Jeff Buziak made a bold statement by wearing a noose around his neck for the sixth annual Lindsay Buziak Walk for Justice in Saanich on Tuesday.
It was the eighth anniversary of his daughter Lindsay’s death. The 24-year-old real estate agent was brutally stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008, while showing a new upscale home to an unknown couple in De Souza Place in Gordon Head.
The noose around Jeff’s neck is there to symbolize his anger, vulnerability and desire for justice, said the outspoken father.
“Obviously I’m angry, obviously someone took my child, and the way I feel is very dark right now,” said Buziak. “I wish this [noose] on [the killers], but I also feel this is me.”
The burden of losing a child to murder is what drives him everyday, but is also killing him everyday, he added in a solemn tone. “I feel like a prisoner, like I’m being hanged by this noose, every day I’m just hanging on.”
The case continues to baffle Saanich residents, dozens of whom joined in the three-plus hour walk on Tuesday. It started at the Royal Oak Burial Park where Lindsay’s ashes remain, all the way to De Souza Place and then back to Saanich’s municipal hall. At that point Saanich Police and others spoke about the case.
Few details have been made public, but police revealed in 2010 that a woman used a pay-as-you-go cellphone to arrange a viewing with Buziak at the murder scene. The Vancouver-based caller had a thick, Spanish-like accent, Lindsay told her father and friends. She expressed unease about the meeting, and said the woman and her husband wanted to purchase a property within two days. The couple was prepared to spend upwards of $1 million for the right location.
About half an hour after meeting the supposed buyers, Buziak was discovered by her then-boyfriend, local real estate agent Jason Zailo, on the second floor of the De Sousa Place residence, her body butchered by stab wounds. Zailo was soon ruled out as a suspect.
Police estimate the murder took place between 5:38 and 5:41 p.m.
In 2010, NBC’s Dateline TV program featured Buziak’s murder and Saanich Police revealed a flurry of information about the brutal killing. Dateline’s analysts believed Buziak was an innocent party, and that her murder was a targeted hit arranged by someone close to her. Insp. Rob McColl, one of two lead investigators interviewed by Dateline, told Saanich News in 2011 that police agreed with that conclusion.
“It’s unfortunate that it remains unsolved. Saanich Police has dedicated a large number of resources to this case and we still require that critical lead, that piece of information that someone out there has,” said Mayor Richard Atwell, who’s joined the walk two years running. “Someone needs to provide that anonymous tip to the police that will lead them to the killers and get justice for Lindsay Buziak.”
Jeff, for his part, believes Saanich Police is closing in on the final “pieces of the puzzle” and will eventually “cross the goal line.” At the same time, Jeff’s message of disappointment in the justice system remains clear.
“The reason we’re taking so long to get to justice is because of the way the system is set up, the burden of proof is so great to have anyone arrested and convicted that nowadays most people get away with it,” he said. “The bad people know this and they take advantage of it…”
Det. Sgt. Chris Horsley of Saanich Police is now the lead investigator on the file and has been part of the case since Day 1.
Despite Buziak’s harsh words for the Saanich Police, Horsley says they are often in touch regarding the case.
“We had coffee on Saturday and again Monday, and Jeff and I have a lot of contact with each other,” Horsley said.
Buziak had a run-in with an unknown resident in Saanich on Sunday, who Jeff claims knows something about the murder.
“It was on the street, I was threatened, hollered at, called profanities. I was told I’d be beat down and slapped down if I didn’t stop,” Buziak said on Tuesday. “Saanich Police were called because passersby saw me verbally violated on the sidewalk.”
Sgt. Steve Eassie said Saanich Police talked to both Buziak and the other party, who is known to Saanich Police, and matters were concluded. It is unknown if the other party is related to the Buziak case.
To date, Saanich Police have not publicly identified a suspect in Lindsay Buziak’s murder and no arrests have been made.
“Investigators have some info they’re working towards, but they haven’t shared info on suspects, whether they’re local or out of town,” Eassie said.
Leads continue to come in, said Horsley, who interviewed someone as recently as two weeks ago.
“With a first-degree murder, it will always be an active file at our department, there is always going to be leads to follow up,” he said.
Before commencing Tuesday’s walk, Buziak had a few comments for his daughter’s killers:
“We’re coming for you, don’t think you’re going to get away with it. There is no chance any of us will stop, we’re coming for you, you’re going to trial.”