These guys are talking about control.

(two interestin



48 Hours Written In Blood 08.06.05 Run Dates

08.06.05 48 Hours Written In Blood

06.17.06 48 Hours Written In Blood







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Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(Page 1 of 11)June 17, 2006

(CBS) This story originally aired on Aug. 6, 2005.

What happened to the Rafay family one summer night in 1994 brought tragedy and mystery to a quiet neighborhood in Bellevue, Wash.

On July 13, just after 2 a.m., police were called to a crime that would take them 10 years to bring to justice. "It was a plan. A well-rehearsed, well-thought-out plan," say James Jude Konat, a senior deputy prosecutor in King County. He and a team of detectives have been haunted by this crime -- and the killers who got away.

The search for the truth would lead police to another country, through a web of intriguing clues. Could a screenplay that described a murder unlock the mystery? And in the end, would a sophisticated undercover operation, set up in the make-believe world of crime, catch the real killers?

Correspondent Peter Van Sant reports on this mystery.

The story begins on July 13, 1994, with a call for help. Sebastian Burns and his friend, Atif Rafay, had stumbled onto a horrific scene. Atif's parents had been found murdered.

"There is nothing that I can imagine about my parents that could have justified anyone to do what was done to them," says Atif.

Sultana Rafay, Atif's mother, was the first to be killed. "I saw Atif's mom lying on the floor," recalls Sebastian. Atif’s father, Tariq Rafay was the next to be murdered. "It was basically an overkill," says Det. Bob Thompson, who has been on the case since the night it began. "And it just looked like someone had hit him 40 or 50 times."

As the boys waited for help to arrive, a third victim, Atif's autistic older sister, Basma, was clinging to life, moaning in her bedroom. "It would make sense that she was murdered last because everybody knows she can't make a 911 call," says Konat.

Basma died at the hospital a few hours after the attack, taking with her the secret of who killed the Rafay family.

The Rafays had just moved to Bellevue from Vancouver, Canada. Sultana, who had a doctorate in nutrition, devoted her life to raising her gifted son and disabled daughter. Tariq Rafay was a structural engineer who had worked on buildings around the world.

Who would take the lives of this quiet family, and spare the life of their only son? Detectives began to look more closely at the crime scene.

In his 911 call, Sebastian said there was a "break in" when he reported what had happened that night. "Just looking at that room, you start realizing this looks like someone set it up," says Thompson. "Boxes were tipped over. Drawers were opened, but nothing appeared to have been gone through."

That night, when police asked what was missing, Atif said two things: his Discman and a VCR. "Someone murdered three people and took his Walkman and a VCR? I mean, it makes no sense," says Det. Thompson.

Detectives probed deeper into the case. Who were these two teenage boys who reported the crime?

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(Page 2 of 11)June 17, 2006

(CBS) Sebastian and Atif had been best friends since high school.

"They became very good friends because they were both precocious. They were both intelligent," recalls Sarah Isaacs, Sebastian's high school sweetheart.

Sebastian was raised in a loving family with English roots, and grew up playing classical cello. "He was very smart. He's definitely what you would call an intellectual," says his sister, Tiffany, who when 48 Hours aired this story in 2005, was a television reporter with the CBS station in Cleveland.

Sebastian became a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and was given an award by Prince Edward. Atif attended Cornell University. It was the summer of their freshman year of college when their lives took that unexpected turn.

"It's sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, where you know ... you start fitting it together and pretty soon, you get a picture," says Thompson.

Police took Sebastian and Atif to the station, where they were examined for traces of blood. They found nothing. When asked where they had been that evening, the boys provided a full account. At 8:30 p.m., they drove to a restaurant for a bite to eat. Then, they went to a 9:50 p.m. showing of "The Lion King." After the movie, they stopped for a bite to eat, and left the waitress a $6 tip on a $9 tab.

"Everywhere they went, the people who had contact with them remembered them," says Konat.

But something else troubled police. How could Sebastian and Atif provide so much detail about where they had been that evening, but not recall key moments at the murder scene? Cops became even more suspicious when Sebastian and Atif were spotted at a local video store renting movies the night after the murders.

So the police pressed the boys further on what happened in the Rafay house. They wanted to know why Atif didn’t help his dying sister, even though he heard her through the bedroom door.

