BLOOMINGDALE, IL — On November 3, 2010, 43-year-old Marci Webber loaded her four-year-old daughter Maggie up on Benadryl and sleeping pills, and placed the child in a bathtub.
From there, Marci sliced Maggie’s throat open with a single blow of such force that the toddler’s head nearly came off. Marci then cut her own wrists and neck in an attempt to commit suicide. She also left a haunting note behind, written in blood on the wall above the tub: “Divine Mercy.”
Mallory Webber, Marci’s 18-year-old daughter, happened on the scene several hours later and called for help. Little Maggie didn’t make it. Marci did survive, however.
When asked why she’d committed such carnage, Marci said she did it to prevent Maggie from becoming “an Internet sex slave.” She believed online predators were on the way to take her daughter.Authorities initially charged Marci with first-degree murder and set her bond at $5 million. But as investigators soon found out, Marci Webber had been contending for years with mental illness and alcoholism. She suffered from paranoid delusions and even hallucinations.
Exacerbating Webber’s condition at the time of the killing was a custody battle with an ex over a third daughter in Long Island. She and the two girls were staying with Webber’s mother in Bloomingdale, a suburb of Chicago. In addition, Webber claimed she’d had to flee the East Coast because members of a secret society were following her there.
When the case came to trial in 2012, the court quickly ruled Webber not guilty by reason of insanity. She was immediately transported to Illinois’s Elgin Mental Health Center where she was detained for the next four years.
Webber filed a petition in 2014 to be released. She claimed she was no longer insane and, as such, posed no danger to herself or anyone else. In July 2016, Webber got a court hearing to argue for her freedom. Cindy Perlin, a licensed clinical social worker assigned to the case, backed up Webber’s bid.
She claimed that Webber’s violence resulted not from the killer mom’s inherent mental illness, but from a reaction to wrongly prescribed medication. Perlin also claimed Webber had been abused at the Elgin facility, stating online:
“She has been assaulted by other patients 15 times, sometimes at the provocation of staff. Two members of the staff even encouraged her to kill herself and provided her with the means to do so…. Marci refused treatment with psychiatric drugs there, which allowed her to recover from her mental confusion. She is lucid and not psychotic, despite her very difficult circumstances. She is not a danger to herself or others.”
At present, Marci Webber is still being held at the Chicago Read Mental Health Center. She awaits her next court hearing and, most likely, is hoping for some mercy, divine or otherwise.
For more Murderous Moms, watch full episodes of Investigation Discovery’s Evil Stepmothers, Deadly Women, and more on ID GO.
Main photo: Marci Webber [DuPage County Sheriff’s Office]