Marilyn Lemak’s Trial and Punishment

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July 5, 2022 | 23 Comments


  1. A Prescription for Murder?

    “that you will be sentenced to a term of natural life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the deaths of Nicholas, Emily, and Thomas Lemak.  A life sentence for  murdering your three young children will force you every day to ponder the terrible acts you committed.  It is appropriate you spend the rest of your life thinking about these children.  You may even see images of your children as you sit in prison and hear their voices: ‘Why Mom?  We loved you, Mom.  Why did you do this?’”

    “It is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again,” Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said after imposing the sentence Wednesday. “If there was ever a case that warranted a maximum sentence, this is the case. The defendant does not deserve any sympathy.

    “Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom please.”

    Murdered by Sertraline?

    Posted on July 5, 2013 by Brian — 4 Comments ↓

    (updated April 2015)

    Dr Herxheimer told the court that Sertraline is a member of a group of antidepressants know as SSRIs and stated that he regards them as being potentially dangerous, having been implicated in other violent acts including mass shootings.
    Dr Herxheimer said he concluded that, at the time Paul strangled his mother, he had an “abnormality of mental functioning”

    At the appeal, Mr Martin-Sperry criticised the misleading testimony of Professor David Taylor at the original trial. He said that the issue of the potential of Sertraline to induce violence was not explored properly at the trial and that more research should have been done to see if Sertraline could cause violent outbursts in rare cases. He had, however, been refused permission by the Court of Appeal to call a psychiatrist to testify to this fact.

    By the Law of Probabilities –

    The Copenhagen killer, living at home and taking Quetiapine, it seems he was not deemed a risk to society or himself.

    .The Gun should not be Jumped.

    Scant evidence and most likely, without an Expert Witness, shouting his corner, he will be locked up for a very long time.

    This has happened too many times for the intense cruelty of the Judges, the lawyers and the ignorant to not include the possibility that ‘The Drug could have caused the Disassociation’ that led to murder…

    A Prescription for Murder?

    • Thank you, Annie, for your comments and comparisons to similar stories. Hopefully there will be a tipping point when enough of us understand that SSRI’s are the only explanation for these senseless and heartbreaking tragedies. When that happens, precious lives will be saved and good people like Marilyn won’t be made to suffer in prison.

      Marilyn is very deserving of your time and concern.

    • Thank you so much for sharing. I live about an hour from Highland Park. When this tragedy unfolded, I was with family in a cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, soaking in the beauty of Lake Superior. My first thought was the innocent lives lost; and then I wondered what drug(s) the shooter was taking.

  2. Let’s have GPs putting on peoples’ records evidence that they have explained markers for the dangers of suicide and homicide from the drugs they prescribe.

    In UK GPs can now put firearms marker on patient records

    Caitlin Tilley
    07 July 2022

    GPs are now able to put a marker on a patient’s medical record when notified that they have obtained a firearms licence.

    New guidance on firearms licensing was published late last year but the digital firearms marker, which can be added to patients records as a reminder to GPs, was launched this week.

    When a firearm or shotgun certificate is granted, the police will contact the applicant’s GP to ask them to add a firearms marker to the patient’s medical record on a ‘best endeavours basis’. re Pulse Today

    Antidepressant prescribing rises for sixth year in a row
    Emma Wilkinson
    07 July 2022

    Both the number of antidepressants prescribed and the number of patients taking the drugs has risen for the sixth year in a row in England, the latest NHS figures show.

    83.4 million antidepressant drug items were prescribed in 2021/22, a 5% rise from the previous year, the NHS Business Services Authority said.
    The number of patients identified as receiving a prescription for an antidepressant also rose to 8.32 million – an almost 6% increase from 2020/21.
    Figures in the annual report of medicines used in mental health showed that since 2015/16 there has been a 35% rise in antidepressant prescribing.
    Data for those under the age of 17 years also shows rising levels of prescribing with more than 71,000 patients given at least one prescription, a rise of 9% from the year before.
    An analysis shows that almost two-third of patients prescribed antidepressants are female and double the number of patients were prescribed them in the most deprived practices compared to the least deprived.

    Drugs used for ADHD and other CNS stimulants showed a 16% rise from 2020/21, the report noted, with an 18% rise in the number of patients who had been prescribed them.
    Other figures showed ongoing but small increases in the prescribing of antipsychotic medicines as well as a small rise in drugs for dementia but a fall in prescribing of hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs.

