Under Arrest - Z is for Ziggy & Zailo Family

For the last time, welcome back to A-Z. 

We have arrived! The last letter of the alphabet is Z, and in the English language Z is another tough one.

Today I'm talking about Zachary "Ziggy" Matheson, Shirley and Jason Zailo. 

Who are they?

Depending on who you choose to listen to, they're suspects or cleared persons of interest in the Lindsay Buziak case.

Who is Lindsay? 

She is a girl who was born in 1983 and raised in Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. 

She and her friends Andrea, Dalyce, Nicole and Sabrina met in elementary school, became best friends and literally grew up together. The young women had big dreams and shared everything.

They liked to think of themselves as the girls of Sex and the City - Lindsay "being" Carrie. 

Her boyfriend Matt, whom she dated between the ages of 18 - 23, was dubbed Mr Big. 

After they broke up, Lindsay got serious about her career and studied to become a real estate agent. That's how she met the Zailo family: Shirley who would become her boss at Remax Camosun Westshore, Jason who would become her boyfriend and his brother Ryan. They all worked together in the real estate / mortgage field.

Shirley bought Jason and Lindsay an expensive lake house where they were living together, things seemed to be going well.

Picture Source: Wikipedia

Mid-December 2007, Lindsay flew to Calgary to visit her Dad. She told him that she was considering breaking up with Jason. He was jealous, overpossessive, and she said she felt "smothered by him". 

Lindsay was bothered by the Zailo's relationship with Zachary "Ziggy" Matheson, a known heroin, cocaine and ecstasy dealer on Vancouver Island, especially when she caught Jason dealing steroids. 

Speaking of Ziggy, Mom Shirley claimed not to know him. 
Well, if you're his landlady, and both of your sons play hockey with him, that's hard to believe.

Lindsay further confided in her Dad "I saw something that I shouldn't have seen" but refused to further elaborate. 

He didn't know what to make of that. Was it about Jason? Something at the office? At one of the houses she was showing? Money laundering? Drugs? Conspiracy? 

While visiting her Dad in Calgary, she called an old acquaintance of her ex Matt's, Erickson del Alcazar, who was involved in big time cocaine business. We don't know why she was trying to reach him and whether they ended up talking or even meeting.

When Lindsay returned from Calgary, she told her girlfriend Nikki about her intent to leave Jason, and he overheard this conversation. Jason freaked out to the point that Nikki left the apartment, and Lindsay followed her and tried to calm her down. Jason called Lindsay 30 times, but she didn't answer, so he called his Mom. 

Soon enough it was Christmas, and Jason bought Lindsay tons of expensive gifts, and the Zailo's invited her to go skiing in Whistler, and apparently this smoothed things over in the relationship. 

Picture Source: Wikipedia

January 22, 2008,  Erickson Delacazar’s cocaine trafficking ring got busted. The operation was called High Noon. Fourteen people were progressively arrested and charged, including Delacazar. The police took 80 kilograms of cocaine valued at millions of dollars off the street and seized $330,000 in cash. They also captured weapons, body armor and vehicles equipped with secret storage compartments. In late January 2008 Erickson Delacazar’s bail was denied, and he stayed behind bars awaiting trial.

Around the same time Lindsay Buziak received a call from a woman who told Lindsay that she and her husband were looking urgently for a home to buy, with a budget of CAD 1 million. According to Lindsay, the caller had a foreign accent that she could not place, sounding "a bit Spanish but not really.” Lindsay believed the caller may have been faking an accent in order to conceal her identity. Unnerved by the nature of the call, Lindsay asked the caller how she had got her personal cell phone number, as she was a relatively junior employee. The caller said that a previous client of Lindsay's had passed it on to her. Still feeling suspicious, Lindsay attempted to contact the previous client to check this, but they were out of town and unreachable.

Picture by Hannah Wei from Unsplash
Lindsay told her boyfriend, Jason and her father, Jeff Buziak, about the call and her concerns. Jason encouraged Lindsay to take on the client because of the high commission she would get from the sale, and to reassure her, Jason offered to be there for her protection. 
Lindsay found a suitable property - actually the prospective buyer's requirement only matched one single property that was ready to move in - and they made an appointment to view it at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2008.

