Ottawa Police charge Ian Bush, 59, with 2007 triple homicide
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Friday, February 20, 2015 2:18PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 20, 2015 6:41PM EST
Ottawa Police today laid three first degree murder charges against 59-year-old Ian Bush. Bush is already in police custody on charges of trying to rob and kill an elderly veteran. The murder charges stem back to an unsolved triple murder case from 2007. Today’s charges mark a huge development in a case that has frustrated investigators and horrified family members; three innocent people murdered years ago and no leads until now.
For Ottawa Police, it was an announcement they had hoped to make for years.
‘I’m proud that we got this together today,’ Staff-Sergeant Bruce Pirt said at a news conference at Ottawa Police Headquarters, ‘and got us to where we are.’
Three first degree murder charges were laid against Ian Bush, a man accused of another heinous crime last December, robbing, and trying to kill 101-year-old veteran Ernest Coté. Coté managed to free himself and remove a plastic bag that had been placed over his head.
Something tweaked with robbery investigators about this particular crime; there were similarities with another crime.
‘Whenever a case like this comes in, we try to make linkages to other cases,’ says Staff-Sergeant Mike Haarbosch, ‘it's common practice.’
Those linkages went on to include DNA evidence from the robbery scene and the triple murder from 2007 that had stumped investigators for years. A retired tax judge Alban Garon, his wife Raymonde and their neighbour Marie-Claire Beniskos had been robbed and killed in their high-end condo on Riverside Drive.
‘It was never a closed case,’ says Pirt, ‘we worked on it over years. Sometimes it would go slowly, other times we thought it would pick up and it wasn't until December that we got the break we sought.’
Ian Bush's brother, Norm Bush, reached by phone on vacation in Mexico says the family is stunned by the new charges.
‘Everybody is dismayed and not sure where this is going,’ says Norm Bush, ‘and we need to regroup as a family and see where we go from here.’
His lawyer says she's concerned about Bush's ability to a fair trial after news of the charges leaked out earlier this week. She says her client is claiming innocence.
‘If you didn’t' do anything and you were accused of killing one person, let alone three, of course you would be shocked,’ says Geraldine Castle-Trudel.
Investigators are now scouring other unsolved crimes with similarities both here in Ottawa and across the country. Today, though, is about some hard police work that detectives say has paid off.
‘We hit 7 and a half years of walls until we got here today,’ says Pirt.
In court today, Ian Bush was charged with 11 additional charges, including weapons offences as a result of a search warrant on his Orleans home. He will be formally charged with murder Saturday morning when he appears by video in court.