Basil Borutski says he was arrested 'for killing, not murder' in police interview
Basil Borutski Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network
OTTAWA – The day after Basil Borutski was captured and charged in the violent deaths of three women, he told a police detective he was arrested “for killing, not murder.”
Borutski, who is self-represented in his trial on three counts of first-degree murder, has said nothing when called upon in court. But the jury heard from the accused for the first time Thursday as the Crown called its first witness, the OPP detective who interviewed Borutski the morning after the Sept. 22, 2015, rampage.
The Crown played the first portion of that five-hour interview in which Borutski gives what the Crown has characterized as a full confession in the killings of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam.
“He thought about it before he did it and then he executed his plan perfectly,” Crown prosecutor Jeffery Richardson had said in Wednesday’s opening statement, calling the evidence against Borutski “overwhelming.”
On Thursday, the Crown sought to offer the first of that evidence in Borutski’s own words.
“I didn’t murder anyone,” Borutski said five minutes into the interview with OPP Det. Sgt. Caley O’Neill, conducted at the OPP’s Pembroke detachment on Sept. 23, 2015, prior to Borutski’s first bail hearing.
Over the following 90 minutes, Borutski -- frequently referring to himself in the third person -- railed against a “corrupt” system, accused police officers of “malicious prosecution” and the courts of unfair treatment, repeatedly referenced the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and eventually turned his attention to the women he believed wronged him.
“I’m not religious, I am spiritual. And if you understand you’d know the difference between killing and murder … It’s called justice. I never had justice in my life,” he told the detective, claiming he had been “framed” for previous incidents involving Kuzyk and Warmerdam.
The Crown said in its opening statement that Borutski was charged and convicted of offences against Kuzyk in 2014, and charged and convicted of offences against Warmerdam in 2012.
“I want you to look into the past charges against me by those women and do a proper investigation from the point of view of what really happened. And then have a retrial, a fair trial. And then we’ll talk about reality," said Borutski. "You gotta start where the seed was sown. Then you’ll see how it snowballed and snowballed."
As the interview played, Borutski remained silent in the prisoner’s box, with his eyes closed or staring at the ceiling.
Borutski told the detective he met Nathalie Warmerdam around 2010 when she was a hospice nurse caring for his ailing father.
He moved in and lived at her farm until 2012, when he was charged in an incident for threatening the "hang" Warmerdam’s son.
“Did I deserve to go to jail for that? No, no, no,” he said, cradling his head in his hands in the police interview room.
He then claimed he was dating Culleton “when Anastasia came along.”
“I treated Anastasia like a daughter, she was a friend,” he said. He moved in with the younger Kuzyk, 20 years his junior, but claimed they never had a relationship.
“But then in court she said yes (there was a relationship.) That was a lie,” he said.
He then complained about the financial burden he shouldered while doing repairs on each woman’s home.
"And then (Culleton) moved back with her boyfriend and she’s laughing. Calling me the BF – the best friend who will do anything she wants … They’re all connected – they all know each other.”
According to the Crown, Culleton had “befriended” Borutski, but “Basil wanted more from this relationship with Carol than Carol was prepared to give.”
In the police interview, Borutski also accused his ex-wife of making “fictitious charges” to ensure custody of their children through divorce proceedings, saying his ex-wife charged him on three separate occasions. He said he was found not guilty twice, and on the third occasion, the charges were stayed.
“I was innocent of all those charges,” he said, his demeanour growing heated as the interview progressed. “There was police officers that constantly tried to frame Basil, then you’ll see how it evolved little by little by little … Basil had no choice. The system just screwed him …
“I was in jail, out of jail, my reputation (tarnished). Even though I was found not guilty, I had a criminal record for 20 years that wasn’t supposed to be there. You know what it’s like to live with a criminal record … that you’re not supposed to have?
“I was in jail for nothing. The person that accused me should have been charged.”
When asked the difference between "killing and murder," he replied: "Thou shalt not murder. The Commandments," claiming that while not religious,"I understand (the Bible) more than most priests."
At one point, Borutski told the detective, "The most horrible thing you can do is put an innocent person in jail."
O'Neill replied, "I think the most horrible thing you could do is kill a woman ... I think you agree with me."
"You should re-educate yourself," Borutski replied.
The detective said he didn’t bother asking whether Borutski had in fact killed the three women. He said the evidence investigators had already compiled led the veteran officer only to ask, "Why?"
“I’m trying to show the world how wrong the system is,” Borutski eventually said. “It’s wrong what the system done to me.”