Sylvia Likens was tortured and killed by Gertrude Baniszewski and other persons who were placed in her care. "Trudy", originally a diminutive of "Gertrude," has developed into a name in its own right.In German-speaking countries, Gertraud (pronounced Ger-trowt) is a familiar variation of the name. Gertrude Baniszewski lived in Indianapolis with her seven children. They reside on the servers of popular video sharing sites like Youtube, DailyMotion,, Putlocker (FireDrive), Sockshare, and others.. Any copyright claim(s) should be made there. Gertrude Nadine Baniszewski (September 22, 1929 – June 16, 1990), also known as Gertrude Wright and Nadine Van Fossan, was an American murderer who, with the aid of most of her own children and neighborhood children, oversaw and facilitated the prolonged torture, mutilation, and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens, a teenage girl she had taken into her home. The last occasion Lester and Elizabeth visited their daughters was in late-August. She struck her body with a book, shouting "Faker! $3.99 . Free with Kindle Unlimited membership Learn More Or $2.99 to buy. [186], The house at 3850 East New York Street in which Likens was tortured and murdered stood vacant for many years after her death and the arrest of her tormentors. Sylivia and her siblings would live in 19 separate addresses between 1949 and 1965. She named her child Gertrude in honor of her mother. She added that Likens had earlier run away from her home with several teenage boys before returning to her house earlier that afternoon, bare-breasted and clutching the note. The service was officiated by the Reverend Louis Gibson, with more than 100 mourners in attendance. 99. All of these lawyers worked for their indigent clients free of charge. [33], By mid-August 1965, Gertrude Baniszewski had begun to focus her abuse almost exclusively upon Sylvia, with her primary motivation likely being jealousy of her physical appearance and potential in life. Each one of [the] five defendants had first and foremost the responsibility to leave Sylvia Likens alone; we had the responsibility to bring all the evidence we could find that could explain this crime. Although discussions were held in relation to the possibility of purchasing and rehabilitating the house, and converting the property into a women's shelter, the necessary funds to complete this project were never raised. [60] She was denied any access to the bathroom, being forced to wet herself. [184], Jenny Likens later married an Indianapolis native named Leonard Rece Wade. [131], Two days later, Richard Hobbs testified in his own defense, describing how Gertrude had called Likens to the kitchen on October 23 and stated to her: "You have branded my children so now I'm going to brand you." "[135] Dean has also likened the case to William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, although he has stated Likens' increasing physical and emotional abuse was not a result of "children going wild; it was children doing what they were told". They were the children of two circus workers who were about to go on tour operating a concession stand. I take full responsibility for whatever happened to Sylvia. On this day Mrs. [102] The three eldest Baniszewski children, plus Coy Hubbard, were placed in the custody of a nearby juvenile detention center; the younger Baniszewski children and Richard Hobbs were detained at the Indianapolis Children's Guardians Home. "[82] Weeping, Likens replied, "I guess there's nothing I can do. Gertrude (also spelled Gertrud) is a female given name which is derived from Germanic roots that meant "spear" and "strength". --Poem inscribed upon the granite memorial formally dedicated to Sylvia Likens' life and legacy in Willard Park, Indianapolis. He then ended his closing argument with a plea for the jury to return a verdict of not guilty on a girl who had "gone through the indignity of being tried in an open court". [113][n 8], Three weeks prior to the filing of the indictments against the five defendants, Stephanie Baniszewski had been released from custody upon a writ of habeas corpus bond, with her attorney successfully contending the state had insufficient evidence to support any murder or culmination of fatal injuries charges against her. Gertrude then dragged Likens into the basement. [112] Her headstone is inscribed with the words: "Our Darling Daughter. Watch Documentary. Shortly thereafter, Gertrude shouted for Likens to return to the kitchen, then ordered her to strip naked before proclaiming to her: "You have branded my daughters; now I am going to brand you." The Night Stalker, "One side of me says, I'd like to talk to her, date her. [122] Richard Hobbs was defended by James G. Nedder; John Baniszewski Jr. and Coy Hubbard were defended by Forrest Bowman. The CO-ED Killer, “I just liked to kill, I wanted to kill.”, Ted Bundy I can tell it. [50] To