Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay Teen Killers Murder Family In Washington

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Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay were convicted of a triple murder in Washington State. The two Canadian born teens would fatally beat Rafay father, mother and sister. The crime went unsolved for a good amount of time until DNA tied the two teen killers to the triple murder. The two would be convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison however there remains a lot of doubt regarding whether or not their confession was coerced and whether or not they are guilty of this brutal crime

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A teen convinces his best friend to murder his family however years later questions still linger about the case

According to court documents Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns has been friends for years before the murders occurred.  Atif and his family moved to Washington State but kept in close contact with Sebastien.

On July 12 1994 the two teenagers headed to the Rafay home and Sebastien Burns would murder the entire family with a baseball bat including Rafay father, mother and twenty year old autistic sister.  Atif was suppose to participate in the murders but lost his nerve once they entered the home

According to prosecutors the goal of the triple murders were the half a million insurance policy and the money that would come from selling the family home

Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns were taken into custody and interrogated for three days before they were released

After the interrogation  Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns fled to British Columbia Canada where Burns still lived. The RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who were cooperating with the police on the other side of the border would set up a sting where an undercover police officer would pose as a crime boss who would try to get the two to confess to the triple murders.

Nearly nine months after the murders new DNA evidence appeared which according to police tied the two to the murders.  Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns would confess to a murder in order to avoid the death penalty however many believe it was a false confession.

At trial Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns were found guilty of the triple murders and sentenced to ninety nine years in prison.  It took a long time before the two went to trial as they had to be extradited from Canada which has a policy not to extradite if the death penalty was a possible punishment.  Eventually the prosecutor in the case promised the Canadian authorities that the death penalty would not be used.

Since the trial the two have tried repeatedly to get back into court to get their conviction reversed as they have stuck to their innocence.

Atif Rafay uses his time in prison to help other prisoners get their high school diploma.  After spending years in solitary confinement Sebastian Burns has suffered from severe mental health problems

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Three innocence projects 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.

Former Vancouver teacher and writer, Ken Klonsky is director of Innocence International, founded by the late Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in 2004. He decided to take on the case after seeing a film about the case made by Burns’ sister.

“It appeared very similar, … the occurrences around both convictions had glaring similarities,” he told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn, referring to an earlier exoneration he was part of, the case of David McCallum. He spent 29 years in prison before he was exonerated for a carjacking murder he didn’t commit.

Klonsky believes that there’s not enough evidence to convict Rafay and Burns, and that the confession central to their 2004 conviction should be thrown out because it was a Mr. Big operation.

“There was no hard evidence, or forensic evidence, tying the defendants to the actual crime. For any innocence project, that’s number one on the list. Second, there were false confessions, brought about through actual or implied brutality. … So they were ready to say anything to satisfy these ‘gangsters.'”

Klonsky says there was also evidence leading to other suspects that was not followed up on and investigators developed tunnel vision on Rafay and Burns.

Klonsky says another problem Rafay and Burns faced was in the court of public opinion. They were simply not very sympathetic characters.

“The problem with Atif and Sebastian back then was they were intellectuals, and there’s a prejudice in society against young intellectuals,” he said. “I think the police felt like, ‘these guys aren’t going to outsmart us. We’re going to get ’em.’ And that’s why the RCMP was so willing to pick up the case when they came to Canada.”

Klonsky said he is confident of the pair’s innocence.

“There are maybe 65 or 70 innocence projects in the United States. Two of them took up Sebastian and Atif’s case before we did,” he said, mentioning the University of Washington’s  Innocence Project Northwest and the Idaho Innocence Project.

He says one of the challenges any new trial or acquittal of Rafay and Burns faces is unearthing all of the evidence and having it tested.

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    • JNL
    • January 22, 2020

    The problem with this case is that if it were not for the coerced and false confession there never would have been a conviction. Absolutely zero of any of the evidence points towards Atif and Sebastian having committed the crime. Their “confessions” don’t even make any sense either and don’t even add up to what happened. It just just goes to show we should not be convicting people of crimes based upon emotions and coerced confessions but rather actual evidence and in this case there is zero credible evidence.

