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CHIASKI, LISA - MURDERED BY LORI ESKER

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Jul 21 10 8:02 PM

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                           JEALOUSY, OBSESSION & MURDER

Lisa Chiaski, Bill Buss, and Lori Esker all attended Wirtenberg - Birnamwood
High School.                                   

Lisa Chiaski. an Assistant Sales and Catering Manager (at a motel near
Wausau) has a dream of becoming a travel agent. But her heart is tied up
with Bill Buss, a young farmer who's cows have won top state honors for 
milk productivity. Lisa isn't much into the farming aspect of her boyfriend.

Jennifer Van Order (Lisa's friend) "Lisa never wanted to be a farmer."

They've been dating for 6 years and the only source of contention
between them seems to be her desire to be a travel agent.
Although they still care about each other, Lisa thinks a bit of space
is called for. Bill reluctantly agrees.

Bill Buss dates Lori Esker (20), (majoring in agriculture and journalism
at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls), off and on for about a year
and a half.

Bill and Lori have a business arrangement as well. Bill keeps 17 head 
of Lori's cows on his farm. When she is home from college she tends
to them. Lori begins to view this arrangement as a prelude to their
marriage.

1989 - January - Bill, on his part, is feeling the souring of the dating
                         relationship he has had with Lori. He is unaware of
                         the depth of her obsession with him.

                         Bill and Lisa get back in touch and speak often on
                         the phone.

While at college Lori speaks constantly of Bill, saying they are engaged,
but never shows her friends a ring. She window shops for wedding
dresses. Friends notice Lori is obsessed with Bill.

                                     IT'S OVER

1989 - June - Bill Buss takes Lori Esker to a street dance, and while there,
                    tells her it's over between them. Lori is devastated.

Tammy Zack (Friend of Lori) "She just didn't want to break up.
                                              Sometimes she cried."
 
                    Lori isn't about to give up. She doesn't like "losing," at anything.
                    
                    Both Lisa and Lori are at Bill's farm on the same day and
                    a loud, shouting argument breaks out between them.

1989 - June 23 - Lori Esker (20) is crowned Dairy Princess of Marathon County.
 
                     Twice Lori waylays Bill Buss in his home late at night after
                     milking chores are done. Dressed in a skimpy nightgown
                     she climbs into his bed. Bill rebuffs her.

                     She phones him frequently and begs Alan Andrus (friend of Bill's)
                     to intercede for her. She desperately wants to get back toghether
                     with Bill.

                     Lori calls one of Bill's friend's home and catches Bill there.
                     She sobs "How could you do this to me?" Bill hangs up on
                     Lori.

                     Lori is heard to say "I could just kill her! Just kill her!"
 
                    At college Lori's obsession deepens, her only focus in life is how
                    to get Bill back.

        Bill decides he's going to ask Lisa to marry him on her birthday, October 25th.

1989 - September - 18 - Someone gossips to Lori that "Lisa is pregnant."
                                     Lori is horrified. If Lisa is pregnant, it was only by
                                     Bill, thus putting him out of her reach.

                               She phones Bill to confront him but he denies that
                               rumor is true. Lori doesn't believe Bill. 

                               Lori goes to the Buss farm and Lori lies to Bill
                               saying "I just want you to know that I have
                               accepted the fact that you and Lisa are back to-
                               gether, and I am going to leave you alone now.

                         Lori Esker has no intention of leaving Bill Buss alone...ever.

                          Lori Esker phones Lisa Chiaski's place of work to find out
                          her work schedule.

1989 - September 20 - Lori leaves a message on a friend's answering
                                   machine "Hi. This is Lori, I am going to the library,
                                   maybe I will talk to you later."

                            Lori Esker has no intention of going to the library. She
                            points her vehicle towards Wausau, where Lisa works
                            at the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in Rib Mountain.

                             She hadn't been able to rent a car in someone else's 
                              name so she used her own car to drive to Wausau.

                                  She waits in her car until Lisa leaves work and 
                                  enters the parking lot. The two get into Lisa's
                                  car to talk.

                                  However, when the Lori brings up whether Lisa is
                                  pregnant, the two begin to argue heatedly. While
                                  arguing Lori sees a belt lying on the back seat.
                                  She grabs it and swiftly wraps it around Lisa's 
                                  neck pulling it tight.

                                  Lori thinks Lisa has passed out, but Lisa Chiaski
                                  is dead. She lets go of the belt.

