I think over the course of managing this blog I only used someone's birth as a date for a story a handful of times, and now I have done it twice in a row. But this story is so interesting and I wanted to squeeze it in!
On November 2, 1983, Lindsay Buziak, a Canadian real estate agent, was born. At the age of 24 on February 2, 2008, she was murdered on a property viewing in British Columbia. The identify of the clients she was supposed to be showing the property to are unknown. As of 2020, her case remains unsolved.
Lindsay was born on November 2, 1983, 37 years ago today, to parents Jeff and Evelyn Buziak. She had one sister named Sara.
As a 24-year-old, Lindsay was working as a very ambitious real estate agent in Victoria, British Columbia. She had made a promising start in the field, and her family, friends and coworkers said she was popular and caring. Her boyfriend, Jason Zailo, was a member of a wealthy family that owned a successful real estate business.
In the latter portion of January 2008, Lindsay received a call from a woman with a foreign accent, "a bit Spanish but not really", according to Lindsay, saying that she and her husband were looking to buy a home with a $1 million budget. At the time, Lindsay said she thought maybe the caller had been faking the accent to conceal her identity. She was a little bit unnerved, and asked the caller how she had gotten her personal cell phone number. As a junior employee, it wasn't common for potential clients to be able to reach them via their personal phones. The caller said a previous satisfied client had shared it.
Lindsay told Jason and her father about the call and said she was a little bit concerned. However, her boyfriend encouraged Lindsay to take the client due to the high commission of the $1 million sale. To quell her concerns, he promised to sit outside the property in case anything went wrong. Lindsay agreed, and found a suitable property to sell to the mystery client. She set up an appointment with her (or them) at 5:30 pm on Saturday, February 2, 2008.
When the day came, Lindsay and Jason went to lunch before the showing, and left separately in their own vehicles. Lindsay went home to change clothes before the viewing, and Jason travelled to an auto shop to pick up a coworker. Jason was running late to meet Lindsay at the house and Lindsay was aware, as they exchanged several texts acknowledging his delay. (Which, I don't know yet if I think Jason will be a suspect in this case, but boo him for forcing her to take a client she was uncomfortable with and then showing up late when he promised he would be there, a condition by which she made her decision to go.)
The house was on De Sousa Place, a small cul-de-sac containing 4 houses. Lindsay had been told by the woman that she would come alone, but despite this, she showed up with her husband (or male partner). At 5:30 pm, 2 witnesses saw a 6-foot-tall white man with dark hair and a blonde woman between 35-45 wearing a "distinctively patterned dress" walking up to the house. Witnesses saw Lindsay shake hands with the couple, and believed based on her body language that she had never met them before. The 3 of them were seen entering the house.
Jason and his coworker arrived at around 5:40 pm, 10 minutes after he was supposed to be there. When they approached the property, they saw the man and woman come out the front door. However, when they saw him, they turned back inside the house. So, he waited for another 10 minutes and decided to drive back out to the street the cul-de-sac was off of, not wanting to be a "nosy, interfering boyfriend". Except SHE ASKED YOU TO BE THERE! Anyway. Another 10 minutes passed before he texted Lindsay to ask if she was okay. She never opened the text.
He waited another 20 minutes to go to the house to check in on Lindsay, and found the front door locked. He saw her shoes in the entrance hall, but no sign of movement in the house after repeated knocks on the door. He called 911. While he was on the line, his colleague found an entrance through a fence in the back garden and a wide open back patio door. He told Jason, who told the 911 operator they were going to go inside, and he hung up.
Jason's friend went through the main level of the home to unlock the front door and let Jason in. Jason ran upstairs immediately and found Lindsay lying in a pool of blood in the master bedroom. He called 911 again, and an ambulance arrived right away. She was pronounced dead when the paramedics arrived, stabbed multiple times with no defensive wounds. Nothing was stolen, and she had not been sexually assaulted.
Jason and his coworker were originally taken into custody, but quickly released after the timeline was verified via witnesses and timestamped surveillance footage from the auto shop. Jason has always refused to provide a DNA sample, but has otherwise been cooperative with police over the years through a variety of interviews and passed a polygraph test.
There was a complete lack of DNA, fingerprints, or physical evidence at the scene, and authorities believed that the murder was a well-organized professional hit carried out by people for whom this wasn't their first rodeo. The police believe that they were leaving through the front door when Jason arrived, but panicked and left through the back door when they spotted him. They believe their car was parked on a connecting street and not in the cul-de-sac, corroborated by witnesses who saw them walking around the area, not driving.
The phone used to call Lindsay was purchased in Vancouver several months before the murder and had never been used until the call was made. It was activated under a fake name, but registered to a legitimate business in Vancouver. However, it is believed the location was chosen at random. The phone was deactivated since and never used again. The use of the phone supports the police theory that the murder was meticulously planned out.
Jason's family was investigated due to their connections to the house Lindsay was killed in. De Sousa Court was named after developer Joe De Sousa, a friend and business associate of Jason's mother. However, police have stated that no one in the family is a suspect in the murder.
In trying to determine who might have wanted to kill Lindsay, police detectives learned that in December of 2007, about 8 weeks before the murder, Lindsay tried to contact a friend of her ex-boyfriend while visiting Calgary. On January 22, 2008, that friend was arrested in Alberta in the city's largest drug bust in history, the friend being a major participant in a drug trafficking operation. It was speculated that her murder may have been ordered by a drug cartel because they believed she was a police informant. However, the theory was thrown out because she was not an informant, and further, they believed that the personal nature of her death did not suggest a hired killer.
Crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary and veteran Homicide Detective Dwayne Stanton believe that Lindsay's murder was not contracted or drug-related, but personal, and planned by someone close to her.
Later the same year, a close friend of Lindsay's claimed she was woken up by a call in the middle of the night from an unknown number, a female with a strange accent she couldn't place. She remembered that Lindsay had received the same type of call before her murder, and she panicked. Now, here's where shit gets weird.
Her friend, Nikki, claimed she was not fully alert and awake and terrified. She called the number back "20 or 30 times" until someone finally answered the call. Finally, someone answered. The person on the other end of the line? Shirley Zailo. Jason's mother, and friend/business associate of the owner of the cul-de-sac where Lindsay was murdered. Shirley said that she meant to call her assistant Nikki, and didn't know why she had this Nikki's number, but assumed her son added it.
Shirley claims that this never happened, and Nikki's story was never corroborated by authorities. But still. Weird.
Most internet sleuths think that the ties to the drug cartel are silly, and don't make sense (mostly because the original phone call came before the drug bust even occurred).
I'll be honest - I think her boyfriend's family is involved. Yes, he offered to be there, but perhaps he did that just to make sure the job was done and she didn't survive? It is understandable that he was late, but it is weird to me that he moved his car when the killers walked out to not be an "overbearing" boyfriend when she had asked that he be there because she was worried. Sure, his actions could just be the young, dumb actions of a 24-year-old... but he did a lot of stuff that makes him suspicious to me. Especially when he was the one who convinced her to take the deal.
One user did talk about how a woman's gut instinct is often ignored, and this certainly could be a case of that. He convinced her to take the deal because he thought she was being paranoid. He agreed to go, but didn't take it seriously because he thought she was overreacting. He drove off when they left and went back inside because he didn't want to intervene if everything was normal. It is suspicious, but it is also how a lot of men treat a woman's gut instinct or "paranoia" in situations they deem dangerous. It could be that. But also, maybe not.
But even so, who hires a hitman to kill their girlfriend, or their son's girlfriend if Shirley was involved? Had he ever tried just... breaking up with her? What motive would they have for hiring someone to brutally stab her inside a home that their family had connections with (the murder making it potentially more difficult to sell)?
But it is pretty much non-arguable that the murder was criminally sophisticated. Burner phones were used, they were spotted but never caught, they planned an escape route, and left no physical evidence. It doesn't necessarily mean a hit team, but it does mean it was extremely well-planned. However, she was overkilled. She was stabbed 40+ times in a very messy murder. And that is not suggestive of a hit man. But it really couldn't just be 1 crazed killer or something, because 2 people, a man and a woman, were seen going into the house. So it comes back to being hit man-esque.
I am in the camp that the mom and boyfriend were in on it together. Why? I have no idea, and I have no proposed motive. But it just couldn't be some one-off random murder. It was pre-planned, and 2 people were spotted. It wasn't a crime of opportunity. And some random couple wouldn't have a motive to kill a young real estate agent that they planned for weeks. So there has to be a reason for 2 people with professional criminal level activities to have murdered Lindsay. He and his mother's suspicious activities make them the most likely for me, but again, I have no idea why.
One proposed motive comes from a Reddit user who listened to a podcast about the case. (Super credible information, I know.) Apparently, Shirley had bought a super upscale home for Lindsay and Jason pretty early on in their relationship. They spent a small fortune renovating the home. And then, Lindsay broke up with Jason. Then, they started dating again and Shirley purchased a condo for them. Later, Jason overheard Lindsay telling Nikki that she was going to move away once her deals cleared. But they never really discussed that overheard conversation. No argument, no break up.
The user paints a picture. Shirley is thrilled her son found a beautiful young woman to share his life with. She helped Lindsay with her career, helped give an advantage over others on the scene, connecting her with the right people. She buys her a home, only for Lindsay to realize she isn't happy. But they get past it. But shortly after, and another home purchased, Jason learns she still isn't happy. Shirley becomes resentful, pouring money and professional resources into this relationship only for her to waffle back and forth if she wants to be with him.
Perhaps she believed Jason was never going to officially cut ties, and Shirley realized Lindsay would continue to be a thorn in her side who could potentially continue using money and resources from the family while she was with Jason, and Shirley wanted her out of the picture. If all of this background is true, I think this is a really believable motive. Within the early portions of their relationship, she had already poured a small fortune into Jason and Lindsay's relationship, and she saw that becoming a regular thing with her. Perhaps they hired the couple to kill her, or hired the couple to walk in to throw others off, the real killer waiting inside. Who knows. I think Shirley does.
This is such a bizarre and heartbreaking case. If her boyfriend was involved, I am horrified. Talking her into doing something she didn't want to do and failing to protect her when she asked for it is so disgusting, and she would have died terrified and betrayed. If he wasn't involved, I am really sad for him. He made a series of bad decisions, likely thinking Lindsay was overreacting, and it led to her death. However, since no other theories make sense, I do believe Jason and his mother were somehow involved.
While it is fascinating to learn about and speculate upon, the one thing that is known is that a 24-year-old woman, a kind hearted, sweet young woman with a bright future ahead of her, had her life brutally ended for no real reason. Her light was extinguished too soon, and that is the tragedy here. I just hope one day, we learn who committed this brutal, mysterious crime.