Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns

Murder Headlines


Atif Rafay


  Sebastian Burns



SEATTLE - Lawyers for two BC men convicted of killing a Seattle-area family asked a Washington state appeals court Friday to overturn those convictions, in large part because of a controversial RCMP undercover operation.   (CP)  


BC men wait appeal  

'Mr Big' sting leads to unreliable confessions


Tale of 2 inmates

Together, Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay travelled to Washington state and murdered Rafay's parents and autistic sister in their Bellevue home. Together they concocted an alibi. Together they finally confessed to undercover RCMP officers and were extradited to the US.  And together they were convicted of committing the murders and sentenced to life in prison without parole.  But today, as they languish in separate Washington prisons, the lives of Burns and Rafay could not be more different. 


'Mr Big' confession only part of conviction of Rafay, Burns

Rubin (Hurricane) Carter is blowing hot air when he says convicted triple murderers Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns are innocent.  He is leading a media campaign to win these two young men a new trial because he believes they were wrongly convicted as a result of a controversial RCMP sting known as "the Mr. Big scenario."  (Vancouver Sun)

PREVIOUS:  Rubin Carter: Truth versus conviction

Filmmaker explores issue of coerced confessions

More than a decade after her brother told undercover RCMP officers he bludgeoned a family to death, Tiffany Burns believes he was coerced into giving a false confession.  In her documentary "Mr. Big," due out this fall, the filmmaker says Sebastian Burns was one of many victims of a police technique that other countries, such as the United States and England, consider unlawful.   (CTV)   MORE:  RCMP's 'Mr. Big' stings challenged   Meet Mr. Big    The Mr. Big sting, part 2   Maybe it's time to take a close look at 'Mr. Big'

Suspension suggested for former public defender

A disciplinary hearing examiner ruled yesterday that the law license of a former public defender accused of having jailhouse sex with one of her clients should be suspended for two years.  (Seattle Times - Sept. 29, 2004)  PREVIOUS:  Two guards testify they saw Olson, client having sex  

Lawyer accused of sex with client suspended for two years

OLYMPIA - The state Supreme Court has ordered former public defender Theresa Olson suspended from practicing law for two years for engaging in conduct with a murder defendant client that the Washington State Bar Association disciplinary board found to be sexual in nature.  (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) 

Man denies killing Rafays

SEATTLE - Sebastian Burns told the jurors who will decide his fate that he had nothing to do with the brutal slaying of his best friend's family in Bellevue 10 years ago -- but that he pretended he did because he was scared he would end up dead himself.   (Seattle Post-Intelligencer - May 12, 2004)   PREVIOUS:  Rafay and Burns trial begins 9 years after slayings

Rafay, Burns are convicted of murder

SEATTLE - A King County Superior Court jury on Wednesday found Glen Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay guilty of killing Rafay's parents and sister in suburban Bellevue in 1994. (AP)   May 27, 2004

US v. Burns   


Written in Blood

BELLEVUE - What happened to the Rafay family one summer night in 1994 brought tragedy and mystery to a quiet neighborhood in Bellevue, Wash.  (48 Hours)  


Seattle Times: Timeline How triple-homicide case became an international incident

Sept. 30, 2003   Mertel rejects defense motion to suppress evidence gathered by Canadian officials.

April 22, 2003    Pretrial hearings begin into the admissibility of evidence collected by Canadian police.

Aug. 14, 2002   Judge Mertel dismisses Olson from the case and on Aug. 20th orders new attorneys be appointed for Burns.

Aug. 10, 2002   Guards report seeing public defender Theresa Olson having sex with Burns in jail conference room.   Sex contact with client could cost lawyer

April 8, 2002   Superior Court Judge Charles Mertel dismisses Rafay's public defenders, Gary Davis and Jim Koenig; moves trial date from May 2002 to March 2003.

April 6, 2001 Defendants plead not guilty to three counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

March 9, 2001   King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng announces he won't seek the death penalty.

Feb. 15, 2001  Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rules that Rafay and Burns can't be extradited to the United States without a guarantee they won't be executed.

June 29, 1997 The Court of Appeal rules it is unconstitutional to surrender a Canadian citizen to stand trial in another country where he could face the death penalty.

Feb. 2, 1996 B.C. judge rules there's sufficient evidence to extradite Burns and Rafay. Defense attorneys later petition B.C.'s Court of Appeal, seeking judicial review.

July 31, 1995   Rafay and Burns are arrested and charged in King County with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

1995   RCMP undercover officers monitor the men's conversations by planting bugs and got the pair to talk about the slayings - while being secretly videotaped.

July 14, 1994 Deaths ruled homicides. Rafays were bludgeoned to death.

July 13, 1994  Bellevue, Wash. Tariq and Sultana Rafay are found dead; Basma Rafay, is critically injured and dies later that morning.


Tariq Rafay   Sultana Raay

Basma Rafay

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