In 2010, Marci Webber was a 43-year-old single mom of three and a law student. She had been prescribed an increasing array of psychiatric medications to deal with stress. The prescribing physician continued to prescribe without proper medical monitoring and neglected to renew Marci’s Zoloft prescription. Marci experienced a medication-induced psychotic episode. Under the delusion that her four-year-old daughter Maggie was about to meet a terrible fate, she killed her to “save her” and then tried unsuccessfully to kill herself. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and committed to a state mental institution in the state of Illinois for up to 99 years.
Marci’s story was previously published on Mad in America on December 10, 2016 (“A Mother’s Very, Very Worst Nightmare”) and updated on February 21, 2018 (“A Mother’s Worst Nightmare Continues”).
During her confinement, Marci has regularly tangled with facility staff. Marci has been very outspoken about the real cause of her crime. She refuses to agree with staff that she is mentally ill. In response, staff confiscated all of Marci’s personal property over a year ago and refuse to return it. Staff intentionally sleep deprive her, deny her exercise, fresh air, snacks, visitors and anything else that would make her life tolerable. They withhold her mail and subject her to frequent room searches and body cavity searches. Worst of all, they lie about her behavior and mental status to the court in an effort to keep her locked up indefinitely.
According to the law, when an NGRI patient is no longer mentally ill and dangerous, they are supposed to be released. Marci has refused any psychiatric medication for over five years and has not shown any signs of psychosis or dangerousness. We now have a psychiatrist and two psychologists from outside the facility who have independently evaluated Marci and found no evidence of mental illness.
I can also vouch for Marci’s sanity. I treated Marci from 2002-2008 for stress when she was going through a long divorce and custody battle. I have been in touch with Marci by phone several times a week since her arrest. I have never detected any evidence of psychosis or any other serious mental illness.
Marci petitioned for discharge and has a discharge hearing scheduled for May 7-9, 2019. It is critical that we convince the judge that Marci should be discharged. Marci is finding it increasingly difficult to tolerate her life under the present circumstances. The burden of proof is high and the facility and the state of Illinois are opposing her release.
We believe we need one more psychiatrist to evaluate Marci and testify for her but we are out of funds. We are also short of funds to pay for the mental health providers currently scheduled to testify. I have set up a legal defense fund for her.
Marci also welcomes your prayers and emotional support. It is a very difficult time for her. You can reach out to her by mail at Elgin Mental Health Center, 750 S. State St. Elgin, IL 60123. She does not have access to email or the internet. You can also call her at (847) 429-5748. She is usually limited to phone calls of only a few minutes.
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.
My heart goes out to Marci, because I know the psych drugs, and psych drug withdrawal, can make one “psychotic,” via anticholinergic toxidrome and a drug withdrawal induced ‘super sensitivity manic psychosis.’ Been there, done that. Thankfully I was never made terribly violent.
I also have empathy for her since I had a, now FBI convicted, doctor who wanted to medically unnecessarily put me into Elgin Mental Health Center for life, to cover up his, and his psychiatric “snowing” partner-in-crime’s, greed inspired crimes.
I’ve heard that Elgin Mental Health Center is horrendous. Thankfully, my private insurance refused to pay for a lifetime of unneeded psychiatric care, to cover up my criminal doctors’ crimes. But I do agree, IL psychiatrists are a bunch of scientific fraud based criminals.
Please send my best to her, and I’ll say a prayer for her.
The more I read about the Truth about psychiatry, the angrier I get. I can not bring myself to read the link about your FBI convicted one and what he tried to do to you. I am not much of a writer, so i dont know what words to use but I am beyond glad that this did not happen to you. And I want to give you support and thank you for your writing on MIA. You guys are about the only support I have while escaping. I hope you have been able to rebuild a wonderful life for yourself after this criminal operating as a Medical doctor harmed you.
Wow, thank you so much, Lcostanzo, that’s so kind of you. Don’t dismiss your ability to express your feelings in written words, what you said touched me deeply. Thank you. I’ll say a prayer for you as you are escaping.