    • Your data is very compelling. Thank you. I copied and pasted it into my files on Marilyn. I read recently that Pfizer is having trouble keeping up with the demand for Zoloft due to Covid related isolation.

      I would love to see the three little ones at the top of this post become the faces of SSRI’s and violence, but with their mother’s permission, of course.

      • Thank you for this heart-breaking post Janet.
        Of all the suffering recorded on RxISK where SSRIs, SNRIs, and other psychotropic drugs may have induced akathisia, disinhibition and emotional blunting, this perhaps has been the most painful to read. The suffering so graphically and skilfully identified in ‘Marilyn Lemak’s Trial and Punishment’ is almost unimaginable.
        I have watched sertraline induced akathisia overwhelm and (via serial misdiagnosis and cascade iatrogenesis) destroy the health and future of the most treasured and enchanting human being I ever encountered. The prescriber described sertraline as “gentle”.
        The grotesque (long denied and hidden) adverse drug reactions of akathisia inducing prescription drugs have been misdiagnosed for decades. Those who aspire to increase prescriber and public awareness of ADR toxicities are subject to contempt and dismissal, even as long experienced members of the Medical Profession. We live with the daily and nightly heartbreak of our destroyed, loved-one’s long term, prescribed drug injuries, her isolation, loneliness and loss of all life’s opportunities. Despite this, we are indeed fortunate not to have to live with the unimaginable suffering you have described above.
        I do hope that the judiciary begin to recognise the fundamental importance of genuine evidence-based expert opinion endorsing the reality of Involuntary Intoxication via SSRI induced akathisia.

        In every “Murder – Suicide”, “Mass Shooting”, unexplained crime of violence: As a doctor and an observer of AKATHISIA and its sequelae – I desperately want those investigators looking for ‘the motive’ to identify, record meticulously, and MAKE PUBLIC the following critical information:

        1) What prescription drugs have been taken, withdrawn, and/or dose altered, or ‘medication’ within drug-class changed?

        2) Was there evidence of AKATHISIA, Disinhibition or Emotional Blunting present prior to, and/or during the event?

        3) Hence, was the tragedy now subject to trial the result of SSRI/SNRI?Psychotropic drug induced violence? ( Or the result of ADRs to one of many other prescription drugs known to cause akathisia and violence to self and/or others.)

        Seeking a ‘Motive’ without addressing toxic medication is incomplete and affords vulnerability to miscarriage of justice.

        In ‘murder-suicide’ events and in ‘mass shootings, the media often quickly report that the alleged perpetrator was receiving ‘Mental Health Care’. This means that possibility of underlying akathisia, disinhibition and emotional blunting – (involuntary intoxication) – is greater than the possibility that the violence has resulted from a ‘Mental Health Disorder’.

        • Tim, I’m so sorry to hear about your loved one. It’s no wonder Marilyn’s story touches you.

          I would love to see your three-part plan go into effect. How do we make that happen?

          • Thank you Janet. I wish I knew the answer to your question. If it were possible, I’m certain RxISK would have succeeded in achieving this by now. I hope (and perceive) that there is growing global awareness about how very many have been so terribly injured, and how lives are ended as a result of akathisia and sequelae of antidepressant ADRs (Including PSSD). The misdiagnosis of psychotropic ADRs as ‘Severe Mental Illness’ is shameful. Denial of such predictable and well documented ADRs by psychiatry’s ‘academic grandees’ appears to be largely unquestioned by prescribers. It is extensively propagandised by a devoted media whose unbalanced promotion of these drugs is almost a daily ritual.

            I try to write with courtesy and constraint where prescribers might read about akathisia and PSSD. More and more prescribers must at least have heard of akathisia. MISSD AKATHISIA AWARENESS advertising on the London Underground in April received a considerable response on twitter. Those who have suffered, as always, appear better informed than professionals. There surely has to be a tipping point where denial and false reassurance is seen for what it is by an informed public and informed media

            It is essentially an issue of Education perhaps?
            Maybe akathisia awareness information might be focused on Medical Students and Pharmacology + Med/Sci undergraduates?

            I was a medical advocate for care and compassion for AIDS Patients in the 1980s. The ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ campaign was successful, supportive and largely acceptable.

