The Guilty Project: John Kalisz Got Probation for Armed Assault: Now Two Women and an Police Officer Are Dead

Less than three months ago, John Kalisz received probation for aggravated assault with a weapon.  Now a police officer in a town near Gainesville, Florida is dead at his hand, along with two other victims.  An additional two women are seriously injured.


John Kalisz

The state of Florida certainly saved a bit of money when some judge in Hernando County decided to give Kalisz the following free pass last October: probation for a violent crime, rather than enforcing the law.  Elected officials are making noises about saving money by rolling back minimum mandatory sentencing and releasing more and more offenders directly back into their communities.

Now a bill has come due:

Carrying two loaded shotguns, Kalisz told his brother in Clearwater by phone that he would kill as many deputies as possible, Hernando sheriff’s officials said.  Kalisz pulled into a BP station at the intersection of U.S. 19 and County Road 351 in Cross City, [Captain Evan] Sullivan said, and came out shooting, hitting Dixie County sheriff’s Capt. Chad Reed in the face.  Reed, 33, died Thursday night. . . Reed, who formerly worked as the county’s emergency management director, was married with two young children. . . Reed recently graduated from the FBI National Academy.  “Capt. Reed was a fine man, a great law enforcement officer and a hometown boy in Dixie County,” Sullivan said.

A4S_capreedmug01151_103115dCaptain Chad Reed

Two women are also dead, one Kalisz’ sister:

The dead women were identified as Kathryn Donovan, 61, of 15303 Wilhelm Road and Deborah Buckley Tillotson, 59, of 12282 Old Chatman Road, Brooksville.  Records show that Donovan was Kalisz’s sister.

He also shot his niece and another victim who survived:

The injured women are Amy Wilson, 33, of 9539 Upland Drive, Hudson, and Manessa Donovan, 18, also of 15303 Wilhelm Road. She is the daughter of Kathryn Donovan.

What lesson did Kalisz learn from his last encounter with the criminal justice system?  He learned that he could attack someone with a weapon and get away with it.  Then he acted on that knowledge.  Will anybody in the courts now stand up, take responsibility, and call for a review of the policy (or violation of policy) that led to Kalisz being released the last time?  The murdered officer, who gave his life saving others, certainly deserves that type of respect.

And as legislators begin down the road of dismantling Florida’s extremely limited and effective minimum mandatory laws, they should remember these crimes.  There’s always a societal price for lenience, and it’s a hell of a lot higher that the cost of enforcing the law in the first place.


13 thoughts on “The Guilty Project: John Kalisz Got Probation for Armed Assault: Now Two Women and an Police Officer Are Dead”

  1. You are perhaps a most politically charged individual to take this stand with someone that you do not know.While I admit that I would never have believed John ever capable of this; I have known him for years, quite well, and he did not ” learn that he could attack someone with a weapon and get away with it, and then act on that knowledge.” as you claim. What nonsense. Your show your lack of knowledge when you say that. John has had something that placed his mental state into an undoing; of this I am certain, and as certain as I that I would state much on the fact that no matter what happens to him, nothing will be able to release John from the spiritual agony that he is going to suffer when he comes to his senses. Sincerely,
    a sad friend for all of this tragedy.

  2. bldgdiva,
    While you are posting comments defending this worthless bastard,I am preparing to leave my home to go to my cousin’s funeral.A funeral that this piece of s*%# caused.I hope he suffers way more than “spiritual agony” and I’m pretty sure this a$$hole has never “come to his senses” As you are worrying about your friend,I have to go face my two nephews,who now dont have a father because this waste of space shot him dead,only because he didn’t like cops.I can only wish this crazy piece of worthless s*&% recovers to face some justice Dixie county,Florida style,and would suggest that in your efforts to defend him,keep in mind your friend has caused terrible suffering for all of his victim’s families.I will be happy to send you pictures of my nephews if you would like.Sincerely
    One of your friend’s victims

  3. flcracker,

    Compassion and agony compel me to respond to your words. But there are just no words of any value that can even attempt to describe how I personally feel for your loss, his children’s loss, his wife’s loss, his community’s loss, his peer’s loss, and all those touched by the loss of the three other lives that were tragically ended – one of which will never be able to look into the eyes of it’s mother. I cannot comprehend the evil that would drive someone to do this. I cannot understand. It was wrong and there is no defense for it. I know it might not mean anything but I want you to know that I didn’t know your cousin until his picture in the news was burned into my mind and my heart but I promise you that I will never forget him. I think those directly involved will all suffer insurmountable agony. I feel so small with only being able to offer you this response and the measly words “I’m Sorry.”

  4. bldgdiva,

    You are ignorant. The pain and suffering that your friend has caused is something that no “spiritual agony” will justify. You must be as crazy as he is for defending such an evil man. Chad Reed was hero, a role model, a father, a husband, and my friend. And your friend took him away from everyone, in cold blood. Let me say it again so you understand… IN COLD BLOOD. Oh yea, and the only “nonsense” I find in all this, is that someone hasn’t already put a bullet in John Kalisz head… actually that makes it better, because he will becoming back to good ole Dixie County to suffer the pain and suffering he deserves. Instead of trying to educate everyone on how well you know John Kalisz, maybe you should educate yourself of the damage he has caused. It is such a loss to lose Chad Reed, but then again he is not someone you would look up to, seeing as how you only hang out with murderers. Have A Splendid Day!


