You won’t find this story in either of my books. I’ve never talked about it on a stage, but it is a story that is a great example of just how many sick people there are in this world.
This story took place back in October 1999. I was 14 years old, my younger sister was 12. In our house growing up my parents had their own phone and my sisters and I had a phone for our friends to call us on. Now a days every teen is attached to their own cell phone. On this particular day it was just after my sister and I got home from junior high. We heard our phone going off and raced to who could get it first and she happen to get their before me. I waited to see if the phone was for me and was about to walk away but my ear caught my sister’s conversation. Suddenly I heard my sister giving her bra size over the phone. I am now looking at her whispering, “Who the heck are you talking to that wanted that information?” I immediately found it very strange. Then I heard my sister say, “My underwear size?” Now I was really getting concerned but my sister wouldn’t say who it was. I heard her saying stuff about a party. She seemed to just go along with the conversation answering questions.
When she finally got off the phone I said, “Who the heck was that?” She went on to explain that it was a friend from school’s Dad who was throwing a surprise party for her birthday. I then questioned her why she was giving this man her bra and underwear size. She said that they were going to be playing a game that involved dressing up and needed her sizes. I then asked, “When is this party?” She explained that he would be calling back to tell her the time but gave her the date. She seemed to not find it that strange. Me on the other hand did not sit well with it but I figured maybe I was overreacting so I didn’t bring it to my parent’s attention.
A week later I am in the locker room for gym class and I hear a girl I have known since 2nd grade sharing a story with another girl about a crazy phone call she got about a surprise birthday party for a friend and he asked her a bunch of questions about her bra/underwear size. I about fell over and cut her off and said, “No way my sister got the same exact phone call last week!” The only difference in the story is this was a man saying he was another person’s dad who happened to be a good friend of mine. I knew something was not right and realized my initial reactions were not overreacting and that some pervert was out there that had to be stopped. When I got home that day I immediately went to my mom and told her about my sister’s phone call and now what I was hearing at school. My sister explained the phone call in depth to my mom and she immediately called the police. A police officer was sent to our house who took down a report, asked questions like if we knew of anyone who might do this, if the man has asked to meet or called back about the time of the so called “party”, and that they would investigate it.
The next two weeks at school more and more stories came out of friends of mine and my sister getting phone calls from a man and each time he told the same story he just kept saying he was a different person’s dad each time and that he was throwing a surprise birthday party and of course got into the questions about bras/underwear. Soon the parents in the neighborhood were talking to each other about this man. Many more phone calls went to the police each time a new parent calling about disturbing phone calls their daughter received. My mother kept asking the police can’t you trace where he is calling from but they weren’t. My mother told police don’t wait until he ends up hurting one of these kids catch this guy. My parents were both at this time attending a parents support group at the Children’s Advocacy Center for parents of abused children. The last thing my parents wanted was another parent in their group because of this creep.
Eventually one of my best friends from elementary school got a call. Her name was Kristan and her mom’s best friend worked for a phone company that will remain nameless because what she did was illegal to do. Her mom’s friend was able to trace the call through the phone company she worked for and located where this man was calling from. The phone calls were coming from a phone booth at a local gas station. My mother immediately called police but they had to pass it on to the other town since he was not calling in our town he was calling in a town right next door in Hoffman Estates. So now we had two police departments involved, the place where the calls were coming from, but still nobody catching this guy. Another day passed and now for the first time a male 12-year-old received a call this time the man talking about surprise party but also asking the boy where he lived.
My mother had enough and felt police were not doing enough to catch this man and felt something terrible was about to happen so she took matters into her own hands. We looked at a time frame of the phone calls and realized they were all coming in at around the same time between 3:30-4:00pm. So one November day in 1999 armed with a disposable camera and a pad of paper my mother and I decided to be our own detectives and headed at 3pm to the gas station where the calls were coming from. We parked the car near the car wash of the gas station and then moved the car in an area of the gas station where we had a good view of all 3 phone booths. I remember joking with her about the fact that we were doing this and the what if we really caught this guy. I really didn’t think we would. We had a game plan my mom would take the photos while I would write down the license plate number, car description, and the description of the man in the car if someone pulled up.
Exactly at 3:30pm a minivan pulled up to a phone booth with a man driving. We both sat watching intensely at this man’s every action. Suddenly as he went to make a phone call I saw the man pull up a yellow booklet in his hands. I immediately blurted out to my mom, “That is our elementary school phone directory book from two years ago when I was in 6th grade.” We had our man! Snap! Snap! Snap! My mother snapped away with the camera as I could barely write down everything because I could not believe we were actually witnessing this man making these phone calls that had been going on for over a month to over a dozen children a few he called a second time. When he finished his call we followed him out of the gas station and stayed a good distance behind him so he wouldn’t think we were following him. Eventually we watched him pull up into his driveway where we got the final piece of information, his address. When we saw him pull up we noticed a young boy playing basketball in the driveway and a few minutes later a young girl come outside. It made us both sick to our stomach knowing this pervert was around young children.