Three days after the murders, relatives of the Rafays gathered in Bellevue to bury the victims. But the only surviving member of the immediate family, Atif, was nowhere to be found. He was on a bus headed across the border to Canada with his best friend, Sebastian.

In Vancouver, the boys were out of reach of Bellevue detectives, and an investigation that targeted them for the murders of the Rafay family. Their sudden bus trip across the border only raised more suspicion, even though both boys were Canadian citizens. In fact, a representative from the Canadian consulate informed the Bellevue police of their trip in advance.


Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) Det. Thompson's gut told him that the boys were guilty, but he just didn't have the evidence to prove it. Investigators kept combing the house. They found no forced entry. However, there was an eerie forensic tool - luminol - that showed an enormous amount of blood on the shower walls. The killer had used the shower before leaving.

Could that be the reason why the boys, who discovered the bodies, didn't have a trace of blood on their hair, their hands, or anywhere on their bodies? Even without physical evidence, detectives were determined. They began to build a case against the boys based on their odd behavior following the murders. "They cooperated," says Thompson. "They did everything that was asked of them. However, when they did things, they had this air or this attitude about doing it."

They honed in on the boys' demeanor at the crime scene and questioned why they sat in front of the house if they believed an intruder might still be there. Police also couldn't make sense of why Atif would notice that his Discman and VCR were missing.

Sebastian's family and friends rallied around him and Atif. "I believe him to be totally innocent as is Atif. And they have been damned," says Sebastian's father, Dave Burns.

On the advice of a lawyer, the boys decided to stop cooperating with Bellevue authorities. So Thompson kept digging into the boys' past, and found what he thought was a disturbing clue from their past. He discovered that Sebastian was in a high school play called "Rope," about two kids who commit the perfect murder. Detectives believed the fictional murder story inspired the real life crime, and even more chilling, the weapon used was the same -- a baseball bat.

"That's just a huge coincidence, and it's nothing more than that," says Dave Burns. "I think Sebastian was actually mortified when he realized that he was a suspect in the baseball bat killings of the Rafays, because he said, 'Cripes, what's gonna happen when they find out about the play?'"

As the investigation continued, the boys were living well in Vancouver, with some of the money Atif inherited from his parents' estate. They bought a convertible, and rented an apartment along with another high school pal, Jimmy Miyoshi.

Behind drawn curtains, they hid from the media, who were constantly in pursuit of them and their story. But what they didn't realize was that they were now the targets of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

On April 10, 1995, RCMP investigators intercepted a phone message confirming a salon appointment with Sebastian. By then, Sebastian and Atif were Canada's most famous teenage murder suspects. But the boys had a plan to make their fortune and live out a lifelong dream. They started work on their very own screenplay about two best friends accused of murdering a family. They called the screenplay, "The Great Despisers."

But they had no idea the real-life plotline was about to take an astonishing turn. That simple message from a local hair salon was the moment the RCMP was waiting for.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) As Sebastian left the salon, a stranger approached him, asking for a ride to his hotel. The stranger then took Sebastian to a bar and bought him a drink for his trouble. Sebastian told this stranger that he and his buddies had written a screenplay. Sebastian said he didn't have a job and needed financing. The stranger said he knew someone who could help.

"Ultimately, the goal was to get Sebastian to meet with the next guy up the chain," says Konat. "And it worked perfectly."

Sebastian thought he was about to meet a connected businessman. But he actually met with Sgt. Haslett of the RCMP, working undercover.The RCMP, which spent months preparing to manipulate their target, posed as professional mobsters and set up their first meeting with Sebastian in a strip club.

The crime boss told Sebastian he had cash to invest in his screenplay, but Sebastian would have to earn it. Sebastian had no idea, however, that he was being offered work in a make-believe world of crime. Jobs were also promised to Atif and Miyoshi.

Sebastian's first assignment was to transport a stolen car for the crime boss for $200. Then, Sebastian and Jimmy Miyoshi went from one bank to another laundering money. For a day's work, they were paid $2,000 cash.

Months went by, and the undercover operators took Sebastian to posh hotels trying to build trust and draw him out. The mobsters slowly brought up the topic of the investigation in Bellevue, and Haslett tried to draw Sebastian out by telling him he already knew what happened.

Sebastian didn’t admit guilt, but he confided in the mobsters that if the police did find something to tie him to the crime, he might want them to destroy it. And he has a very practical theory. As one of the best-known murder suspects in Canada, Sebastian is confident that his movie would make millions if he is suddenly proven innocent.

