Quantcast
  

Saturday, April 19, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Prosecutor: Kids slain in Illinois begged to live

By Don Babwin and Sara Burnett

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:21 p.m. HST, Nov 01, 2012


NAPERVILLE, Ill. » A suburban Chicago woman ordered her 7-year-old son and a kindergartner she was babysitting to kneel on a bedroom floor and pray, then stabbed them both dozens of times as they begged for their lives, striking again and again as she told her son he was going to heaven, authorities said today.

Officers who forced their way inside the locked apartment hours later found blood-spattered walls and the children's bodies in a master bedroom where moments before the killings they had been happily jumping on a bed, prosecutors said.

The Naperville police chief said it was the most gruesome sight he'd seen in three decades on the job.

Elzbieta Plackowska, a 40-year-old immigrant from Poland, offered numerous explanations for the violence, including that she was battling the devil and trying to rid the children of evil, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said. But she eventually told investigators she stabbed the children and slashed their throats on Tuesday night because she was angry that her husband, a truck driver, was often away.

"She told the detectives that she thought by killing (her son) Justin she would make her husband hurt the way she hurt in their relationship," Berlin said.

Twenty-five miles west of Chicago, Naperville is known for its idyllic Riverwalk, bustling downtown shops and stellar schools. It's also where Marilyn Lemak fed her three children peanut butter laced with antidepressants and suffocated them as revenge on her estranged husband 13 years ago.

Residents of the wealthy, usually quiet community struggled today to comprehend the latest bloodshed.

"I don't understand anything that's going on," said Tim Hooper, 28, who lives in the same condominium complex as the Plackowska family and would sometimes work out with an older son. "This is so out of the blue."

Plackowska told detectives she found Justin and 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski jumping on a bed, Berlin said.

"She had grabbed the knife and she made both victims kneel and begin praying. She began stabbing her son Justin and told him he was going to heaven tonight. He pleaded for his life and told her to stop. But she continued stabbing him until he was dead," he said at a news conference after a judge ordered Plackowska held without bond.

"She then turned her attention to 5-year-old Olivia and began stabbing her with the knife multiple times. She, as well, pleaded for her life, but the defendant continued to stab her until she was deceased."

Plackowska killed Olivia because she had witnessed the attack on Justin, Berlin said.

The slayings took place at the home of Olivia's mother, who works nights as a nurse and had left her daughter in Plackowska's care before. Plackowska also stabbed the two family dogs.

Olivia's body was found on the bed, and Justin's was found on the floor beside it. He had stab wounds on his head, face, neck and back. Both appeared to have had their throats slit.

"In all my years in law enforcement, this is the most gruesome and horrific crime scene that I have seen," Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall said at the news conference.

Investigators found two blood-stained knives; a steak knife in the kitchen sink and another in Plackowska's car, Berlin said.

Still covered in blood and with scratches on her hands, Plackowska drove to a Catholic church. Finding it closed, she called the church and left a message saying she had "done something bad" and needed help, Berlin said. She then went to a friend's home where her other, adult son was staying and said she had been robbed.

About the same time, Olivia's mother, Marta Dworakowski, returned home to discover her door locked and the babysitter's car gone. She called police to report her daughter was missing, and officers forced their way into the home.

Police took Plackowska into custody at her friend's home, and prosecutors charged her with first-degree murder late Wednesday.

Plackowska initially told investigators that an intruder had broken into the home and killed the children while she was outside smoking a cigarette.

"She then changed her story and stated that she was really battling the devil ... and that the children had evil inside them and she was trying to get the evil and devil out of them," Berlin said.

Later, she admitted she had lashed out in anger at her husband because he often left her alone to care for Justin and she worked as a cleaner, which she felt was beneath her, Berlin said.

In a brief telephone interview, Plackowska's husband, Artur, denied the two were having problems.

"The day before (the killings) she told me that she loves me," he said.

However, a neighbor said he frequently heard the couple shouting at each other over the last five years.

"It happened once every other month," Victor Tuckenberry said.

There also were money troubles. Public records show the couple filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009; a foreclosure in her name only was filed in 2007.

Still, Tuckenberry said Plackowska doted on her sons and he was shocked by the slayings. Plackowska and Justin "were together all the time," he said.

Plackowska arrived in the United States from her native Poland on a tourist visa 12 years ago, Berlin said. She is not a U.S. citizen and authorities were trying to verify her immigration status. Berlin said she has no prior history of violence, although she had a misdemeanor DUI from about 10 years ago.

Plackowska didn't speak during today's bond hearing other than to indicate she could not afford an attorney. The judge appointed a public defender.

Babwin reported from Chicago. AP News Researcher Jennifer Farrar contributed to this report from New York.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(6)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Anonymous wrote:
We need more stringent KNIFE laws! This will prevent all future stabbings and save lives!
on November 1,2012 | 05:31AM
dlum003 wrote:
What a stupid comment and person who submitted it. A 7 year old child was butchered, and you think its funny?
on November 1,2012 | 05:40AM
saveparadise wrote:
I see no humour in the statements. The analogy to gun laws is exactly correct. Look how many knife attacks we are now having on a daily basis. May the poor children rest in peace in heaven.
on November 1,2012 | 08:40AM
islandmom wrote:
Once again, children suffer in unimaginable ways because of adults. You could just cry to think that things like this happen in our world. And I agree that this is not a time to make light of gun control or whatever point "Anonymous" is trying to make about weapons. There are humans who do horrible things with weapons of all types.
on November 1,2012 | 07:13AM
soshaljustic wrote:
Total and complete illness-I cannot begin to imagine the torment this woman would incur if she would ever come close to sanity, to recognise love for her child taken by her own jealous hand in a vicious and heinous murder or the empathic feelings for other people's keiki. That is a long road away from where her mind exists currently, wherever that is, how utterly awful!
on November 1,2012 | 07:50AM
lowtone123 wrote:
Very disturbing
on November 1,2012 | 01:56PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News