Date of Crime


King County, WA Rafay & Burns July 12, 1994 (Bellevue)

Atif Rafay and Glen Sebastian Burns were convicted of the murders of Rafay's father, Dr. Tariq Rafay, his mother, Sultana, and his sister, Basma.  The victims were bludgeoned to death in their home in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, WA.  The walls, floor, and ceiling of Dr. Tariq's bedroom were covered in blood, bone, teeth, and tissue.  In addition, tremendous amounts of blood were tracked throughout the property.  Rafray and Burns, then both 18, reported the murders when they returned to Rafray's home at 2 a.m. following an evening out.

The boys fully cooperated with police, answering questions, providing them with the clothing they were wearing, and allowing examination of their skin under specialized lighting for minute traces of blood.  Neither boy denied a single request of the police or exercised their Miranda right to counsel.  After police were satisfied that the boys responded to all their requests, they gave explicit permission for the boys to stay at the home of Burns's parents in Vancouver, Canada.  The Rafray family had only recently moved to Bellevue from Vancouver.

Following the boys departure, the Bellevue Police Department began telling journalists lies about them, making the boys appear guilty.  After observing this foul play, friends, family and legal counsel for the boys recommended that they remain in Canada.  Nine months after the murders, Bellevue police obtained the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The RCMP mounted an undercover sting operation against the boys.  Two undercover officers made an acquaintance with Burns.  They later revealed their phony identities as violent criminals with underworld connections.  Then using threats of death and violence, these officers obtained confessions to the murders from Burns, Rafray, and their friend Jimmy Miyoshi.  The confessions of the three were inconsistent with each other and with the facts of the case.  Nor did they contain any information that only the killers would know.  In the United States it would have been illegal for police officers to use these tactics.

The RCMP threatened to charge Miyoshi with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, if he did not tell them that Burns and Rafay were guilty. Miyoshi signed an immunity agreement and provided the RCMP with a number of statements. Each statement contradicted the last one as well as the physical evidence at the crime scene. At trial Miyoshi, who lives in Japan, refused to return to North America to testify.  Instead, a deposition recorded months earlier was shown to the jury.  Following the arrest and incarceration of Rafray and Burns, they had to wait more than 8 years for their trial.

Neighbors on either side of the Rafray home heard noises of the murders which they confirmed in sound recreation tests.  One neighbor told police that he heard the noises between 9:45 p.m. and 9:50 p.m.  The other neighbor said she heard the noises at 9:56 p.m.  Yet both Rafray and Burns were seen by many people at a movie theater at 10:05 p.m.  At the start of the movie, the curtain malfunctioned, and in an attempt to fix the problem, Rafray and Burn ran up to tug at the curtain.  Since tugging did not work, Burns then complained to the manager.

At trial, the judge refused to allow any evidence that other suspects may have committed the murders.  Dr. Tariq Rafay and another man, Riasat Ali Khan, had founded the Canadian-Pakistan Friendship Organization.  Both men also served as president of this organization.  Eight and a half years after Dr. Tariq's murder, Khan was murdered in Vancouver.  Khan's murder remains unsolved.  There is evidence that a militant Islamic group known as Jamaat ul-Fuqra had targeted Dr. Tariq because it regarded his teachings on the Koran to be heresy.  (www.rafayburnsappeal.com)  [9/09]



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