On Saturday Lindsay and Jason ate a late lunch at the Sauce Restaurant, paying the bill at 4:24 p.m. They left separately in their own vehicles. It is believed that Lindsay went home to change clothes before the viewing. 

Jason travelled to SHC, an auto shop where he had some business to take care of, and where he met with Cohen Oatmen, called CO.

CO and Jason worked together as mortgage brokers. That Saturday CO felt pressured to go out for dinner with Jason even though he'd rather eat at home with his wife and kids. Also where CO lived was in the opposite direction, and he had to go home to grab his hockey equipment anyway. 

They still ended up meeting. Instead of going to dinner, however, Jason said we gotta check on Lindsay. 

Workers at the house that was just being built next to the De Souza house left at 5pm. 

Joe de Souza, the owner of the house that Lindsay was showing, was good friends with Shirley Zaino and her boyfriend Paul Bergshoeff. 

Joe was at the house around 5, turned on a few outdoor lights and left.

The lock box that contained the house keys was accessed at 5:29 p.m., most probably by Lindsay.
The couple turned up for the viewing. At 5:30 p.m., two witnesses saw a 6-foot-tall Caucasian man with dark hair and a blonde-haired woman aged between 35 and 45 wearing a distinctively patterned dress walking up the cul-de-sac. 

The witnesses then saw Lindsay shake hands with the couple, and from the body language of their greeting it appeared that she had never met them before. (In an interview, years later, Jeff said "psychics and mediums say she had.")

The three of them then entered the house.

So far so good. 

Now weird things start happening.

If you're a young female real estate agents who has s strange gut feeling about meeting clients, and your boyfriend assures you he's gonna be there to protect you, what do you expect?

For starters that he's there on time, right? 

Here's what went down instead:

Jason was running late, and video surveillance at the auto shop showed him and his colleague Cohen leaving at 5:30 p.m. - the time he was supposed to be at the house which is at least 20 minutes away.

Even though Lindsay and Jason had talked about the house in detail, and his buddy CO was hin the car with him and could have helped navigate, Jason called his brother Ryan to ask for directions. 

Where Jason parked didn't make sense. There was a perfectly fine driveway with enough space next to Lindsay's car. Interestingly there was no vehicle that could have been the house hunter's. Jason pulled further into the cul-de-sac, on the opposite side of the road, facing away from the house but able to see the door of the house in his rear view mirror. 

That's where they sat in the car, waiting, doing nothing.

Shouldn't he move his butt and get into the house? Make sure everything is OK?

After 10 minutes, for no apparent reason, (except it was an agreed sign for the killers to get the hell out of there?) he turned his car around, drove past the house, turned right onto Turquoai Drive and pulled up on the backside of the house - with no view of the house, just the fence and trees. 

That's where they sat in the car, waiting, doing nothing. Again.

Jason was a mortgage broker who did all the financing for Lindsay's real estate deals. This would actually have been the perfect excuse to join Lindsay in the house and to introduce himself to the house hunters and offer his service.

Another 10 minutes, and he texted Lindsay to ask if she was OK. (This text, however, is not confirmed by police.) 

As she didn't answer, they went to the front door that was locked. 

At this point Jason checked the lock box to see if there was a spare key. There wasn't. 
He proceeded to call his Mom Shirley to ask for the garage door code. 

This must have been what made her decide to go over to  the house. She claimed to have been at home, which is located half an hour away. It was described that she was walking up to the De Souza house. 

If my son (for whom I'd do anyting) called me to ask how to access the house my girlfriend is showing to suspicious individuals and she didn't answer the pone nor the door, wouldn't I as a concerned mother (and potential mother in law) race to the place and leave my car right at the front door? Where the hell did she come from by foot?

Jason called 911, yet didn't wait for them to arrive. Instead he boosted his friend CO over the fence and had him get into the patio door and open the front door for him, then directly ran up the stairs to the master bedroom. It was a large house with lots of rooms. Why would you go straight up to the room furthest away - unless you knew Lindsay was going to be laying there? Also wouldn't you first make sure the bad guys were still in the building?