But also say never underestimate the crimes the psychiatrists will commit to keep people within their satanic psychiatric system. For all I know, the psychiatric “snowing” partner-in-crime of that FBI convicted doctor may still be illegally listing me as her “out-patient” at some hospital, in a state in which I no longer even live. Some of the psychiatrists are crazy criminals, hell bent on covering up their crimes against their unwitting clients.
Since you are on this website, you probably already know that withdrawal from the psych drugs can create symptoms that mimic the DSM disorders. The doctors do claim ignorance of this, and will misdiagnose these withdrawal symptoms as “a return of the illness.” I hope you have a good support system, who is aware of this reality.
And since you were made psychotic by the drugs, you likely suffered from anticholinergic toxidrome, not any of the “invalid” DSM disorders. Since both the antidepressants and antipsychotics do create “psychosis,” via this known form of medical poisoning.
The doctors get really embarrassed when you point this out to them, but they can’t disagree, and the ethical ones will even call you a “one in a million” medical researcher. That’s just an FYI, in case you run into issues during your withdrawal journey. God bless, have faith and hope, you can heal.
Thank you Cindy for truly caring about Marci. I am a psych survivor who has been made psychotic from drugs marketed as Medicine. It is easter sunday and I just called to talk and support Marci. Get this… She is on Phone Restriction until Monday and I was only able to leave her a supportive message.
Good job Eldrig Mental health center in helping some ones “mental health” by not letting them take a supportive phone call on Easter Sunday. Criminals themselves!!!
Yes, Elgin MHC restricted Marci’s phone calls over the weekend. I don’t know why but I suspect they will find some excuse to continue doing it. Another patient tried to call me to give me some messages from Marci and when staff realized who she was talking to they hung up the phone on her. I suspect they also have her on phone restriction now. This is a violation of Marci’s constitutional rights and a violation of the Illinois mental health code. They do not want Marci getting the word out about what happened to her. They apparently will do almost anything to stop her. They are even interfering with her ability to communicate with her attorney.
I can not imagine the level of pain and anger Marci must have. I just read that you are in Delmar NY. I am 30 min from there in Kinderhook, NY. I just spent my entire savings and all of my available credit protecting my parental rights bc I was unjustly “hospitalized”. I dont have any money left to donate. I dont know if 20 dollars will do anything. I would love to help by volunteering my time. If you can think of ANYTHING I can do that could help please let me know. I can easily come to Delmar. Also, it is so refreshing to know there is someone in Albany NY who knows what you know. My entire iatrogenic bipolar 32 year nightmare (but less than Marcis) took place in and around Albany, NY. Also, if i can stop crying and control my anger over just finding out this pysch fraud, I will be going back to work soon and then make a donation for sure.
Although I believe from long personal knowledge and involvement in Marci’s case that Cindy’s version is true and accurate, the only thing this article leaves out is this:
Marci has proven beyond much doubt that she is unwilling or unable to get other people on her side. She can’t or won’t stop fighting everyone… long enough to change their minds. Perhaps this is what keeps her alive. But on the other hand, perhaps she owes society and her peers a better effort, given the crime for which she was found NGRI.
I hope very much that she will win her current petition for conditional release, but regretfully, I doubt that she will.
Let’s get one thing clear, s_randolph:
Marci did not murder her daughter; the drugs that made Marci “psychotic” and twisted her thinking so much that she felt killing her was the only way to protect her are what murdered that child.
“Debt to society”? Really? If anyone in this scenario owes a “debt to society,” it is the prescribers whose poisons murdered this child. Place the blame where it belongs.
Thank you lavendersage for clearly explaining that.
Hey LS, did you make that new email address yet? Hoping we’ll hear from you soon. 🙂 (also, I tried out tutanota email and really like it – OH said he’d pass my tutanota address along when you’re reconnected)
Also, LS, the debt owed is by the heads of the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the poisons she was ingesting. The prescriber could claim no knowledge of the harms of antidepressants but the manufacturer knows and sells it anyway, at a massive profit. I’ve always assumed you have to sell your soul to work for pharma.
