Marilyn Lemak: Trial or Clemency?

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September 14, 2022 | 8 Comments


  1. A woman who suffers postpartum psychosis would until recently have been judged as harshly if she murdered her children. People are not in their normal state of mind both on drugs and in psychosis so immediately i lean towards clemency rather than a trial. when crucially M L was not warned of the potential effects the to do so or properly monitor the effects makes the makers of the drugs and prescribers culpable. It is they who should be on trial.

    It might be possible to make a judgement as to M L’s potential actions as she was on drugs during the trial and then later allowed to come off them. If M L is prone to become suicidal or homicidal or otherwise effected adversely on the drugs maybe she would be prepared to experiment by taking them again with proper observation and agreement to stop them if she became worse. It’s a big risk but her lifelong incarceration is at stake.

    Social class seems to be an issue. In a trial of randomly selected jurors who could predict where their prejudices might lead, maybe a harsher judgement or a more lenient one. No group of ‘ordinary’ people are completely free of biases knowingly or not. A fair trial seems impossible even with jurors educated about drugs.

    My own feeling is it cannot be proven to be an act of revenge Women as uniquely related to their children very rare kill children In fact it is more commonly carried out by men as a violent act against women.
    It’s also debatable whether Marilyn , a clever woman,would use the knowledge she has learned about the drug in a dishonest manner in her defence Being clever she would realise the cynicism about claiming that without a medical opinion which gives the likelihood against rather than for the effect of the drugs could work against her.
    My own bias is to feel sympathy for M L and any woman in her position but trying to think at least a bit objectively I hope she goes for clemency rather than a trial.

    • Good point, Susanne. In fact, Gov. Pritzker recently granted clemency to a woman named Paula Sims, who was a likely victim of post-partum psychosis.

      Marilyn, meanwhile, has done far more in the past twenty years than simply stay out of trouble. She serves as the “boot-camp instructor” in the bakery training program at Logan women’s prison, working to equip women with job and life skills they can really use when they get released. “We all are different ages, different races, different backgrounds and we are all learning to work together to get the job done,” she told a local reporter who visited the program.

      It’s not that this Good Deed, or her overall good conduct in prison, somehow “compensate” for the crime. How could they? But they do paint a picture that is completely alien to prosecutor Birkett’s caricature of an irrational, self-centered woman incapable of seeing beyond her own pain. Her life before the murders paints the same picture. Not only was she a good and loving mother–dozens of other parents were happy to trust her with their own kids as a Sunday school teacher. And as a surgical nurse, doctors trusted her as a key member of their team (in highly stressful situations where lives could be on the line).

      So, for forty years before the spring of 1999, and for twenty years after, she is a kind-hearted, level-headed, highly conscientious person. For one brief period in between—while on high doses of Zoloft—she’s an out-of-control “madwoman” who could allegedly kill her own children to vent her rage and despair over her divorce.

      It’s enough to make reasonable folks think that temporary, drug-induced madness is a serious possibility. Maybe I and others have taken these pills without doing anything terrible. But then again, I’ve taken penicillin too, and stayed safe. If someone else takes it and is rushed to the hospital with their throat swollen shut, do I roll my eyes at the doctor who says penicillin was the cause?

  2. To answer the last question, one has to ask how mindful people are of Vaccine Fraud.
    If the people knew of Vaccine Fraud, would they accept the Vaccines and then Boosters…

    You could say, we live in a bubble – A Truth Bubble.

    The enlightened, those who have survived Akathisia or family and friends who have witnessed Akathisia are in the same position as the Vaccine Injured or the Vaccine Dead.

    I think generally, despite mountains of press reports, studies, clinical trial research and anecdotes, people worldwide still have enormous faith in doctors, psychiatrists, nurses in the fields of Health and pretty much accept what is told to them, even though what is told to them is not very much.

    There is probably some suspicion that Pharma is only interested in making money, but for most people to accept that those giving antidepressants or vaccines would pull the wool over their eyes is a hard ask. I have the feeling that if people think that if they accepted that a whole system has been corrupted and they are being somewhat conned, their whole edifice of survival and confidence would take a massive plunge and I am not sure that many people would actually want this.