Yes, you heard right. Lindsay was laying there, in a pool of blood, stabbed to death :-(

Who was it?

And why???

The short version is: 

We don't know. 

No arrests have been made to date. And it's been 11 years.
Guys I have watched so many documentaries and read articles and blog posts. There are theories and stuff, and I wrote much, much more, weird things happend surrounding the Zailos, but I ended up deleting it. (Instead I added a couple pictures, you're welcome. Isn't British Coumbia gorgeous?) 

What I'd like you to do instead, since you're graduating to be a hobby investigator after having completed my A-Z series "under arrest", is to consider all the things you have learned and apply them to this case:

Cold Case?

More importantly, since all the scientific and legal tools have been exhausted by the officials:

What does your gut say?

Let me know down below. 

I thank you so much for bearing with me throughout this month, it's been great! 

Hug your loved ones today and enjoy your life!

PS: Does anybody know what date the reflection post is due?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


  1. Wow! That is some story. Even though I live in Canada, I don't remember it. In my opinion, Jason and his mother definitely had something to do with the murder. Was the mysterious couple a hit squad they hired? You've intriqued me enough to find out more...

    Congratulations on completing another successful A to Z Challenge. Fascinating topic!

    1. of course they are guilty. They launder money, do shady realestate deals, think they own the city and can get away with murder.

  2. It does sound suspicious. But, who knows how my actions would be construed on some random day where something terrible happened? This is why I avoid true crime. Too many questions.

  3. jason did it, all that sitting in the car sounds so lame and why was he and his buddy sitting in the car when they arrived? I can understand if someone told them to wait but he was already late. and what's with all the delays anyway? I don't understand how a woman could go back to someone who is jealous, over possessive and is associated with drug dealers.

    the reflection post is may 6.

    have a lovely day.

  4. congrats on a great challenge well done!!! :D

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  5. Well done - you amazed me with all the wonderful information you shared. Perfect for a mystery writer!

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Microfiction: Zebra
    Personal Blog

  6. Don't know how I missed this one but it's a goodie! Of course it was the boyfriend in some way. I wonder that it hasn't been solved. Guess there's too much circumstantial evidence and not enough fact. Too bad. Great A to Z!

    Janet’s Smiles

  7. Interesting. Have you heard of the similar case, an agent named mike emert was killed in a contract style hit. He met a mysterious client at a potential home, and called this person weird to friends, Mike emert was stabbed 19 times in an upstairs room in the house he took the client to view. 😳

  8. The suspicion and interest in her boyfriend and mother exists for only one reason, she got killed. Let me explain. I don't think the boyfriend's actions were odd or strange in the slightest. He has a girlfriend that has some curiosity or maybe nervous feelings about a sale. The boyfriend probably feels these fears or unfounded or an overreaction. He certainly did not think what was going to happen, happened. In hindsight we say, oh man, this was an obvious setup for a murder, but it wasn't, nobody could have thought that. So we analyze the actions of her boyfriend that day and think, how odd he did that. But I see nothing odd about his actions. He did not want to appear smothering and he wanted his girlfriend to prove that she could close a big deal without her hand being held. And had his girlfriend not been killed I doubt there would have been anything said or thought of in regards to his actions. I think the father of the victim quickly deduced what he thinks happened and has created a narrative to bolster that narrative. I think in his heart he believes his theory, but that theory is not based on fact or strong evidence, a great deal is just hearsay that he relates. The crime was not random and I do believe she knew the person or persons that set it up, but those persons are unlikely the Zailos. My unsubstantiated belief is that there was a drug connection here, she knew about how a major operation was run, someone was arrested for it, that someone most likely assumed that she had been an informant. In the drug world, informants are often made bloody examples of.

  9. Don’t potential clients have to come into the office and give their information before they are brought into a house especially with a single woman showing it?

    1. They should have to do something, like leave their I'd or passport or something!

  10. You need to ask the question, who financed the drug shipment from the island to Calgary in 07/08? Roughly 8 million dollars was lost in that bust, whoever put up that money is the one who called the hit on Buziak.


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