Original article no longer available
October 11, 2006,
By Kim Janssen, Staff writer
Stunned Oak Forest neighbors were struggling Tuesday with the news that an apparently mild-mannered neighbor had admitted bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer.
Antoni Suchon, 54, of the 5300 block of Martha Lane, faces a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly attacking his wife Teresa, 53, in their bedroom Monday night.
According to Oak Forest police, Antoni Suchon (left) admitted killing his wife, Teresa (right), at the couple’s Oak Forest home.
Police Chief Dennis Olzsewski said Suchon dialed 911 about 5 p.m. and admitted to killing his wife. When officers arrived, they found Suchon waiting and his wife’s body on the floor with the murder weapon lying next to it, he said.
Suchon, whom friends say has battled severe depression for years, gave a videotaped confession but has offered neither a motive nor remorse, the chief said.
“He says he killed her and that’s it — he’s been very calm and very quiet,” Olzsewski said. “There’s no history of domestic violence there.”
An autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office showed that blunt trauma to the head was the cause of Teresa Suchon’s death. She was struck at least six times, authorities said.
Neighbors Joe and Colette Bus, who’ve been close friends of the Suchons since both couples moved in 15 years ago, were badly shaken by the slaying. They were among a few neighbors and friends who gathered to pray outside the Suchon house as the body was removed Monday night.
“We saw her in Bobak’s Polish delicatessen in Orland Park on Sunday,” Joe Bus said. “She told us she was worried because Antoni was very low. He wasn’t eating, hadn’t left the home in two weeks and was threatening suicide.”
“We’re stunned. When the police said it was Teresa who was dead I thought there must have been a mistake,” his wife said. “It must have been his illness because he would never have done that otherwise. He loved her.”
Suchon and his wife emigrated from Poland 20 years ago, Joe Bus said. He said they had no children or close relatives in the United States but often invited friends to parties at their home and recently returned from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Antoni Suchon was an amiable workaholic, renting out several properties that he maintained himself, the Buses said. But his mental state deteriorated whenever he stopped taking his medication, they said.
Close friend Albina Frankowicz said Suchon was a “good man” but had been “very sick” and “chemically unbalanced” for 12 years.
“They were a good couple,” she said. “She worked so hard.”
Teresa’s employer, Scott Steuber, said he kept her on after buying her flower business in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community two years ago.
“She was a genius with flowers — she could grab a handful and make it look like something from a magazine in seconds,” he said. “She did the work of three or four people and was a true artist.”
Her funeral will likely be held in Poland, Steuber said.
As friends stopped to mourn with each other Tuesday along the quiet, close-knit street, neighbor Cathy Woods said, “It will take a long time to understand this. What we all want to know is: Why?”
Kim Janssen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 633-5998.