entertain Gertrude and her teenage accomplices, Likens was forced at one point to strip naked in the family living room and masturbate with a glass Pepsi-Cola bottle in their presence,[13][51][52] with Gertrude stating to all present this act of humiliation being for Sylvia to "prove to Jenny what kind of a girl you are. Ha ha ha! Weeks after her third divorce, Baniszewski began a relationship with a 22-year-old named Dennis Lee Wright, who also physically abused her. Gertrude forced the toast into her mouth before repeatedly striking her face with a curtain rod until sections of the instrument were bent into right angles. When Gertrude found out, she used the paddle to beat Likens. These experts testified that all three were mentally competent to stand trial. Save 97%. Gertrude Baniszewski was an American woman convicted of the murder of 16-year-old Sylvia Likens. She then kicked Likens in the genitals. It gives an insight into the depravity of Gertrude Baniszewski, her family, and their friends, who all took part in this young lady's torture and ultimately contributed to her untimely death. [69], Gertrude later taunted Likens by claiming she would never be able to marry due to the words carved on her stomach, stating: "Sylvia, what are you going to do now? FBI Profiler Candice DeLong counts down the '10 Deadliest Women' featured on the show in seasons 2--4... Albert Fish Six years later, she dropped out of high school at age 16 to marry 18-year-old John Stephan Baniszewski (1926–2007), who was originally from Youngsville, Pennsylvania, and to whom she bore four children. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe team with Director Ridley Scott in this powerful epic inspired by a true story. Directed by James Knox. Likens jerkingly moved her arms in an apparent attempt to point at the faces of the tormentors she could recognize, making statements such as, "You're... Ricky" and "You're Gertie" before Gertrude tersely shouted, "Shut up! How sadistic can a person get? Gertrude Baniszewski, who came to be known as The Torture Mother, was an Indiana divorcee who oversaw and facilitated the prolonged torture, mutilation, rapes and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens, a teenage girl she had taken into her home. [42] Later, Paula used the cast on her wrist to further beat Likens. Upon hearing Judge Rabb pronounce the verdicts, Gertrude and her children burst into tears and attempted to console each other, as Hobbs and Hubbard remained impassive. In my own heart I cannot remember a girl so much sinned against and abused." She shifted between a love-hate relationship with Sylvia, more or less depending upon the place and time she caught Sylvia being forced to strip naked and perform a strip tease that was instigated by her own mother, Gertrude. [87], On October 25, Likens attempted to escape from the basement after overhearing a conversation between Gertrude and John Baniszewski Jr. pertaining to the family's plan to abandon her to die. Erbecker then tapped his head to emphasize his reference to her state of mind, before adding: "If this woman is sane, put her in [the electric chair]. [117][119][n 9], Each prospective juror was questioned by counsels for both prosecution and defense in relation to their opinions regarding capital punishment being a just penalty for first-degree murder and whether a mother was actually responsible for the "deportment of her children". Crime / Murder. On July 3, their mother was arrested and subsequently jailed for shoplifting. [17], Sylvia Marie Likens (January 3, 1949 – October 26, 1965) was the third of five children born to carnival workers Lester Cecil Likens (1926–2013) and his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Frances (née Grimes, 1927–1998). Mrs. Baniszewski testified in her own defense. [128] Duke also testified to one occasion where she witnessed 10-year-old Shirley Baniszewski rip open Likens' blouse, to which Richard Hobbs had made the casual remark, "Everybody's having fun with Sylvia. ". American Gangster. "[101][100], The formal statement provided by Jenny Likens prompted officers to arrest Gertrude, Paula, Stephanie, and John Baniszewski Jr. on suspicion of Likens' murder within hours of the discovery of her body. While at school, Stephanie was jokingly propositioned by a boy who told her that Likens had started the rumor about her. Likens regularly sang along to pop records with Stephanie,[30] and she willingly participated in housework at the Baniszewski residence. "[29], Due to the increase in the frequency and brutality of the torture and mistreatment she was subjected to, Likens gradually became incontinent. She is married and has two children. I'm just going to have to go on a diet. [16], During the initial weeks in which Sylvia and Jenny resided at the Baniszewski household, the sisters were subjected to very little discipline. When Jenny Likens, who was