Gertrude Baniszewski was found guilty 50 years ago today!
Gertrude was born on September 22, 1929 in Indianapolis, Indiana and died on June 19, 1990 in Laurel, Iowa at age 60. She was convicted of first degree murder of Sylvia Likens and sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled in 1985. In August of 1965, Baniszewski started her verbal and physical abuse of Sylvia Likens, who was also abused and tortured by Baniszewski’s children. Not only did she allow some of her own children to join in the abuse of Likens, she also allowed some neighborhood children to join in as well. This crime was considered the single worse crime perpetrated against a human in Indiana’s history at that time.
During the agonizing torture of Likens, she was confined to the basement where scalding water was splashed on her and salt rubbed into her wounds and burns. At times, along with Baniszewski’s twelve year old son, Likens was forced to eat her own feces and often left naked during her confinement. Likens was also kept hidden and her health and well being was kept secret from her social services case worker. For several days and months, Likens continued to suffer abuse and finally succumbed to the abuse where she finally passed away in late October 1965, after she was given a lukewarm bath fully clothed. The police were called to the residence where the details of what happened was told to them by Jenny Likens, which prompted the arrest of Gertrude and the other perpetrators involved in this horrific ordeal.
Years after her trial, and her appeals, Gertrude was finally paroled in 1985 and went to Iowa. She ended up living in Iowa for the rest of her days in obscurity until she died of lung cancer in June 19, 1990. Below is video of Gertrude Baniszewski. Sadly things like this still happen in our society, which is very sad. You see something, know something, say something!!