                                  Grabbing a mirror, Lori holds it to Lisa's face to see
                                   if she's breathing. "Oh my God, I killed her!" Lori
                                   takes a ring off of Lisa's finger, exits Lisa's car and
                                   gets into her own and speeds away. She throws
                                   Lisa's ring into a dumpster.

1989 - September 21 - Lisa Chiaski's mother Shirley is worried. Lisa's
                                   missing and no one has heard from her. She
                                   drives over to where Lisa works and discovers
                                   her daughter's dead body slumped inside her
                                   car.

                                      MURDER INVESTIGATION

Investigators question family and friends of Lisa Chiaski, including Bill Buss.
It doesn't take them long to hone in on a suspect.

1989 - September 28 - Police arrest Lori Esker.

                                 Lori tells detectives that she'd gone to speak with
                                 Lisa to "straighten things out" and that when the
                                 argument became heated, she feared for her life.
                                 She hadn't intended to hurt "her friend."
 
                Lori Esker "I thought she was going to kill me or really hurt me."
                                 I pushed on her, I don't know if it was the belt, or my
                                 elbow."
 
                                 Police don't buy the self defense story.
                                 Lori takes a lie detector test and fails.
                                 Bill Buss encourages her to "tell the truth."

                                 Lori Esker confesses to murdering Lisa Chiaski
 
Sheriff's Deputy Randall Hoenisch asks Lori to demonstrate how Lisa was
killed.

Deputy Randall Hoenisch "I was surprised at her strength. She was not
                                          shy, nor hesitant how she did this. In fact,
                                          Esker became quite aggressive when applying
                                          pressure to my throat with her forearm, lifting
                                          me up off my chair and pushing me against a
                                          wall in the interview room. She quickly took my
                                          belt in a split second and she had it wrapped
                                          around my neck and once again applied a
                                          good amount of pressure. She had a very
                                          intent look on her face, and at no time did
                                          she hesitate."

Stephen Glynn (attorney for Lori Esker) would claim her confession was coerced.

1989 - October 2 - Marathon County Circuit Court - Lori Esker is in court on
                            the charge of intentional first degree homicide.

Counselors are brought into the college to deal with shocked reactions from
students who are having trouble dealing with the fact that the Lori they knew
would do such a thing.

                                     MURDER TRIAL
 
 MURDER TRIAL TO BEGIN Newspaper Article & Photo of Lori Esker
 
  District Attorney Greg Gau "Witnesses will estify Esker was all
                                          but obsessed with Bill Buss, a farmer from
                                          nearby Eland, who intended to marry Lisa
                                          Chiaski, and that she took revenge by
                                          strangling Chiaski." 
 
                                          "Buss will testify that the last time he saw Esker
                                          before Chiaski's death was on September 18,
                                          when she came to the Buss farm to tell him
                                          she decided to leave them alone."
 
                                          "In the days that followed Esker had embarked
                                          upon a mission of secrecy that ended in a
                                          friend's death. Evidence will show that Lori
                                          called Lisa's place of work to learn her schedule,
                                          and tried to rent a car in someone else's name.
                                          to drive to Wausau. She also wanted her friends
                                          to believe she was studying in the UW - River Falls
                                          library the night Chiaski was strangled."

  Stephen Glynn (Lori Esker's attorney)
                             "Strangulation is not something "that a jury can easily
                               accept as unintentional."
 
                             "Lori Esker wasn't bent on murder when she confronted
                             Lisa Chiaski. She had no weapon with her. You'll have
                             no trouble establishing that Lori Esker killed Lisa Chiaski.
                             However, you'll see no evidence she intended
                             to kill Chiaski."
 
                             "When considering the intent necessary for a conviction,
                             focus on the time, place and manner of the crime. What
                             Lisa Chiaski was the belt of Lisa Chiaski's. You're not
                             going to hear any evidence whatsoever that anyone
                             observed any weapon, or the results of any weapon,
                             except the weapon, which tragically, Lisa had brought
                             into her automobile."
 
                             "The evidence is going to show that this 17 year old girl
                              is pursued and romanced by this 23 year old man,
                              and suddenly that relationship ends. And that is where
                              some of the hostility occurs among the triangle of
                              Lisa, Lori and Bill."

The jury is shown enlarged evidence photos of Lisa Chiaski's body, with red
bruises visible about the neck.

 Tammy Zack (Lori Esker's former roommate at College) testifies to Lori's
                       upset over losing Bill Buss. Then she testifies about two phone
                       calls that Lori made to her after Lisa Chiaski's death.

