Father of slain real estate agent, Lindsay Buziak, sued for defamation over comments posted on his website

The mother of Lindsay Buziak’s former boyfriend has filed a libel suit against the slain estate agent’s father, marking a stunning development in one of British Columbia’s most high-profile unsolved murder cases.

Shirley Zailo’s attorney filed the notice of civil suit in the British Columbia Supreme Court on April 25 and names Lindsay’s father, Jeff Buziak, and Vancouver resident Jane Kavanagh as defendants.

“For a very long time, Miss Zailo was unwilling to take a libel suit against someone who had lost her daughter, but all efforts to say ‘stop accusing me of murder’ were dismissed or ignored,” said said Zailo’s attorney, Michael Scherr.

The lawsuit alleges that Kavanagh, using online pseudonyms, posted “defamatory” comments on a blog website owned and operated by Jeff Buziak.

On an article Jeff posted on June 14, 2019, Kavanagh allegedly posted false comments implying that Zailo – whose son Jason dated Lindsay before her murder – killed the real estate agent, planned his murder or participated in his murder, say Zailo’s lawyers.

In another post on Dec. 5, 2019, Kavanagh allegedly incorrectly implied that Zailo was a “psycho”, that she was “jealous of Lindsay’s youth and good heart” and that she planned and executed his murder, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit details subsequent postings allegedly made by Kavanagh implying that Zailo participated in Lindsay’s murder and “bought out” members of the Saanich Police Department.

RELATED: FBI Helps Lindsay Buziak Murder Case 13 Years After Her Brutal Murder

In each case, the lawyers claim that Jeff Buziak jointly published or arranged for the publication of Kavanagh’s posts, claiming that he was aware of the defamatory statements posted on his website and that he not only failed to remove them, but also “encouraged people to post defamatory statements”. of the applicant. »

“Defendants posted and continue to post defamatory words knowing that the inferential meanings were false, or alternatively, with reckless indifference as to whether they were true or false, and/or for the primary purpose of harming the complainant and expose her to hatred, ridicule and contempt, lowering the complainant in the esteem of others and causing her to shun and shun,” Scherr wrote.

Buziak told CHEK News he was extremely disappointed to learn of the civil suit. “It annoys me of course, it saddens me, it disgusts me and you know it stresses me out. It’s disgusting, especially when the focus should be on pressuring the authorities to get the job done, that’s where the focus should be, that’s my goal.

He said he was surprised to learn that he could be held responsible for other people’s comments.

“Because someone owns a social media site, you have to suffer the consequences of other people putting their personal opinions there, I think that’s ridiculous,” he said.

The claim states that Zailo suffered loss and damage to his reputation, loss of income, stress, anxiety and other mental suffering as a result, and seeks an unspecified amount of damages as well as an injunction against Jeff and Kavanagh to restrain them from publishing any further defamatory statements.

“She’s accused of killing someone…can you imagine what that feels like?” And she’s had people in her own community treat her differently because of these allegations and that’s terrible, people shouldn’t have to live with that,” Scherr said.

Zailo also filed a separate defamation lawsuit against Chilliwack resident Nora Leisa Munro, alleging that she also posted defamatory comments on Jeff Buziak’s website using false names.

Many of Munro’s comments, it is claimed, echo those of Kavanagh, in erroneously inferring that Zailo participated in or witnessed the murder of Lindsay Buziak.

Zailo is also seeking unspecified damages and injunctive relief in this lawsuit.

None of the allegations against Buziak, Kavanagh or Munro have been tested or proven in court. None of the defendants has yet filed a response to the claims.

Lindsay, 24, was murdered while visiting a home at 1702 De Sousa Place in Saanich on February 2, 2008. Her killer was never caught.

Lindsay Buziak is seen with her father, Jeff. (Submitted)

She had shown the house to two potential buyers – a man and a woman who remain unidentified – when she was fatally stabbed more than 40 times in the house’s upstairs bedroom sometime in the evening. Jason Zailo, her boyfriend, discovered her body inside the vacant home shortly after becoming concerned when he couldn’t reach her and called 911.

Police said publicly at the start of the investigation that Jason Zailo and his family were not considered suspects in the case and had “satisfied all requests for investigation” that were made of them.

Buziak’s murder has come under intense scrutiny from investigators as well as the general public, spawning several podcasts, international media stories, and an appearance on the Dr. Phil show.

The Saanich Police Department led the investigation, but last year police announced they had launched a new task force actively investigating the murder with the help of the FBI.

“Investigators are reviewing and retesting evidence, including crime scene evidence as well as digital evidence. Technology not available at the time of the crime allowed us to develop new investigative leads,” said Saanich police spokesperson Const. Markus Anastasiades said at the time.

Police said Wednesday there have been no new updates since the task force launched in February 2021.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4356 or toll-free at 1-888-980-1919.

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