then married and living in Beech Grove, Indiana, saw her obituary in the newspaper, she clipped it out and mailed it to her mother with the note: "Some good news. Follows. $2.99. The subdural hematoma was the ultimate blow. ", --Section of Deputy Prosecutor Marjorie Wessner's. The content of this letter was intended to frame a group of anonymous local boys for extensively abusing and mutilating Likens after she had initially agreed to engage in sexual relations with them before they inflicted the extreme abuse and torture upon her body. [169] Paula reportedly lives in a small town in Iowa. The injuries discovered upon and around Likens' fingernails would later be described as most likely having been inflicted via her "desperate scratching motions" at the trial of her tormentors and murderers. Shortly thereafter, Baniszewski remarried her first husband, bearing him two more children. They also successfully argued before Judge Rabb that all the defendants should be tried together as they were ultimately charged with acting "in concert"[118] in their collective crimes against Likens and that as such, if each were tried separately, neither judge nor jury could hear testimony relating to a "total picture" of the accumulation of offenses committed. 2.1k Followers. Skyword offers an enterprise content marketing platform, a global … The couple divorced for a second time in 1963.[10]. Gertrude Baniszewski, Self: Deadly Women. YouTube. SUBSCRIBE NOW. ", Tommy Lynn Sells See more ideas about sylvia likens, sylvia, crime scene. [66] Upon their second visit to the Baniszewski household, both observed Likens to appear extremely meek and somewhat "zombified" in nature. [71] On one occasion, Gertrude held a knife aloft and challenged Likens to "fight me back", to which Likens replied she did not know how to fight. John’s attorney, Forrest Bowman, was widely regarded as thorough and dedicated. "[37] On another occasion—as the family ate supper—Gertrude, Paula, and a neighborhood boy named Randy Gordon Lepper, force-fed Likens a hot dog overloaded with condiments, including mustard, ketchup and spices. The ones who aren’t afraid, control life itself.”, Richard Ramirez She denied any responsibility for Likens' prolonged abuse, torment, and ultimate death, claiming her children, and other children within her neighborhood, must have committed the acts within her home, which she described as being "such a madhouse." [110], The funeral service for Sylvia Likens was conducted at the Russell & Hitch Funeral Home in Lebanon on the afternoon of October 29. In her death throes, Likens had evidently bitten through her lips, partially severing sections of them from her face. [9] This marriage lasted just three months before the couple divorced. Her parents had left her, and her sister, in the care of the Baniszewski family three months before her death so they could work the carnival. Paula—herself overweight, three months pregnant and also jealous of her physical appearance—then participated in attacking Likens; knocking her off her chair onto the kitchen floor, shouting, "You ain't fit to sit in a chair! Drama. [64] The school made no further investigations in relation to Likens' welfare. [38], On October 22, John Baniszewski Jr. tormented Likens by offering to allow her to eat a bowl of soup with her fingers and then quickly taking away the bowl when Likens—by this stage suffering from extreme malnourishment—attempted to eat the food. Sylvia Likens was a happy, beautiful 16-year-old when her parents left her and her sister in the care of Gertrude Baniszewski while they went on the road for work. Gertrude Nadine Van Fossan was born on September 19, 1929 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Mollie Myrtle (née Oakley) and Hugh Marcus Van Fossan Sr., both of whom were originally from Illinois and were of Polish and Dutch descent. Ha ha ha! The Killer Clown, “Hello from the gutters of New York City, which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood.”, David Berkowitz Starring Catherine Keener, Ellen Page and James Franco. Paula Baniszewski, Gertrude’s 17-year-old daughter who subjected Sylvia to some of the worst abuse, got life in prison for second-degree murder. In the heart of Indianapolis in the mid 1960's, through a twist of fate and fortune, a pretty young girl came to live with a thirty-seven-year-old mother and her seven children. [31] Both girls also regularly attended Sunday school with the Baniszewski children. Stephanie punched her in response, but Likens apologized to her, in tears, and Stephanie then also began to cry. The three minors who were also arrested, including Baniszewski’s two sons, each did two years in a reformatory. She committed acts of degradation that you wouldn't commit on a dog ... She has to be crazy, or she wouldn't have permitted that. Damn old Gertrude died. [110] Both the shock she had primarily suffered due to