            I would love to see a ‘Don’t Die of Akathisia Ignorance’ campaign’ directed at patients and at prescribers.

            Janet, should your time permit, please read
            ‘A Kidnapped Daughter’ – parts 1 and 2. RxISK
            Blog. June 2018.

            ‘Grieving for a lost child is not a process, it is a lifetime weight upon the soul’. The thought that
            Marilyn Lemak has lost her three children is almost unbearable to contemplate. May justice eventually prevail.

  3. Reflection Time – to add to Janet’s mesmerizing story


    Murder, suicide. A bitter aftertaste for the ‘wonder’ depression drug

    Antidepressant Seroxat under scrutiny as firm pays out $6.4m

    Sarah Boseley, health editor
    Mon 11 Jun 2001 11.04 BST

    Warnings of physical dependency follow the increasing credence given to allegations that the Prozac class of drugs can cause a small minority of people to become violent and kill themselves or others.

    Last week a jury in the US ordered GlaxoSmithKline to pay $6.4m (£4.6m) to the family of Donald Schell, 60, who killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter then himself after two days on Seroxat. Two weeks earlier, an Australian judge ruled that another drug in the class, Sertraline, caused David Hawkins to murder his wife and attempt to kill himself.

    What’s going on Here?

    Part of the problem the field has is that the data is inaccessible. If anyone can tell me how anyone can offer expert views in the absence of the data, I’d be interested to hear it.  The more we go on with this charade of basing views or guidelines on ghostwritten articles, the less credibility we will all have.  Surely Study 329 brought this point home.

    BBC, SSRIs and ‘a Prescription for Murder’:

    Experts Slam Panorama Documentary on Antidepressants

    “It is in the public interest for the BBC to investigate the possible adverse side effects of SSRIs

    Simon jams his Paddle from his punt

    From the Grassy Knoll
    August, 11, 2017 | 35 Comments

    “But you don’t do your corner any good by going into third shooter and grassy knoll territory.”

    The Panorama team informed us that their investigation had unearthed 28 cases linking antidepressants to murder and 32 to murderous thoughts.

    Thank you, Janet, supa-dupa comments…

    • It’s impossible to imagine a mother waking up every single day to the knowledge she killed her very own children. But that’s the card Marilyn was dealt. She endures it by helping others. She is the same stellar role model in prison as she was on the outside. She helps illiterate inmates with their legal papers. Within eight years of incarceration, she became the head baker and adjusted recipes for gluten intolerant inmates—a first at the prison. She created a journeyman baking program that follows the same criteria to become a certified baker on the outside. When inmates are released, they have a trade, because of her. Her curriculum is used in other Illinois prisons. These are only a few examples of her impact. I could go on and on.

      Marilyn was transferred to a different prison in 2013. She sent me her journal for safekeeping. She’s an amazing poet. I have her permission to share some of her poems. I will going forward.

      Marilyn still suffers tremendously without her children. Nicholas would have turned thirty this year; Thomas, twenty-six; and Emily would be turning twenty-nine on Christmas Eve.

      Thank you for believing in Marilyn. She’s deserving.

  4. Matthias Landgraf from North Germany was my room mate at UCL and studied alot harder than I did and knows alot more about Genetics than I do. I did write to him to see if he had any interest in the issues here but I have not received a reply yet. I didn’t learn anything about how animals or people work I was more into computers and that sort of thing. Sadly I decided to enter the world of work to get money but I did get to work on some interesting projects.

  5. I did have a go at reading a thesis written by Elisa Molinari a student of Dr. Luisa Francesca Guerrini about the Thalidomide p53 epigenetic stuff but it made my brain hurt as it contains alot of very detailed esoteric information which I do not understand.

    Dr. Luisa Francesa Guerrinis papers can be found here, I think she is probably a good bet to look into the mechanism behind the PSSD phenomenon.

    I’ll be sticking to the simple things I am more familiar with I want to go back to working on embedded systems but I cannot guarantee my dependability in any role now that I have these daily withdrawal symptoms.

  6. Three Weeks To Prescripticide

    May 12, 2016 | 35 Comments

    Editorial Note: The post is by David Carmichael, who has coined the terms “Prescripticide” for a death that is caused by an adverse reaction to a prescription drug.

