Kustok murder trial proceeds

  • Written by Tim Hadac

The murder trial of Allan Kustok is winding through its second week in a Bridgeview courtroom, taking on a bit of a circus air with allegations of marital infidelity and more.
Kustok, 63, is accused of murdering his wife, Anita “Jeanie” Kustok, in their Orland Park home on the morning of Sept. 29, 2010.
In opening statements, Kustok’s defense team portrayed him as a man who deeply loved his wife and had “an absolutely perfect marriage.” Prosecutors painted Kustok as a man leading a double life of sexual trysts with other women—a life that “fooled everyone,” they alleged.
Kustok allegedly shot his wife in the head as she slept in her bed.
Shortly after Anita Kustok’s death, Allan Kustok reportedly told police his wife shot herself with a .357 caliber revolver he allegedly had given her for their 34th wedding anniversary, because he said she feared for her safety while he was away on business trips.
After the shooting, Kustok did not call any authorities and drove his wife’s body—reportedly wrapped in bloody bed linens--to Palos Community Hospital nearly 90 minutes after the gun was fired, police said.
Anita Kustok, 58, was pronounced dead upon arrival with a gunshot wound to the left cheek. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office declared the death a homicide from a gun fired inches from her face; the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted accidentally or otherwise, according to what Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said in 2010.
“After hearing the single shot, he awoke to find his wife lying on her back, next to him, with her arms crossed on her chest and a .357 revolver in her right hand,” Chief McCarthy said Kustok told police.
The victim was reportedly right handed, which would not be consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the left cheek, police said.
“I found it striking that according to him she was lying on her back with her arms crossed and a weapon of significant power and weight and cylinder still in her right hand,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Troy said then.
The Kustoks’ children are former standout area athletes Zak and Sarah Kustok, who starred in several sports at Sandburg High School. Zak Kustok played quarterback at Northwestern University for three years while Sarah played basketball at DePaul University, was an anchor for Comcast SportsNet Chicago and currently work for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Chicago man said he was not aggressor but charged anyway

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  A Chicago man was charged with assault and disorderly conduct last Wednesday following a disturbance at an Oak Lawn gas station, police said.
  Joel Sepulveda, 32, allegedly threatened a 42-year-old Oak Lawn man at Thornton’s gas station, 9138 S. Cicero Ave., according to reports. A witness told police the incident occurred at 6:30 p.m. when Sepulveda produced a knife and yelled racial slurs at the victim during a disturbance at the station, according to reports.
  The victim was not at the station when police arrived. He later told police he left because he feared Sepulveda would follow him home. He added that he did not see a knife, police said.
  Sepulveda told police that he was not the aggressor. Rather, he said, the victim yelled racial slurs at him. He denied producing a knife during the argument.

Wounded knee worse after tussle in Ridge

  • Written by Bob Rakow

An Oak Lawn man was charged with battery Feb. 16 after allegedly throwing a man to the ground outside a Chicago Ridge bar, police said.
  George J. Weinant, 56, was charged three days after the incident occurred at Rick’s Tap, 10553 S. Southwest Highway, according to reports.
  The victim, a 57-year-old Oak Lawn man, told police that he arrived at the tavern with his girlfriend at 7 p.m. Weinant walked to the passenger side of the car and initiated a conversation with the woman. The woman knows Weinant and dated him briefly several years ago, she told police.
  The victim and his girlfriend then got out of the car to enter the bar. Weinant allegedly became impatient while walking behind the victim, who was walking slowly because he had a bad knee, he said.
  At that point, Weinant grabbed him from behind, picked him up and threw him to the ground, causing him to land on his bad knee. Weinant stood over the victim until two male bystanders intervened and separated the two men, police said. Weinant left and the victim and his girlfriend drove home, according to reports.
  The victim told police he did not immediately call 911 because he did not believe he was seriously injured. But he experienced swelling and serious pain the following day and was later treated for a contusion, he said.
  Weinant told police a different story. He said he was walking behind the victim, who told him, “I have a bad knee, walk around me.” He agreed but the victim turned around and swung at him. He said he backed away to avoid being hit. He then grabbed the victim from behind and gently placed him on the ground, he told police.

Can it — suspect tries to hide heroin

  • Written by Bob Rakow

 A man who attempted to hide heroin in the garbage can of a Hickory Hills motel was charged Saturday with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, police said.
  Ron Verback, 31, of Evergreen Park, also was charged with possession of marijuana following his arrest at the Hickory West Motel, 8600 W. 95th St., according to reports.
  Police arrived at the motel at 9:18 a.m. and saw a car enter the rear lot. A man, who was later identified as Verback, met another man who had exited the motel, police said.
  The two men noticed police, causing Verback to drive to the front of the motel followed by police. He parked his car and entered the lobby of the motel. When he left the motel for the second time, he approached police and told them he was inquiring about room rates, reports said.
  He said he possessed nothing illegal and told police they could search him and his car. Before the search began, Verback admitted that there was marijuana in the center console of the car. Police found the marijuana but no other contraband, they said.
  At that point, a motel clerk got the attention of police. She told officers that the Verback put something into the lobby garbage can. Police subsequently found a plastic baggy containing 24 tin foil packets of heroin at the bottom of the can, reports said.
  Verback admitted during his initial conversation with police that he was a recovering heroin addict and was in possession of legally prescribed dose of a methadone, police said.

Thief steals money but leaves advice

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  An Oak Lawn resident caught a break and received some good advice Feb. 19 from the individual who burglarized his pickup truck, police said.
  The truck owner told police that $40 was stolen his wallet and $5 was taken from the center console of the truck, which was parked in the 4900 block of Wick Drive.
  But the victim found his debit card on the truck’s dashboard next to a note that read: “Lock your doors. Lucky I’m not a [expletive].”
  The note included an arrow pointing to the debit card, according to reports. A half-smoked cigarette also was found in the truck.
— Bob Rakow