At a court hearing just hours before he would would stab to death his mother, wife and two daughters inside their Buffalo Grove home, Andrei Kisliak was unusually calm, friends of his wife told police.
A judge, who had previously warned Kisliak’s wife, Vera, not to lift a protective order that had barred him from the home, complimented him on his calm and willingness to co-parent after months of contentious divorce proceedings and spiteful, erratic behavior.
On Nov. 30, the day after that court hearing, police forced their way into the house and found Kisliak in an upstairs hallway with a knife sticking out of his chest and the bodies of his wife and 4- and 6-year-old daughters in Kisliak’s “immediate vicinity.”
Kisliak’s 67-year-old mother, Liliana, who had moved in October to help tend to the children, was found dead of stab wounds in a bathroom on the first floor. All had multiple stab wounds, according to police reports on the Nov. 30 slayings released Thursday by Buffalo Grove police.
The slayings occurred in a quiet suburban neighborhood where Kisliak had previously been known to most of his neighbors for arguing loudly with his wife in Russian and driving recklessly down their cul-de-sac.
Police interviews with Vera Kisliak’s friends describe her husband as a man who had grown increasingly desperate and menacing after starting divorce proceedings in July. Vera feared that her husband might kill her, even as she let him and her mother-in-law move back into the house in the 2800 block of Acacia Terrace, according to interviews by investigators with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.
Investigators’ review of social media accounts showed Andrei Kisliak posted threatening images, including a picture of an empty casket with a thumbs-up emoji on the day Vera petitioned the court for a protective order barring him from the house.
Andrei Kisliak told Vera he would slice off her head and send it back to her family in Belarus, Vera told friends interviewed by investigators. He told the couple’s babysitter that he had sent funeral flower arrangements to Vera’s grandmother in Minsk on seven consecutive days — he thought the woman wanted Vera to leave him and had performed “black magic” on him. Vera told a friend someone had stuck a picture of a gun to the grandmother’s door in Minsk.
Despite her husband’s behavior, Vera Kisliak still decided she wanted a judge to lift a protective order that barred him from their house “because she did not want to ruin his life and for him to be able to see the children,” according to the reports.
But Vera Kisliak remained afraid of her husband. One evening in August, she returned to the house and the children were gone and Andrei did not respond to calls. She spent the night at a friend’s house, telling the friend “she thought Andrei would kill her or blow up the house because the kids were not there.” Andrei had taken the children to a restaurant, brought them back to the house and put them to bed and left. He later complained to Vera that the children spent the night alone.
When Andrei Kisliak and his mother moved into the house in October, Vera slept with her children with a knife under her pillow, friends told investigators. Andrei Kisliak had filed for the divorce in July, telling friends he assumed Vera would beg him to stay in the marriage “because he had money and she did not.” That fall, after two successive lawyers withdrew from representing him, Kisliak withdrew his petition for divorce, but Vera pressed on.
Vera told friends she was aware that the house was on the verge of foreclosure. Court records indicated the total amount owed was more than $450,000 and that the bank had started foreclosure proceedings in early November.
Business associates told police that in the days before the deaths, Andrei Kisliak appeared desperate and offered to sell off his cars and the inventory of used high-end appliances he sold on eBay.
The day before the final divorce hearing, Vera told friends that Andrei Kisliak had approached her, shaking, and “asked for her help and told her he wanted to harm himself,” according to the reports.
On the morning of Nov. 30, one of Vera’s friends said she got a call from a relative of Vera’s in Belarus who said that someone had called to say Vera was in the hospital. Vera’s sister reached out on a messaging app to ask the friend if Vera was OK. “She responded that Vera was fine, that she spoke with her last night.” Her last text message had been at 9:35. p.m. the night before, a few hours after the Kisliaks’ doorbell camera showed Vera Kisliak entering the house with her daughters.
But when the friend called and texted Vera, she got no response. She called the home-care facility where Vera worked and was told she hadn’t showed up for her shift. The friend called police.
Officers arrived at the house and could see dark footprints leading away from a puddle of blood on the first floor. Firefighters looking through a second-story window saw a “motionless body” in a pool of blood. Police forced their way inside and found the five bodies.
Autopsy reports from the Lake County coroner were not immediately available Thursday.