Appellate court upholds conviction of Naperville mom who killed 2 kids

  • Elzbieta Plackowska

    Elzbieta Plackowska

Updated 8/4/2020 5:50 PM

A woman who stabbed two children to death in Naperville has lost her appeal of her conviction.

The state's 2nd District Appellate Court Monday affirmed the conviction of Elzbieta Plackowska, 48, in the deaths of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting in October 2012.


DuPage County Judge Robert Miller found her guilty in December 2017 of murdering Justin Plackowska and Olivia Dworakowski.

Plackowska had told the children to get ready for bed, but the two began jumping on a bed in a master bedroom, according to testimony given at her trial. Plackowska took a kitchen knife and stabbed the children -- Justin 94 times and Olivia 173. She then drove to a family friend's house.

Plackowska didn't dispute that she killed the children, but she argued that she was insane at the time. Her older son testified that after the death of her own father, Plackowska started drinking more, said that she saw "the devil" in Justin while he slept, and started making Justin watch religious movies.

The older son was at a friend's house the night of the killing and said his mother came there, covered in blood, saying she was attacked by a man who looked like the devil.

The appellate court rejected her argument that Miller was wrong when he ruled she had the mental capacity to appreciate the criminality of her conduct at the time of the murders.

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Miller sentenced Plackowska to natural life in prison in December 2017.

The court said she made substantial efforts to avoid detection, including putting a knife in a garbage disposal, getting rid of her cellphone, and making up a story about an intruder. Thus, it said, there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

"We cannot say that the opposite conclusion -- that the defendant was insane at the time of the offenses -- was clearly evident," the court ruled.

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