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'I killed them because they were not innocent': Man accused of killing 3 women told police

CBC logo CBC 2017-10-06 Kristy Nease

Basil Borutski did not respond when asked for his plea to three charges of first-degree murder. © Sketch by Laurie Foster-MacLeod/CBC Basil Borutski did not respond when asked for his plea to three charges of first-degree murder. "This is not you, Basil, this is not you."

Those were the last words of 66-year-old Carol Culleton before she was strangled with a television cable at her cottage near Combermere, Ont., according to her accused murderer, Basil Borutski.

His chilling interview with Ontario Provincial Police Det. Sgt. Caley O'Neill — recorded the day after the killings of Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmderdam on Sept. 22, 2015, at three separate locations in and around Wilno, Ont. — was played for the jury in an otherwise silent Ontario courtroom in Ottawa Friday.

Court has heard that Borutski knew all three victims. He had been in previous relationships with Warmerdam and Kuzyk, and was convicted of offences against Warmerdam and Kuzyk in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Near the end of the hours-long interview the day after the killings, Borutski tells police he hasn't slept in days and that he's been trying to get help on a crisis line and through a probation officer. He says that he felt like his "head was going to blow off" and that "everything was just snapping in my head," but that he "got nothing."

Accused felt God was on his side

He tells O'Neill that the night before the killings, he spoke to an older woman at his building about the Bible and about the difference between killing and murder.

"Murdering is killing something innocent," he says in the interview. If the Bible said thou shalt not kill, people wouldn't be allowed to kill animals for food or for sport, he says.

Later, he talks about what happened on Sept. 22, 2015, saying he felt like God was on his side and telling him where to go, like he was in danger, like he could see everything happening as if he were watching through a camera or walking beside himself, and that the man he was watching was like a zombie.

"I killed them because they were not innocent. They were guilty. I was innocent. I had done nothing wrong in God's eyes," he tells O'Neill.

'You're lying to me again'

It started at Culleton's cottage.

"And I remember thinking that God is really helping me, because when I went to Carol's, Carol walked right outside. And then I asked her, I said, 'Why do you hate me, why are you doing this to me?'" Borutski tells O'Neill in hushed tones, his elbows on the table, his head in both his hands.

"And then she closed the door, I was right there, and then I broke the window with my elbow and I reached in and I unlocked the door. And she said, 'This is not you, Basil, this not you.'

"Then she told me that [a man] was coming over because the hydro was out, and I said, 'You're lying to me again,' and there was a, a cable TV coil, and I picked it up and I hit her with it and I wrapped it around her head. And she just kept saying, 'This is not you, Basil, this is not you.'"

After a long pause, O'Neill shakes Borutski's hand and thanks him for being truthful.

But it doesn't end there.

'The gun went off, because it just — lies'

After a break, Borutski talks about seeing himself with a gun days before because of his fear of police. He says he had earlier found a shotgun and some rusty old shells, and that he'd hidden them in the bush. 

Then he discusses the killings of Kuzyk and Warmerdam. He says he took Culleton's car, drove it to Kuzyk's house in Wilno and walked up to the door.

"Anastasia, she just walked out, and I asked Anastasia, I said, 'Why did you lie in court?' And she said, 'I didn't,' and then the gun went off, because it just — lies," Borutski says.

"What part of her body," O'Neill asks, referring to the 12-gauge shotgun blast that killed her.

"I have no idea, she ducked down. There was an island. I don't know," Borutski responds. "There was a little island and she was standing and she just went down, and the gun went off, after she went down. She went in and I walked in right behind her, it's as if it was supposed to be, and I turned around and I walked right back behind her.

"There was another girl there, she had a toothbrush in her mouth and she said, 'Who are you, I will kill you,' and that's all."

Afterward he asked God what to do, he says, and that he started to drive.

Next, Borutski made his way to Warmderdam's house near Eganville, Ont., court has heard.

'I followed her — boom. That was it'

When it came time to talk about her killing, Borutski offered little detail.

"What happened? I just drove in, walked in the door, she was sitting there, she went around the corner, I followed her — boom. That was it. And I walked out. It was funny, like I wasn't even pulling the trigger on the gun, the gun was just going off — boop."

O'Neill asks if there was anyone else there.

"I don't think so. I didn't see anybody," Borutski says.

Victims used him, lied in court, Borutski alleges

O'Neill is the prosecution's first witness, and the first half of his videotaped interview with Borutski was played in court Thursday.

On it, the jury heard Borutski tell O'Neill he'd been wrongfully accused by Warmerdam and Kuzyk, who he claims lied in court and abused the system to secure convictions against him. He also said all three victims used him.

He also said he doesn't trust police because they prosecuted him maliciously in the past, and he repeatedly asked O'Neill to reinvestigate the charges laid against him, as well as all his previous interactions with police, to understand what eventually happened.

During opening statements Wednesday, Crown attorney Jeffery Richardson alleged Borutski's interview with police also included confessions to all three killings.

Borutski remains silent in court

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

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.

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

He sat motionless and expressionless in the prisoner's box Friday, sometimes watching the screen, other times staring at the ceiling or down at the floor.

An amicus curiae, also known as a friend of the court, has been appointed to ensure Borutski gets a fair trial.

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