Blood of two vic­tims found on Borut­ski’s clothes

Triple-mur­der trial re­sumes with Crown pre­sent­ing DNA and blood ev­i­dence

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - AEDAN HELMER ahelmer@post­

Basil Borut­ski was wear­ing the blood of two of his vic­tims when he was ar­rested fol­low­ing a Sept. 22, 2015 killing ram­page through Ren­frew County, ac­cord­ing to Crown tes­ti­mony as his triple-mur­der trial re­sumed Tues­day.

Fol­low­ing an eight-day break in the trial, prose­cu­tors Jef­fery Richard­son and Julie Scott called foren­sic sci­en­tist Camilla Se­wh­dat, who told the jury her team of in­ves­ti­ga­tors at Toronto’s Cen­tre of Foren­sic Sciences matched DNA lifted from Borut­ski’s blood­stained cloth­ing with sam­ples drawn from two of the women killed that day.

Borut­ski re­mained silent, his head bowed and eyes closed, re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge the court while rep­re­sent­ing him­self at his trial on three charges of first-de­gree mur­der in the killings of Carol Cul­leton, 66, Anas­ta­sia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmer­dam, 48.

Se­wh­dat tes­ti­fied that Borut­ski’s denim shirt was stained in sev­eral places with blood match­ing Cul­leton’s.

Borut­ski ad­mit­ted in a po­lice in­ter­ro­ga­tion that he beat Cul­leton and stran­gled her to death with a tele­vi­sion coax­ial ca­ble at her Ka­man­iskeg Lake cot­tage near Comber­mere, then drove her car to carry out the shot­gun killings of Kuzyk at her home in Wilno and Warmer­dam, who lived near Cor­mac.

A sin­gle blood­stain found on the top of the brim of Borut­ski’s Til­ley hat was matched with Warmer­dam’s DNA.

No DNA ev­i­dence link­ing Borut­ski to Kuzyk or the Wilno crime scene was en­tered in court.

When the first of the 54 ex­hibits submitted to the agency was re­ceived and cat­a­logued in Oc­to­ber 2015, in­ves­ti­ga­tors were not given Borut­ski’s name, and knew only that Pro­file 1 be­longed to a male. That pro­file was later iden­ti­fied as Borut­ski’s us­ing a sam­ple of blood col­lected by war­rant and sent un­der seal to the CFS in April 2017.

The foren­sic team used blood drawn from each of the vic­tims dur­ing au­top­sies as com­par­i­son sam­ples, and found pos­i­tive matches with two of the “un­known DNA pro­files” dis­cov­ered on Borut­ski’s cloth­ing, which he was wear­ing dur­ing his ar­rest and was later sent to the CFS.

“When a known DNA pro­file is com­pared to a sam­ple from an ev­i­den­tiary item, we con­clude the per­son can­not be ex­cluded if the known and the un­known pro­file is from the same source,” Se­wh­dat tes­ti­fied. “The only other ex­pla­na­tion is the known and un­known pro­file are the same by co­in­ci­dence.”

The agency cal­cu­lated that co­in­ci­dence, or “ran­dom match prob­a­bil­ity,” plac­ing the odds at one in 67 quadrillion that DNA con­tained in the blood on Borut­ski’s shirt be­longed to some­one other than Cul­leton, whose DNA was found on crime scene ev­i­dence.

Foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors found blood match­ing Cul­leton’s on the lower sleeves, front pan­els and a but­ton on the cuff of the longsleeved denim shirt Borut­ski wore that day.

Borut­ski’s own DNA traces were left on a cig­a­rette butt dis­carded in Cul­leton’s sink, and were iden­ti­fied on the en­ve­lope flap of the nine-page hand­writ­ten let­ter he mailed to Cul­leton’s North Gower home on the eve of her killing. Sim­i­lar ev­i­dence was also lifted from the en­ve­lope flap of a hand­writ­ten let­ter de­liv­ered three days af­ter the killings to Borut­ski’s pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer in Pem­broke. His DNA was also lifted from swabs of a wa­ter bot­tle re­cov­ered by po­lice.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors also lifted DNA ev­i­dence match­ing Borut­ski’s pro­file from swabs of blood dis­cov­ered on the cen­tre con­sole and in­te­rior front door of Cul­leton’s car.

The car was found near a hunt camp on Becks Road fol­low­ing Borut­ski’s ar­rest in a nearby Kin­burn field, hours af­ter the killings on the af­ter­noon of Sept. 22, 2015.

The shot­gun found in a nearby bush was sent to the CFS for ex­am­i­na­tion, but yielded “no DNA pro­file suit­able for com­par­i­son,” Se­wh­dat said.

Un­der brief cross-ex­am­i­na­tion from am­i­cus James Fo­ord — ap­pointed by the court to en­sure Borut­ski’s right to a fair trial — Se­wh­dat ac­knowl­edged the DNA test­ing “does not de­ter­mine” the time or the man­ner in which blood might be de­posited onto an ev­i­den­tiary item.

The trial re­sumes Wed­nes­day, with the Crown ex­pected to be near­ing the con­clu­sion of its case against Borut­ski.


Basil Borut­ski has sat in si­lence through­out the length of his trial so far on three counts of first-de­gree mur­der.


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