Prosecutors said 40-year-old Elzbieta Plackowska told her 7-year-old son Justin and 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski to get on their knees and pray before fatally stabbing both children nearly 100 times.
The two young children pleaded for their lives as the woman killed her son first and then Olivia, stabbing them and slashing their throats, before also stabbing two dogs to death inside a townhouse in the 800 block of Quin Court in Naperville on Tuesday night, prosecutors said.
Plackowska was charged Wednesday night with two counts of first-degree murder. She appeared in DuPage County Court on Thursday morning, where Judge John Kinsella ordered that she be held without bond. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Plackowska was babysitting both children inside the home at the time. She told authorities Justin and Olivia were jumping on the bed in the master bedroom and she became upset when they wouldn’t stop, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
“She told Justin and Olivia to get on their knees and pray,” Berlin said in a press conference Thursday. “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.”
Plackowska then stabbed to death Olivia because she “had seen her kill Justin and needed to kill her as well,” Berlin said.
Covered in blood, Plackowska rushed to her nearby church and then to the 700 block of Violet Circle, a relative's home, who then notified police, Berlin said.
When Naperville police arrived, Plackowska gave officers numerous stories, including that an intruder had entered the townhome on Quin Court and killed both children, according to Berlin. She then told police that the children had evil inside of them and “she was trying to get the evil and devil out of them,” Berlin said.
“She ultimately admitted that she had lied to police with earlier statements,” Berlin added.
He said Plackowska then told police she was angry with her husband because he was gone most days working as a truck driver and did not appreciate her. She was left to care for Justin and work as a cleaning lady, which she felt was “beneath her,” Berlin said.
“She thought by killing Justin she would make her husband hurt the way she hurt in their relationship,” he added.
At the same time police were questioning Plackowska, they received a call from Olivia’s mother Marta Dworakowski, a nurse, who was concerned about her daughter after she couldn’t contact Plackowska or get into her townhome, Berlin said.
Naperville police then performed a well-being check on the townhome, and forced their way inside, where they found a gruesome and horrific scene, Berlin said.
“Naperville police officers who walked into that house walked into a scene of unimaginable horror,” he said. “Both victims had been stabbed numerous times and their throats and had been slashed.”
He added that police found two bloody knives, one a steak knife in the kitchen sink and another knife inside Plackowska’s car.
“This tragedy has hit our community hard,” Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall said after the hearing. “A senseless taking of the lives of these two children defies logic.”
Marshall added that crisis management teams have been put in place at Naperville District 203, where Justin attended Scott School, and Indian Prairie District 204, where Olivia attended Brookdale Elementary. Teams are also on hand for police and fire departments.
“We will pull together, grieve the loss of Justin and Olivia and move forward one day at a time," Marshall said.