The One Year Anniversary of Chicago Catholic Mary Stachowicz's Murder During an Anti-Christian Hate Crime
10/21/2003 9:40:00 PM
By Allyson Smith
CCI NOTES: On November 13, 2002, Chicagoan Mary Stachowicz, a devout Roman Catholic, wife and mother, was brutally murdered for testifying about the Christian faith. In the weeks following Mary's death at the hands of homosexual Nicholas Gutierrez in Chicago, pro-homosexualists reacted with much more sympathy for the gay killer than for his Christian victim. In fact, several even went as far as saying that Mrs. Stachowicz deserved to die for questioning the mans lifestyle. This article was originally published on December 4, 2002. Five years after his death, homosexual prostitute Matthew Shepard is still a media martyr, and Mary Stachowicz is just another dead Christian.
|The lives of Christians are cheap today, as they were in Rome
"I really don't feel sorry for her. She paid a very steep price for being an arrogant religious fascist. Too bad for her." - "Iris," in a posting on the ACLU Online Forum.
"Quite frankly, if anyone in this case was being persecuted it was Mr. Gutierrez. Unfortunately for the victim this was a lesson that she learned too hard and too late. Maybe this will give pause to other people who similarly try to help homosexuals." - "Silence Dogood," on ACLU Online Forum.
The Death of Mary Stachowicz
In the three weeks since Mary Stachowicz was murdered by homosexual Nicholas Gutierrez in Chicago, some pro-homosexualists have reacted with much more sympathy for the gay killer than for his Christian victim. In fact, several even have gone as far as saying that Mrs. Stachowicz deserved to die for questioning the mans lifestyle.
Predictably, the mainstream media and homosexual advocacy organizations have reacted to Mary Stachowiczs murder the same way they did to 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhisings torture-murder at the hands of two homosexual men in 1999: by avoiding it. As of December 4, no formal condemnations of Mrs. Stachowiczs murder have been issued by leading groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Soulforce, a group that works in churches to oppose the traditional Christian view of homosexuality, issued no press statement, but a spokeswoman did give a quote to The Washington Times:
"We condemn this murder, like we do all murders," said Laura Montgomery Rutt, spokeswoman for Soulforce. "A hate crime needs to have an intent to intimidate a whole class of people. If in this case, it was directed at this person and intended to intimidate Christians, that would be a hate crime in my mind."
A devout Catholic, Mary Stachowicz met her martyrdom while working at the Sikorski Funeral Home on Chicagos northwest side, where she got to know Gutierrez, 19, who lived in a second-floor apartment above the funeral home. On the afternoon of November 13, Stachowicz attended Mass at St. Hyacinth parish across the street, then returned to the funeral home and went to visit Gutierrez in his apartment.
According to Chicago police, an argument broke out when Mrs. Stachowicz lectured Gutierrez about his lifestyle and his lack of direction in life. Gutierrez later told police that he had issues with his mother and that the way Stachowicz was talking to him gave him flashbacks of his mother that angered him.
When Stachowicz asked him, "Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?" Gutierrez snapped. In a fit of rage, he punched, kicked, stabbed and strangled the 51-year-old wife and mother of four. Gutierrez then stuffed her body into a crawl space under the floor of his apartment, where it remained for two days until he confessed to police.
Family members were baffled by Stachowiczs disappearance. They posted fliers in neighborhoods, and her daughter made a public plea for her safe return.
"My sister is very healthy. She's very stable. She has the closest family you can imagine," Stachowiczs younger sister, Alice Kosinski, told NBC5.com. "Her faith would not allow for anything out of the ordinary."
After learning of Gutierrezs confession, Stachowiczs loved ones agreed that the circumstances of her murder were in keeping with her character. Kosinski told The Chicago Tribune, "Because she's so Catholic, there's no room for being gay in the Catholic Church."
Friend Mary Coleman said, "Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life. That's how Mary did things."
Rev. Francis Rog of St. Hyacinth Church told ABC 7 Chicago news, "She was a very intense person, concerned about the good of the parish, always seeking things for the poor as well as spiritual welfare for people."
Police recovered Stachowiczs body on November 15 and charged Gutierrez two days later with first-degree murder, concealing a homicidal death, and burglary for attempting to steal money from Stachowiczs purse.
Chicago local media reported these events, choosing headlines devoid of the words "gay" or "homosexual." In contrast, several homosexual publications - including Gay.com/PlanetOut.com, Gay Peoples Chronicle, and the Washington Blade -- did use "gay" in their headlines.
Gay.com began running the story on November 19, a full week before the first mainstream news story appeared in The Washington Times.
The same day, National Review Online columnist Rod Dreher published a commentary titled These Victims Are People, Too" wherein he lamented "the deafening media silence around the savage murder of Mary Stachowicz" and speculated on its cause:
"One cannot help wondering if the upright citizens who report the news don't privately share the view of gay blogger James Wagner, who said of Stachowiczs strangling:
The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.
Dreher added, "I believe many, and probably most, journalists share the unspoken assumption that Christians bring such trouble on themselves."
