Testimony to Begin in Cruise Ship Pianist Double Murder Case

Cook County prosecutors say a former cruise ship pianist accused of killing his one-time girlfriend and her mother over 5 years ago in Glenview previously failed to recruit a hit man at his anger-management class.

They also say Steven L. Zirko approached his chiropractor to find someone to kill 38-year-old Mary Lacey.

Lacey and her 60-year-old mother, Margaret Ballog, were slain in December 2004. Lacey was shot twice and stabbed more than 40 times, while Ballog was shot several times.

A jury was expected to begin hearing evidence Monday in Zirko's first-degree murder trial.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in February that police in Glenview and Palatine couldn't be sued for failing to protect Lacey, even though they had received a tip that Zirko had tried to hire a hit man.