Lindsay Buziak, Chapter 2:
November is turning out to be a crazy month for me! I know that no one is reading these right now (except YOU mypetsweird411! Thanks!) but if anyone does care, I apologize for the updates being a bit slower than usual. Last time we were here, we covered the Danny Casolaro/Octopus mystery some more. Today, let’s shift gears and get back to Lindsay Buziak. In the last Lindsay Buziak update, I mentioned that this story has a LOT of backstory to get to, and I wasn’t lying. A huge part of what makes this story such a nightmare is that it’s a simple murder that leads into a Byzantine labyrinth of names involved in organized crime and drug trafficking (sounds familiar to another case we’ve been discussing?). Let’s take it from the very beginning: Before she started dating Jason Zailo, Lindsay was in a long term relationship with a man named Matt McDuff, whom she dated between 2001 to 2006. A big fan of “Sex and the City”, Lindsay used to say that Matt was her “Mr. Big”, until the two grew apart and ended the relationship. Along with Jason, Matt was one of the two men who were considered to be suspects in the earliest stages of the investigation, but by the time of the murder, the two had been separated for nearly two years and both had long since moved on to new relationships. Moreover, Matt had been on relatively amicable terms with Lindsay despite it all and on top of that, he’d been an hour away from the scene of the murder with his new girlfriend at the time of Lindsay’s death.
That just left Jason. A LOT has been said on the Internet about Jason’s strange behavior on the day of the murder. I could just believe that a man might wait outside the house to not be a “meddling boyfriend”, essentially providing his girlfriend with emotional/psychological support but no actual physical back-up. It’s the part where he decided to re-park his car to face away from the house, thus eliminating any chance of either him or his friend seeing the people walking out with clarity, that trips me up. I have yet to see any truly firm explanation given as to why Jason decided to do this, and if one has been offered, please feel free to let me know. For now, let’s keep Jason in the back of our heads and talk more about Lindsay’s past.
Matt McDuff, Lindsay’s ex-boyfriend, was never considered a true suspect beyond the very early stages of the investigation. He and his twin brother Malcolm were, by all accounts, honest and hard working men. British Columbia, however, is a small place, and they had some friends who were, to say the least, much less reputable than themselves. Allegedly, the McDuffs were tied to some people who were tied to people who were tied to a large scale drug bust involving the BC parliament and a rail scandal that led to the resignation of BC Premier Gordon Campbell. Let’s talk about this scandal for a bit, because it ties into some of the big speculations surrounding the Buziak murder. According to Wikipedia, the BC Legislature Raids, also known as “Railgate” in Canada, started when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launched a drug sting. In 2003, the RCMP was heavily monitoring Dave Basi, the ministerial assistant to former B.C. Finance Minister Gary Collins, to try and break up a cannabis and cocaine smuggling ring between B.C. and Ontatio run by Jasmohan Singh Bains, Basi’s cousin and a suspected kingpin.
During THAT monitoring, they got wind that Basi might be involved in some serious corruption, and a second investigation was launched that had nothing to do with the first drug-related one. The details go a little bit over my head, but apparently, there was some influence peddling involving a tax indemnity regarding the sale of BC Rail to RN Rail. How is this relevant to us, though? The McDuff brothers were good friends with the Del Alcazar brothers, who were major drug traffickers in Victoria who would later be involved in the biggest drug bust in Alberta history (a bit more on this later), and the Del Alcazars were known to Lindsay Buziak. Cirilio Lopez, one of the uncles of the four Del Alcazar brothers, was a major rival of Jasmohan Bains in the drug trade, according to the “Lindsay Buziak Murder” website set up by Lindsay’s father. Casefile additionally informs us that, likely due to the McDuff brothers’ ties with the Del Alcazar brothers, both Lindsay and Matt were considered to be persons of interest and had their phones tapped during the course of that investigation. When Lopez was arrested and taken off the streets, Jas Bains became the natural pick to replace him as the new drug kingpin of Vancouver Island, but at the time of Lindsay’s murder, Lopez was still a free man.
