OTTAWA – In a chilling videotape confession played for a jury in an Ottawa courtroom on Friday, Basil Borutski detailed how he methodically drove around Renfrew County on a clear, September day two years ago, and killed three women in a little over an hour.
“I killed them because they were not innocent,” Borutski said in the confession given to police the day after the killings in September 2015.
“They were guilty. I was innocent. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Borutski, 59, is on trial for first degree murder in the deaths of 66-year-old Carol Culleton, 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk and 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam.
They were all killed in their homes in the Ottawa Valley northwest of Ottawa.
Borutski sat still and silent as the tape was played. He is representing himself, but refuses to participate, ignoring the judge and lawyers completely, staring straight ahead, often with his eyes closed.
That demeanour is in stark contrast to the video confession, where he yells and curses one moment and then sobs quietly as he weaves a terrifying narrative of the events of the fatal day.
His confession was difficult to follow at times, as he manoeuvred back and forth between the details of the killings and events that occurred in the days and even years leading up to them.
He screams as he accuses the police of harassment, threatening to shoot them if they come to his house again. He rails against crisis lines and lawyers that refuse to help him, yelling that he knew he was going to “explode” after years of people lying and having him thrown in jail for crimes he didn’t commit.
“Nobody (expletive) listens to me,” he shouts. “Nobody helps me. Nobody. And I was not lying. Ever.”
As he gets to the details of how he killed Culleton, who was the first to die that day, his voice softens and he buries his head in his hands.
The night before the murders, he said, he went to see Culleton, who he claims to have dated, at her cottage on Kamaniskeg Lake, where he said she and her new boyfriend laughed at him.
Then he returned to his home, about 24 km away in Palmer Rapids, Ont., and drank rye with a neighbour while they discussed the Bible, before falling asleep on the couch.
READ MORE: Did the law fail three murdered women?
The next morning, he borrowed a friend’s car, stopped for gas and then drove back to Culleton’s cottage.
“I remember thinking that God is really helping me because when I went to Carol’s, Carol walked right outside,” he says, so quietly it is at times difficult to hear, with long pauses between sentences.
“And then I asked her, I said, ‘Why do you hate me, why are you doing this to me?’ And then she closed the door, I was right there, and then I broke the window with my elbow and I reached in and I unlocked the door. And she said, ‘This isn’t you, Basil, this is not you’.”
He said Culleton then told him a man was coming over to fix the electricity and he told her she was lying.
“There was a, a cable, a TV coil, I picked it up and I hit her with it and I wrapped it around her head. She just kept saying ‘this is not you Basil, this is not you.’ And then, then I walked around the cottage.”
He said he found her purse and took her keys and phone and car. He threw the phone out the window as he drove so nobody could see the text message conversation they’d had.
He drove to Kuzyk’s house, about 20 kilometres away in Wilno, Ont., and she too walked outside before going back into her home after seeing him. He followed.
“I asked Anastasia ‘why did you lie in court?’ and she said ‘I didn’t,’ and the gun went off. Because it’s just lies.”
He said God then told him to get back in the car so he did and drove to Warmerdam’s home, about 30 kilometres west in Cormac, Ont.
“What happened? I just drove in, walked in the door, she was sitting there, she went around the corner, I followed her. Boom. That was it and I walked out. It was funny, like I wasn’t even pulling the trigger on the gun, the gun was just going off. Boop.”
Borutski at one point said the Bible makes a distinction between killing and murder and only murder is wrong because it is taking the life of someone who is innocent. That’s why, he said, he didn’t shoot himself that day, because it would have been like murdering himself.
He said that throughout much of the day he experienced an out-of-body experience and described himself repeatedly as a “zombie.”
The trial resumes Tuesday.