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Eighth-grader puts fears into words
By Deedra Lawhead | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 10:10 PM

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Originally published Jan. 13, 1993

Eighth-grader Maria Bruski can't sleep, can't eat and can't stand being left alone.

Since seven people were murdered at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta on Northwest Highway, the student at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School deals daily with fear and sorrow along with many of her classmates. Many youngsters and teenagers are members of a regretful club - they knew the victims, know other workers or know somebody else who knows them.

What's different about 13-year-old Bruski, who lives in Barrington, is she put those fears down on paper in a poignant poem, "Hateful crimes."

"Why do they do it, no one can say

Is it just something that comes their way?

Is it our time to do the crying? Are we the next victims to do the dying?

Our city is fading away. There is no more time to wait. We are becoming their bait.

"We need to solve these hateful crimes.

They are becoming factors of time.

Why do they lie as we pass on by?

All that's left is to wait. Hopefully we won't become the bait.

"As we get closer, we also get further

And we see this sad day going by.

Someday it's going to be our turn.

The cries for help, the cries to stop. No one hears. Maybe they should open their ears.

"Now I say, goodbye my friend.

This is the time and this is the end"

"It really took me, she's only 13," said Maria's mother, Anne.

Maria occasionally would pick up food for her mother and her mother's co-workers at the About Hair salon located behind the restaurant.

That fact only reinforces the fear, Maria said. "If they killed seven people, who knows - they could be looking for someone else," Bruski said, explaining why she refuses to stay alone at home.

"When I'm in the car, I get paranoid whenever anyone looks at us the wrong way."

"I just wish they would find him (the killer) or he would turn himself in."