You are right KS, about the pharma companies, of course. But I do not let prescribers off the hook They are wielding a very dangerous tool, and there is no excuse, imho, for not feeling the gravity of the responsibility that ought to come with. I remember as a teen, when all my friends were getting their license I had already bought myself a car but I put off driving because I felt the weighty responsibility of wielding that machine– I could kill someone with it. Drugs should be considered with that much gravity, but are handed out like candy. So, no, I expect more from the people who seek that level of power/responsibility.
You performed a valuable service to Marci by intervening in her case so that she could exercise her constitutional right to refuse psychiatric medication. However, you may not have the full picture of what Marci is going through. Even when Marci tries to cooperate, facility staff make up new rules they say she is violating and use those “violations” to deprive her not only of so-called privileges but also of her constitutional rights. They have done everything possible to try to get her to mentally deteriorate so that she becomes insane. Fortunately, it has not worked.
I don’t believe for one second that Marci is fighting everyone, and unable to get people on her side. Then there would be no one on her side, which clearly isn’t the case at all.
Further more, if she is incredibly stressed out, and anyone that knows the truth has no problem seeing why, telling her or stating that she’s fighting everyone when she’s simply not compromising the truth, what is this going to serve? She of course gets anyone that keeps filling in the blank in their life with not wanting to see the truth up in arms in an arena where they are free to interpret just about anything she does that’s not to their model of compliance as some symptom of who knows what.
She can’t say that anti-depressant withdrawal IS a chemical imbalance that causes mental illness, I would imagine, let alone that it leaves someone open for what a lack society has for giving guidance, which we see here again. Putting forth drastic measures that there is something wrong with her when she simply tells the truth is the same kind of matrix that makes someone look for drastic measures, such as what the anti-depressant withdrawal left her open for. And she’s just trying to reason with them. Maybe would she realize that they are more confused (or not open enough to experience confusion for what it is) than she ever was having withdrawal symptoms, and that it’s perhaps futile to reason with them, or to respond more gently by not responding or just listening without having to disagree.
They of course think that would she get out she’d do who knows what, if she doesn’t agree that she’s mentally ill (which she has clearly stated as to what the cause was, and prevented it from re-curring). But then mental illness isn’t acknowledged as brain washing, because then the majority of the system would have to acknowledge that they are, which is what she’s confronting them with. But those people are showing the same kind of desperation she found to be so confusing, misleading and destructive. Maybe if she considered what kind of thoughts, or logic about how one deals with danger, what kind of thoughts in that area lead her to think that there was something so drastic that her daughter needed to be killed to avoid that; if she could access what logic in her mind was open to such corruption, rather than it was just the anti-depressants, than she might be able to respond in a different way to others who are more confused. And she might find that when she thought there was no other outlet than to get that desperate, that there was (even when on anti-depressants) another way of looking at it, when a person believes in things others say are impossible. And I’m not condoning anti-depressants.
I hope this helps.
I recently watched a documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsburg… A very powerful message i learned from her was anger when dealing with others is so so self defeating. Myself having been tortured in these “hospitals” mentally disabled by the drugs told i am wrong by everyone about the drugs etc etc. I am free today with a beautiful healthy son, a car that takes me any where i want to go when ever I want a phone shower food whenever i want it… I can barely control my anger.
Obviously getting the peolpe who are violating you on your side may stop them from violating you. I could not agree more. I know from experience the only way to get out is do everything they say. But if I did not have my son to go home to I would not give into their demands.
Futhermore, it seems Cindy who wrote this article is on Marcis side. So maybe people she is fighting with who are probably in a much better living situation than her could possibly try with a little more or even a lot more empathy.
Also, i dont think Marci owes a society that allows and accepts legally harming peolpe like herself and her children with “medicine” anything. I know I am still very very bitter about psychiatry and I am working really really hard on myself to see the good in the human race. But for now I just want to add possibly reasons why Marci is doing what she is.
I don’t blame you for your anger, that’s for sure!
There is still good in individuals. The human ‘race’ is a pox upon this Earth. Don’t confuse the macro with the micro lest you despair that there is no good to be found at all.
Thank you. That approach does help.
No one should mess with psychological reality.
James Hillman, “Re- Visioning psychology.”
