On February 2, 2008, 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak was brutally murdered – her body found in a vacant show-home in Saanich, a quiet suburb of Victoria, BC, Canada.
The slaying of Buziak, a vivacious young woman embarked on a promising career as a realtor with ReMax Camosun, has been called “senseless” by family and loved ones. And, it surely is senseless to all but those who planned and executed this heinous act.
Tragic, too, appear elements of the investigation into Lindsay Buziak’s murder.
In Saanich, BC, the small-town police force has failed in over three years to apprehend those responsible. Crimes, naturally, can take considerable time to solve.
But, at numerous points since the death of Lindsay Buziak, the Saanich Police Department’s actions appear so bizarre as to make their investigation a mystery in itself.
On February 2, 2010, at the second “anniversary” press conference since Lindsay Buziak’s murder, hosted by the SPD, it’s announced that Lindsay’s family, together with the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board and the Canadian Real Estate Association, was putting up a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer(s).
During the Q&A portion, Katie De Rosa, writer with the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper, asked the SPD spokesperson chairing the event:
“I have a question about the reward. At the beginning of the investigation there was talk of a reward and that was not followed through. So, why (is there) a reward now, and would there have been any difference made had there been a reward at the beginning of the investigation?”
SPD Sgt. Julie Fast answered:
“I can’t look back in time and I can’t say if we had done this, (then) this would have happened. We’re at a place in the investigation now where from the investigative side this is where we are at. This is a family reward remember. This isn’t coming from the police department. We’re facilitating it, but this is their reward and they have chosen this time to come forward with it. And that is a decision that was made by them.”
In this video – Saanich Police tell local, national, international (NBC Dateline) media that family of murder victim Lindsay Buziak made decision to not offer reward for two years
Fast’s disavowal of the SPD having a hand in the timing of the reward, however, is contradicted by the truth of the matter. Shortly after the murder, a March 2008 news report quotes Art Reitmayer, Lindsay’s uncle, speaking on behalf of devastated mother, Evelyn Reitmayer: “The family has considered putting up a reward, but police have told them they have sufficient information and there’s no need, Reitmayer said.”
Jeff Buziak, Lindsay Buziak’s father, lives in Calgary, Alberta, and has been proactive and, often, public in calling for answers and more effective policing. Lindsay’s mother’s side of the family has maintained a much more private stance and their limited public comments have been, uniformly, supportive of the SPD.
Whether it shows a family reaction to the SPD’s misleading statements about the reward, or diligent follow-up by journalist De Rosa, is not made clear, still, an article appearing in the Times Colonist, (the day after other news stories emanating from the second “anniversary” press conference), reveals the truth. It quotes, once again, Lindsay’s uncle Art Reitmayer:
“Asked why it took two years to post a reward, Saanich police initially said Tuesday that it was the family’s decision, but yesterday spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Fast said the family was acting on the advice of investigators.
“We’ve been asking to put up a reward from the beginning [of the investigation],” Reitmayer said. Until now, police advised against it, he said, citing concerns they would be ‘overwhelmed’.”
When police tell the family of a murder victim that there’s “no need” for a reward to seek information on their daughter’s killer(s) until two years after the crime – when memories have faded, people and evidence farther removed – it’s a cause for tears.
Even sadder, it fits a pattern.
To be continued…