By Nicole Beaver
Initially, this article stated, “the last time police made a public statement was seven years prior!”
It has been corrected to state, “the last time police made a public statement regarding leads in the investigation was on the seventh anniversary of Lindsay’s death, in 2015.”
What happens when those who are supposed to protect us fail us? In recent times, police officers have come under fire by media for their disregard of human life. At the forefront of this have been the “Black Lives Matter” movement, police brutality, and racism. However, these issues are not the focus of this article. I was recently given the privilege of speaking with Mr. Jeff Buziak, the father of Lindsay Buziak–a real estate agent in Saanich, British Columbia who, in 2008, was murdered in a home she was showing. As of February 2, 2019, her murder has remained unsolved for 11 years. Her father now works in Calgary and, when contacted, agreed to speak with me about the struggles he has faced in dealing with the police. While the media has extensively covered this case over the years, most of it has looked at it from the perspective of the police or on an impersonal level. I chose, however, to speak to Mr. Buziak as the father of a daughter who was murdered and learn his side. Because of that, this article is personal. His message, as well as the correlating evidence seen in other articles documenting the case, needs to be heard.
For context, Lindsay was described as a wonderful, vivacious, and spectacular person. According to her father, she lived a low-risk lifestyle and had a good upbringing in spite of her parents’ divorce. She was close to both her mother and father. She was focused, career-driven. Like most of us, she worked hard. On February 2, Lindsay went alone to meet clients who wanted to buy a house for $1 million. Though she was nervous, her boyfriend encouraged her to take the job and assured her that he would be outside in his car in case anything went wrong. She entered the house around 5:30 p.m. To summarize a very painful, very horrific crime, Lindsay was found at about 6:10 PM brutally stabbed and mutilated.
Since then, the investigation has come to a standstill. The last time the police issued a statement was a year ago, on the tenth anniversary of her death: “Although not actively participating, the Saanich police are aware of the many falsehoods, accusations, and erroneous information posted on the internet.” This statement is addressing internet forums which have banded together to try and help gather information. The first line, however, “not actively participating,” seems a little haunting. There has been a lack of effort made to pursue other avenues of Forensic Science, such as specialists in working on cold cases. This case has yet to be labelled an unsolved homicide/cold case.
The National Post stated in a 2017 article that the “Saanich Police refuse to classify it as a cold case” since they are still presumably “actively investigating.” And when you do the math, this strange lack of response to the public is damning. Police don’t want the public to get involved. There is proof of this regarding their lack of interest within community forums dedicated to trying to help solve the case. The concerned citizens are being brushed off as “misinformed” according to Times Colonist (a daily newspaper in Victoria, BC) and yet they themselves will not take the chance to look into any information that arises. For example, the statement made regarding internet forums? It may have also been about something else. There was a comment posted on Mr. Buziak’s website dedicated to the memory and investigation of his daughter’s murder in 2017 which claimed that they were the “killer.” Mr. Buziak reported that he screenshotted it, printed it out and sent it to the Saanich Police. Mr. Buziak, according to the National Post’s article in 2017, “[Did not hear] back from anyone at Saanich police,” and the last time police made a public statement regarding leads in the investigation was on the seventh anniversary of Lindsay’s death, in 2015
There is a 40% chance, according to Vox, that you may get away with murder in the US. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, there was an increase of 2% in the homicide rate in 2008. Virtually all of the increase came from British Columbia and Alberta. The same happened again in 2017, with British Columbia experiencing a 31% rise in homicides. On BBC news, an article was published in 2018 about how the sister of murder victim Chris Farmer managed to catch her killer after the police did little to solve the case. It took 37 years to reach that point. Lindsay has been deceased for eleven years, and hers is not the only case on which the police have gone deathly quiet. Cheryl Voordenhout of Edmonton was also found murdered in 2017, and yet, little has been done since the start of the investigation. Like Lindsay, little has been released to the public although it has been over a year since her body was found. Women are being killed in Canada, and the police seem reluctant to do much revolving around their cases. Mr. Buziak suggests that the police have a culture of irritation regarding how the public tries to get involved with a case. In some cases, yes, it is a fair and understandable response. But when it comes to the families of victims, the police’s resistance to any involvement, even when a case has a lack of results, is appalling. Mr. Buziak has said in recent interviews, including mine, that there is supposed to be a review of the case–the third one since her death–this month by the RCMP Office of Investigational Standards and Practices. Saanich police also participated in strategic advisory groups with other homicide officers from across the province, including members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team from the Lower Mainland. What the article fails to mention is that a review is meant to ensure that paperwork is in order. This will take the time, money, and resources that should be going to Lindsay’s case!
The fact of the matter is that there is a lack of credibility regarding what is being done. There has been little to nothing in the past year stating what strides the police are taking in order to investigate further, despite protests and Mr. Buziak’s own inquiries. This misplacement of funds and reluctance to take a piece of evidence, no matter how strange, means that there is less of a chance that a murder may be solved because of bias. And there is proof of this. Psychology Today’s November 5 article, “The Media and Police Promote Myths about Murder,” outlines many myths based on the biases police have, including that of race and gender. As quoted from the article, “lack of exposure to such cases leads investigators to extrapolate rare anecdotal information from one incident and apply it to another. As a result, certain stereotypes have taken root among law enforcement authorities regarding the nature of homicide cases involving white female perpetrators and victims.” This statement sounds eerily similar to what has happened to Lindsay Buziak.
So what does this mean for us women of Concordia, Edmonton, and Canada itself? If the police do have a culture of bias and reluctance about Lindsay and Cheryl, what does that mean for our own safety? Yes, the police are there to protect us. But their handling of this case, the sheer injustice of it puts doubt into my mind. We, as women, need to demand accountability for when the police do things wrong–something that our society as a whole should also be doing. Regardless of how the system works, if it doesn’t work for us, if the mistakes are never addressed and effort is only made to sweep problems under the proverbial rug, how is the system supposed to work at all? When asked if there was a final statement he’d like to make, Mr. Buziak stated, “I don’t know what my future holds. I promised Lindsey that I would find out who did it, and I’ll only stop until they’re caught…” Though he is tired, Mr. Buziak doesn’t want sympathy. He wants help in his fight. He is fighting for Lindsay, for women in Edmonton and all over Canada who are victims of crime. He’s fighting against the abuse of justice in hopes that cases like Lindsay’s stop happening.
If you would like to know more about this case, you can visit https://lindsaybuziakmurder.com/. You can also find the related Dateline episode, “The Dream House,” Crimewatch Daily’s 3-part episode “Who Killed this Real Estate Agent?” (available on Youtube), the Casefile podcast’s episode 28, the podcast BrainScratch’s episodes “Who Killed Lindsay Buziak?” in 3 parts, and finally, YouTuber Shauna Ray covers it in on her own YouTube channel, titled “WHO KILLED LINDSAY BUZIAK?! How is this real?!”