Ottawa

Basil Borutski, who murdered 3 women in 2015 rampage, dies in prison

The man who murdered three women in one day around the Ottawa Valley nearly a decade ago — a case that became a flashpoint in the fight against domestic violence in Canada — has died in prison.

Natural causes suspected, Correctional Service of Canada says

A man in a blue shirt against a pale-coloured wall.
Basil Borutski stands in a room at the Pembroke Ontario Provincial Police detachment shortly after his arrest on Sept. 22, 2015, the same day he murdered three women at three separate locations. The five-hour manhunt for him spanned more than 100 kilometres west of Ottawa, and forced the community of Wilno, Ont., into lockdown. (OPP/Ontario Superior Court of Justice)

The man who murdered three women in one day around the Ottawa Valley nearly a decade ago — a case that became a flashpoint in the fight against domestic violence in Canada — has died in custody.

Basil Borutski, 66, died at Millhaven Institution, a maximum security prison west of Kingston, Ont., on March 28 "of apparent natural causes," according to a media release from the Correctional Service of Canada issued Tuesday.

The women he murdered were:

  • Nathalie Warmerdam, a nurse, mother of two and former partner of Borutski's. He was convicted of threatening her family in 2012 and she had a video surveillance system, a domestic violence panic button and a shotgun in her bedroom at the time of her murder.
  • Anastasia Kuzyk, a horse lover who worked in real estate, previously tended bar at a popular tavern in Wilno, Ont., and was another former partner of Borutski's. He was convicted of assaulting and choking her in 2013 and 2014.
  • Carol Culleton, who had retired from her job in the public service at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada just four days before her murder, and who was disturbed by Borutski's possessive behaviour after she had hired him to fix up her cottage.
Portraits of three women.
From left, Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam and Carol Culleton were murdered by Basil Borutski at their homes in and around Wilno, Ont., on Sept. 22, 2015. (CBC News)

Refused to participate in trial

Borutski was convicted of the murders in 2017, after a weeks-long jury trial in which he staunchly refused to participate.

He had been on probation for threatening Warmerdam's son and their dog when he beat Kuzyk, and he was on probation for the offences against Kuzyk when he murdered her, Warmerdam and Culleton on Sept. 22, 2015.

At the time of his death, Borutski had been serving an indeterminate sentence that began Dec. 6, 2017, for two first-degree murders and the second-degree murder of Culleton.

A weeks-long inquest into the murders was held in 2022. The inquest's jury produced 86 recommendations, many of them sweeping in scope.

The recommendations include improving the way Ontario's probation service monitors high-risk perpetrators of intimate partner violence, declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic and more.

The correctional service said police and the coroner's office were notified about Borutski's death.

"As in all cases involving the death of an inmate, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) will review the circumstances," it said in the release.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristy Nease

Reporter

CBC Ottawa multi-platform reporter Kristy Nease has covered news in the capital for 15 years, and previously worked at the Ottawa Citizen. She has handled topics including intimate partner violence, climate and health care, and is currently focused on justice issues and the courts. Get in touch: kristy.nease@cbc.ca, or 613-288-6435.

now