Cindy, please get in touch with me at [email protected]. I don’t have time to read the comments right now but I hope you see this. Or get in touch with me via my blog, juliemadblogger.com.
It is a small comfort knowing that the doctor who tried to have me put away in 2011 after I was deprived of water (coverup, and to keep me quiet, of course) has now been convicted of sexually abusing a patient. I am sorry for the patient as it must have been horrible, but I am very happy he was nailed. A lot of my ex-shrinks are ending up getting into trouble, interestingly.
If you are able to donate to help Marci, you can do so here: https://fundly.com/marci-webber-legal-fund. Thank you!
Thank you for the donation link. It was heartbreaking to see the old message there from Matt Stevenson. His generosity of heart speaks still from beyond the grave.
My best wishes to Marci. I certainly understand her anger, and unwillingness to play her captor’s game after being poisoned and losing the most precious thing in her world. The cruelty of this world is just unfathomable at times.
Thank you so much for your donation. I was also very sad to read about Matt Stevenson. A great loss for all of us.
Done. Hope it helps.
Absolutely heartbreaking and far too prevalent.
This is what people need to hear- and understand.
Its a shame The New Yorker didn’t write this story instead.
Hi Cindi, thanks for writing this. Marci’s story is hard for me on several levels. So I will try to support in a way that is safe for me.
I would suggest trying to find a MH professional who is very well acquintated with Selma Frauberg’s University of Michigan parenting work with mothers. Old but I know in the 1980’s there was an effort to get a directory by U of M with all the programs using her work. For those who don’t know she figured out parents engage with children via their own trauma and then problems happen so trauma based. Not sure if in this day and age any exist but having that background and then having a background that acknowledges the negative side effects that would cause an altered state in a mother – I wish there could be that professional. That perspective is key. In the program I worked in- meds were rarely used. She needs a professional that knows both inside and out.
As a former person in system I would suggest Marci pick her battles with the unit staff. They carry the keys. And no matter how one feels about them and how they act they still carry the keys.
It sounds like she has fallen into a viscous battle and there ain’t no way she is going to win by keeping up the fight.
Been there, done that.
Make the staff your friend. Give complements. And it ain’t easy and phew but it seems to be the only way out of her problem.
One almost has to think of it as a strategy in and of itself. She can think whatever she wants in her head but keep it in her head.
Folks in internment camps, concentration camps, prisons, all created coping strategies for living without any power and control.
It can be done.
My best guess is that she is a trigger for staff. Any parent has stories of almost sand what ifs and then knowing what I know or guess about staff they might be on the same chemicals she was on and wow internal emotional conflict.
Another legal strategy is maybe civil right or something in that if staff is compromised how can they fairly treat a patient? Just a thought.
Please let her know she is not alone and has support.
I support Marci for many reasons. One is that I, too, was abused in a hospital. Many do not realize that when you are going through ongoing abuse over a long period of time, the stress is unbelievable and it’s very hard not to seem agitated. The more the staff provokes a patient, the more upset the patient is going to get, and that, of course, is further fuel to claim the patient is nuts…and this prompts worsening of the abuse.
It takes an outsider, someone honest who sees the bigger picture, to recognize that any presentation of agitation in the patient is environmentally caused.
As example in my own experience, when I was being abused at Mount Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge, MA, when I had kidney failure, I did end up having outsiders come to “evaluate” me. The intention of the Mount Auburn doctors was that the outsiders would deem me crazy enough to be transferred to a psych hospital. That’s not what happened.
I was visited by these outside evaluators twice. The first time, the person walked into my room and said, “My god, the noise level is so bad here that it’s a human rights issue.” She was talking about the constant blaring of loudspeaker and patient call bells. Bingo! It had taken until then before anyone heard me. This simple and truthful observation started us off on the right foot. I explained how the staff had pushed me by verbal abuse to the point where I totally broke. I explained that when you have no potassium in your body, you might not exactly make much sense, which was the reason I was totally incoherent upon arrival (I was on the verge of “coding”). The outside person understood that I had been falsely accused by the hospital doctors of dangerousness. They stopped the sitters after this, allowed me to keep my door shut to shut out the noise (the nurses were furious about this!) and then, they were forced to let me out of there.
