‘The End of the Line': Judge Orders ‘Serial Stowaway' Placed in Mental Health Confinement for 6 Months

"The only thing left is Cook County Jail," the judge said. "Everybody's pretty much had it with you"

A furious Cook County judge ordered "serial stowaway" Marilyn Hartman locked up in a mental health facility for the next six months, telling her he is convinced she is "addicted to attention."

Despite warnings to stay away from airports and a GPS bracelet which tracks her every move, Hartman was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Feb. 17.

Judge William Raines on Thursday sentenced Hartman to two years mental health probation, but ordered her confined for at least the first six months of that probation at the Margaret Manor mental health facility on North Orleans St. 

"You walk out that door, there's no more mental health opportunities," Raines said. "There's no more feeling sorry for you."

In court, prosecutors revealed that a dozen Chicago Police officers had scrambled to intercept Hartman when her GPS bracelet alerted authorities she was nearing the airport. After scouring the terminals, she was found in a bus shuttle waiting area.

“This is the end of the line,” Raines scolded Hartman. “This is basically going to be a jail sentence. You cannot leave Margaret Manor. If you walk out on the street, you are in violation.”

And Raines made clear that any violation would not only carry a stiff fine of $2500, it would mean moving her to real imprisonment.

"The only thing left is Cook County Jail," Raines said. "Everybody's pretty much had it with you!"

Hartman had previously been confined at another facility, the Sacred Heart home on South Albany Ave. In February, convinced that Hartman was getting better, Raines had allowed her to move to Margaret Manor, and agreed to give her come and go privileges, saying he was hoping to ease her back into the community.

But it wasn’t long before she made her excursion to O’Hare.

“The State of Illinois has paid and paid and paid,” Raines told Hartman. “You need to be punished. But you also need treatment!”

After court, Hartman’s attorney, Parle Roe-Taylor, said she remains convinced her client could still benefit from that treatment.

“What brings her to the airport, I can’t answer that question,” she said. “I’m hoping through treatment that they can figure out what the issues are that lead her to this type of behavior.”

But prosecutors revealed in court for the first time that even when confined previously at Sacred Heart, Hartman had made seven previous attempts to walk off the property.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Allen. “I don’t know if she is going to engage in her mental health treatment. Certainly the attention that she gets (in court) doesn’t dissuade her from doing what she does!”

But Allen made clear that the state believes Hartman’s antics have the potential to compromise public safety.

“She’s drawing Chicago police officers away from keeping the travelling public safe,” he said. “Twelve separate officers were looking for her on that last day, and it’s not as if she is—catch me if you can. It’s come catch me!”

Raines told Hartman he hoped to never see her again, but conceded he was not optimistic.

“Good luck,” he said. “I think you’re going to need it.”

Contact Us