A Mother’s Very, Very Worst Nightmare


A parent’s worst nightmare is the death of their child. What happened to Marci Webber is worse. Marci experienced a paranoid psychotic episode brought on by psychiatric medication. She emerged from the psychotic episode to learn that she had killed her four year old daughter Maggie, whom she loved and cherished, and had tried to kill herself.

Now confined indefinitely at a state hospital for those found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity, Marci wants to warn the public about the dangers of psychiatric medications and seeks justice for herself and her family. She has asked me to share her story.

Marci was a struggling 43 year old single mother of three girls when the tragedy occurred. She was living in upstate NY and was on medical leave from Albany Law School where she was pursuing joint masters of social work/J.D. Juris doctorate of law degrees. She is an honorably discharged Army veteran and has been a volunteer for many nonprofits benefitting children in her community.

Marci had been under a great deal of stress for many years. To help her deal with the stress, Marci’s doctors prescribed an ever-increasing array of psychiatric drugs which included two antidepressants (Wellbutrin 300mg and Zoloft 200mg), an antipsychotic (Seroquel 100mg) for sleep and another sleep medication (Ambien 10mg), as well as a blood pressure medication (Metoprolol 100mg) for calming. Although Marci didn’t realize it at the time, this untested combination of drugs was actually exacerbating, not decreasing, her stress and anxiety, and causing cognitive and memory problems along with unexplained physical symptoms.

In September of 2010, Marci took Maggie to visit her mother and eldest daughter Mallory in Illinois. Her primary care physician, who was prescribing her psychiatric medication, had not seen her since January, 2010 but continued to renew Marci’s prescriptions. She failed to renew Marci’s Zoloft 200mg prescription, however, which had been last filled for a 30 day supply on July 27.

Marci returned briefly to New York and then went back to Illinois. By the time Marci returned to Illinois, her mother and 18 year old daughter Mallory noticed that Marci was not herself. She was nervous and worried that people were after her. Marci also had flu-like symptoms of aches and pains, fatigue, sweating and cramping. Her family members were concerned because they didn’t understand what was happening, but they were not alarmed because Marci had never been dangerous. In fact, Marci was experiencing symptoms of psychiatric medication withdrawal, which can cause flu-like symptoms as well as paranoia, psychosis, akathisia  (a movement disorder characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion), suicidal and homicidal behaviors. No one had warned her or her family members that this could happen.

Sometime just before Halloween, Marci discovered she had some Zoloft and started taking it again. Restarting an SSRI antidepressant after withdrawal can be as dangerous as abruptly stopping it, with all of the same symptoms.

At this point, Marci was going in and out of psychosis and was very confused. She believed she had left all her medications at home and tried to get her prescriptions filled at the Walmart in Illinois. She was told that they were unable to fill the prescriptions due to a New York law that prevented her doctor from calling in or faxing the prescriptions. Her primary care doctor said she should wait for the prescriptions to be mailed to her. No one warned Marci about the dangers of abrupt withdrawal. No one assessed her mental state or asked if she had withdrawal symptoms or advised her to go to a hospital.

Marci returned to her mother’s home and became more paranoid and delusional. She believed that an Illuminati internet sex ring was going to kidnap Maggie and sell her into sexual slavery then kill her during a satanic ritual, sending Maggie’s soul to hell for eternity. In this irrational, confused, psychotic state she killed her daughter to save her from this fate and then tried to kill herself. Her daughter Mallory found her dead sister and her wounded mother and called 911.

Marci and Maggie Webber
Marci and Maggie Webber

Shortly after the homicide, I was contacted by detectives investigating the case. I was Marci’s former psychotherapist. I had not treated Marci for two years but I was still occasionally in touch with her. When I heard what had happened, I immediately informed the detectives that I suspected that the homicide and suicide attempt were related to psychiatric drugs. At that point I had known Marci intimately for 8 years and had known her to be a concerned and loving parent to her children. Marci had never been violent or psychotic before. It is extremely unusual for a person to have a first psychotic episode at such a late age, and when it happens it is usually due to a physical cause.

