A man with a reattached hand who was just released from prison has been accused of killing three women in separate incidents across rural Canada. Basil Borutski, 57, was arrested after a 5-hour manhunt that began in the town of Wilno and spread to nearby Bancroft, about 110 miles west of the Canadian capital Ottawa.
The first victim, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, was found dead in the town of Wilno at around 9 a.m. Not long after that, Nathalie Wamardam, 48, was found deceased also in the town. Later, at around 11 a.m., Carol Culleton, 66, was discovered dead in her home in Bancroft. Borutski has been officially charged with three counts of first degree murder.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Well Known to Police
Basil Borutski was arrested peacefully in Ottawa, in the neighborhood of Kindburn in the west end. One man who knew at least one of the victims called the slayings “domestic violence.” Meanwhile, local politician Carl Bromwich told the Ottawa Sun the killings were “absolute slaughter.” Bromwich went on to describe Borutski saying “I knew of him, I didn’t want to know him personally. He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to be around, very strong, the typical outlaw biker type. He wasn’t one of the guys who talked the talk, he walked it too.”
The suspect just got out of prison and is known to local police, according to CBC’s Judy Trinh. At the time of his arrest, Borutski was armed.
The law offices of Langevin Morris Smith in Ottawa were on lockdown in connection with the shooting. This came after the Ottawa Police said that the suspect was headed to Ottawa. The law firm’s connection to the shootings has not been revealed. According to their Facebook page, the lawyers at Langevin Morris Smith specialize in family law, criminal law and personal injury claims.
CBC reports that the shooting broke out between Barry’s Bay and Killaloe in Wilno. The first gunshots were reported at around 8:30 a.m. local time. A witness, Barb Johnston told CTV Ottawa what she saw on the morning of the shooting:
I heard sirens going by, but they seemed to stop right after they got to our house and I thought they just turned off the sirens. My husband said ‘well there’s three police cars outside here’ and he said he saw one police going down on his knees and then about five minutes after that I heard a gunshot…It was a rifle shot, but it wasn’t like sharp. It was more muffled.
She added that three people live in the house where the shots came from on Szczipior Road.
2. He Lost His Hand in a Work Accident
According to documents from Borutski’s divorce, in the 1990s he lost his hand thanks to an accident he had while he worked as a millwright. Since then, he had fallen on difficult financial times. The hand was reattached, but soon after, Borutsky suffered a car accident that left him with serious back injuries.
3. He’s Done Time for Theft, Assault & Gun Charges
The Ottawa Sun reports that Borutsky was recently released from prison for “car theft, assault, choking and a firearms charge.” There is a lifetime weapons ban against Borutski, reports CBC. The station adds that his most recent release from prison was a “few weeks ago” and on probation.
The documents from his 2011 divorce from a woman named Mary Ann Borutsky, show that she accused him of assaulting her on multiple occasions. He “vehemently” denied the allegations. In the paperwork, it’s revealed that the couple had three children together.
4. He Was Once in a Relationship With Nahtalie Warmerdam
Nathalie Warmerdam had been in a relationship with Borutski, according to Co-operative Policing, a community group where she volunteered, reports CBC. That group’s president, Genevieve Way, told the network that the relationship between the pair had “soured.” Adding that Warmerdam had gone to the police for protection, Way said:
Nathalie certainly took all the steps she could to protect herself against Basil, in terms of going to the police and taking care of herself and getting away from him and saying no to him and all of that. Nathalie stood up for what she believed in. She stood up for a healthy relationship and she said no to the bully in her life. She kicked him out.
Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen, Warmerdam’s next door neighbor, Gary Johnston, said that Burutsky lived with Warmerdam for two or three years. He added that the suspect was “kinda weird” and had built a large fence around her home.
Her mother-in-law, Phyllis Warmerdam, told the Ottawa Sun that Nathalie Warmerdam was her former daughter-in-law. Phyllis said “She was very vivacious. She liked to come way down here on the farm. She’s a very nice lady and we enjoyed having her around. We’ll miss her a lot.” Warmerdam was the mother to two children. Her 18-year-old daughter had just graduated from Opeongo High School and her son was 20, reports the Ottawa Citizen.
Culleton was found dead inside of a rural cottage. According to Judy Trinh of CBC, Borutsky had been helping her fix up the home.
5. Another of the Victims Had Filed Abuse Charges Against Burutsky
The manner in which the victims died hasn’t been revealed. The victim on Szcipior Road was Anastasia Kuzyk. CBC’s Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco reported that she was a Century 21 real estate agent. She also worked at a local bar. Staff at that bar, the Wilno Tavern, said that Kuzyk had also been in a relationship with Burutsky, reports the Ottawa Citizen.
Corrine Higgins, the owner of the bar, told the Citizen “I wasn’t terribly impressed with him. He just seemed to be angry. It was his conversation, his attitude. He just had a chip on his shoulder against the world. I don’t know how to describe it – he just had an angry look. He had an angry intensity to him…She tried to separate herself from the relationship. It wasn’t like she was still involved with him. She had severed that relationship. He couldn’t let go.” Kuzyk had filed abuse charges against Burutsky.
She was based in Pembroke, Ontario, according to her now-deleted Century 21 profile.
Wilno is Canada’s oldest Polish settlement. According to the town’s website, Wilno was settled in 1859 by immigrant’s from Poland’s Kashubian region. The month of August is considered a celebration month in the town.