the severe and prolonged damage inflicted to her skin and subcutaneous tissues, plus the severe malnutrition,[111] were listed as contributory factors to her death. In the weeks prior to locking Likens in the family basement, Gertrude had increasingly abused and tormented Likens. What are you going to do? [58], The Likens sisters were fearful of notifying either family members or adults at their school of the increasing incidents of abuse and neglect they were enduring, as both were afraid that doing so would only worsen their predicament. YouTube. [27][57], Shortly after this incident, the father of a neighborhood boy named Michael John Monroe[53] phoned Arsenal Technical High School to anonymously report that a girl with open sores across her entire body was living at the Baniszewski household. $1 for 3 months. [137] Dr. Schuster was subjected to over two hours of intense cross-examination by Gertrude's lawyer, William Erbecker, although he remained steadfast that Gertrude was not and had never been psychotic. When Paula asked her to recite the English alphabet, Likens was unable to recite anything beyond the first four letters, or to raise herself off the ground. "She (Paula) represented the situation as one in which the girl Sylvia had become quite withdrawn and, "There was practically no fat on [Sylvia's] body. [84], That night, Sylvia confided to her sister: "Jenny, I know you don't want me to die, but I'm going to die. [104], Lacking any remorse, Paula signed a statement admitting having repeatedly beaten Sylvia about the backside with her mother's police belt, also once breaking her wrist on Sylvia's jaw, and inflicting other acts of brutality including pushing her down the stairs into the basement "two or three times", and inflicting a black eye. [144], James Nedder began his closing argument in defense of Richard Hobbs by referring to the loss of Likens, stating: "She had a right to live. When a … Gertrude Nadine Baniszewski (née Van Fossan; September 19, 1928 – June 16, 1990)[8] was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Molly Myrtle (née Oakley) and Hugh Marcus Van Fossan Sr., both of whom were originally from Illinois and were of American and Dutch descent. We'll never know the pain and suffering that Sylvia endured ... the best evidence of that was the picture of her lips—lips that were bitten into shreds! [161][162], Within her parole hearing, Baniszewski stated her wish that Likens' death could "be undone",[163] although she minimized her responsibility for any of her actions,[157] stating: "I'm not sure what role I had in [Likens' death], because I was on drugs. [31], Although Lester Likens had agreed to pay Gertrude Baniszewski $20 a week in exchange for the care of his daughters, these weekly payments gradually failed to arrive exactly upon the prearranged dates, occasionally arriving one or two days late. She hadn't eaten for a week! Nedder attempted to portray his client as a follower-type personality who had acted under the control of Gertrude Baniszewski, suggesting that had he not carved part of the obscene insult into Likens' abdomen at Gertrude's request, Hobbs could well have been a state's witness as opposed to Stephanie Baniszewski. As each defendant except Richard Hobbs remained impassive, Wessner recounted the continuous mistreatment Likens had endured before her death, emphasizing that at no point had Likens either provoked any of the defendants, or received any medical care beyond occasionally having margarine rubbed into scalded sections of her face and body. Gertrude Baniszewski was an American woman convicted of the murder of 16-year-old Sylvia Likens. Gertrude Baniszewski’s story was that she had been too sick and chronically tired to know all the terrible things going on in her own home. Watch Documentary. Throughout the period of Likens' captivity in the basement, Gertrude frequently—with the assistance of her children and neighborhood children—restrained Likens before placing her in a bathtub filled with scalding water before proceeding to rub salt into her wounds. Gertrude Nadine Baniszewski: (September 19, 1929 – June 16, 1990) was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on May 19, 1966. Sylvia's tragic murder and abuse must always be remembered". Within a few short months, Sylvia was beaten, humiliated, and ultimately left to die from neglect and severe abuse. Gertrude Nadine Baniszewski (September 19, 1929 – June 16, 1990), also known as Gertrude Wright and Nadine Van Fossan, was an Indiana murderer who, with the aid of most of her own children and neighborhood children, oversaw and facilitated the prolonged torture, mutilation, and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens, a teenage girl she had taken into her home. She appealed her case and was granted a new trial in 1971, because The Indiana Supreme court declared that there was "prejudicial atmosphere" surrounding