Elzbieta Plackowska lived with her husband Artur and their son in Naperville, Illinois, a DuPage County town 25 miles west of Chicago. Born and raised in Poland, Elzbieta came to the United States twelve years ago on a vacation visa.
Elzbieta's father, in October 2012, passed away and she wanted to return to Poland for the funeral. Artur was against her leaving the country, and the two of them had argued over this. Their marriage was already strained over the fact that as a long-haul truck driver, he was seldom home. Elzbieta resented having to raise their 7-year-old son without out his help. (Their oldest boy was in his late teens and lived with a family friend.) The 40-year-old discontented wife was also angry that she had to work as a housemaid, a job she felt was beneath her. Elzbieta Plackowska was an angry, frustrated, and profoundly unhappy woman.
In September 2012, about a month before her father died, Elzbieta met Marta Dworakowski on an online Polish networking site. Marta, the mother of a 5-year-old girl named Olivia, worked nights as a nurse at a dialysis center, and was looking for a babysitter. Marta lived just five miles from Elzbieta in a townhouse in Naperville's upscale Brookdale Manor subdivision. The two mothers came to an agreement, and on certain nights, Elzbieta brought her 7-year-old son Justin to the babysitting job at Dworakowski's home.
On October 30, 2012, while spending an evening with Justin and Olivia at Dworakowski's townhouse, Elzbieta decided to murder her son. She grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and entered Olivia's room where the children were playing. She told Justin that this was the night he was going to heaven. After making him kneel in prayer, Elzbieta repeatedly stabbed him as he pleaded for his life. She plunged the knife into the boy 100 times, then slashed his throat.
After killing her son, and cutting her own hand in the process (common in stabbing cases), the babysitter used the knife on Olivia, stabbing her 50 times before slashing her throat. She had killed the 5-year-old because the girl had witnessed Justin's murder.
After she had slaughtered her son and the girl she was babysitting, Plackowska drove to her Catholic church. It was ten o'clock at night and the place was closed, so she called the church and left a message to the effect she had done something bad and needed help. About this time, Marta Dworakowski arrived at her townhouse to find the dwelling locked and the babysitter's car missing. She called the Naperville Police Department.
The police broke into the house and found Olivia on her bed, and Justin on the floor next to it. The officers were stunned by the brutality of the double murder. Plackowska had also stabbed to death both of Dworakowski's dogs. The dwelling was awash in blood. Officers found a bloodstained knife in the kitchen sink.
After murdering the children and driving to the church, Plackowska showed up at the house where her oldest boy was living. She told her son that a robber had attacked her and killed the children. The son called the police. Officers came to the house and took her into custody. (They found a second bloody knife in her car.) Before transporting the suspect to the police station, the police had her treated for her knife wielding cuts at Edward Hospital.
At police headquarters, Plackowska offered up the robbery story, then blamed the murders on a man she claimed had been stalking her. Eventually she admitted killing the children after hearing "demonic voices" in her head. Finally the truth came out: she had murdered her son to get back at her husband. She said she wanted Artur to hurt as much as he had made her suffer. She murdered Olivia because the little girl had witnessed the anger-killing of her son.
On November 1, 2012, at her arraignment hearing in a DuPage County Court, the judge denied Plackowska bail. At the defendant's next court appearance she was formally charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
In September 2017, following a short bench trial, a DuPage County Judge found Plackowska guilty as charged. The judge sentenced her to life in prison.