Crown closes case against accused killer with death timeline
Defence to call first of 3 witnesses Monday
The Crown has wrapped its case against Ian Bush — accused of killing a retired tax judge, the judge's wife and their friend and neighbour — by presenting a sequence of events leading up to the discovery of their bodies, as well as an excerpt of a crime novel Bush appears to have been writing.
Ottawa police Sgt. Dan Brennan took over the cold case in 2011 with a team tasked with having a fresh look at the file.
Under examination-in-chief Thursday by Crown attorney Tim Wightman, Brennan took the jury through what happened on June 29, 2007, the day investigators allege Alban Garon, Raymonde Garon and Marie-Claire Beniskos were killed.
Bush, now 61, was charged in 2015 and has pleaded not guilty.
Friday, June 29
6:45 a.m.: The security system at the three-tower Riviera condo complex crashes, court hears. That morning, a rear door to the moving room at one of the condo complex towers — 1510 Riverside Dr., where all three victims lived on the 10th floor in units 1001 and 1002 — is left unlocked.
9 a.m.: Raymonde Garon records her blood pressure in a book in the kitchen in unit 1002.
9-9:30 a.m.: In unit 1001 Marie-Claire Beniskos's sister calls, and they speak for about half an hour. She tries to call Beniskos back, but there is no answer.
10:16 a.m.: Raymonde Garon receives a call from a friend, which lasts five to 10 minutes.
10:18 a.m.: Bush appears on surveillance video at OC Transpo's Hurdman station, just metres away from the Riviera condo complex. He is seen getting off a bus, then walking south toward the condo.
10:30-11 a.m.: A male is observed in an elevator by a worker at the condo. The male gets off the elevator at the 10th floor and turns right, heading toward units 1001 and 1002, where Beniskos and the Garons live.
11:19 a.m.: Bush appears on surveillance video at Hurdman station again, heading north to the bus shelter.
11:30 a.m.: Alban Garon fails to meet friends for lunch in Aylmer. The friends call the Garons at their condo, and call the Garons' cottage as well, but get no answer. They wait for Alban Garon at the restaurant for two hours, then leave.
Saturday, June 30
Court hears that that morning, Raymonde Garon's brother, Jean-Pierre Lurette, and his wife, Claudette, are asked to check on the Garons. Claudette Lurette goes to their apartment and gets no answer, then heads to the parking garage, where she saw both the couple's cars.
9:30 a.m.: Jean-Pierre Lurette goes to the Garons' condo, walks in through the unlocked and undamaged front door, and discovers the bodies of the victims.
Brennan was also asked to read several excerpts from journals and other documents found by police executing a search warrant at Bush's home on Valade Crescent in December 2014.
Among those documents were several pages of a typed "novel outline" Bush appears to have been working on, which contains a link to other evidence heard earlier in the trial.
Crime novel outline
The preamble of the novel outline introduces a police inspector investigating a homicide, described as a "cog" born into and "indoctrinated" by a system of "systemic extortion."
"As he stood in the cold drizzle of the September night in Toronto, he reread the card in its plastic evidence bag," the preamble reads. "'When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.'"
Those exact words appear on one of three white cards found by police in a satchel at Bush's home, which also contained a variety of weapons and rope.
Another of the cards reads, "Drive them quickly to their graves."
Defence will call 3 witnesses
The Crown's case took about a month to present and wrapped Thursday afternoon.
In a brief opening statement, defence lawyer Geraldine Castle-Trudel thanked the jury for their attention so far on behalf of herself, her client and the court, then told them she'll be calling three witnesses.
"There are only three issues which I'd like to clarify with you, to assist with your deliberations," she said.
A DNA expert will talk about the DNA test results on a smear of mixed blood found in the Garons' condo.
Earlier, court heard that not long after the killings, DNA testing showed a Toronto man couldn't be excluded as the source of some of the blood. The probability that a randomly selected person unrelated to him would coincidentally share the same DNA was estimated to be one in 13,000.
Years later, after police executed a warrant for a sample of Bush's blood in 2015, the smear of blood from the scene was tested again. It showed Bush also couldn't be excluded as the source, and gave the same match probability as Thavaratnam: one in 13,000.
The defence will also call an engineer to discuss the balconies at 1510 Riverside Dr., as well as a hair and fibre expert to discuss how hair can be transferred from place to place. Earlier in the trial, the defence admitted that a body hair belonging to Bush was found at the crime scene.
The trial continues Monday with testimony from the defence's first witness.