Naperville mother Marilyn Lemak killed her 3 children, 20 years ago today

Marilyn Lemak

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — It was 20 years ago Monday that a west suburban mother committed a crime few could fathom.

Marilyn Lemak laced her children’s peanut butter sandwiches with prescription medication and then suffocated them inside the family’s Victorian home in Naperville. Nicholas was 7, Emily was 6 and Thomas was just 3 years old.

Lemak tried unsuccessfully to take her own life. She was in the midst of a bitter divorce and suffering from depression.

In 2012, she told an interviewer: “I was a good mother, who got very seriously mentally ill, and did a terrible, tragic thing.”

She said she had not been able to forgive herself.

A new mugshot shows what Lemak looks like today. She’s 61 years old and remains behind bars, serving a life sentence.


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