So the businessmen raise the stakes and tell Sebastian that the Bellevue police have physical evidence tying him to the crime. And to make it real, Haslett shows Sebastian a phony memo on Bellevue Police letterhead detailing the evidence linking Sebastian to the murders.

The mobsters offer to destroy the so-called evidence(redundant to put quotation marks when we say it's so-called) but they need Sebastian to tell them exactly what happened in the Rafay house the night of the murders.

Finally, on July 18, 1995, one year after the murders, Sebastian meets Haslett at the Ocean Point Resort, and the cameras are rolling.

"He walks into this hotel room and takes off his shoes. He stretches out on a love seat, and it's at that point he lets his guard down," says Konat. "And the dirty little secret that he's been protecting for the last 12 or 13 month starts to unravel on video for the whole wide world to see."

It had taken three months of undercover work to get to this moment.

The next day, Sebastian brought Atif to the crime boss to tell his story, which was recorded on an undercover tape. It's all the police needed to hear. "Those were solid, strong confessions that only the individuals that were responsible for that murder would be able to sit down and tell it like it was," says Haslett.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) Sebastian, Atif and Miyoshi were arrested. But the case is just beginning. Sebastian says he was lying, and that undercover officers had intimidated him into making a false confession.

"I believe that if I crossed them, they would have me killed," says Sebastian.

But no sooner were Sebastian and Atif arrested, than the same Canadian government that set up a trap to catch them led an international battle to spare their lives. The case went all the way to Canada's Supreme Court.

Sending the boys back to Washington meant they would face the death penalty if convicted -- a punishment that Canada had abolished years ago, and considered inhumane.

After six years of legal wrangling, the King County prosecutor in Seattle agreed to Canada's demands not to seek the death penalty. Sebastian and Atif, now 25, were finally extradited to face murder charges. If convicted, the penalty would now be life without parole.

They were appointed a team of attorneys. Representing Sebastian was Theresa Olsen, an ardent, if eccentric public defender who believed in the boys' innocence. She worked tirelessly on the case, running down leads and witnesses.

But in the summer of 2002, the case would take a bizarre turn. Guards at the King County Jail reported seeing Olsen having sex with Sebastian during an attorney-client meeting. The well-publicized scandal caught the attention of national media and brought the trial to a grinding halt. The judge said he had no choice but to dismiss Olsen from the case.

Sebastian's new attorneys were a dream team: Ivy League trained Jeff Robinson and Song Richardson. With Amanda Lee, they were among Seattle's best and most expensive criminal defense lawyers. But they agreed to take the high-profile case at a public defender's wage.

They were up against two of the most seasoned and respected prosecutors in Seattle: Roger Davidheiser would be joining James Konat on the case.

By September 2003, Sebastian and Atif had been in jail for more than eight years, charged, but never convicted for the Rafay family murders. Their case, however, would turn on those controversial confessions.

It would be up to Superior Court Judge Charles Mertel to decide if Sebastian and Atif's chilling confessions, caught on tape in Canada, would be allowed to damn them in an American court. It would be the most controversial ruling of his career. The boys' lives would depend on what he was about to say:
"I do not find the undercover officers’ conduct in this case shocking or outrageous, although they were deceitful, persistent, and aggressive...They engaged in tricks, but not dirty tricks."

It was a controversial ruling allowing the boys' own words to be used against them -- and it would set the tone for the whole case. But while the confessions may be shocking, the defense says they're not true.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) Finally, in November 2003, more than 9 years after the Rafay murders, Sebastian and Atif get their day in court.

The boys' character is at the heart of the prosecution's case. "The defendants were two young men who believed they could commit the perfect murder," says Davidheiser, who zeroed in on the piece of evidence that launched the case. And for the first time, he revealed a startling flaw in the boys' plan: "They made that 911 call too quickly."

The timing was critical, so 48 Hours asked Det. Thompson to retrace the boys' drive home from downtown Seattle, where they were seen that night. The drive timed out to 18 minutes. And 18 minutes, according to Thompson, would leave three minutes for the boys to be in the house before calling 911.

The prosecutors say three minutes is not enough time in the house to find the bodies and do all the things Sebastian and Atif told police they did.