On January 22, 2008, a little under two weeks before Lindsay’s murder, Alberta nailed the biggest drug bust in its entire history. Law enforcement seized 25 kilograms of cocaine from a house in Calgary. Then, six days later, they found another 42 kilos of cocaine in the same house. Months later, they squeezed out yet another 14 kilos, for a grand total of 81 kilos. I’m told that that’s roughly $8 million worth of coke, which is absolutely staggering. As a direct result of this bust, 14 people in total faced charges, with two facing conspiracy to traffic charges. One of the men facing the hefty conspiracy to traffic charge? Erickson Del Alcazar.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the “Del Alcazars killed Lindsay” theory, let’s talk a bit about the degree of criminal sophistication involved in staging Lindsay’s murder. The number used by the mystery couple to lure Lindsay to the kill house was found on her Blackberry, then traced by the police. It was found to belong to a pay-to-talk “burner phone” that was purchased at a convenience store in Vancouver in late November, 2007. The only registration required was to put your name and address online, and, obviously, the murderer used both a fake name and an address strongly believed by the police to have been selected at complete random – a business in Vancouver that had nothing to do with any of this. And, also obviously, by the time the cops got to the store, the surveillance footage of the phone being purchased was already wiped out. But although the phone was purchased months ahead of time, it was only actually activated for use in late January of 2008, in Vancouver, days before the murder and just when Lindsay started getting her first calls from the “Mexicans”. This phone then traveled from Vancouver to Victoria 24 hours before Lindsay was killed, which the police figured out by monitoring cell phone towers. All in all, it made 6 calls to Lindsay and has never been used again.
Why is all of this significant, though? Well, for starters, the timing of the activation of the burner phone is pretty suggestive: One week after Erickson Del Alcazar gets nailed as part of the historical $8 million drug bust. Moreover, Lindsay is known to have been in Calgary 6 weeks before that drug bust, and she is further known to have had contact with Erickson Del Alcazar. Lindsay’s decision to be personally present in Calgary notwithstanding, the contact is believed to have been by phone only, and it is not known to anyone what the two talked about over the phone that day. But all of this – the criminal sophistication and forethought in having a burner phone ready to go months ahead of time, the fact that the killer likely traveled in from Vancouver to make the kill, the timing of when the murder was arranged, Lindsay’s known connection to the Del Alcazars – gave rise to rumors that Lindsay Buziak was believed to have been the snitch that had made the drug bust possible, and that the murder was a gang revenge killing.
Not that it matters, but she wasn’t. It seems to be more-or-less confirmed that Lindsay Buziak was completely irrelevant to the investigation leading to the drug bust, and that the bust had been well underway by the time she spoke to Del Alcazar. But the Del Alcazars could hardly have known that at the time. Could they have believed that Lindsay was a snitch?
Before we go any further, let me make one thing very clear: In pointing out Lindsay Buziak’s ties to the Del Alcazars, I am not attempting to smear her good name. Lindsay Buziak was not a criminal, and the fact that there were hardened criminals in her social sphere is entirely the product of the fact that Victoria is a small place where it’s tough to have a social life without running into at least a few bad apples. Estella in “Great Expectations” once memorably stated that, “Moths and all sorts of ugly creatures hover around a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?”. What was Lindsay supposed to do, hire PIs to run thorough background checks to make sure that none of her potential boyfriends had any underworld ties?
And yet, the underworld remains part of this story, so discuss it, we must. “Casefile” flirts with the idea that the Del Alcazar drug bust would have provided someone who already wanted Lindsay dead the perfect opportunity. She visits Calgary and then, not two months after, the police launch the biggest drug bust in Alberta history. It would not have been difficult, says the podcast, for someone to whisper in Del Alcazar’s ears that Lindsay had been the snitch with the intent of getting her murdered. I think the idea has merit, but for now, we’ll sit on it.
I’ll close this update with one last bit of evidence: In 2006, Jeff Buziak says, Lindsay came to him in shock. Clearly afraid, she told him that she saw something that she shouldn’t have seen, but never disclosed exactly what this was. This revelation has given rise to a great deal of speculation. Jeff Buziak, for his part, has given a recent interview suggesting that what she saw that day may have been even worse than drug trafficking, and may have been closer to snuff films or human trafficking. From previous research I’ve done, I know that snuff films are a 1970s urban legend that came about due to the rise of pornography as an industry and the resulting culture shock of America suddenly realizing that sexual paraphilias were much more commonplace than they’d previously imagined, so I’m inclined take this one with a big grain of salt.
Jeff Buziak, however, also noted something else that I considered extremely interesting. He pointed out that the caller must have been someone with at least a basic level of real estate expertise, because they told Lindsay that they were looking to buy due to an impending corporate transfer. Every realtor knows that corporate transfers mean motivated buyers looking to get something fast, but this isn’t the kind of thing a non-realtor would know. Whoever made the call knew exactly how to tailor their story to be irresistible for Lindsay, and were most likely either involved in the real estate business, or being coached by an accomplice that was.