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Canada Extradites California Murder Suspect Featured on TV

June 27, 1989|From Associated Press

A man arrested near Vancouver, Canada, after he was featured on a U.S. television show about unsolved crimes has been sent back to California to face two murder charges.

Rudy Blanusa, 37, faces two counts of murder and two of kidnaping in the 1986 killing of brothers Gilbert and Joe Flores in Modesto. Police in the San Joaquin Valley city said the brothers were shot after being suspected of robbing a house.

Blanusa, flanked by Vancouver police, was turned over to American police on Friday after a Canadian judge ruled that Blanusa should be extradited.

Under a 1976 extradition treaty, Canada has the discretion to refuse to extradite someone unless the United States promises not to seek the death penalty.

Paul Halprin, a federal Justice Department lawyer, said Canadian officials did not ask American authorities for that assurance in Blanusa's case.

In January, Blanusa was living in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb, under the name Bob Davies when he was featured on the program "America's Most Wanted." Less than 24 hours after the program was shown, police stopped a car in Burnaby and arrested Blanusa. He was working for a Burnaby scaffolding company and his Canadian common-law wife said she knew nothing of his past.

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