Blood-spatter expert: Shooter near bed killed Jeanie Kustok
BY BRIAN SLODYSKO Staff Reporter March 4, 2014 3:37PM
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- After taking wife’s body to hospital, Kustok tells nurse he’s ‘life of the party’
- Sportscaster Sarah Kustok in courthouse as father’s murder trial continues
Updated: April 6, 2014 6:34AM
The star prosecution witness in the Allan Kustok murder trial testified Tuesday that a close-range gunshot was the likely source of blood spatter found on the front side of Kustok’s clothes on the morning his wife died.
“You cannot transfer small stains like that — it can’t be done,” said Rod Englert, an Oregon-based blood-spatter guru, who ruled out the possibility that the blood got onto Kustok’s clothing through other means.
Then, without naming Kustok, Englert testified that whoever wore the blood-specked clothing likely fired the gunshot that killed Anita “Jeanie” Kustok while she lay in bed at the couple’s expansive Orland Park home on Sept. 29, 2010.
In fact, her death was not caused by suicide, Englert said.
His testimony drew into question claims made by Allan Kustok’s defense attorneys, who insist Jeanie Kustok shot herself in the early morning hours with a .357 magnum handgun while Allan Kustok slept next to her.
After conducting a lengthy crime-scene re-creation, at a cost of $395 an hour, Englert indicated he long ago concluded Jeanie Kustok could not have shot herself.
Englert testified that crime scene blood-spatter patterns, when coupled with the fatal bullet’s trajectory, suggest Jeanie Kustok was shot in the face, at close range, by a gunman standing alongside the couple’s bed.
The prosecution contends that gunman is Allan Kustok, 63, a former medical supplies salesman and serial philanderer, who they say was driven to kill his wife to escape a financially troubled and unhappy marriage.
The defense has countered that the Kustoks had a happy marriage, even if Allan Kustok stepped out on his wife with other women.
In the months before Jeanie Kustok’s shooting death, the mother of former Northwestern University quarterback Zak Kustok and sportscaster Sarah Kustok had grown paranoid of home invaders, the defense has said. Jeanie Kustok may have shot herself by accident, they suggested.
But Englert ruled out the possibility that the revolver, which Allan Kustok said he bought his wife as an anniversary present, accidentally fired. He also ruled out suicide.
“We let the evidence do the talking. It’s hard to refute,” Englert said, referring to a blood-spattered pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a pair of glasses worn by Kustok during the minutes and hours after his wife’s death.
“You would need some wet blood and the dot of a pencil to” duplicate the spatters, Englert testified at the Bridgeview courthouse.