This is the kind of objective observer that Marci needs. She needs someone to realize that disliking cruelty isn’t a mental disorder, in fact, it is a sign of sanity.
I talked to Marci for a big 3 min. In that 3 min she asked me to post her sincere GRATITUDE for everyone trying to help her. She is so APPRECIATIVE for all of the help you all are doing for her. Oddly, she sounds more stable than I am right now. The first time I called she could not come to the phone and I cried. So I literally had a pt at that hell hole tell me it only stays bad for a short time. The so called pts at this place are more stable then the public me included. But you know what let me rephrase that ( I am just escaping psychiatry) I am very stable, I am horrifically sad about what has happened to Marci, so sad I cry. That sounds better right?
She told me she has been attacked 31 times. We did not have enough time for details, but one time she had a concussion from the beatings.
Marci said cards or letters to her help not only know she is not forgotten but it shows the hospital she has public support.
She also said she is seeking one more EXPERT WITNESS. I am so new at this if an expert witness wanted to help and we dont have money could we offer to pay that wittness on credit. I know people are so concerned about money in this country but if Marci gets out she will pay and I will help pay. Guaranteed we will pay. Also she said if there is media coverage so an expert who is trying to get the word out this could be a opportunity.
So again, Marcis message to all who are helping…sincere GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION.
I have just heard AWESOME NEWS on the Breggin show….This great psychiatrist who has had a turnaround because she realized the truth about her own profession, from Wisconsin, Gail ___ (I can’t recall her last name and it’s hard to pronounce) is going to testify for Marci. This is very good news indeed. I wish I could call into the show and thank her but it seems that Breggin isn’t taking calls. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Marci. It must be horrible in that “hospital” to have to endure such abuse. I am hoping she is released at last.
What do you think of Breggin now apparently limiting his concern to drugs and shock, while continuing to practice what he calls “psychiatry” and advocating that psychiatrists “psychotherapy” (rather than denouncing and abandoning the basic contradiction of this being done in the name of “medicine”)? There is no rational justification for an alleged branch of medicine called “psychiatry.”
Thank u for sharing that news. I just got off the phone w Marci and her lawyer of course has not called her back. But i will give her the GREAT news tomorrow when she can have a call for 3 min. Horrifically sad. MIA i know we can all work together and get her out.
Marcis message to all… She still wants to THANK everyone. She also wants society to know that she wants to share her knowledge of how people become dangerous. She would like to use her horrible experience to help this from happenning to others. She feels she has very useful information that can contribute to a safer society. However, she can not use this while locked away and being abused.
I have been talking to Marci pretty regularly. She sounds good and strong right now. No question at all that she is not insane. She is more adjusted to this psychiatric fraud than I am. Marci told me she was attending Law School with a goal of assisting in bettering the Family Court system for families and children. That is her true self. She said her May 7 to 9 hearing went fairly well. Her lawyer and experts established she is not mentally ill/insane. The drugs so marketed as medicine pushed her into an altered state. She wants to use her knowledge and horror story to help others. I find that pretty amazing after what society/people have done to her.
Lcostanzo, I would also like to talk to Marci. When is the best time of day to call?
Hi Julie, Thank you for sharing your story and knowledge it is helping me. Surprisingly, I have had luck reaching Marci alot. Usually from 2pm her time on. I know 730 pm to 8pm is not good but b4 or after that has worked.
I just talked to Marci yesterday. She is not feeling in a good strong place as she was just a couple weeks ago. She asked me to research how much abuse one can take until she breaks. Any letters, inexpensive cards my help her. Phone calls too. Although, she tends to only get 2 min at a time depending on what staff person is lurking.
UPDATE: Please donate to Marci’s legal fund. The courts and “hospital” put her legal team through hoops and they’re making her witnesses come back again. The facility has been lying just to keep her in there. This means more funding is desperately needed!
Here is the legal fund link again:
Every donation counts! If you are unable to donate, please share the link.
I think each of us needs to remember when we, ourselves, were locked up. Freedom for Marci is a victory for all of us, especially for those of us who know what it’s like to be locked up and abused.
