After Murders, Judge Seeks 'Resurrections'
With the third anniversary of a tragic day in her life several months away, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow has granted an interview to a national television show, her first since the event that changed her life.
On Feb. 28, 2005, Lefkow’s mother and husband were murdered at her Chicago home by a disgruntled litigant who sneaked into the house and had been lying in wait there for the judge. The man who committed the murders eventually killed himself, confessing the crimes in a suicide note. Since discovering their bodies that night, Lefkow has gradually returned to a semblance of her former life, continuing her career on the bench, campaigning for better security for judges and, in a tribute to her mother, Donna Humphrey, publishing her mother’s poems in a book titled I Speak of Simple Things.
Printing the book with the help of her sister is one of the key moves she has made to try to bring meaning back into her life, Lefkow tells Today co-host Matt Lauer. “When I was set on this course, I said, ‘I will look for resurrection.’ One of the resurrections has been this book.”
Less than a year after the murders, the judge spoke with Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and allowed her to chronicle Lefkow’s new life in a lengthy article.
“How do we do this other than to rely on the age-old tradition of gathering with family and giving thanks?” she told Schmich as the holiday season approached at the end of that terrible year. “There is no court of appeal that can reverse what has happened. We have to live with it and in spite of it. I pray that one day joy will return to our lives, and I believe that will happen.”