Man pleads guilty to plotting to kill six people
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter July 17, 2014 1:46PM
Updated: July 17, 2014 1:50PM
A Polish immigrant has admitted he was so upset about his divorce that he offered what he thought were hit men $45,000 to burn alive six people he blamed for breaking up his marriage.
Zenon Grzegorczyk, 51, shook his head in apparent shame as he pleaded guilty Thursday to the botched plot to kill a half dozen people on the Northwest Side and suburbs.
Grzegorczyk, of Des Plaines, was originally suspected of trying to buy assault rifles, grenades and other weapons for a group in Poland.
But when undercover officers from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cook County sheriff’s office met with him in April 2012, posing as arms dealers, he told them he wanted a woman killed.
Grzegorczyk was at one point was so suspicious of the undercover feds that he asked to meet at a bathhouse, where they couldn’t wear a wire. But eventually he told the agents he wanted six people burned to death before a June 2012 wedding.
He admitted to U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo on Thursday that he’d handed the agents a $3,000 down payment from a duffle bag at a Northwest Side McDonalds, and that he’d promised them another $42,000 if they carried out the murders.
Despite his confession, Grzegorczyk told Bucklo he originally “wanted to have them to kill only two people” but that he was persuaded to have four others killed to have the whole thing over and done with.
Bucklo asked prosecutor Matthew Schneider if Grzegorczyk’s quibbling on that point made any difference to his guilty plea.
“Does it make any difference if it’s two or six?,” she said.
Grzegorczyk faces five years to life behind bars for murder-for-hire when he is sentenced later this year.