We immediately went and did 1 hour photo after getting the prints of the pictures my mother went over to another photo place to blow the photos up so you could clearly see the man in the car holding up the yellow phone directory. My mother went to the police department to bring our evidence in. They took everything and the information of the names, address, and car. The next morning my mom received a phone call with the name of this man asking my mother if my sister or I knew this man. The name did not ring a bell but suddenly it dawned on me. Mom he had the yellow phone directory from our elementary school lets see if that boy in the yard playing basketball once went to the school. My mother said, “He doesn’t live in the area to attend the same elementary school.” I said, “What if they moved that directory is two years old.” I got the yearbook as my mom talked on the phone with the detective. I sat in the dining room starting from the beginning of the yearbook and suddenly I saw the picture of the boy we saw playing in the driveway with the same last name as this man. “There he is! There he is!” I said. The boy was in a class listed in the yearbook as Behavior Disorder class. Hmm I wonder why look at his father! I am shocked they could even list a classroom full of students in the yearbook as that. Detectives told my mom they were going to be in undercover car waiting for this man to return home and take him in for questioning the next day.
The next day my mother receives a phone call from detectives. “We waited outside for Daniel to return home and brought him with us into the department for questioning. He first denied over and over that he did not know what we were talking about. Finally we threw the photos you took in front of his face and told him to explain the photos. He immediately confessed after the photos were in front of him so if you can get down to the department so we can get a statement from you and file charges. We will be calling all the other parents whose children received calls to come in.
When my mother got to the police station she was in a room right next door to this pervert. Police shared with my mom that not only did he confess when they threw the photos in front of him he also went on to tell police he would masturbate when he talked to the teens on the phone. 13 parents filed into the police department that night to file charges against this man. Since he never actually met with any of them or made plans to meet he could only be charged with telephone harassment. Thank God it stopped there though it could of turned out a lot worse if my mother and the help of another mother getting the phone traced to put a stop to this pervert. I’m just glad we caught him. He ended having to call his live-in girlfriend that night to bail him out. Wonder how he talked himself out of that one.
The next day the story was in several papers and on Chicago WLS radio program in the morning. The morning hosts were saying, “Did you hear about the mom who took action into her own hands hiding out in her car at a gas station to catch a pervert police weren’t catching!” The police were all telling my mom next time she decides to go out and be a detective let them know they will give her a much better camera then the disposable one she used. A month later my mother was honored by the police department with a Chief citizen award for catching this man. It is a framed plaque describing the actions she took to catch a criminal.
He had a court date for a month later after his arrest and several of the parents, my friends that got calls, mother, sister, and I attended. I remember at one point our parents all talking outside with his attorney. Inside the courtroom he admitted to the charges again and after telling him his punishment the judge told him in a very stern voice, “If you get so much as a speeding ticket in the next year I will throw you in jail, stay out of trouble.” Below are two of newspaper articles from the Daily Herald that covered the story. The same paper that has been covering my efforts on Erin’s law and recently announced me being named Newsmaker of the Year.
November 28, 1999
of harassing girls
in phone calls
BY CHAD BROOKS
Daily Herald Staff Writer
A Hoffman Estates man was
taken into, custody Thursday by
the Schaumburg Police Department
and charged with 13 counts
of harassment by telephone.
Schaumburg police Lt. Michael
Marchese said about a month and
a half ago the department began
receiving a series of police reports
from girls, whose ages and hometowns
were not released by the
department, concerning an adult
male who was calling and harassing
Police characterized the conversations
as “inappropriate in content.”
Marchese said with the help of
one of the victims’ mothers,
police were able to gather evidence
to charge Daniel
Kiuczeik, 48, in Hoffman Estates, with 13
misdemeanor counts of telephone
“On a notion of hers she investigated
on her own and was able to
turn something over to us that
helped, lead to the arrest,” Marchese
He said the victims were
acquaintances and were able to
compare information that helped
with the investigation.
“We were even able to get a
phone trap on him, which tells us
what area he was calling from,”
All of the girls’ names and telephone
numbers were part of a
previous year’s Parent Teacher
Association telephone directory at
Elizabeth Blackwell Elementary
School in Schaumburg. Marchese
could not confirm that the girls
still attend Blackwell.
Kiuczeik could not be reached for
comment Friday afternoon.
Schaumburg Township Elementary
District 54 spokesperson
Terri McHugh said the telephone
directories were distributed by
the PTA and not the school district,
and that parents have the
option whether to have their
names and phone numbers included
in the directory.
December 28, 1999
BY STEVE WARMBIR
Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer
A Hoffman Estates man
pleaded guilty Monday to 13
counts of telephone harassment
and was ordered to get
sex offender counseling for
calling teenage girls at their
homes in Schaumburg and
asking them about their underwear.
Daniel Kiuczeik, 48, who had no
prior criminal record, was also
sentenced to two years of
supervision and ordered to
perform 10 days of community
In October and November,
Kiuczeik called 12 girls and one
boy at their homes and questioned
them about their underwear,
All the children attended
Elizabeth Blackwell Elementary
School in Schaumburg,
Kiuczeik had a child in the
school at one point and got the
phone numbers from an old
student telephone directory
that the Parent Teacher Association
distributed a few years
Kiuczeik did not utter any
obscenities during the disturbing
phone calls, nor did he ask
the children to meet him somewhere,
authorities said. He
asked them details about their
underwear, prosecutors said.
Kiuczeik pleaded guilty to misdemeanors
and could have
been sentenced to no more
than six months in jail.
Kiuczeik can have no contact
with the victims, but he will not
have to register as a sex
offender with the police, as do
more serious offenders.