I also immediately contacted the public defender assigned to Marci’s case and informed him of my suspicions. I sent him articles and books and the names of psychiatrists (including Dr. Peter Breggin and Dr. Joseph Glenmullen) who were knowledgeable about psychiatric drug-induced homicide and suicide. The public defender refused to bring up this issue at Marci’s trial and strongly advised Marci and her family not to file a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming it would jeopardize her criminal case.

After spending close to two years in jail, Marci was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a mental hospital for the criminally insane, where she can be confined for up to 100 years. She spent four years confined to Elgin Mental Health Center. Hospital personnel refused to consider even the possibility that the homicide was related to her psychiatric drugs, and showed no signs of ever releasing her. The environment there was hostile and abusive rather than therapeutic. 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. Recently she was transferred to another facility, Chicago Read Mental Health Center, with no explanation for the reasons or plan for her release. The conditions there, though less violent and hostile, continue to be inhumane.

Marci’s terminally ill father and her two surviving daughters need her and want her to be released. She has a job offer in Arizona, where she can be near her father.

We are currently seeking donations for legal representation and independent psychiatric evaluations in order to secure a discharge hearing to get Marci released. We are also seeking an attorney to represent Marci in a malpractice lawsuit against her prescribing physician.

Marci has pledged, upon her release, to speak publicly about her experience in order to educate the public about the dangers of psychiatric drugs so that no one else will have to experience the hell that she has been through. Most victims of the homicidal/suicidal effects of psychiatric drugs do not live to tell the tale. Marci’s story needs to be told.

Secure donations for legal expenses can be made by clicking here: fundly.com

Marci would also welcome letters of support. It’s very difficult for her to keep her spirits up in her current circumstances. You can write to her at: Marci Webber, Chicago Read Mental Health Center, B South, 4200 North Oak Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60634. She can also be reached by phone at (773) 794-4049 or (773) 794-4036, but please note that these phones are for all patients on the unit and may be busy.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. Hi Cindy,

    What a heart-breaking story – difficult to even comment on. I will only say that the long-term confinement by the “hospital” is completely inappropriate to what happened and what caused this incident, and is motivated out of fear and misunderstanding by the public and lawmakers.

    One more thing – the Fundme page might get more donations if it told Marci’s story in some moderate level of detail in the description box. That’s what the most successful campaigns on GoFundMe do. And the donation page might benefit from a photo of Marci’s living daughters, along with a mention of how and why they need their mother, to inspire support. The current description on that page doesn’t really tell you much about why people should donate or what is the problem. I also think GoFundMe is a site which gets more visitors so you might consider doing a campaign there too, or instead of.

    Report comment

  2. Dear Cindy

    This really is a mothers worst nightmare. I have experienced the horror of acute akathesia, and it was the worst experience of my life.

    The Public Defenders behavior does not surprise me. I’ve witnessed the same tendency myself at first hand.

    Fairly recently the Information Commissioner’s Office of the UK in a letter to my MP, expressed confidence in a Historical Irish Record, while at the same time fully aware that this Record contained deliberate supression of Adverse Drug Reaction (as I had already sent them, solid documentary evidence of this).

    The drugs in question had caused Suicidal Reaction and years of disabilty. What had surprised me though, was how blatant the ICOs behavior was.

    I suppose that if it were acknowledged that people could recover from the “major diagnoses”, through not taking their “medication” and moving to the “talking treatments” – then there would be a fairly large Official case to answer.

    I’m sure I’ll get my own record situation resolved one way or the other, it’s just that the Official/Professional behavior I witness while trying to do it, strikes me as criminal.

    Report comment

  3. Hi Cindy,

    Marci’s prescribed drug cocktail has one major drug interaction warning and four moderate drug interaction warnings, according to drugs.com:


    It wasn’t a safe drug cocktail in the first place. And as a matter of fact, the medical community should never be prescribing multiple antidepressants or antipsychotics because the medical community was taught in med school that doing such can create psychosis, via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning.