"Think what they had to do in that three minutes," says Davidheiser in his opening argument. "Pull the family car into the garage, enter the home through the garage, and this is the important part, discover and comprehend that Sultana, Tariq and Basma had been brutally attacked and lay dead in three different areas of the house."

The revelation startled the defense. But Song Richardson was thinking on her feet and was able to turn the prosecution's argument on its head. Richardson, who delivered the opening argument for the defense, asked jurors, "How long does it take to walk into a house and see these two brutally butchered bodies of Atif's family and run downstairs and call 911?" To demonstrate her point, she walked around the cavernous courtroom for a minute-and-a-half and timed it with her stopwatch. "How long is three minutes?" she asked. "Well, let's see."

But it wasn't just the murders. In that three minutes, the boys also needed time to figure out there'd been a burglary, and that a VCR and Discman were missing. Sebastian says that he was not thinking straight when he reported the break-in: "I was out of my mind at the time. I was totally in shock, totally staggered and confounded and was almost totally hysterical," he says.

But the defense's claim of the boys' innocence is bolstered by testimony from neighbors on both sides of the Rafay house who heard sounds coming from inside the Rafay house at a time the boys have an airtight alibi -- they were at the movies.

The prosecution argued that even though the boys were seen going to the 9:50 p.m. movie, there's no proof that they stayed. Theater employee Jose Martinez showed 48 Hours how they could easily sneak out from the movie theater without drawing any attention to themselves or letting light into the theater.


Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) The defense argued that even though it could've happened that way, there was no proof it did, that prosecutors were grasping at straws to get a conviction. In fact, months into the trial, prosecutors brought an intriguing surprise witness from the boys' past who said she had evidence that could turn the case. But first, they would have to convince the judge to let a jury hear what she had to say.

Nazgol Shifteh was a friend from the boys' high school days who had once dated Sebastian. She claimed a late-night conversation she'd had with both Sebastian and Atif years ago in her bedroom had planted the seeds for murder. Away from the jury, she told the court that Sebastian had 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."

Sebastian doesn't deny having the conversation, but emphatically says he wasn't serious: "I mean, it's a one-line, paraphrase of a sarcasm from a hippy-dippy 3 a.m. conversation 10 years ago, and I can't remember enough about it to defend myself against it. "

It was certainly damning testimony, but the judge decided not to let the jury hear. His decision flustered prosecutors, but there is another witness -- more powerful and much more damning. It would be the friend the boys were sure would never betray them: Jimmy Miyoshi.

It had been years since Miyoshi had seen his high school buddies. He had moved to Japan and was living under another name when prosecutors forced him to return to Seattle and face his friends at their murder trial.

Miyoshi was once a target of the RCMP, who believed he had helped his friends plan the murder of the Rafay family. They had wanted him to give a full confession on tape, just like his friends had done, but Miyoshi refused to implicate his friends in the murder -- even though he was arrested with Sebastian and Atif and interrogated by authorities in Canada.

Back then, Miyoshi said his friends were innocent. But under increasing pressure, he eventually agreed to cooperate. In exchange, he was granted immunity from charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

Suddenly, Miyoshi began to reveal more to the police about what he knew. But now, the question loomed: Would Miyoshi betray his best friends? In a halting voice that often dropped to a whisper, Miyoshi told the court that it was during a drive from Seattle to Vancouver when Atif first mentioned the idea of killing his family.

On the stand, Miyoshi recounted a discussion about how the boys would commit the crime: "I remember something about gassing the house, and I remember discussion about, I guess, using a baseball bat."

Why a baseball bat? "I guess that it was, it's a quick and painless way of killing someone," says Miyoshi.

"I don't think there's any question that he [Miyoshi] was a sounding board for them," says prosecutor Konat.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) The prosecution says Miyoshi consulted on an especially chilling part of the plan: Sebastian and Atif visited the Rafay family five days before the murders, and that was no coincidence. It was part of a plan to get away with the perfect crime.

"It they had been living in the house previously that any kind of hair or whatever samples that were collected after wouldn't necessarily mean that they had done it, as opposed to, if they had never been at the house before," says Miyoshi.

"Any fingerprint that would be found, or could be found, could be explained as a result of their having been there for several days," says Konat. "Any hair evidence that might be found could be explained for them having been in the house for several days prior to the murders."

Finally, Miyoshi gave the prosecution what they needed. He said that Atif watched while Sebastian bludgeoned his family.

