Krysztof Marek entered a neighboring apartment and killed four people who were gathered around the table for dinner. Then he went upstairs into another apartment and executed a fifth. Why? According to police, the man was being evicted from his Chicago condo. Marek left behind a note in his native Polish: “Tomorrow!! No Mercy! Enough!! They have to pay for it!!”
After executing the five people, Marek went back to his own apartment and greeted officers as they came to his door. He told them that he thought they were looking for him and then he confessed to the murders.
Investigators later found multiple grievances against his neighbors although it was not clear specifically which neighbors had incited Marek’s anger. Marek had accused one neighbor of walking too loudly on the floor above his apartment. He left behind a series of unhinged messages that seem to be gearing himself up for the attack.
Premeditation and Insanity
In a case like this, you have two obvious conclusions. The suspect committed the murders with premeditation. He wrote himself a series of notes that appear to foreshadow the attacks, had bizarre grievances with his neighbors, and decided that he would kill them, probably because he believed that they were responsible for his eviction.
On the other hand, it is hard to reconcile a guy who turns a complaint over a neighbor walking too loud into five homicides with a mind that operates like yours and mine. The suspect in this case is a 66-year-old man. He has three grown children and six grandchildren.
Dementia as a Defense to Murder
While this may not be the case at all, it is possible that a 66-year-old man would be suffering from dementia or Alzheimers. If that is the case, then the defense can raise that as a plea against the five charges of first-degree murder. Since everyone is in agreement, including the suspect, as to who committed the murders, an insanity plea may be the only available card left to leverage for the defense.
The prosecution has a confession and told the judge that Marek is “evil on steroids,” so whether or not the prosecution would be willing to extend a plea in the case is unclear. Generally, when they have enough to convict a defendant on the facts, they are not likely to offer good terms.
In this case, the only terms the prosecution would be likely to offer is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In cases like this, that is often the best possible outcome for the defense.
However, if the defendant pleads insanity on the basis of senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a jury may be sympathetic. If the defendant is found not-guilty on the basis of insanity, he would be remanded to the care of a psychiatric institution, where he would spend the rest of his life.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of a crime and the facts surrounding your mental health are not clear, a good defense attorney may be able to introduce evidence that casts doubt on whether you were in your right mind when the attack occurred. Call David Freidberg at (312) 560-7100 to set up an appointment today.