    ~In Loving Memory of Captain Chad Reed~

  5. bldgdiva,
    I am going to have to agree with every one else bc I knew Chad Reed my entire life and just bc a man went psycho on his family and was trying to run away does not mean that gives him the right to take away a very important man from our community…Chad Reed was a father, a husband, a son, a cousin, a boss, a leader, a role model, a friend and every other great thing you could think of he was it and you are sitting here defending the man that took that away from us….us being a town that needed him and appreciated him…him trying to be a hero and help this “person” or as I would say pos and get him away from every one in his way that he would have eventually end up hurting or killing in the long run…I mean he shot his pregnant niece and hurt her….he killed his sister his own freaking flesh and blood and you think that you should defend him? I am sorry but if it wasn’t for Chad Reed and the other amazing police officers in Dixie County you would probably be a victim of your so called “friend” by now too. So maybe before you decide to stick up for someone that would have killed you just as fast as he did our hero you should think about the words that are coming out or your mouth.

    RIP Dixie County’s honorable Hero Cpt. Chad Reed

  6. bldgdiva,
    I understand where you are coming from. I am a family member of John Kalisz. It is an extremely hard situation to be in. An absolute tragedy. My heart goes out to everyone affected. I have been praying for them every day. My own brother is a police officer, and it is my biggest fear that something should happen to him in the field. I do believe that all policeman are heroes. At the same time, I am mourning for my family. Our family members were victims by another family members doing. It seems that most people are looking past the other people who were affected and just thinking about themselves. I read these articles in awe. I cannot believe that John has done this. He let his hate consume him, and it changed him. He was such a kind man, with such a big heart that supported me in everything I did. And I agree with you that if he comes to his senses, he will be ashamed and distraught at what he has done. This doesnt mean that I dont think he should pay for what he has done. It just hurts me to think about. I just wanted to let you know that my heart and prayers are with you, as well as the others affected.

  7. I feel hurt for eeryone involved,and I have not once forgotten about the other family involved in this sensless tragedy.I wish there was something I could do to ease everyone’s pain.It has hurt me everyday since this happened.However,my opinion of a nice,caring guy certainly does not include perverts who put nude photos of themselves under the mattresses of nieces.If there is anything I can do for your family,I will do my best to help ya’ll get through this terrible ordeal,because that is probably the way Chad would want the rest of us to feel.If you want an example of a good,caring,brave man you should contact us here,I’m sure all the folks from Dixie county would be happy to tell you about a good man.That being said,my opinion about this evil man has not changed since I wrote the first post I places on this page


  8. I knew John Kalisz and I can tell you that he was not in any way a wortless p of shit person. I heard the news of this story just today and was shocked and so saddened for everyone envolved in this horrible tragedy. I am in no way defending the actions John decided to take and I will pray for Capt. Reed and his family and closest friends. So very very sad. chessman

  9. There is no salvation on earth for this killer, John Kalisz. It is up to God for any forgiveness.

  10. Say what you will, but there will never be a good enough excuse you people are trying to give this bastard!!!My sister in law was Deborah Buckley Tillotson. She was also MURDERED by this human waste of breathing air!!! I cant say it any better than Chads loved ones already have, I could not agree with any of you more!!! I feel that Chad and Debbie were the most innocent of victims in this case! The defenders of this worthless piece of shit should have been at Debbie’s funeral too where hundreds and HUNDREDS of devastated family and friends stood in utter shock and disbelief!!! You should have been there when her young beautiful daughter had to stand and read her mothers eulogy!!!She could bareley speak!! The memory of it will forever burn in my memory, as Im sure Chads family & friends experienced a similar scene!!! A–H–E( I cant even type his name) as far as Im concerned should burn in HELL! All this bullshit about remorse…nothing will EVER make up for the loss the Reed and Buckley Tillotson familys have had to endure by your piece of human waste relative or friend or whatever he is to you!!! My husband and I will be there when he gets his justice!!! I hope his cellmate has a taste for his kind and is putting it to him all day everyday!!! Please keep comments to yourself if they are in anyway For that mother%*$^#. There wil NEVER be words that will make me think anything other than I WANT HIM DEAD!!! Barbara Buckley!

  11. I am Kathryn Kalisz Donovan’s daughter who did not get shot.
    I have enough incriminating evidence in the police files to prove exactly how preventable this crime was.
    No criminal lawer will take this case for my little sister who will never walk the same again. I still suffer from the aftermath myself. I left the house less than 10 min. before the shooting. Manessa should not have to work another day in her life after what she had to go through. John Kalisz was actually extrodited from CT on weapons charges. There were several restraining orders against him in Brooksville before they brought him back from fleeing from the annitial assault that he ran to CT. for. Please anyone in the press get in touch with me if you would like to know all of the facts. I also have a srong feeling that these were not the only victims and missing persons should investigate and speak with John about who else may have died in Johns traveling history as a violent criminal.

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