"I remember from Atif hearing about how he was fairly distraught," says Miyoshi. "From the moment that Sebastian had struck his mother that it was kind of a, there was no going back."

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."

Sebastian denies ever discussing a plan to murder the Rafay family with Miyoshi, and says Miyoshi didn't have a choice but to testify against his friends. "He had a life sentence held to his head," says Sebastian. "If he didn't say what the police and the prosecution wanted him to say, that life sentence was gonna go off."

The defense tried to hammer back, saying Miyoshi once lied to save his friends, so he could easily be lying now to save himself. During cross-examination, Jeff Robinson pointed out inconsistencies in Jimmy's statements over the years, and told Miyoshi "You're making it up as you go along."

The defense needed to come back with something strong, and they had an arsenal of forensic evidence that flew in the face of Miyoshi's testimony. They told the jury that there were three killers in the house that night.

Experts analyzed the patterns of blood on the wall and found drops everywhere except in one area, where there was no blood -- indicating that another killer may have stood there during the attack. They also said a pillow was moved during the bludgeoning.

Richardson explains it this way: "We have killer No. 1 moving the pillow... we have killer No. 2 bludgeoning Dr. Rafay with the bat...and then we have killer No. 3 who has to remain in the exact same place throughout the entire duration of the attack on Dr. Rafay."

And there was even more tangible evidence: a single hair on Tariq Rafay's bed -- one that did not match Sebastian, Atif, or any of the members of the Rafay family.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(CBS) Prosecutors, however, say DNA evidence needs to fit a pattern and appear in more than one place at a crime scene. "That DNA profile appeared nowhere else in that house," says Davidheiser. "There was absolutely no other pattern of trace evidence that could even be remotely suggested to be related to that hair. That was an isolated hair."

So with the forensic evidence inconclusive, the case comes down to whom the jury would believe. More than 100 witnesses would take the stand in the case of The State vs. Burns and Rafay. Finally, Canada’s most secret undercover operation would be exposed before the jury, and so would the question that had lingered for so many years: Why would Sebastian confess to a murder he says he didn’t commit?

"At that point, it seemed like the only safe choice," says Sebastian. "It seemed like the best choice."

The defense set out to prove that the scales were tipped from the beginning: professional liars against teenage boys. Sebastian says that he couldn't walk away from criminals whose power seemed to be so far reaching.

"I believed that if I crossed them, or if they weren't happy with me, or if they thought I was going to betray them, that they would have me killed," says Sebastian.

On the stand, the defense pressed Sgt. Haslett about his scare tactics. Haslett says the idea was not to frighten Sebastian, but to make him comfortable talking about murders to other murderers. "He didn't have to return our calls," says Haslett, when 48 Hours asked him if Sebastian could have walked away from the relationship.

The defense argued that Sebastian also stayed because he believed the Bellevue police were fabricating evidence against him. The phony memo that Haslett showed Sebastian during the undercover operation detailed the so-called evidence the Bellevue cops had against the boys. The undercover operators only offered to destroy the evidence if Sebastian confessed. They never offered to destroy it if he said he was innocent.

"My plan was to claim to be the murderer that they insisted, that they believed I was," says Sebastian. And to be convincing, Sebastian says he studied newspaper accounts so he'd know details of the murders.

During that secretly recorded conversation with the so-called mobsters, Sebastian confirmed the police theory that the weapon was a baseball bat, and that the killer had showered before leaving the crime scene.

Sebastian revealed how he and Atif would profit from the crime: "Whatever money we get, we would invest it in our film." And, he gave up the most sought-after clue, the loophole in the alibi: "[We did it] during the movie." The next day, during his conversation with the supported crime boss, Atif explained that he staged a break-in while Sebastian killed the family.

Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(Page 10 of 11)June 17, 2006

(CBS) Beyond the damning evidence on that tape, the prosecution had another bombshell ready to drop on the defense. It wasn't the first time Sebastian used a movie as an alibi. When he was 16, he staged an elaborate cover-up to conceal the fact that he had wrecked the family car.

Prosecutor Davidheiser drew a haunting parallel between the accident scene and the murder scene. Back in high school, Sebastian went to great lengths to make it seem like someone else did the damage when he was at the movies. But the insurance company caught him in the cover-up.

Davidheiser pressed Sebastian: “You manipulated the evidence to appear as though it was something that it wasn’t am I right?”

