Marlene Lantz Speaks to Crystal Lake Kiwanis

I was a little late for Kiwanis Wednesday.

There I was driving along minding my own business on the way to the Colonial Café, where Kiwanis meets the first and third Wednesdays for lunch, and there was these lights flashing behind me.

It turns out that I forgot to mail in my license plate renewal.

Careful readers of McHenry County Blog will spot (and some, thankfully, actually tell me of) mistakes.

Like when I said I was elected county treasurer in 1996—only 30 years off.

At any rate, when I arrived, McHenry County Coroner Marlene Lantz was speaking.

I went out to get me camera and a yellow pad.

By the time I returned, she has almost finished, but I got a few notes.

Asked what her most interesting case had been, she point to the 1982 Charles Albanese arsenic murders.

“When we arrested him, they let me put the handcuffs on him,” Lantz said. She also said she witness his execution in 1995.

Asked the biggest health hazard, the coroner answered, “ Hepatitis and AIDS.”

She stressed the personal touch in her dealings with relatives of those deaths handled by her office. She kept in touch with one woman after her husband died and “got invited to the wedding” when she remarried “years later.”

Lantz also explained the necessity of keeping in good mental health “in order to help others.”

She said she had gone to counseling after, I believe, the Fox River Grove bus-train accident.

She was also negatively affected after she saw a man in her official line of work who looked like her stepfather ten years after he had died. It didn’t help matters that the wife resembled her mother.

Her sense of humor shown through when she remarked,

”A lot of people think I’m tall, bald headed and pale.”

As luck would have it, as I was picking up pictures at Sam’s Club last night, this beautiful sun was setting over the Colonial Cafe.

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