                        "Esker said that the two began talking and then fighting over
                         Buss, but when Lisa pulled her hair, she had grabbed a belt,
                         put it around Chiaski and Chiaski fainted. Esker never told
                         her that she intended to kill Chiaski, or that she was glad 
                         she was dead."
 
Witnesses testify that Esker called Cihaski a ''bitch'' and a ''slut. That "Lisa
only wanted Buss for his money and his farm."

                     Bill Buss testifies: "Lori twice tried to seduce me by sneaking
                                                  into my bedroom after midnight and disrobing
                                                  in front of me. One night she wore a ''red teddy''
                                                  and the next time ''blue teddy."  I made her
                                                  leave each time."
                                              
1990 - June 15 - After 7 hours, jurors deliver a verdict - GUILTY.

                         The Chiaski family is in court and are elated
                         with the verdict. Outside the courthouse they
                         hug and exclaim "Yes! Yes!"

              Vilas Chiaski (Lisa's father) "She (Lori) always had to be number
                                   one, and she got number one."

              Bill Buss "My life will never return to normal because Lisa will never
                             be back."


Defense says Intent was missing from events tied to strangulation.
Newspaper article


                                       SENTENCING HEARING

                     Lori Esker pleads for leniency and apologizes.

 Lori Esker "I am so sorry for all the pain and suffering I have caused."
                   If I could trade places with Lisa, I would in a minute. I ask
                   for a chance to begin paying back all the people I hurt so
                   bad. I will be punishing myself as long as I live. There isn't
                   a day that goes by that I don't think about what happened."
 
Shirley Chiaski "Lori Esker took something very precious from me. She
                         took something and destroyed it and it can never be
                         replaced."

SENTENCE - Judge Michael Hoover sentences Lori to Life Imprisonment
                    but he made her eligible for parole in 13 years & 9 months
                    instead of 20 years.

                    Parole Eligibility: 2003
 
 Judge Hoover "It's as much a tragedy that has befallen the defendant's family
                         as the Chiaski family. No one expects the Chiaski family to
                         understand that, at least not today. I know this sentence leaves
                         them wholly unsatisifed and perhaps that much farther away
                         from healing."

1993 - Bill Buss announces his engagement to Linda Gritzmacher (legal secretary)
          who has a five year old son.

          Bill Buss "It's not totally behind me. Perhaps it never will."

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#1 [url]

Jul 21 10 8:22 PM

                                  LORI ESKER - LIFE BEHIND BARS

      Inmates create creations sold for homeless shelter

"Lori Esker (34), who has served 14 years of a life sentence
at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac,
crocheted a brightly colored green, yellow and white afghan,
priced at $20.

Esker, who didn't want to discuss her crime when contacted by
phone, doesn't work in the community service program full time,
as some inmates do, but worked on the afghan for six months
to a year in her free time."It's nice to know you can do something
positive for people rather than just sitting here doing nothing," said
Esker, originally from Hatley. "I think it's important for the public
to know that not everyone in prison is glad to be here.
For a lot of us if we can do something positive we will."


"John Husz, a warden at the Milwaukee facility, also helped organize
Friday's event. "We don't want idle time. If you have inmates with idle
time, it leads to trouble," Husz said."

                                 PRISONERS PUT LIFE ON FILM

"Game Over"

Women serving time at Taycheedah Correctional Institution aren't allowed
to wear makeup. When they arrive, they are issued three pairs of underwear -
clean, but used. They are allowed to take one shower every other day.

In the film, the women discuss their pasts, their crimes and their regrets
as they try to persuade a new generation to stay out of trouble.

LORI ESKER "We have very few chances to give back, to make a difference
 in somebody's life,  to have something positive come out of our situation,"
said Lori Esker, 37. She committed first-degree intentional homicide in 1989.

"I was young and I basically threw my whole life away for nothing," she said.
"If I can help somebody else, my time is not wasted. If you make a bad enough
mistake, you can realize it the next day, and you still have to sit (in prison).
You have to think about what you're doing before you do it."

 

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Jul 21 10 8:25 PM

                                     CIVIL SUIT
 
1990 - July 25 -  WAUSAU, Wis. - The family of a young woman killed by her romantic
                         rival has filed a lawsuit to keep the convicted murderer from selling her
                         story to authors or movie producers. The parents of Lisa Cihaski are
                         seeking an undisclosed amount of money from Lori Esker. Esker, a
                         former county dairy princess, has had offers to sell her story but won't
                         pursue them, her lawyer said.
 
                                     SCHOLARSHIP
 
Lisa Cihaski Memorial Scholarship ($200) is set up and is awared to a senior that
is going to attend a Technical college.

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