    Marcii likely was made “mad as a hatter” by the drug cocktail itself, but no doubt it is well known by the medical community that “med adjustments” are a more dangerous time.

    As to Marci’s delusion, “She believed that an Illuminati internet sex ring was going to kidnap Maggie and sell her into sexual slavery then kill her during a satanic ritual, sending Maggie’s soul to hell for eternity.”

    It does seem this particular delusion is now a shared delusion, on the Internet, just last week the number one research query on the internet was #Pizzagate. Pizzagate is about “an Illuminati” ” sex ring” that supposedly kidnaps children and sells them “into sexual slavery then” kills them “during a satanic ritual.” People worldwide are now researching this supposed ‘elite’ Satanic pedophile concern. I don’t personally know if the Wiki leaks that came out just before the Presidential election hinting at this sick, elite pedophile ring has merit or not, but I do know there definitely is a long history of “elite” pedophiles in the US and abroad. And I do know “the dirty little secret of the two original educations” is that the psychiatrists did agree to cover up child up for the religions, and their wealthy donors.

    Plus I know the psychiatric industry likes to drug up mothers who have concerns of the abuse of their children, and they really like to drug up the child abuse victims. Here’s medical proof: “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).”

    Tell Marci that she’s not alone in her “delusions,” many are now researching this. But of course Pizzagate is being declared “fake news” by the mainstream media, that predicted with near 100% certainty that Hillary would win the election.

    Report comment

    • Correction, “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions” is that the psychiatrists and psychologists have historically been covering up child abuse for the religions, and their wealthy donors, for decades. They have also been covering up easily recognized iatrogenesis for the incompetent doctors for decades, too.

      Report comment

    • I know there are a lot of people on this website who were abused as a child, and one way or another this resulted in psychiatric drugging. I would recommend looking into the #Pizzagate youtube videos and commenting by pointing out that the psychiatrists are drugging child abuse victims in huge numbers, since this is illegal behavior, and the psychiatric industry should be known for who they actually are.

      Report comment

  4. If you Google in Zoloft and “suicide” you get page after page of information on this subject, yet this connection is hardly mentioned when someone Acts Out on this drug. It seems like people are officially asleep.

    When someone acts out in the community and it appears in the media – the emphasis is often on “Mental illness”. Yet on closer inspection it can be seen that the person is usually part of the “broader community” – and on a drug like “Zoloft”.

    The features generally Attached to these tragedies is that they are “Out of Character” and “Dramatic”. And the consumer has just: Stopped Medication; Started Medication; or had a change to Medication.

    Report comment

    • Icagee,

      Thank you for your suggestion. Dr. Breggin is aware of Marci’s case. I met Dr. Breggin in the course of my research for a book I am writing and I spoke with him about Marci. He is expensive and to have him testify we would need to have a lawyer willing and able to take on the case, which we do not yet have.


      Report comment

  5. Dear Cindy. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I was very touched by what I read and simultaneously appalled at what has happened to Marci. I reached out to Marci yesterday, and we had a very good conversation. She wanted me to let you know that the “4036” phone number you noted in the article is not working. She is using a “4049” number. However, I should point out that there are problems with that line (our call was constantly dropped and when I called it the ringer wasn’t working). I was able to let Marci know that I wanted to speak with her by calling the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center’s main number “4000” and leaving a message with a nurse at the nurses station. Marci was then able to call me using her calling card. I have also written to Christy Gutowski of the Chicago Tribune. I implored her to do whatever she can to assist with Marci’s release, and I also provided her with a link to your article. I believe it would be very helpful if your readers also wrote to Christy. I will also be writing to Equip for Equality. Thank you for being such a strong advocate for Marci.

    Report comment

  6. and I’m also writing to Head doctor of Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, Dr. James Corcoran, as my understanding from Marci is that he has concluded and noted in her chart that her psychotic episode was indeed due to the use of medication.