      • Gary Trent
      • March 9, 2020

      To bad you are not a criminal investigator or you might be able to see the truth. These two did the murder and there was plenty of circumstantial evidence. The confessions was the icing on the cake. Justice served.

        • Austin Biemuller
        • July 7, 2020

        Too bad you’re a sheep and think this legal system isn’t corrupt. So ONE “confession” after countless times of saying they did NOT do it (after the false promise of getting help from, the now illegal tactic, “Mr. Big”) will lead to an accurate prosecution? You know nothing sir, especially how to properly spell the word “too”.

        • Darlene
        • October 24, 2020

        I don’t know what Evidences you are talking about but clearly you didn’t read up on the case because they had no Evidences at all just false Confessions. I can say I killed a person in the 1950s but I was born in the 80’s so really look at the Evidences.

    • February 7, 2020

    Burns is listed on the Washington State inmate list.

    1. Reply

      I have looked and unable to find him unless he is listed under another name than Sebastian Burns. The closest I have seen is Glen S Burns

      • David
      • September 11, 2020

      Glen S Burns is him.
      And I also believe they did not do this and where lied to and coerced to a false confession by (trigger happy cops).

    • Gary F Trent
    • March 9, 2020

    That is him. Glen Sebastian Burns, housed in Monroe Correctional Complex.

    • Nick amoss
    • July 4, 2020

    I could tell Burns was guilty by 911 call. It sounded like an act. Doesnt even mention theres been a ” murder”. He only acknowledges ” burglary” , as if noticing 50$ worth of shit missing, is the the terrible crime. That burgalary comment was the first bad root planted to set up their whole story. So I had instincts going from 911 call.

    • Brenda
    • July 29, 2020

    I believe these two young men are innocent. Everything I have read and watched on this case, They ate Innocent. I will Pray these two young men will get out of prison very soon. With the Innocent attorneys working on y’alls case hopefully it will be soon. Good luck and keep your faith God bless yall.

    • John Wilson
    • October 14, 2020

    Thank goodness the police in Canada were willing to take this forward. The 2 inmates hightail ING it to Canade straight after the murders and admitting it in the police operation. I should the innocent program would think of it differently if it was 3 of their families.

    • Darlene
    • October 24, 2020

    They clearly did not do it its so obvious the police clearly had there mind set up that they did it didn’t want to look at the real Evidences and one of the jury’s just like one of the officers so she had her mind made up already just by that alone. Its so sad for the family on both sides I hope they get another chance to Appeal.

    • Fred
    • November 22, 2020

    They are arrogant killers who thought they were smarter than everyone else..let them rot in prison

    • Darrel
    • December 3, 2020

    Everyone who knew him well who wasn’t under his spell believe he’s guilty as Hell. Yes the evidence is mostly circumstantial but just knowing him you knew they did it. All they did was scheme and cheat in high school. It wasn’t natural. They wrecked the yearbook they stole incessantly, they snuck and broke into places all the time. Not here and there, every single weekend and many weekdays. He didn’t even have a normal laugh, it sounded like he was cranking it through a bicycle pump. If he didn’t get what he wanted he manipulated people and he did it tirelessly. I remember falling asleep in the same room while he was talking to me. I listened to him for hours until I fell asleep. Woke up around 9a and he was still talking. He was super smart but his arrogance undermined it. Another thing about him was that he was an incredibly wreck less driver. He’d pass people driving into oncoming traffic and make super dangerous turns, cutting people off everywhere. It was nothing to him. There were teachers who singled him out as a sociopath long before the rafay family was killed.
    Imagine this, you go into your families home and the entire family has been murdered, except for the sister who was moaning and nearly dead. So then you go through the house to check on what’s been stolen? You’d really notice that someone killed three people and then took your discman? You don’t think it’s a bit odd that his very alibi is the exact copy of one from a scheme he tried to pull off a couple years earlier? I’ve met up with Jimmy a couple times since everything happened and he gave me all of the details. He had no reason to lie to me. Rest assured, whether or not the case was very good, Seb and Atif were absolutely guilty, it’s as sure a thing as anything. Someone mentioned the 911 call and Sebestian’s fake urgency. He always thought he was the best actor, that voice was just like the voice he used in his play. Peace out.

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