With Gertrude's knowledge and approval, Johnny regularly invites the neighborhood children to the basement to beat and burn Sylvia for fun. You can't get married now, you can't undress in front of anyone. Lester was a carnival worker, so he believed that this would be a more stable living arrangement for his daughters. For those of us who are lifelong Indianapolis residents, even the mention of the name Sylvia Likens tends to elicit a sense of that deep, painful memory that one tries to set aside yet it always sort of lingers. As Gertrude and a gang of teen-agers watched, Sylvia was forced to undress in the living room and insert an empty Coke bottle into her vagina. During the first week of their stay, the two girls were looked upon with growing hostility by Baniszewski.
At least a dozen children participated or at least watched, and none felt sufficiently disturbed to tell their own parents. When police arrived, Gertrude Baniszewski handed them the letter she had forced Likens to write a few days previously. Gertrude was developing a plan to rid herself of Sylvia for good. Hobbs, an honor student from a middle class family with no previous legal trouble, experienced a sudden shift in personality upon becoming Baniszewski's assistant, blindly following whatever orders she gave him; crime reporters have since speculated that Hobbs was Baniszewski's lover, and that she had seduced the boy into becoming her henchman. Gertrude began using the paddle on Sylvia and Jenny for various offenses such as exchanging soft drink bottles for change at a nearby grocery. For five years she lived quietly under an assumed name before dying of lung cancer.
Little things set off Baniszewski who had her children punish the girls. Robert Acosta said: 'I don't know if they were abducted or just went down a nasty hill and we can't find them. She wrote a semi-fictional book relating to the incident, The Basement: Meditations on a Human Sacrifice. Although threatened, Jenny refused; Ricky relented, and ordered Shirley to finish the tattoo. Diana hid nearby the house until she spotted Jenny outside, and then approached her. When Baniszewski realized Sylvia might be dying, she forced her to write a note saying a gang of boys beat her. Neither of the Vermillions reported this incident to the authorities.
Sylvia also suffered from extreme malnutrition. While he and Baniszewski drank coffee, she complained to him that Sylvia had been an intense burden on her, claiming that the girl was a prostitute who had been servicing married men and had gotten pregnant. She and John remarried each other, then divorced seven years and two more kids later in 1963. The house, which served as a battered women's shelter for a time, was demolished in 2009. Shortly thereafter, a neighbor made an anonymous report, which prompted an in-home visit by a public health nurse. Baniszewski told them the girl had been attacked by a gang of boys and she even produced a note written in Sylvia's own hand that seemed to confirm that story. A group of children ganged up on another child, and tortured her to death.
Being held in scalding water until large patches of skin fall off. When Stephanie Baniszewski and Richard Hobbs realized that Likens was not breathing, Stephanie tried to give her. Rogers, who passed away a few years ago, donated the money for the monument and was quite touched when I started one of my own Tenderness Tour events at the monument a few years ago. She decided to visit Gertrude Baniszewski, thinking that the mother of seven who had taken in two boarders might be a good person to care for the Vermillion youngsters. Baniszewski threatened to have her arrested.
He was later charged with the murder of two men but was acquitted. A much younger man named Dennis Lee Wright took an interest in Gertrude. She was told that Sylvia did indeed have sores on her body. They visited the Baniszewski residence on two occasions, where they witnessed Paula, with Gertrude's approval, abusing Likens and boasting about it in front of them. Crime Junkie is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving you a true crime fix. The abuse affected her ability to control not only her bladder, but also her bowels. If you have ever felt a small burn, you know how painful it is.
That meant finding someone to watch four of their children. Baniszewski refused to allow her into the home, at first telling her that Lester had contacted her and instructed her not to allow Diana into the home. Over the course of two months, the groups collected 4500 signiatures from the citizens of Indiana demanding that Baniszewski be kept behind bars. Jenny Likens Wade died in 2004 at age 54. Whilst Sylvia was bound in the basement, a social worker called to investigate an anonymous report of a 'girl with running sores on her body'.
She assumed a new name and became a school teacher. Gertrude said he was in Germany serving in the Army. Their stay is initially pleasant, until Lester's weekly payment fails to arrive. Betty and Lester Likens were recently separated. Gertrude tells him that Sylvia was sent to juvenile. Richard Hobbs, a neighbor boy, finished the etching. When Paula heard of the girls' circumstances, she offered to let Sylvia and Jenny spend the night.
Gertrude believes that Sylvia is faking it until Stephanie sadly announces that Sylvia is dead. On October 26th, Baniszewski voiced her intentions to give Sylvia a warm bath. She changed her name to Nadine Van Fossan and moved to Iowa where she lived in obscurity until her death from lung cancer on June 16, 1990. Baniszewski took her into the living room of her home and forced Sylvia to strip naked in front of her sons and several neighborhood boys, on the threat of beating Jenny. In July 1965, Sylvia and Jenny Likens were living with their mother, Betty, in Indianapolis. She served three years in prison and was then paroled.
Some began kicking and beating her. The next day Sylvia was placed in the bathtub again. The news of Baniszewski's parole hearing sent shockwaves through the Indiana community. Five years later, Baniszewski dropped out of school at the age of 16 to marry 18 year old deputy John Baniszewski, by whom she had 4 children. This film meditates subtly and, yes, beautifully on all of this. The oldest, Diana, was grown and married. In his foreword to , prosecutor Leroy K.