An American television personality urged viewers with information about the murder of Lindsay Buziak to come forward, but also questioned aspects of her father’s claim that Saanich Police are covering up the murder.
“This is a crime that deserves to be solved,” said Phil McGraw, the titular host of the Dr. Phil, an afternoon tabloid talk show. “This man deserves to have justice for his daughter. So if you know something, if you can help please, please, pick up the phone and give a tip to the authorities, and let’s see if we can get this thing solved.”
McGraw made this appeal towards the end of his interview with Jeff Buziak, Buziak’s father. Saanich Police found Lindsay Buziak, a 24-year-old real estate agent, stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 where she was said to be showing an unoccupied Gordon Head home to a well-dressed couple.
Buziak has been drawing attention to his daughter’s death for more than 11 years, and his appearance on Dr. Phil aired Friday, May 24, after he taped the segment in early March.
Befitting the show’s format, the segment on Buziak’s death featured an introduction to the case that intercut archival news footage, photographs of Lindsay Buziak, video clips of Jeff Buziak speaking to an unseen interviewer, B-roll footage showing Buziak, and other generic footage of police cars and officers (but not of Saanich Police). Following this introduction, the show then cut to the actual interview between Buziak and McGraw.
Buziak said during the first part of the interview that her daughter’s death was not a random attack.
“It’s personal,” he said. “It is by someone close to her, someone she knows, someone she knows well, orchestrated, planned, and executed it. She was called to show a home. She showed up there, and they executed her.”
Soon after this exchange, McGraw asked Buziak about claims that Saanich Police might be covering up the murderer. “Why would you think that police would want to cover up a murderer?” McGraw asked.
“Well, it could be somebody important in town,” said Buziak, without giving any names. McGraw did not follow up. “Lindsay did say she saw something she shouldn’t have seen. The police have not been forthright with information or even what they are doing or suspects or anything. So after 11 years, you begin to wonder what’s going on down there at the police station?”
Citing U.S. data, McGraw then pointed out that nearly four of 10 murders go unresolved in challenging Buziak’s theory of a conspiracy. “This is my daughter, this is my child, so I won’t accept that,” said Buziak. During the second part of the interview, McGraw returned to Buziak’s claim of cover-up, noting that a lot of people would have to stick together for a long time for a such a conspiracy to work.
“I have just been in this for a long, long, long time, and that is highly, highly unlikely,” said McGraw. “My experience with law enforcement is that they are trying to do a good job, that they work really hard at what they do, they put themselves in harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe every day.”
Saanich Police have also rejected this claim in a statement to the Saanich News after the show aired.
“Saanich Police is not covering up the identity of the murderer,” said Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police. “This is a highly complex and difficult investigation that we want solved. At no time have we classified this file as a ‘cold case’. We have and continue to follow every avenue of investigation, ensuring that along the way, we are conducting it in accordance with standards established for major case management files.”
Fast said RCMP have conducted two full audits of the file, once in 2009 and again in early 2019.
“The concluding remarks from this most recent RCMP audit re-affirmed my statement that our entire [department] is invested in solving this file. They further commented that significant hard work, resources and finances have been expended during this complex, challenging and long-term investigation,” she said.
The show also considered the question of who might have killed Lindsay Buziak. “I have my own personal theories regarding Lindsay’s unsolved murder,” Buziak tells an unseen interviewer. “I believe Lindsay’s boyfriend knows what went on with Lindsay’s murder. Police rule him out as a suspect, but father’s intuition tells me otherwise.”
McGraw later then tells the audience that police have ruled out Jason Zailo as a suspect. “And it has been reported by police that he has passed a polygraph [test] and found to have been very cooperative,” said McGraw.
Fast confirmed this.
“Jason Zailo, Lindsay’s boyfriend, is not considered a suspect,” she said. “He passed a polygraph test and has been very cooperative with us throughout this investigation.”