Man who feared losing job kills bosses

Oct. 21, 1983
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LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. -- A 62-year-old engineer distraught that he would lose his job shot to death his company president and comptroller in a hotel room and took his own life, police said Friday.

Oscar Gerber, 58, Lake Forest, Ill., president of Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp., was shot twice in the chest with a .45-caliber revolver, and Comptroller Bruno Spiewak, 55, Glenview, was shot in the head and chest, police said.

The gunman, James Stavrolakis, shot himself with a second gun, police said.

All three were pronounced dead Thursday night at the Hyatt Lincolnwood, about a block from the Gerber firm.

Detective Daniel Gooris said Gerber and Spiewak met the engineer at the hotel.

'People from Gerber knew of this meeting and they were leery because they knew how distraught this employee was,' Gooris said.

Police were called at 8:44 p.m. by employees of the small plumbing fixtures firm who saw the executives leave the office at 4 p.m. and became fearful when the men did not arrivn home for dinner.

'They went there for the reason of discussing his future in the company. It appears the offender was distraught and anticipated what direction the conversation was going to take,' Gooris said.

'He had brought several handguns with him. From the locations of the bodies and pens in hands and papers on the table, he just caught them off guard and shot them as they were sitting at the table,' the officer said.

Gooris said Stavrolakis apparently killed the two with a .45-caliber gun, then took a .32-caliber revolver 'and apparently disrobed down to his underwear and went into the bathroom and took his own life.'

Stavrolakis worked for Gerber for five years and traveled between its three vitreous china plants in Kokomo, Ind., Woodridge, N.J., and Gadsden, Ala., company officials said.

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