A mother stabbed her severely autistic son several times in the chest then nearly severed his hand slashing his wrist after she and the 14-year-old's godmother became overwhelmed caring for the boy day and night after taking him out of the hospital just weeks ago, police say.
Dorothy Spourdalakis had pleaded for financial help this spring to remove her son Alex from hospitals in Chicago, where she claimed he was neglected and abused. Controversial British autism researcher Andrew Wakefield personally recorded a YouTube request for help last month to find Alex a home and said that he would be taken away from his mother if supporters didn't act.
After Wakefield's appeal, Alex left the hospital and was taken into Spourdalakis' care.
Weeks later, police say, Spourdalakis and his godmother and caretaker Jolanta Agatha Skrodzka could no longer handle round-the-clock care for Alex because they believed the 200-pound teen's 'emotional condition had worsened' since he was removed from the hospital.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Spourdalakis and Skrodzka planned a suicide pact in their cramped apartment above a plumber in River Grove, Illinois.
They first allegedly tried to kill Alex with sleeping pills. When that didn't work, police say, Alex's mother grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed the teenage boy multiple times in the chest as he lay in bed, according to authorities. She then allegedly slashed the boy's wrist, nearly cutting off his hand.
Once Alex was dead, she handed the knife to Skrodzka, who used it to kill the family cat. A suicide note said the women killed the cat because they did not want it to go to a shelter.
The pair wiped off the knife and returned it to the butcher's block in the kitchen. The detailed their actions in a suicide note, according to authorities.
They then took sleeping pills with the intention of killing themselves and laid down in Alex's bedroom and locked the door, according to authorities.
The boy's father, who is separated from Spourdalakis, found Alex dead and the two women barely conscious after he went to the apartment when no one answered his repeated phone calls.
Spourdalakis, 50, and Skrodzka, 44, were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and then charged with first degree murder.