Opinion: Sebastian Burns, Atif Rafay and the Rafay Murders

So if you’re reading this, you’re probably researching the latest information on the Rafay murders.

Why? A stroke of curiosity?

Guarantee: They’re guilty and will be in prison for the rest of their days.

In typical butthurt WASP fashion, the PR machine for Sebastian Burns is in full swing. In 2007, a documentary was released by Tiffany Burns, sister of Sebastian Burns and news reporter turned indie film star.

The documentary was a shill for the Burns case. It only offered seconds long segments of the sting videos. It’s hard to find primary sources on the case. The closest you can get is Injustice Busters, which instead of letting you make your own mind, self-servingly hyperanalyze every transcript line by line, leave out the real transcript and selectively forget things like:

  • Their ample opportunity to be seen at the theatre to leave early
  • Timeline: they have 18 minutes to drive home from the theater, and 3 minutes home to call 911. In this time they saw the bodies, determined it was a burglary found out a cd-rom and VCR was stolen.
  • It’s a burglary, and they’re waiting outside the house.
  • Going to the movie store after the day a horrific murder? lol? wtf?
  • Fleeing. Yep they didn’t just go on a vacation, they had a whole 8 year long appeal, delaying the inevitable. (the case law was also inevitable though, to be fair)
  • Accomplice and high school friend Jimmy Miyoshi, who was at the murder scene, heard of the conspiracy to commit the murder and use a bat.
  • Participation in a high school play about where two kids get away with murder.
  • Sebastian Burns once said, “I want to try to kill someone one day, to see how, how it would feel. Because I think I would find it enjoyable.”
  • Confessed. Arrogantly, and it wasn’t based of open source intel, no one else but they and police knew it was:
    • Metal bat (Sebastian)
    • Shower to wash away the evidence (Sebastian)
    • Staging a break-in (Atif)
  • They got involved in a mob and had no regrets.

The Burns family, in my opinion, is spamming the internet and media sources with cruft about their case tied together by a false confession. I believe their interpretation of false lies in the wily, elaborate, decadent methods law enforcement use to illicit the truth, as opposed to the substance of the confession being false.

Confession Coerced out of Fear?

The defense strategy theorized the confession by RCMP was illicited out of fear, something jurors would have to determine. You be juror #13:

Sebastian and Atif w/ Head mobster: "'Have a Beer"

There were 12 jurors who voted to convict. It’s been like, 4 years since the trial ended and none of them have any second thoughts. In fact, the comments by the jurors noted how cold and callous of a killer Burns was.

They had a better alternative. Criminal Braggadocio their expert Michael Levine called it. It had multiple benefits:

  • Allow an expert witness on criminal bragging
  • Better to appeal with
  • More palatable, because they weren’t scared. Perhaps plausible. You could proffer they were trying to impress criminals.

Levine used to do undercover work. He uses an ironic term. “Avoiding the exculpatory”. If you are well read on the subject, police always avoid exculpatory data, confirmation bias is one of the principles of investigation.

It’s more than bragging, Burns also clung to his confession as if it was a secret of his that my “end his life”. His Mr. Big sting is described in Blore’s Give Them Enough Rope.

Catching the liars

You will find if you read the web page for Injustice Busters, they find the Reid Technique coercive. If you are a patsy, or overly compliant with authority figures yes they are coercive. However, Reid, Buckley and Inbau’s book Criminal Interrogations and Confessions offers a veritable cornucopia of lie detection techniques. You as a layman can buy this and watch people perps talk to see if  they’re telling the truth.

Issue: Outraged at Miyoshi for snitching, or mad at him for lying?

How hard was it for Atif to sit and listen to Miyoshi’s testimony? “It was enormously difficult. I think it was difficult for him as well,” says Atif. “As I say, I am outraged that he did it. But at the same time, I reserved my real outrage for the people who forced him to do it.

Anyone would be mad if their friend betrayed them as it’s treacherous. Miyoshi is on the floor giving testimony about 1.) Being at the murder scene 2.) the conspiracy and planning of it. He’s not calling Miyoshi a liar, which means he’s speaking the truth and he’s butthurt about it.

False Conviction

They were arrested in 1995.

They stayed in Canada and appealed extradition to US for 6 years (U.S. vs Burns) to March 2001.

They spent another 3 years in delays.

Case went to trial in 2004. Lasted 6 months.

They didn’t get rail roaded, they had almost a decade to proffer reasonable doubt.


Blore, Shawn. Give Them Enough Rope. 2011-01-15. URL:http://www.shawnblore.com/Pieces/VanMag/Rope/Rope1.htm. Accessed: 2011-01-15. (Archived by WebCite®at http://www.webcitation.org/5vlPoKjcn)


Breaking Intel: Immunized, Confessed Murder Suspect wants “Jihad”

"Jihad in Tokyo"

Jimmy Miyoshi (AKA James Hiroshi Kira) was an accomplice in the vicious slaying of 3/4 members of the Rafay family from Bellevue, Washington. The Father Tariq, the mother Sultana and the daughter Basma who suffered from autism were beaten to death by Sebastian Burns with a baseball bat, while the Rafay son, Atif staged a breakin and Miyoshi watched.


In my study of police investigation tactics I have stumbled upon the Mr. Big technique to illicit confessions. It is of interest to me because I am fixated on the layers of deception government agents will use in the course of their job. Gratuitous subterfuge is an interesting topic in CJ and documents which I dug up from offline are now online ;), in the open.

In the midst of troving into the background on the Sebastian Burns case, shuffling through the normal defense-cruft by narcissistic family members for the real meat. The substance the lead juror’s to convict Sebastian and Atif of the triple murders beyond a reasonable doubt become clear.

Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay were convicted mostly upon confessions illicited after an elaborate ruse by RCMP. They befriended an undercover government agent who invited them into a fake criminal organization. Eventually, to become full members they had to dish their souls to “Mr. Big”, the boss of an organized crime agency (lol). Despite the cries of foul by family members of Burns, it was more than police dirty tricks. They bragged they were smarter than the police. Almost as damning as the confession was testimony of Miyoshi, who witnessed the criminal conspiracy (the planning of + discussion of motive) and the crime itself.

He was given full immunity to confess to RCMP, despite Refay and Burn’s bragging to detectives that Miyoshi would never betray them. He was promised to get his job back at his American company in Japan, but was fired anyway. Did he change his ways, or is he falling in line with radicalism?

Is this the real Miyoshi? Well see for yourself:

Lehman Brothers in Tokyo. Vancouver Hometown

Will be covering Sebastian Burns and what a (bad) liar he is later.

Update: Post on Sebastian Burns, Atif Rafay and the Bellevue murders.


Green, Sara Jean. Key witness testifies via videotape at Rafay-Burns murder trial. 2011-01-02. URL: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040307&slug=rafayburns07e. Accessed: 2011-01-02. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5vRsRo78d)

Kira, James (aka Jimmy Miyoshi). MySpace. 2011-01-02. URL: http://www.myspace.com/jhkira. Accessed: 2011-01-02. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5vRvbD1jE)

Updated Jan 4th, 2:20pm. Corrections.