After taking wife’s body to hospital, Kustok tells nurse he’s ‘life of the party’
BY BRIAN SLODYSKO Staff Reporter February 24, 2014 2:28PM
Updated: February 25, 2014 4:07PM
Allan Kustok lived an apparent double life, maintaining the outward facade of a suburban family man, while carousing and womanizing on the sly. He was “the life of the party,” he confided to a nurse after he drove his wife’s body to Palos Community Hospital, Cook County prosecutors said Monday at Kustok’s murder trial.
Kustok told medical staff that he didn’t call an ambulance to the couple’s expansive Orland Park home because he didn’t want the “commotion” first responders would bring.
The staffers, who took the stand Monday, told investigators that Kustok made both remarks in the hours after he wrapped his dead wife, Anita “Jeanie” Kustok, in bedding and drove her to the hospital. She had been fatally shot in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2010.
Later that day, Kustok told investigators the couple were in bed when a .357 caliber gun blast echoed in their room. Jeanie Kustok lay dead next to him, arms crossed with the powerful revolver in her hand, he told police.
But prosecutors say that’s simply not the case. They portrayed Kustok as a callous and detached husband, painting the former medical supplies salesman as a serial philanderer, motivated to kill his wife to escape a financially troubled and unhappy marriage.
In the months before Jeanie Kustok died, they say he cheated on his wife and frequently spoke of an impending divorce.
One woman Kustok aggressively pursued was a Gold Coast real estate agent, who testified Monday that he wined and dined her over three days at restaurants in the Viagra Triangle area of Chicago, frequented by well-heeled, middle-aged singles.
Bonnie Gross said she was with a girlfriend, enjoying the outdoor seating at Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse in August 2010, when she noticed a man who “resembled Bill Clinton” walking back and forth across the street “staring at me.”
Kustok approached, introduced himself and dined with them, she said. Later that night, he walked her back to her condo. She rebuffed his advances but agreed to go to dinner with him the following day at the Rosebud Steakhouse, she testified.
Kustok showed up to the date wearing his wedding ring and talking of divorce, Gross said. He said he was only together with his wife “for the children.”
Then “he took his ring off and put it in his pocket,” she said. Eventually the conversation shifted to the possibility of a lunch outing the following day at the Wiener Circle hot dog stand.
When he “tried to put some moves on me . . . sexual advances” the next day, Gross said she cut off the relationship. Still, Kustok made repeated unwanted calls to her and even showed up outside her building at least once, she said.
Several months later, a friend phoned after seeing Allan Kustok in a news report about his wife’s death and asked, “Do you remember that guy we met that looked like Bill Clinton?” Gross said.
During a dramatic cross-examination, defense attorney Rick Beuke aggressively questioned Gross’ character.
“When did it pop into your head that ‘I’m not comfortable seeing a married man?’ ” Beuke asked incredulously. “You didn’t walk out, did you, Bonnie? No you had dinner at that pricey restaurant. . . . You decide to go to the Wiener Circle for lunch. You decided to get a free lunch out of it.”
On Monday, Beuke also aggressively questioned nurse Patricia Fleming, who gathered Allan Kustok’s bloody clothes after he brought his wife’s body to the ER and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Fleming repeatedly answered, “I don’t recall, sir,” when questioned about the timeline of events, her collection of Allan Kustok’s clothing and her interactions with him.
Throughout Monday’s hearing, defense attorneys raised questions about the way investigators catalogued and collected evidence, suggesting some evidence, including a blood-splattered pair of glasses worn by Allan Kustok, may have been contaminated.
Despite potential evidence collection issues raised by the defense, testimony from prosecution witnesses suggested Kustok’s behavior at the hospital was suspicious.
When he first arrived at the hospital, Kustok’s emotions ranged from sobbing to anxiously punching a wall, according to court testimony.
Later, the father of former Northwestern quarterback Zak Kustok and sportscaster Sarah Kustok appeared “aloof,” Dr. Elizabeth Hatfield testified at the Bridgeview courthouse. She handled the intake of Kustok and his wife at the hospital.
“I asked why he didn’t call the paramedics,” Dr. Elizabeth Hatfield testified at the Bridgeview courthouse. “He didn’t want the commotion associated with the police and the paramedics.”
Testimony in the trial continues Tuesday.