    In October and November 2015, Julie Wood published a 5-part series of blog posts about SSRI antidepressants and violence. It was based on the biomedical model developed to explain how someone can experience antidepressant-induced akathisia, emotional blunting and delirium-psychosis that can lead to violence, including suicide and homicide – explained in Part 3 of Julie Wood’s series.

    What I experienced in 2004 is well aligned with this biomedical model, and I believe it may be very important for people to know my story. So I am writing this blog post, in detail, for the first time, about my own Paxil-induced homicide.

    Always a heartbreak to watch


    This is what David Carmichael is saying on his Campaigning Trail

    Prescription for Sorrow

    By Patrick D Hahn

    Pages 96 through 99

    “David summed up matters thusly: “The message is: Know your drugs. I didn’t.”

    Indeed. As David wrote in Dr. Healy’s RxISk blog: “The tears and pain are still with me, and will be forever.”

  7. I find it very disturbing that people aren’t being told about the potential for these adverse effects to crop up when increasing or decreasing the dose of these ssri drugs and the harms these effects can cause. I still feel quite delicate when I remember my own experiences, I don’t want to remember them as they were profoundly unpleasant.

    • I agree with you Justin. Why in the world can’t people at least be informed? But I guess we know the answer to that. Being new to the RxISK blog and comments, I’m learning a lot.

      Thank you for your interest in Marilyn. She deserves your time and attention.

      • There is an obvious need for a documentary to point out these iatrogenically induced tragedies do happen to people, people deserve to know the truth about what is going on here and there is an enormous amount of information on these issues. These big pharma lunatics can’t keep their atrocities hidden behind tall hedges forever to protect their profits/shareholders. Big pharma corporations are more powerful than God these days and have enormous influence with their marketing and these terrible crimes against people will just become more frequent in the future. I’ve read a couple of books by Peter Gotszche and he presents what is going on in a very clear way. There are so many books and stories it would take several lifetimes to read it all.

        • Interesting you mention a documentary. There is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker interested in Marilyn’s story as it relates to SSRI’s and violence. Not surprisingly, he is having a hard time finding a production company willing to back him.

          He was nominated for “Prison Terminal.” It’s a short documentary about a hospice program run by inmates in an Ohio Max men’s prison.

          • To me it seems like the most logical thing to do, there is no shortage of big pharma documentaries concerned with the other less than ethical practices. Those also seem to point to the fact that hardly any of the profits go back into actual useful research into finding better medicines. More powerful than God big pharma may be but not so benevolent.

            I think a big problem with any documentary is getting the big mainstream media people to agree to broadcast it as these are rather touchy issues that would upset alot of people particularly all the psychiatrists. I’m not sure some people could handle the truth.

  8. Tim, thank you for telling me where to find your story. I very much wanted to read it. You tell it in a way only an adoring father could. There are no words for how sad and senseless it is. I am so sorry.

    It’s intriguing to me that you were an AIDS advocate. Remember the sweet little face of Ryan White? He caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities…and then the mainstream media. (At least this is the way I remember it…you may know better). But, I wonder if there is a way to get that kind of support for a “Don’t Die of Akathisia Ignorance” campaign? I have some ideas.

    Shortly after her arrival in prison, Marilyn wrote the following poem, which I would like to share with you. It beautifully expresses how she was feeling when she got to prison:

    For the most part,
    I’m quite the celebrity here,
    everyone knows my name.
    But I’m well aware
    of my insignificance.
    What’s the difference between me
    and a shingle on the roof?
    As I see it, the shingle is worth
    a thousand times more
    Since it serves a purpose.
    As hard as I’ve tried,
    I can’t figure out a single reason
    for my existence.
    All I am now is a burden

  9. Talking of Akathisia.
    Mikhaila Peterson (daughter of Canadian psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson) published an article yesterday (10th July ’22) mentioning RxISK twice as references. In the article she describes how Jordan nearly died from it (induced by SSRI’s) and what finally brought him relief and recovery.

    How We Cured/Treated Suicidal Akathisia

  10. In my experience having severe akathisia is not much fun at all.

    I don’t think many people would eat something if it was marketed to induce severe internal discomfort, make you to sweat buckets and cause you to think about breaking into your local grocery store in the middle of the night to acquire some strong alcohol.

