I COULDN'T MAKE SHIT UP LIKE THIS
What's that grinding sound? It's us coming to a halt.
From an Indiana online paper:
MUNSTER -- After police used a battering ram to break down the door of a duplex Friday, they were greeted by a horrific sight: Margaret Jansky's decapitated body lying in the kitchen, wrapped in plastic and covered with blankets.
Her severed head had been wrapped in a plastic bag and put behind a garbage can in the kitchen.
Jansky, 81, had apparently been dead a week. Her legally blind daughter, Margaret Church, allegedly confessed to police that she stuck a pitchfork through her mother's neck Feb. 13 before using a pair of knives to cut her head off.
Church, 54, of 8129 Highland Place, was charged Monday with murder. She is being held without bond in Lake County Jail.
Detective Joe Rodriguez said in court documents that Church lived with the body for a week before police, acting on an anonymous tip, came to the duplex last Friday.
Munster Police Chief Nick Panich said police are trying to trace the tip, which came from a pay phone at the Strack & Van Til grocery store at 12 Ridge Road, Munster, about 9:50 a.m. Friday, asking that police check on Jansky's welfare.
The tipster said Church was "talking that she killed her mother," Rodriguez said.
Police went to the home and were shooed away by Church, who told them if they wanted to come in they needed a warrant. When officers Joseph Newton and Byron Oberc told Church they were there to check on her mother, Church allegedly replied, "The queen is sleeping and she will be sleeping for a long time."
Acting on an order from a superior officer, Newton and Oberc used a pry bar and battering ram to get into the house, at which time they were invited in by Church, who "blurted out that her mother's body was in the kitchen and her mother's head was behind the garbage can," according to the murder charge filed by Detective Joe Rodriguez.
Panich sighed when asked about the motive. "I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that," he said. "I'm not aware of any motive."
Jansky had lived in Munster for some time, at one time living in a condominium on Harrison Avenue and at another in an older home on Calumet Avenue that was bought by St. Thomas More church and torn down for additional parking.
Church, who was divorced, lived with her mother in an "on-again, off-again" relationship, said Detective Division Cmdr. Sgt. Ed Strbjak. Her son is in the U.S. Air Force in Ramstein, Germany, Strbjak said, and has been notified.
Police were no strangers to the Highland Place duplex. They had last been called to the home Feb. 13, the date Church allegedly said she killed her mother. That visit was also the result of a tip from someone who said they had spoken with Church and she seemed irrational and was possibly "off her medication."
Three officers responded and rang the doorbell but got no response. Upon seeing a person inside shut the back door, the officers concluded the person was ambulatory and left.
It is not known whether Jansky was alive when police arrived to check on Church.
Police also report being called to the duplex Jan. 8 and again Jan. 23 to help Superior Ambulance crews with Jansky, who had apparently fallen off a portable commode. On the last date, she was lying on the floor near a pile of feces while downstairs was Church, who "appeared to be intoxicated" according to the report, with "multiple empty liquor bottles surrounding her."
On Jan. 24, Munster police notified the Adult Protective Services unit of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration of the "possible elder abuse." No one from the FSSA in Indianapolis, where the notification was sent, was available Monday to say whether there had been a follow-up.
Strbjak said his department received no notification whether the administration was going to follow up, but said he did not find this unusual. "It goes into their hands and we can't answer that," he said. "Obviously, we looked into it and it doesn't fall into my division. She (Church) had not been beaten up, there was no malnutrition. My understanding is that she was not taken care of, not kept clean."
On Feb. 13, something snapped, though.
According to court records, Church told police she went to her mother's bedroom and pulled her from the bed, then when her mother was on her back, put a pitchfork on her throat and stepped on it as her mother asked, "Why are you doing this?"
Church said she was trying to decapitate her mother with the pitchfork but could not do it, so she got two kitchen knives and completed the job. She took the body downstairs to the kitchen, then wrapped the head in a bag and took that to the kitchen as well, placing it behind the garbage can.
She told police she wrapped the kitchen knives in aluminum foil, then put them in a garbage can in an unattached garage behind the duplex. Police obtained a search warrant for the garage and found the knives in the foil, Rodriguez said.
The pitchfork was found in the living room, leaning against a chair.
Police had also been called to the house March 21, 1999, after Jansky called to tell them Church had apparently tried to commit suicide. Church was found on the kitchen floor, fading in and out of consciousness, and was taken to The Community Hospital.
Although Rodriguez's report said a dog had been poisoned at the time of the suicide, the original police report said the dog was turned over to animal control for safekeeping.