    In general, people don’t like to feel insecure and to take the security blanket away from them in such a huge institution in which most people trust and rely on, could cause a crumbling of themselves and I think this is why most people are very reluctant to even get on the train.

    It is a massive swing to take a generally trusting person to take on board that all is not as it seems.

    We are fortunate in that we have access to a huge amount of information that makes it easier for us to accept that huge frauds exist. The majority do not have this access and as anyone knows who has tried to develop a conversation around the pitfalls of psychotropic drugs or vaccines, it is a very tricky area to navigate.

    Just out of the blue just recently I happened to say to an 88 year old man, I was not sure that I was going to have another booster and he behaved quite out of character and got quite heated by saying he thought it was wonderful the vaccines were being tweaked.

    When antidepressants have come up in conversations, there is always a sense that they are a great source of comfort to so many.

    But, I do get it. People want to trust and older people especially take great stock in their doctor visit.
    The doctor said, and the doctor gave me. Living rurally, sometimes the visit to the doctor seems to be the highlight of their week.

    What I do take exception to is the hard-nosed attitude of the Simon Wessely’s of this World, who makes no bones about his views. With considerable accolades to his name, this imposter has done considerable damage.

    The venom by which Marilyn has been attacked is a symptom of society.
    It serves no useful purpose.
    They lash out with no intention to let some truth in.

    If Marilyn is to win her clemency hearing, it may be the world still has to shift a little and let the light in. We have to be realistic, to protect Marilyn, to trust her would-be saviours.

    The Political-Game-Playing has already given many of its’ secrets away, and I could suspect the Governor to continue the PGP Game – For the Good of Society…

  3. Violation Tracker is doing great work in exposing the fraud and other corrupt practices involving pharmaceutical companies and of course the networks which have/are allowing them to continue to put peoles’ lives at rxisk. Even some of those attuned to the criminal activities which go on would be shocked at the level of repeated crimes perpetuated over decades . It might be thought that when they are publicised the shame and massive fines wold change their actions – it doesn’t but members of the ‘public’ who read about it sees something has been done – fooled you ! To have this level of information in the public domain is great but when we say ‘public’ there is only a small section which gets to know about their immoral and criminal activities It is impossible to believe politicians, the medical establishment, researchers. regulators etc do not know about the information put together with evidence in the public domain by such as investigators at Violation Tracker. It would astonish most people I imagine if they knew how often the same crimes are committed and how many of the smaller companies taken over by the giant pharma companies also had committed documented violations. If we spread the word about it at least some people might think again whether to trust the proposed roll out of yet another vaccination . Some would probably think the rxisk still worth taking . That is our right -to decide on basis of informed consent which needs to include knowing about the hidden violations
    Many people wouldI guess still be cynical They have seen too many critics silenced and discredited plus the still immovable trust many still have in medics – But at least they need to be informed through channels we might have access to or knowledge of..
    To get an idea of the level of information available it is easy to put say Johnson and Johnson on Violation Tracker in a google search – and then read on to a huge amount of detailed information put together on their website

    Good News for UK
    Why Violation Tracker is coming to the UK › .

  4. ” “I was a zombie,” she said. “I don’t even know what kind of meds they had me on, but they kept giving me pills and more pills, and I was also drawing into myself. I sometimes think I remember fragments here and there”

    This was pretty much how I was.

    The thing about Akathisia is that you tell everybody no matter what. In the psychology group sessions at the beginning the psychologist said words to the effect – if you say anything that infers you might harm yourself or someone else we have to report it to the relevant authorities, meaning police. A young woman in her 20’s – it was obvious to me she had akathisia but no one else – immediately said, she wanted to murder someone and kill herself. I’d watched her get increasingly worse and the drugs increased for a number of weeks.

    I want people to know this is the horrific situation in psych hospitals caused by psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses and it’s why people break out and kill themselves by jumping off motorway bridges and running onto motorways. This is what akathisia in a jail – hospital – situation does to people. I’ve been through it and witnessed it first hand in others, many others.