    Akathisia made me feel dreadful and my perception of time slowed to a crawl so I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for the morning then I bought myself some brandy in the traditional fashion using cash from the grocery store. That event occurred in early 2014 when I was switched from Citalopram to Sertraline by a doctor after I told her that Citalopram had pooped out and was causing me to have daily headaches. She told me all this complicated stuff that I might lose my insight so be careful whatever that is supposed to mean.

    Anyway a month after the switch I kept myself feeling better drinking brandy every day for the month of April 2014. I’m not sure if drinking strong alcohol is a clinically accepted means to mitigate akathisia symptoms but it worked very well for me. I can’t imagine how I would have managed myself if I had remained with akathisia for many months. For me that was the scariest aspect of the akathisia experience, not knowing when it would ever end. So April 2014 was a very long month but drinking the brandy made it less of an endurance test and allowed me to maintain my basic functionality albeit whilst looking quite wretched, walking around drenched in sweat and smelling of booze. The previous times I had severe akathisia where when I tapered off Citalopram too quickly in those instances I was put back on the original dose and the symptoms quickly vanished, I had mitigated those symptoms using beer and valium for a few days. In my experience there appeared to be a delay of about a month having some head zaps, dizziness and strange skin tingling sensations like insects under my skin before the really nasty period of akathisia kicked in.

    I’m quite keen to avoid getting akathisia again as it isn’t fun like going on holiday or something which is why I am tapering off liquid Fluoxetine nice and slowly. I still don’t feel quite right and I’m numb and dissociative but that is a walk in the park compared to the full on akathisia experience. I have not wanted to drink alcohol for some time, supplements I take seem to have abolished the cravings. I am quite regimented in my daily routine which is a bit dull and restrictive but I get through the days fairly comfortably. Sleeping is not a problem I’ve never slept so well in my entire life. Why people would accept an ssri to help with sleep I don’t understand when taking some lemon balm and other herbal anxiolytics does the trick and is much safer.

    I live a bit of a hermit lifestyle and am quite closed off as the withdrawal symptoms make me feel quite numb and antisocial. This is mainly because others cannot relate to my private subjective experience. Hopefully I will get back to normal at some point and talk to people again and joke around but I have no idea if I ever will get back even after tapering which will end sometime next year. I have stopped shouting at traffic and climbing trees during the daylight hours as I got quite bored of those activities.

  11. I like to keep things simple. I felt a bit fed up in 2004 after being made redundant but that is a normal reaction I wasn’t insane so I went to see my GP who was a Dr. Lurkin at that time, he isn’t lurkin around the corner in the surgery now as he died of a heart condition a year or so later, he was quite an amusing fella. He said some Citalopram would cheer me up so I took it and I don’t really think it did anything useful it just made me feel really weird. I also seem to remember I started to drink alot more more alcohol after starting on Citalopram. I went off the stuff cold turkey in November 2006 and had the first akathisia episode in December 2006. I drank about two crates of beer, that is 48 cans which I had got for Christmas in about two days. The second akathisia experience I think occurred sometime in 2010 when I tried to come off the stuff a bit slower but I had the akathisia crop up again. I think that time I was given a few diazepam and told to go back on the full dose and I should never try and stop taking it ever again unless I wanted to feel wretched again. I can’t remember exactly but I think it was pooping out around 2011 so I felt quite grotty at work it doesn’t make life easier. At some point after that I was sent to see a Neurologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Epping who gave me some Propranolol and sent me for a MRI scan which didn’t show up anything unusual. I stopped the Propranolol after a year and had a freaky period where I would wake up and my bedroom was monochrome green for about 30 seconds before my RGB vision returned to normal which was quite unusual. The lady doctor decided Citalopram was no longer working in February 2014 so changed me to the different chemical Sertraline which sounded reasonable that caused me to have a month of akathisia and my brandy drinking adventure. I tapered from 50mg Sertraline to 25mg in the months before October 2014 which is when I flew to Australia to visit my family but was quite spaced out there and slept alot. I decided it wasn’t practical to taper safely using Sertraline solid tablets and switched onto liquid Fluoxetine 5mg in December 2020. I don’t understand why I had no switchover nonsense that time. At least I have a practical means to taper off slowly and safely using a liquid and a 1ml syringe. The entire experience taking these ssri medicines has not been in any way positive for me, I wish I was never prescribed Citalopram years ago in 2004 as it just sent me on this stupid dependency and trying to come off experience.

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