DRIVER IN CRASH COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY

BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter

Jeanette Sliwinski unsuccessfully tried to kill herself, police said. She may still get her wish.

Prosecutors said they may seek the death penalty for the 23-year-old Morton Grove woman who allegedly told investigators she was trying to kill herself when she slammed her car at 70 mph into the rear of a Honda Civic stopped at a red light at a Skokie intersection Thursday.

The three occupants of the car she hit -- all Chicago rock musicians in different bands -- were killed, sending shock waves through the local music community. Killed were Mike Dahlquist, 39, John Glick, 35, and Douglas Meis, 29.

Sliwinski survived and was being held without bond Saturday in fair condition at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where she was under guard. She is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

She allegedly told police she wanted to kill herself after having a fight with her mother. In a statement released by her attorney, Thomas Needham, Sliwinski said: "I pray and beg for forgiveness from everyone who is saddened by the deaths of Mr. Dahlquist, Mr. Glick and Mr. Meis."

Her parents, Ted and Ursula Sliwinski, also expressed their anguish: "If we had an explanation for what happened . . . we would tell you what it is -- but we have no explanation, we have only our heartfelt grief and prayers."

Meanwhile, the families, friends and fans of the dead are trying to cope with the tragedy.
"There's an awful lot of people who have been touched by this," said Victoria Midgett, whose husband played with Dahlquist.

The three men worked for microphone maker Shure Inc. in Niles and were on their lunch break when they were killed.

Glick, of Logan Square, was a singer-songwriter-guitarist who "played music for music's sake," said Jonathan Ben-Isvy, his bandmate in the power pop trio the Returnables.

Glick, born in Boston, got a degree in film at the University of Wisconsin, where he met his wife, Rebecca Crawford. Both musicians, they moved here six years ago in search of a bigger music scene.
"He was a very, very gifted songwriter," said Ben-Isvy.

Meis had been playing drums since the age of 9 and was a member of Crawford's band, the Dials.

"Drumming was definitely his absolute passion; it was the thing he was most enthusiastic about in life," said his younger brother, Scott. Meis, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, was an Illinois Wesleyan engineering grad. The Lincoln Square resident had a "hysterical sense of humor" and excelled in the business side of music, booking shows and getting the band to the next stop on the tour.

For the last 15 years, Dahlquist was the drummer for Silkworm, a band that formed in Seattle. He followed the other band members to Chicago four years ago and wasn't sure he'd like it here, but just recently he sold his house in Seattle and bought a place here.

Death penalty troubles friends

"He was just a great guy, he was not judgmental of people at all and was constantly on a quest to meet new people and make connections," Midgett said.

The possibility of the death penalty for Sliwinski, however, troubles some of the musicians' friends.

"They're gone no matter what," Ben-Isvy said. "Her motives and what she was doing are almost irrelevant to us." He said his friend didn't favor the death penalty. "I know John's philosophy. I can confidently say because I discussed it with him was that he is opposed to the death penalty. I know that John would not want what happened to result in a death penalty case."

Copyright © The Sun-Times CompanyAll rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.