the case. [98], Clutching a Bible,[99] Paula Baniszewski—having stated to all present in the household that Likens' death was "meant to happen"— then glanced in Jenny's direction and calmly stated: "If you want to live with us, Jenny, we'll treat you like our own sister. [72] In response, Gertrude inflicted a light scour wound to Likens' leg. An American Crime is a 2007 American crime horror film directed by Tommy O'Haver and starring Elliot Page and Catherine Keener.The film is based on the true story of the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens by Indianapolis single mother Gertrude Baniszewski.It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.. Because of internal problems with the film's original distributor, First … [59] Jenny, in particular, struggled against the urge to notify family members, as she had been threatened by Gertrude that she would herself be abused and tortured to the same degree as her sister, if she did so. [88] She attempted to flee to the front door, although due to her extensive injuries and general weakness, Gertrude caught her before she could escape the property. The Green River Killer, "Take your worst nightmares, and put my face to them. [35] On one occasion, Likens was accused of stealing candy she had actually purchased. The Campus Killer, “I was born with the devil in me. The sadistic 'foster mother' was charged with murder, convicted and given a life sentence. Gertrude then switched her conversation to the "evils" of premarital sex before repeatedly kicking Likens in the genitals as Stephanie rallied to Likens' defense, shouting, "She didn't do anything! Paperback $7.99 $ 7. Paula pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was paroled from prison in 1972. [62][n 6], Several weeks prior to this occasion, Sylvia and Jenny had encountered Dianna in the same park while in the company of 11-year-old Marie Baniszewski and Sylvia had been given a sandwich to eat when she had mentioned to her sister she was hungry. I am happy about that. [28][n 3], Shortly after the July 4 holiday, the sisters moved into 3850 East New York Street in order for their father and later their mother[n 4] to travel to the East Coast with the carnival, with the understanding that Baniszewski would receive weekly boarding fees of $20 to care for their daughters until they returned to collect Sylvia and Jenny in November of that year. In response, Gertrude accused Likens of engaging in gluttony before she and Paula choked and bludgeoned her. [189], Murder of American teenager in Indianapolis, United States, Lester and Elizabeth Likens' oldest daughter, Dianna Shoemaker, was somewhat. On Aug. 5, 1971 Gertrude was convicted of first degree … Gertrude Baniszewski Gertrude Baniszewski got life in prison for first-degree murder. Upon returning home that day, Stephanie questioned Likens about the rumor and she admitted to starting it. RSS "Gertrude Baniszewski" Documentaries . Here, Likens was often kept naked, rarely fed, and frequently deprived of water. The Torturing Death of Sylvia Marie Likens: Was She a Masochist? [165][167], Reflecting upon the news of Gertrude Baniszewski's death and the issues raised pertaining to her sanity at both of her trials, John Dean, a former reporter for the Indianapolis Star who had provided extensive coverage of the case, would state in 2015: "I never thought she was insane. She gained a new appeal, but was once again convicted and sent back to prison. STAY UPDATED! [16], News of Gertrude Baniszewski's impending parole hearing created an uproar throughout Indiana. [164] She worked as an aide to a school counselor for 14 years at the Iowa Beaman-Conrad-Liscomb-Union-Whitten school district, having changed her name to Paula Pace and having concealed the truth regarding her criminal history to the school district when applying for the position. 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In gluttony before she could reach the stairs question Gertrude gertrude baniszewski documentary sanity before concluding his argument perform. Three months before the couple divorced for a second time in 1963. [ 38 ] [ 5... Lancaster General Hospital on May 19, 1966, Paula verbally threatened to!, nature, severity, and to publicly support the Likens family basement Coy. Referred to the bathroom, being forced to consume what she had been tried jointly thing has! ; John Baniszewski Jr. and Coy Hubbard, Janis Amatuzio, Gertrude discovered that Likens had herself... Having himself beaten Likens on anywhere between 10 and 40 separate instances mental such. Of all three were mentally competent to stand up or she would herself inflict a long of... Think this was occasionally ceased by the Baniszewskis to watch their favorite shows... Limp and had to wear a steel brace on one occasion, Likens accused... Behind bars, she had regurgitated. 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