    Report comment

      • Hi Cindy. It was my pleasure to speak to Marci. I think she tried to call me last night but when I picked up there wasn’t anyone on the other end – call was dropped. The last she and I spoke she wanted my mailing address so that she could write me, but the call dropped (or she ran out of minutes). Do you have a private email address I may send my address info to? I’m wondering if you’d be able to pass it onto her on my behalf. Every time I call the facility I keep receiving an automated “no one can take your call”, so I’ve been unable to reach her since then. Also, I’ve been searching for an email address for Dr. Corcoran, but to no avail. I’m prepared to call him directly, but I can’t even get through to the facility. I was going to email him instead. Do you happen to have an email address for him or his department? Thanks. p.s. Is there any way to bring Marci’s story to the limelight via a national news show? Something more than just the Illinois area?

        Report comment

        • You can email me at [email protected]. Dr. Corcoran’s direct phone number at Chicago Read is 773-794-4111. I have left him several voicemail messages and he has not responded. I don’t have an email address. I just sent him a letter. Other letters would be helpful. They can be sent to the address above for Chicago Read. I did pitch Marci’s story in person to a producer for 20/20 at a media event I attended to promote my book. He seemed interested but when I followed up by email as requested twice there was no response. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on all this so it would be great if others were helping.

          Report comment

  7. It would be really helpful to have a law firm that was dedicated to cases like this. And ready to take them on. Staffed by at least 5 lawyers and 5 paralegals. With easy access to “experts.” Willing to travel. Funded with donations or federal funds so that those who are in jail dont need to come up with exorbitant retainers or go bankrupt defending themselves. Access to law clerks. Its really a human rights issue. Considering the billions these drugs bring in, billions that help fund pro pharmacy legal teams, there needs to be a level playing field in the courts. We are talking legalized poisoning resulting in death. If a philanthropist can donate 10 billion to vaccine research, 5 million to fund such a legal team is not unreasonable. Without such a resource, where does an innocent person go for help? An involuntary intoxication defense must be raised when it is reasonable to raise it, and if the public defenders don’t understand this, there must be another option.

    Report comment

  8. The injustice and irrationality of the “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” (“NGRI”) defense is manifest, as is the brutal nature of involuntary (forced) psychiatric “treatment”, in this case.

    However, it’s worth understanding that Marci’s release cannot be accomplished by trying to re-litigate the original criminal trial. She will need to convince her captors that they want to let her go now, and that this will be less problematic than keeping her. One way to do this is to demonstrate to them (the clinicians on her state “treatment team”) as consistently and as convincingly as possible that she is no longer mentally ill and dangerous. If they are unanimous before the court, saying they’ve cured her and believing they deserve credit, the court will rule for release. A second way to accomplish the same thing is to create so much trouble (bad press, civil lawsuits, etc.) that the system finds a way to get rid of her out of self defense.

    These two strategies appear to contradict each other most of the time. Unfortunately, that tends to add years to the commitment. However there is no magic solution. The public and the law do not consider that a child homicide just happens by mistake, and they are reluctant to blame modern medicine or litigate against the massive wealth of pharmaceutical firms; they want to convict some individual of murder, and they normally target the person with the knife in her hand.

    Marci was railroaded to the NGRI verdict, but at the time the public defender probably believed he was doing her a favor. Marci deserves huge credit for knowing better than to buy the orthodox psychiatric view of her situation. She got herself off all “medications” with no help from anyone. She deserves justice. Her captors deserve to be exposed for their corruption, tarred and feathered and ridden out of history on a rail.

    It may not be a short road, but Marci is as tough as they come, and she’ll make it to the end. We all will owe her for it when she wins.

    Report comment

  9. When I become psychotic I believe my two children, a girl aged 15, and a boy aged 10, are the sex-slaves of the Illuminati. I have visions of them being raped, which I believe the children are sending me telepathically. When I suffer from these delusions, I do everything I can to rescue my children including attempting to kidnap them (they live with their father), contacting authorities, and sending emails to everyone I know asking for help. I have had 8 episodes in the last six years – the last one 12 months ago.
    I am amazed that someone else has had similar delusions and feel incredibly grateful that I never took the drastic action to protect them that Marci did.
    Thanks to a very understanding and compassionate ex-husband, I continue to have regular quality access to my children.