That assumption appears to be shared by pro-homosexual cyber citizens. A search for "Mary Stachowicz" on message boards, e-mail lists, and Web logs (blogs) turned up several people who reacted viciously toward Stachowicz and Christianity.
For example, James Wagners boyfriend, Barry, expressed the hope on his blog that "maybe [Stachowiczs murder] will strike fear in the hearts of a few fundamentalists" and then asked, "Where do I send a check for his (Gutierrezs) defense fund?"
James and Barrys statements drew the following response from fellow homosexual Michael Benedetto:
"I think that if gays are going to continue to have any credibility in politics, our sympathies in cases like this are going to have to lie first and foremost with the victims. And that's one upsetting thing about Barry's and James' posts: Until the criticism started to roll in, the only sympathy they expressed was for the wrong person."
Elsewhere, Benedetto wrote, "[Y]es, the woman (Stachowicz) was clearly a meddlesome b---- who didn't understand that the lives of her co-workers were none of her business. That does not make her any less the victim, or absolve her killer of any of his guilt."
"I dont condone this murder, BUT
Several posts implied that Stachowicz had brought on her own death. One man wrote to a Yahoo discussion forum, "It's Sad Someone Was Murdered, BUT... ...I do wish the Religious Wrong would learn to mind their own business."
"Iris" wrote to the ACLU Online Forum: "I am in no way condoning this man's behavior. Murder is murder. He should receive life or the death penalty for his actions. But one fact remains ... if she would have been minding her own [expletive] business instead of attempting to ram her religion where it didn't belong, none of this would have ever happened. I really don't feel sorry for her. She paid a very steep price for being an arrogant religious fascist. Too bad for her."
"Silence Dogood" agreed: "I won't go so far as to say that she deserved what she got, no one deserves to die, but I won't exactly be shedding any tears for her. Quite frankly, if anyone in this case was being 'persecuted' it was Mr. Gutierrez. Unfortunately for the victim this was a lesson that she learned too hard and too late. Maybe this will give pause to other people who similarly try to help homosexuals."
The "Real" hate crimes
Other discussions centered on the characteristics of hate crimes. "Real" hate crimes, explained ACLU Online Forum member "morningstar," must be like Matthew Shepards murder; they must be premeditated and target a group.
"KingFred" wrote to the MacAddict Forum: "Since (Gutierrez has) already admitted he did the crime, there's no question he should do the time. But hate crime? Don't see it here. He didn't go out to get himself a Christian. He did in a person who may have been berating him, using her Christian beliefs as weapons'. That doesn't justify what he did by any means, but it may explain it."
Catholic League President William Donohue summed up the problems with hate crimes statutes as illustrated by Mary Stachowiczs murder in a November 26 press release:
"A few thoughts on this matter: a) this (Marys murder) will not be listed as a hate crime, thus showing how useless this category of crime is; b) the killer is going to be charged with a capital offense, thus showing once again how useless this category of crime is; c) Mary Stachowicz will never be remembered the way Matthew Shepard is, thus showing how politically corrupt the whole concept of hate crime legislation really is. The fact is she was murdered for having a Catholic-informed conscience."
Others blamed the Roman Catholic Church for Stachowiczs murder. On the Naked Writing blog, "JodyW" commented, "Gutierrez is responsible for what he did. So the RCC [Roman Catholic Church] is responsible for continuing to put forth a silly, stupid and factually wrong doctrine of objective disorders and intrinsic moral evil regarding homosexuality. For all that that evil that that doctrine has done and continues to do, they have a lot to be held accountable for."
Perhaps the cruelest comment of all was this from a San Francisco man on Yahoo: "The b---- had it coming to her. I'm glad he killed her. Too bad he'll probably spend the rest of his life in prison getting his little butt pounded, but still, I'm glad he killed her. The b---- deserved to die."
Mary Stachowicz, R.I.P.
The Chicago Tribune published the following obituary for Mary:
Mary Stachowicz, nee Frank, devoted wife of Jerry; beloved mother of Peter, Christopher, Angela (Louie) Ruffolo and Daniel; loving daughter of Agnes and the late Rudolf Frank; dear sister of Irene (John) Rog and Alice (Mark) Kosinski. Funeral Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., from Cumberland Chapels, 8300 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge, to St. Hyacinth Church, Mass 11 a.m. Interment St. Adalbert Cemetery.
Four pages of condolences accompanied the obituary, where former classmates, co-workers and other family friends left messages of sympathy for Marys tragic demise.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that, after Marys death, Alderwoman Vilma Colom (35th) introduced a city council resolution in her memory. "She lost her life in an unselfish attempt to help a very disturbed young man, and for that she should be remembered," said Colom, who goes to the same church Stachowicz did.
Marys sister, Alice Kosinski, told the Chicago Tribune that her sister's death is difficult for everyone in her family to fathom.
"We're not doing that well," she said. "It just doesn't make any sense, and somehow we're going to have to make our peace with it."