A judge has found a suburban Chicago woman guilty of murder in the fatal stabbings of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was baby-sitting.
Elzbieta Plackowska was found guilty Wednesday by DuPage County Judge Robert Miller after a bench trial.
Defense attorneys contended the 45-year-old Plackowska was suffering a psychotic break when she killed the children on October 30, 2012, inside the girl’s home in Naperville.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Kristen Nedval said Plackowska loved the children and wouldn’t have killed them ‘if she knew what she was doing.’
But State’s Attorney Bob Berlin referred to Plackowska’s comments to investigators following her arrest.
Elzbieta Plackowska (seen here in this November 21, 2012 file photo) was found guilty Wednesday by DuPage County Judge Robert Miller after a bench trial
She told them, ‘I’m not supposed to, but I have to.’
Berlin said that indicated she knew what she was doing was wrong.
Plackowska was babysitting five-year-old Olivia Dworakowski along with her own son Justin, 7, on October 30, 2012, when she killed the two kids.
She then killed two dogs. She would later tell authorities that ‘a black shadow’ had commanded her to carry out the murders.
At Plackowska’s trial, her defense relied on testimony from Dr. Phillip Resnick, who interviewed the suspected killer 10 days after the murders.
She was found guilty of murder in the fatal stabbings of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was baby-sitting
‘Ms. Plackowska had a psychotic belief that devils had entered Olivia and Justin and that by taking their lives, she was allowing the children to enter heaven,’ said Resnick, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Plackowska had been hired to babysit young Olivia in the condo where the girl lived with her mother, and had brought son Justin along as well.
Her father in her native Poland had died several weeks earlier, sending her spiraling into psychosis on the night before Halloween 2012, Resnick testified.
The two children were with Plackowska in a bedroom of the condo and jumping on the bed when she told them to kneel down and pray, prosecutors have said.
It was then Plackowska saw a ‘black shadow’ that she believed was the devil entering the children, Resnick said she had told him.
‘Kill them, kill them,’ the shadow whispered to her, Plackowska told the eminent psychiatrist.
‘You are going to be the last one,’ she said the shadow told her. ‘You are going to die, but you will be the last one.’
Plackowska was tried for killing her seven-year-old son Justin along with five-year-old Olivia Dworakowski, whom she was babysitting at the time of the murders
Justin was stabbed 100 times, and Olivia was found with 50 stab wounds, police said. Both children’s throats were slit and Justin was found in a bed, Olivia on the floor
Plackowska had been hired to babysit Olivia in the condo (pictured) where the girl lived with her mother. She saw a ‘black shadow’ that urged her to kill them, a psychiatrist has testified
A makeshift memorial is seen outside the crime scene in the days after the 2012 murder. Along with Justin and Olivia, two dogs in the home were stabbed to death
Justin was stabbed 100 times, and Olivia was found with 50 stab wounds, police said.
Both children’s throats were slit and Justin was found in a bed, Olivia on the floor.
Prosecutors have said that after Plackowska killed the innocent children, she started frantically calling a local church, leaving numerous messages.
The crime was discovered when Olivia’s mother, nurse Marta Dworakowski, returned home from her night shift and could not get into the house, and called 911.
A trail of blood in the hallway led police into the bedroom, with veteran Police Chief Robert Marshall calling it ‘the most horrific and gruesome crime scene I have seen’ at the time.
Prosecutors contended that Plackowska knew what she was doing at the time of the murders, and was unhappy with her life and her marriage.
In a videotaped interview with police after her arrest, Plackowska agreed that that was the reason she killed the two children.
But Resnick argued that Plackowska was ‘browbeaten’ into that statement by police, and said she still exhibited manic and psychotic symptoms for many days after the murders.