Words of Victor Frankl regarding the Rafay/Burns case.

One of the main arguments against Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns by the Washington appeal courts centers on the demeanor of Sebastian Burns while he is supposedly confessing to the RCMP gangsters. He doesn’t appear to be fearful or distressed; therefore his lawyers must be wrong about him being coerced through fear into making the confessions. I have already made the argument that you can’t judge a book by its cover, i.e. you can’t know what is inside a person’s head by the way she or he behaves on the surface. You can only guess. For that reason alone, the arguments against the appeal are worse than suspect, they are invalid. They are a legal disgrace.

Another argument against the two teens (as they were at the time) is their inappropriate behavior in general after the killings of the Rafay family. Rather than a legal argument, it was the perception of their behavior in the media at the memorial for Rafay’s family. It appeared infantile at best. Nor were they models of decorum–neighbors found them “obnoxious”–when they moved into a shared residence with friends in West Vancouver. But here is a quote that I found upon rereading Victor Frankl’s great work, “Man’s search For Meaning”.


Frankl was referring to the behavior of oppressed people in concentration camps who are in the category of wrongly convicted persons. They did things they never would have done had they not been starving to death and constantly beaten. They were not bad people but people in dire circumstances. I think people might also give Atif and Sebastian the benefit of the doubt when it comes to surface behavior. They had witnessed the aftermath of a bloodbath which would be bad enough if they didn’t know the victims. This was, however, the family of Atif Rafay! Their abnormal behavior, under the circumstances, is completely understandable.

It irks me when I hear people talk about their behavior as the clinching argument for their guilt. Anything but! If they had been purely calculating, they never would have behaved in that way. That is why, on The Confession Tapes, I described them as “two goofballs in a state of shock”. How do any of us act in violent and completely abnormal situations? Why do soldiers suffer from PTSD? Does anyone really know what a soldier goes through after enduring sights that the rest of us never have to see, like bodies blown to pieces in a marketplace? What would YOU do if you came upon your family bludgeoned to death? You don’t know until it happens and God forbid it ever does.

Miyoshi: An RCMP Interrogation at the Vancouver Fringe Festival

Innocence International presents Miyoshi: An RCMP Interrogation at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival. The play is a re-enactment of the actual 1995 interrogation of Jimmy Miyoshi, friend of Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns who were both wrongly convicted in 2005 of the murders of the Rafay family. It reveals the ineptitude and the tunnel vision of the interrogators that lies at the center of this tragic injustice.

The play runs at the Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, from September 6-15. Schedule available on Vancouver Fringe website.


 Miyoshi: An RCMP Interrogation

“You don’t need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary.” (The Trial, Franz Kafka)

“Miyoshi: An RCMP Interrogation” is based on never-before-revealed transcripts from the RCMP interrogation of Jimmy Miyoshi, a key witness in the 1995 Burns-Rafay murder trial.

In May of 1995, Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay were charged with the brutal murder of Rafay’s family in Bellevue Washington, based largely upon evidence from the RCMP sting operation called “Mr. Big” (a law enforcement technique prohibited in the U.S.). Posing as underworld crime figures, the RCMP exacted confessions from Burns and Rafay, both 18 at the time of the murder.

Almost 10 years later, Burns and Rafay were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The testimony of key witness and close friend of the boys, Jimmy Miyoshi, was instrumental in their conviction, but … did Jimmy give false evidence? Was he unduly pressured to give to false testimony on the stand? Are Burns and Rafay innocent? – Three Innocence Projects now believe so, and “Miyoshi, An RCMP Interrogation” reveals new evidence which suggests they were wrongfully convicted. We invite you to come see the play and decide for yourself!

Miyoshi: An RCMP Interrogation, will premiere at the Vancouver Fringe Festival this September (the 6th to the 15th at the Havana Theatre).

Produced by:  Ken Klonsky and Innocence International

Directed by: Blake Melnick, CKO of the Knowledge Management Institute of Canada

Characters & Cast

Jimmy Miyoshi: Kai Bradbury

Staff Sargent Rinn: Cheryl Mullen

Constable Comrie: Rodney Decroo

Media and Communications

Poster Design: Erin Mugford

Social Media: Rowan Melnick

Communications and Press: Parker Melnick



The Fringe Box Office opens on September 4 at 4pm
1398 Cartwright Street on Granville Island (next to Waterfront Theatre)
Hours: 4pm-9pm weekdays and 12pm-9pm weekends

We accept cash, Visa, and MasterCard at the Fringe Box Office. This year at the venues we are only able to accept cash. Sorry, no Visa Debit!

Purchasing your tickets
Tickets are available at the door or in advance. You can buy memberships at the box office or at any venue.
Advance tickets are available online starting August 8 or at the Fringe Box Office only! If you are having trouble purchasing tickets, you can contact the Box Office Manager by email at boxoffice@vancouverfringe.com or at 604.762.5294. Please note there are no phone sales.

Important info:
With almost 700 performances happening over 11 days, we need to start every performance on time! We recommend arriving at least 20 minutes early to avoid disappointment. Some tickets will be sold at a FOH location 2 minutes from the venue. Patrons arriving after the performance has begun are not admitted under any circumstance. No Latecomers. No Refunds. No Exchanges. No Exceptions.