for the OPP's behavioural sciences section.

''I know all about your brotherhood'

In the videotaped interview, which is being played in court, O'Neill first spends time making sure Borutski understands his rights to counsel and that the interview could be used against him.

Early on, when O'Neill asks Borutski if he wants to talk to a lawyer, Borutski replies, "For killing, not murder."

He calls the criminal justice system corrupt, says he doesn't want to speak to any "crooks," and that there was "no point" in talking to a lawyer. He accuses police of mistreating him and neglecting his needs for water, food and back pain medication in the cellblock overnight, and he speaks repeatedly about police protecting each other when they've done wrong.

"I don't trust you one bit," Borutski tells O'Neill. "I know all about your brotherhood.

"I've never had a positive experience with a policeman. If I'd had a positive policeman my whole life would be different."

'Thou shalt not murder'

Borutski tells O'Neill he feels judged by police and accuses O'Neill of already knowing the entirety of his criminal record. "You're going by that stupid record you guys made," he says.

O'Neill then asks Borutski for the difference between killing and murder.

"Thou shalt not murder. The Commandments," Borutski says.

"So is killing justified? Is that what you're getting at?" O'Neill asks. "I believe it says thou shalt not kill."

"You're wrong. You better start reading the Bible," Borutski responds. "Find an old version before they changed it."

Borutski says all three women used him for money and help, that two of them lied in court against him. O'Neill asks why, since he's already suffered so much at their hands, he decided to kill them all just to make the point that the justice system doesn't work — and in so doing, suffer the consequences alone.

"I'm not quite sure what you're saying, but I think that do you not think society should open their eyes and change the way [it operates]?" Borutsi asked.

"Earlier you told me yourself that you know that women are abusing the system, using the system. So if you know that, and common sense applies, and there's lots of officers that know that, why isn't anything done? Why doesn't it change? Why do you allow people like me to be in jail, rot in jail with a physical disability and suffer with no medication. And then you get out and you're stigmatized and you live your life.

"You have no idea what it's like to know that you've done nothing wrong."

The trial was later adjourned for the day and will resume Friday morning with more from the interview.

Killings were revenge, Crown contends

Borutski's trial before Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger in Ottawa started earlier this week with jury selection and is scheduled to run for 17 weeks.

During opening statements Wednesday, Crown attorney Jeffery Richardson told the jury Borutski confessed to the three killings in the statement.

Richardson and fellow Crown attorney Julie Scott intend to prove that Borutski murdered the three women out of revenge.

"For Basil these murders are all about justice, his kind of justice. Justice where murders like these are justifiable, justice where women pay the ultimate price for using what Borutski says is a corrupt justice system against him, justice where Borutski gets to be judge, jury and executioner, justice where there is only one truth that counts: his truth," Richardson told court Wednesday.

"I submit to you that the truth is that Basil Borutski murdered Carol, Anastasia and Nathalie out of revenge. He thought about it before he did it and then he executed his plan perfectly."

Borutski has not hired a lawyer and is therefore representing himself at the trial, but he has refused to enter a plea or speak at all, forcing the court to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

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

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