    Report comment

  10. Thank-you, Cindy, and *HELLO*, Marci! I concur. The murder was caused by IATROGENIC NEUROLEPSIS. Marci trusted the Docs., and believed that the DRUGS would help her. She had no idea the harm they would cause. She was not told. She was NOT “fully informed”, therefore, she was not able to make a fully rational decision. You’re correct. Her PubDef deliberately dropped the ball. The “NGRI” is an effective life sentence. She’d have done better going to trial in front of a jury, under a criminal charge. I’d really like to see what “Dr. Gibbs” has to say about this case. Yeehaw. Polypharmacy KILLS AGAIN….
    Marci, I’m sorry all this happened. My experiences, 25+ years ago now, mirror and echo yours….Fortunately, I didn’t kill my kid, but it was close. I’m glad your story is here on MiA. You do have some hope. Maggie forgives you. That’s what I choose to believe, anyway….

    Report comment

  11. Dear all. Marci contacted me this evening and as we ended our conversation she asked if I would extend her heartfelt gratitude for all of the support. Marci does not have internet or email access, so she was unaware of all the words of encouragement she has been receiving. She also wanted me to express that she is very appreciative we have all taken time out of our day to write supportive, kind words as opposed to all the cyber bullying and harsh, unkind words some people unleash over the internet.

    Report comment

  12. Marci currently has an urgent need for more donations so that she can pay for an independent psychological evaluation. After the facility holding her submitted a positive court report in December stating she currently has no active psychological diagnoses and was not a danger to herself or others, she was assigned a new psychiatrist who is charting lies about her mental status and behavior. The psychiatrist is saying that Marci has delusions of persecution, grandiose ideas and tangential thinking and that she provokes other patients. An independent evaluation at this time would help her to counteract these claims and continue to progress towards release. If you can help out in any amount, please make a donation here: https://fundly.com/marci-webber-legal-fund, Thank you so much for whatever you can do.

    Report comment

  13. Dear Cindy, what a heart breaking story. Unfortunately I’ve read many exactly like Cindy’s. Without boring anyone with details I will say I too, was very close to wearing your shoes. After two years of being prescribed heavy doses of tricycylics and MOA’s I became very despondent, severely depressed and suicidal. So Dr’s increased the doses. I couldn’t get out of bed, working my full time job was extremely difficult, taking care of my toddlers impossible. I spent every waking moment in bed, neglecting my beloved children, wishing I were dead. Couldn’t remember the last time I smiled, or laughed. Always sad, always lethargic, no hope for my future. All I wanted was what every one else had: to smile, be happy, have hope, a future. But I saw none of it. I was too heavily medicated. So I decided to take LSD so I could laugh again. It made me laugh back in the 70’s. I took one, two, my depression and sadness only intensified. So I took more until I’d taken 10 hits of LSD. As the psychosis set in I knew I wanted to die – I had to. But I couldn’t leave my children behind. I loved them with all my heart. So I lined them up with a gun in my hand. I searched and searched for my room-mates bullets and couldn’t find them. I searched some more. I turned his bedroom upside down searching. In my delusional, psychotic mind I was doing absolutely nothing wrong. I felt a burden to my family, to society believing If I were dead I was actually doing society a favor. Somewhere in time, my sister came over to find this insane situation. I was taken to the local hospital, then transferred to the Kalamazoo State Hospital for almost a year. My children permanently removed. My ever changing psychiatric medications abruptly stopped, changed, or increased for the next 30 years. Because I’ve been in your shoes, so to speak, all I have for you is compassion, tears, and heartbreak for your situation. I will support you any way I can. No one ever understood why I did what I did. They were too busy praising my addicting, dangerous, deadly psychiatric drugs. And they never will. Stay strong. Smile if you can, have hope. And never give up. I understand why you did what you did. And I cry as I write this because I am a mother too. You will only get support, compassion, and understanding from this ex-psychiatric patient.

    Report comment