Arlington Hts. woman's murder leads to new monitoring law

Published8/4/2008 5:59 PM

Cindy Bischof tried to prevent her ex-boyfriend from coming near her ever again.

She secured restraining orders, installed home security cameras and even kept Mace nearby when she showered.


But in March, Michael Giroux gunned down the 43-year-old Arlington Heights woman and then killed himself in the parking lot of her Elmhurst real estate office.

Orders of protection didn't stop the 60-year-old Chicago man, but now a new law aims to make such orders protect better.

The measure, signed into law Monday, allows judges to order individuals who violate an order of protection to wear a GPS monitoring device. The potential victim will be then alerted on a corresponding device if the person is in their home or place of work.

Bischof's family pushed for the new legislation.

"This has been a short, intense five months, in which perhaps some of the mourning has been diverted as we sought these changes," said Michael Bischof, Cindy's brother. "We are relieved, tired and exhausted."

Michael Bischof of Barrington said the family will now move forward with other plans to help protect people suffering from domestic abuse or targeted by stalkers.

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The family hopes to spread the law to other states, support new technology, set up better evaluations of offenders and push for school education on domestic violence as part of a life lessons course.

"We realize there are going to have to be several things to reduce and eradicate domestic violence," Michael Bischof said. "This, in and of itself, will not be the total solution."

State Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat who sponsored the measure, says the GPS program will be funded through a $200 fine for those violating a restraining order. A similar system is currently up and running in only one other state, Massachusetts.

Garrett hopes to expand the new GPS system in the coming years to include places beyond the potential victim's home and workplace.

The measure also requires domestic violence offenders to undergo mental health and risk assessment evaluations and follow all prescribed recommendations.

The law will take effect Jan. 1.

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