On September 22, 2015, Basil Borutski borrowed a car from a friend and went on a rampage, killing three women—Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, and Carol Culleton, 66—in Wilno, Ontario, a rural community in the Ottawa Valley. Each of them well known to him.
It was the worst-ever case of intimate-partner violence in Ontario, and one of the worst in Canadian history.
Both Anastasia Kuzyk and Natalie Warmerdam had been in relationships with Basil Borutski and Carol Culleton knew him as well. All three victims were killed in separate locations, just miles away from each other, all on the same afternoon.
In Wilno the ripple effects of this tragedy remains because many believe the murders could have, and should have, been prevented. Everyone, including the law, knew how violent and defiant Basil Borutski was. Yet no one stepped in to prevent what was eventually bound to happen.
History of Abuse
Basil Borutski is a well known abuser of women. His ex-wife accused him of domestic assault—and during their divorce their daughters described him “violent, easily agitated and tyrannical toward his family members.” A judge overseeing their divorce described their relationship as “wretched.” Months before the Wilno murders he had been released from jail on an assault conviction against Kuzyk. (He beat her half to death.)
According to CBC News, he was meant to serve 17 months but ended up being released after five. He was under a lifetime weapons ban. Upon release, he reportedly refused to sign an order barring him from contacting Kuzyk, but he was released anyway.
Basil Borutski Openly Defied The Law
A Fifth Estate Investigation also found that Basil Borutski drove despite being ordered to give up his license. Also, after a prior jail stint involving abuse against Warmerdam, he didn’t show up for probation-mandated anger management classes. In other words—he was openly flouting his probation conditions. This man openly defied the law and court orders yet was never arrested for these violations.
Basil Borutski was also accused of assaulting Warmerdam. Because of past brutality and constant threats on her life, she carried a personal alarm and tracking device that connected her directly to police.
“These women didn’t have to die,” said Julie Lalonde, an Ottawa-based sexual violence educator who was coincidentally in Wilno the day the shootings took place. “If someone is refusing (to sign) a no communicate order, that’s obviously a sign that that person is of a high risk.”
And there was definitely a history to say they were all in a world of hurt.
Lalonde said the fact that these red flags went unnoticed, or disreguarded, and that Basilo Borutski was allegedly able to get his hands on a gun—point to “huge systemic problems” that should be easy to fix.
JoAnne Brooks, director of the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County, which covers Wilno, told VICE that Kuzyk and Warmerdam would have had the opportunity to create safety plans regarding Borutski because they reported him over and over for threats and abuse.
credit – Fifth Estate Investigation and cbc.ca