By DAVID STRUETT
Homicide Watch Chicago
Adam and Gina Furtick knew each other for more than a decade before they started dating.
“I always had a crush on him. And when we started dating, he told me the same thing,” Gina said. Soon after that, they had a son, Blake. They were married in March 2016.
A year and a half later, tragedy struck.
Adam Wiggins Furtick was driving home from a UFO concert in the Logan Square neighborhood on Oct. 8 when he lost his way in the Southwest Side Scottsdale neighborhood.
The night of the incident, Gina was waiting for Adam to come home.
“He knew I couldn’t fall asleep without him, so I always waited up for him,” she said.
She called him at 1:03 a.m. and Adam said he was lost. He said he would figure it out and then come home.
“And I said, OK. And then I didn’t hear from him,” she said. “And I just kept calling him and calling him and calling him, until finally an officer answered the phone.”
Investigators said a car pulled alongside the 34-year-old Furtick’s car and someone inside fired shots.
He was found in his crashed car about 1:15 a.m. in the 4300 block of West 79th Street, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died at 6:15 a.m., authorities said. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
“I still don’t think he’s gone. I’m having a really hard time with it. I think I’m in denial,” Gina said.
Investigators said Furtick died in a road rage incident. But his wife remains in disbelief.
“What I can’t understand is how somebody can just shoot somebody. Even if it is road rage, how can you just shoot somebody?” she said.
Furtick was a father of three and “huge metal fan,” Gina Furtick said.
“His favorite band was Pantera. He had a whole arm dedicated to Pantera. Music was his passion,” she said.
Adam worked at the Cook County Jail in the officer’s kitchen. For a time, he commuted to Rosemont to work at a Buena Beef. He would also work concert security during summers.
“He said he would deliver pizzas if that’s what he had to do,” Gina Furtick said. She had her hours cut when she had their son, Blake, so Adam picked up extra jobs to help make ends meet.
She said she’s been thinking about the night of the shooting and what she could have done to prevent her husband’s death. Adam had been on vacation for a few days and was restless that he had not done anything, she said. Gina noticed this and encouraged him to go to the concert, something he had been on the fence about.
“He didn’t even want to go to this concert. He did and he didn’t,” she said. “But he busts his butt so hard to give me and Blake what we need.” She told Adam to go and have fun.
“Now I’m wishing I could have just been that mean wife who would have been like, ‘No, you’re staying home with me.’”
Adam and Gina enjoyed watching TV in their spare time. Their favorite shows were “One Tree Hill” and “Sons of Anarchy.” They would try to watch shows together, but Adam always had a habit of skipping forward by himself.
“We would start watching it together, and the next day he would say, ‘Oh, I’m already on season three,’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, great I’ll just watch it by myself now!’” Gina said jokingly.
Concerning movies, Adam was a talkative person to watch with. “He was horrible to watch movies with!” Gina said. “He could quote any movie, but you don’t even need [the movie]. I could just turn it off.”
Adam also loved professional wrestling. It was an obsession he passed on to his 4-year-old son, Blake, who Adam even took to a couple live “Raw” events. They loved to watch wrestling together, and Furtick would always get excited about possibility of seeing his all-time favorite wrestler, the Undertaker.
“Every time around WrestleMania, he’d be like, ‘Gina, the Undertaker is going to come out tonight.’ And I’d say, ‘Give it up dude! That guy’s retired. He’s like 80’,” Gina Furtick said as she laughed.
After Adam was murdered, long-time friend Frank Mastalerz created a fundraiser page for Gina and Adam’s kids that raised over $10,000 in less than a month. Mastalerz said that Adam was a laid-back, family-oriented guy who was also a “Cubs fanatic.”
“We wanted to make sure the family had enough money for the funeral,” Mastalerz said.
The outpouring of support from friends has “been amazing,” Gina Furtick said. The money will be used for funeral costs and other bills. She also needs to pay for repairs to the trailer Adam and she had just moved into.
“[Adam’s] uncle had given us his trailer. And with the amount of work it needs, I don’t know if I’m going to have enough to cover it,” she said.
But one thing she knows she will do is persevere. “I’ve been trying my hardest. It’s harder when he was your sole provider,” she said.
What she really wants is for people to understand who Adam really was, and that he was an innocent victim of a senseless crime.
“It’s not like he was looking for trouble or a gangbanger. Adam was far from that,” his wife said.
Regarding the killer, Gina Furtick is still waiting for answers. No suspects are in custody and police have not provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle.
Anyone with information can call Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.
“I’m still waiting to be told things. I’m hoping someone comes forward with whatever they know. Like if they saw something anything or heard anything, because it just doesn’t add up. Nothing adds up,” she said.
“Everybody’s still trying to pick up the pieces. His friends, his family, his children,” she said. “Pray for justice for him because that’s what he deserves.”