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Prosecutor traces brutal murder of Mary Stachowicz October 27, 2006

An Illinois prosecutor told a Chicago court that Mary Stachowicz, a 51-year-old mother of 4 children-- was raped, beaten, and strangled before she was finally stabbed to death in November 2002 by a homosexual man who resented her efforts to convince him that he should curb his promiscuous sexual behavior.

"There is a monster in the courtroom today," said prosecutor Jim McKay. He was referring to Nicholas Gutierrez, the man accused of killing Stachowicz. The prosecutor gave jurors a graphic description of the brutal crime, in which the devout Catholic woman was stabbed so often that the blade of the assailant's hunting knife was damaged. The killer then wrapped his victim's body in plastic and hid it under the floor of his apartment. Gutierrez later confessed to the crime.

Friends of the slain woman say that Mary Stachowicz, who had a reputation for providing assistance to friends in need, was trying to help Gutierrez, who lived in an apartment about the funeral home where she worked.

A court-appointed lawyer for the defendant told jurors that Stachowitz had physically assaulted Gutierrez-- a solidly-built man of above average height-- and he killed her in a panic reaction.

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