    “one has to ask how mindful people are of Vaccine Fraud.
    If the people knew of Vaccine Fraud, would they accept the Vaccines and then Boosters…

    You could say, we live in a bubble – A Truth Bubble.”

    Tried to worn my family no one listened and was even sent threatening emails by them. Yesterday I heard one aunt of mine had the 5th ‘booster’ and has been in bed ever since. Many other members have had really bad reactions from the first ‘booster’. None of them have acknowledged what I was saying was correct.

  5. When I started writing a book about Marilyn, I thought it might be hard to find the right words to explain how a mother who ended her children’s lives could also be one of the finest people I know. But actions do speak louder than words. And Marilyn’s actions, before and after the tragedy, speak for themselves:

    Marilyn and her children loved to read books and sing songs together. She turned the spacious attic of their home into a dream playroom with kid-high shelves for their countless books and a craft area with kid-sized tables and chairs. She limited their television and video game time and instead showed them how to build forts, tunnels, and secret hideouts fashioned from couch cushions, up-ended tables and chairs, large empty boxes, and bedspreads. She taught them life lessons like saving some of their birthday money, and she included them in clothing drives for children in need.

    She took her children to swimming lessons and gymnastics at the park district. They rode bikes and roller bladed in the summer and sledded down hills in the winter. Marilyn volunteered three days a week at their school: Everyone at Ellsworth Elementary, the administration, teachers, and students, really liked Nicholas, Emily, and Thomas’s mom. Marilyn worked as a fundraiser at their church and taught Thomas’s Sunday school class. She bought and tucked away Harry Potter books for when they were older.

    When Marilyn was first sent off to prison, she was still traumatized and highly medicated. After a few years, she asked to go off all medications, and she sought to find herself again. She began helping illiterate inmates with their legal papers. Soon she worked as the editor of the prison newsletter. Before long, the warden asked her to mentor incoming inmates having a particularly rough time.

    Marilyn became one of two inmates to create and teach a three-year apprentice baking program. It is accredited through the U.S. Department of Labor and the same program is used on the outside for people choosing to become a professional baker.

    She receives letters from released inmates thanking her for how well she prepared them to apply for jobs as bakers. Finding a job means everything when back on the outside! Marilyn called me breathless one day to tell me that students who completed her course would now have time taken off their sentences.

    After twenty-three years of incarceration, Marilyn is asking for clemency. She was nervous to put herself in the spotlight again. But when I told her that Eric Zorn talked about her on Chicago radio and television and discussed the legally recognized link between SSRI’s and violence, she was comforted.

    “Regardless of what Governor Pritzker decides,” she told me, “doing my part to get the word out about the dangers of these drugs is worth any negativity that comes my way.”

    I pray that Governor Pritzker grants Marilyn clemency. The only downside would be that Logan Correctional Center would lose a stellar role model. I wonder what mountains Marilyn might climb, if given her freedom. I would love to write her next chapter.

  6. It really is quite wonderful, how those persons harmed, or relatives and friends who have lost someone from psychotropic drugs have made such meaningful contributions to try to set the record straight. People have devoted huge chunks of their life from running support groups, to running organizations dealing with Akathisia, to being on FDA Committees, to writing books, to doing podcasts, to making films, to organizing discussion groups, to writing personal stories, to writing press articles, to producing blogs,

    A never-ending supply of material comes our way and this is not just from public citizens, this is from many International Professionals who have gone out of their way to write books, write papers, do interviews and talks and generally go out of their way to spread the word about the dangers of psychotropic drugs.

    The story of Janet and Marilyn is absolutely gripping.

    It is a story of caring and loyalty from one to another.

    It is also a story which, although it may conclude, will carry on as a history book, a sign of the times, a triumphant warning that unimaginable and ghastly things can happen with these drugs.

    “Regardless of what Governor Pritzker decides,” she told me, “doing my part to get the word out about the dangers of these drugs is worth any negativity that comes my way.”

    There are many things in life to overcome, but the generosity of Marilyn with these few words is really quite heroic and not lost.

    The legally recognized link –

    Clemency for Marilyn would be a fair and just decision.

    • Thank you so much for this Annie. Your comments encourage me, especially now, and I believe they make a difference for Marilyn.

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