Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns


Atif Rafay


  Sebastian Burns 


Appreal rejected 

Two BC men sentenced to 99 years in jail for the 1994 murder of a Seattle family have lost their final chance to have their conviction reviewed.   The Washington State Supreme Court rejected Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns's request to re-examine their case. The two West Vancouver men were convicted in 2004 for the murder of Rafay's parents and sister.  (CBC - March 7, 2013)

US v. Burns   

Rafay Burn appeal 

 Innocent project support

SEATTLE - 3 innocence projects (Innocence International, Washington's Innocence Project Northwest and the Idaho Innocence Project) have now taken up the case of West Vancouver men Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns, who in 2004 were convicted of the 1994 slayings of Rafay's parents and sister in their Bellevue, Washington home.  (CBC)

Family wants case reopened

'Mr Big' sting leads to unreliable confessions


Tale of 2 inmatesTale 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

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." 

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 US and England, consider unlawful.      


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)  


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, 2004May 27, 2004)


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   Judge 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.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 US 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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