Update on Marci’s discharge hearing:
Marci had the first phase of her discharge hearing on May 7-9. I was supposed to testify as an expert witness but the judge denied it on the basis I was “only” a clinicial social worker, not a psychologist or psychiatrist. The time for my testimony was canceled, but the attorney got the judge to let me testify as a character witness for Marci. The next two days our other expert witnesses, two psychologists and a psychiatrist, testified that Marci was not mentally ill or dangerous and should be released. The prosecution is making our expert witnesses come back in a couple of months for cross-examination rather than doing the cross examination while they were here. Two of the experts come from quite a distance and it is a financial hardship on us to have them return, which is why the prosecution is doing it this way. There is another hearing date in mid-June and the final phase of the discharge hearing will be in early July.
The facility staff continue to lie about Marci’s mental state and behavior. I saw an example of this up close. I wanted to visit Marci at the facility because she did not come to court that day and her lawyer also needed to see her. I had not seen Marci for 10 years because she has been in Illinois and I am in New York. We asked the judge for a court order for the visit. The judge was puzzled why we were asking for a court order since we intended to visit during regular visiting hours, but wrote an order when we insisted. I got to the facility before the attorney and showed the security guard my court order. He called up to Marci’s unit and was told they were not going to send her down. I asked if they were really going to defy a court order. The security guard said he’d check into it further. When the attorney arrived I told him what was happening. He threw a fit, threatening to sue them for civil rights violations, tried to call the judge, who was not available, and contacted the facility’s legal liaison. In the meantime, Marci’s psychiatrist had written a “Restriction of Rights” which stated that Marci was too dangerous and out of control to be allowed to leave the unit. After about an hour, they agreed to send her down for the visit. When we walked in to where Marci was waiting, she was calm as could be. She greeted me with a long, warm hug, then sat down and for the next 30 minutes talked calmly with me and her attorney about her case. The whole time we were there a security guard and a state therapy aide were sitting a few feet away watching her because she was supposedly so dangerous. The facility will be lying again when they present their position on Marci’s discharge, saying that she is too mentally ill and dangerous to ever leave the facility.
We are short of funds to finish the case. We have to pay for court transcipts and to bring back the witnesses. In addition, if Marci is released she will need some funds to get her life started again. If you are able to help or know anyone who can, contributions can be made here: https://fundly.com/marci-webber-legal-fund. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated
I know everyone on MIA understands the drug fraud, but for anyone who does not I want to tell them they do not have to understand it. Myself, I have lived it and it is quite unbelievable. We take “medicine” that is suppose to help us but it harms us beyond belief.
So, the only thing people need to understand with Marci is that she was ACQUITTED. Found not guilty by reason of insanity. Now that she is not on “medicine” (legal drugs) that made her insane she is not a threat to anyone. She is very intelligent and caring and has alot to offer our society. How many people have had too many alcohol drinks and you say or do something you normally would not have. It is the same thing magnified by 1000x on psych drugs.
If a person is handed drugs by a pharmacist who is mistaken about what is included, then, if the unsuspecting drug-taker goes and commits a crime, my guess is that the customer would not be held responsible and the pharmacist would have hell to pay.
I believe there have been plenty of cases where a person was not told about the sedating effects of drugs. The doc failed to tell the patient not to drive. When there are consequences, wouldn’t the doc be responsible?
Marci said if people could send POST CARDS or MAIL, it may show she has outside support to these cruel people at the “mental health center”/capture site. If we could show a huge outside support they my give up to the pressure. Just an idea she had. Anything to help this poor lady. I grew up in psych centers and Marci does not belong there what so ever.
Elgin Mental Health Center
750 S State St.
Elgin, IL 60123
FREEDOM: Marci was granted a conditional release on Sept. 18, 2019 or close to that date!!! I know she gets to leave Elgin Torture Center. The Judge that granted the release is mad he was lied to by Elgin Torture Center MD. I said you did it Marci. She said we all did it and THANK everyone. Will update soon.
What incredible news!! Thanks for updating here!
This makes me soooooooooo happy! Bravo! I would love to meet her!