Jeanette Sliwinski, 23, the bi-polar, alcoholic, suicidal, stripper, model, and overall nutcase, attempted to commit suicide by ramming her 2000 Ford Mustang into another car at 87 m.p.h back in 2005. The car she hit contained three friends on a lunch break waiting at a red light. Michael Dahlquist, 39, John Glick, 35, and Douglas Meis, 29, and were all killed on impact. Sliwinski decided to not break from her normal pattern of failure and did not kill herself as intended, but rather broke her ankle.
The trial has been underway, Sliwinski facing first-degree murder charges and possible life in prison. She has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder by reason of insanity and today, the defense presented a pyscologists, Dr. Orest Wasyliw, who tesitified that (surprise, surprise) Sliwinski truly was insane and could not understand the criminality of her actions. Luckily, under cross-examination, he also acknowledged that none of the doctors who saw Sliwinski before the crash diagnosed any problem more severe than depression and possibly alcoholism.
But the defense has five psychiatric experts lined up stating that Sliwinski was insane at the time of the crash. However, intent is not needed for murder. John Decker, a professor at DePaul University College of Law states “You really don’t need intent, in the narrow sense, for murder,” Decker said. “As long as the person has knowledge that there is a substantial probability that their conduct could bring about a death, that constitutes murder.”
Update: She got 8 years for killing three people
Cook County Circuit Judge Garritt Howard, who found Sliwinski guilty but mentally ill on reckless homicide charges Oct. 26, imposed an 8-year prison sentence. Sliwinski will only have to serve four years in prison if she stays out of trouble as she has for more than two years at Cook County Jail while awaiting trial.
Looks as if the “pretty-but-crazy” defense worked like a charm.