Naperville murders: Community trying to heal after stabbing deaths of two children

November 2, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Limo driver Pete Perez took a photo as a basis for a discussion he will have later with his grandkids about what happened inside the Naperville townhome where a woman allegedly killed her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting.

"It's tough to trust anybody nowadays," said Perez, a resident of suburban Wood Dale.

Naperville's police chief says it's the most gruesome crime he's ever seen. Elzbieta Plackowska is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl in her care.

The passerby typically don't get out of their cars, partly it seems to avoid the worst of what the Quin Court crime scene represents, a worry for the behavioral health specialists at Naperville's Edward Hospital.

"People grieve in very, very different ways," said clinical psychologist Dr. Joann Wright. "And it's really important to be emphatic and gentle and understand that you might not even understand your own behavior anymore. Things that were once important to you might be derailed."

Wright says neighbors need to come together and watch each other for signs of anxiety brought on by knowing two children were knifed to death when they were supposedly safe.

"Anxiety can be contagious," Wright said. "It could be that you have to be a little bit cautious."

And, as the weekend approaches, there is the matter of what to say to the children of this idyllic town.

Child psychiatrist Dr. Janice Kowalski says it is important first to listen to kids and gauge just how aware they are of what happened.

"Say, 'This person is not on the streets, is with the police, you're safe,' I think will be reassuring for a younger child," said Kowalski.

Beyond that, impress upon vulnerable minds that, as horrific as the deaths of Justin and Olivia were, such incidents are not common.

A vigil was scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Friday night at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Naperville.

Also Friday, a new judge was assigned to hear Elzbieta Plackowska's case.

Olivia Dworakowski Memorial Foundation at Naperville Bank & Trust

Naperville Bank & Trust will be accepting donations for the fund designed to help provide for the family of Olivia Dworakowski. Those wishing to make a donation can stop at any Naperville Bank & Trust location or mail a donation to:

Naperville Bank & Trust
Olivia Dworakowski Memorial Foundation
PO Box 294
Naperville, IL 60566

For more information contact Ron Davidson at Naperville Bank & Trust, (630) 369-3555.

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