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Reflections on the tragedy
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 10:18 PM

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Originally published Jan. 11, 1993

It went right to my knees. My legs started wobbling and almost went out.

- Dave Marciniak, 16, when he heard that his friend Mike Castro was among the victims

Crime has come to the suburbs. You send your children to a part-time job and they're not even safe.

- Rose Lamacchia, owner of Ohlson Travel Agency next to Brown's Chicken

You never think to ask an employer, "What security are you going to have for my child?"

- Jill Delpage, mother of Brown's Chicken employee Peter Delpage of Palatine

Palatine's getting to be a big city. It's not a little tiny town anymore, yet everybody still knows each other.

- Palatine Trustee Jack Wagner, a former police officer

Here, it's such a big shock. My students (in Chicago) are probably more used to people getting hurt or killed. I think it will affect students out here because they always feel safe. But my students are always on guard.

- Prosser High School teacher Donna Greenblatt, attending a St. Xavier College class at the Palatine community center

It's indescribable how any of us feel even though we didn't know them.

- Palatine High School senior Michelle Parke

I will probably be a little more concerned. We can't totally insulate ourselves from things like this.

- Marianne Pittenger, mother of Brown's Chicker assistant manager Ken Pittenger, of Palatine

There is no place in the country that's safe if Palatine is not safe. These people can't run back to cities. There is no place to hide.

- Urbanologist Pierre deVise

You can't control everything. You can close the doors and windows, but that's about all you can do.

- Manager of a Mount Prospect Wendy's restaurant, held up twice by gunmen in 1990

Yeah, you're going to cry and get emotional. But you help yourself out by getting it out in the open.

- Catherine Ernst, a Palatine High School junior

Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened. I'm sick - I don't like to eat, I don't like to sleep.

- Palatine resident Roger Kobe

I'd like to have just 30 minutes with him ... but It's not up to me, it's up to the police and God to decide what happens.

- Tony Esparza, a friend of Rico Solis, angry at whoever committed the massacre

There's a lack of respect for life in this world today and I think it's all family-based. Families aren't together anymore like they were.

- Tom Corman, father of a young teenager who said she's afraid to go back to work now

They thought this was something that would prove positive.

- Cathy Allen, talking about Dick and Lynn Ehlenfeldt's decision to go into the restaurant business a year ago

They should hang whoever did this. Literally hang them, or maybe kill them the way they killed these people.

- Pam Horwath, of Arlington Heights, a bystander at the crime scene with her husband and three sons

We were called the Death Battalion, and our job was to die and we did that very well. Is this 'Nam all over again? This just gets my gut.

- Fred Brown, a veteran and a member of the Brown's Chicken founding family

We always talked about how time flies. Everything in high school went so fast for us that we just wanted it to slow down so we could enjoy it more.

- Jaybee Anama, 16, a close friend of Mike Castro

I want to apologize to some of the reporters who called me at home last night. I just didn't know what answers to: give ... if I was rude I didn't mean to be.

- Frank Portillo, president of Brown's Chicken & Pasta

We're thinking of them (the other victims' families). We're not thinking of ourselves. They are certainly in our prayers.

- Ann Teichow, Richard Ehlenfeldt's sister, speaking on behalf of the family