“Yes,” says Sebastian.

“And the reason that you did that sir, was so that you could say that this accident happened while you were at the movies. Am I right?” asks Davidheiser.

“Correct,” says Sebastian.

But, Sebastian said on the stand: "In the first case, I was responsible for the car scene. And in the second case, I had nothing to do with the homicide."

But Davidheiser would not let that statement go in front of the jury. He had more of that damning tape.

"Your behavior on that tape, when there's some laughing, did you think the murder of the Rafay family was some sort of comedy?," Van Sant asks Sebastian.

"No, absolutely not," says Sebastian. "We were lying and I was not thinking of the Rafay family when I was talking."

On tape, Atif told Van Sant, "To a certain extent, I had to essentially put the real events out of my mind entirely. So that I was really only thinking of the story that I was selling to Mr. Haslett."

“That’s not a story that two scared individuals come up with because they think it’s what two mafia characters want to hear,” said Davidheiser. “That’s the truth. That’s the truth coming from the mind of Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns.”

But what would the jury believe? Six months of testimony come down to one final argument. The defense knows it is their last chance in front of the jury. "How many times does the evidence have to tell us it's not Sebastian and it's not Atif before we listen?" Jeff Robinson asks during his closing statement. He points to the bloody scene in Tariq's bedroom -- evidence of three killers.


Written In Blood
Were Two Teenagers Cold-Blooded Killers?

(Page 11 of 11)June 17, 2006

(CBS) Robinson also reminds the jury that there is no forensic evidence linking the boys to the crime: "The question that you're required to ask yourselves is, 'What has the state shown me to make me believe that he is guilty without having one reason to doubt it?'"

The prosecution, however, insists it's Sebastian's own words that leave no room for doubt.

For the last time, the jury is asked to envision the last moments in the Rafay family home.

Finally, it is up to the jury to make its decision. In the script of "The Great Despisers," two boys are wrongfully convicted and executed. After four days of deliberations, 10 years after the murders, the final twist in the real-life plotline: The jury finds Sebastian and Atif guilty of murder.

“I did not believe that they didn't have a reasonable doubt. I just didn't believe it," says Sebastian. "I was looking at individual jurors just to see if they, I don't know, I guess I was just looking for some kind of answer."

"I'm afraid of him. I think he's very scary," says one juror. "I looked at him a few times, and he was glaring at me personally. And anybody that'd commit a crime like that is a frightening person."

"I wonder how they sleep at night," says Sebastian's sister, Tiffany. "I wonder how they came to that decision."

On Oct. 22, 2004, five months after the verdict, Sebastian and Atif were back in court -- this time to hear their sentence from the judge. Sebastian had his own message for the court: "With all due respect to the jurors, the verdict was wrong."

In the audience were jurors who had convicted him, and the undercover operators who had sealed his fate. "I certainly feel sorry for the victims. I feel sorry for their surviving son," says Sebastian, in a speech that went on for almost two hours. "We didn't commit the crime."

Atif never took the stand during the trial. "I loved my parents. I revere their memory to this day," says Atif, who used this moment to admit he was ashamed. "The impersonation that I gave on those videotapes ... there's no relation - is alien to everything that I've ever felt or thought."

He adds: "I truly admired my father. I was probably closer to my mother than any other person than I ever will be. The memory of her wit and her charm and keen human sympathy are dear to me to this day."

"Mr. Rafay, thank you. Unlike your colleague, I find you genuinely remorseful, Mr. Rafay," says Judge Mertel to Atif. "I think the tragedy for you -- and ultimately your family, was a meeting at probably a school cafeteria or school ground – I don’t know where it occurred -- with Mr. Burns."

Judge Mertel saved his harshest words for Sebastian: "Mr. Burns, you’re not immoral. You’re amoral. You are an arrogant, convicted killer."

It's taken prosecutors a decade to sentence Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns to serve three consecutive life terms, one for each life that was taken.

"Justice has been done for the three victims and our community has held the two individuals accountable for their conduct," says prosecutor Davidheiser: "There’s a great deal of satisfaction in being part of that. A great deal of satisfaction."


Sebastian and Atif are in separate prisons in Washington State. Both convictions are under appeal.

Sebastian's sister, Tiffany, left her job as a television reporter to produce a documentary about false confessions.

Judge Mertel has ruled that Sebastian and Atif can never profit from any screenplay about their crime.