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Download The Indiana Torture Slaying: Sylvia Likens' Ordeal and Death epub

by John Dean

Download The Indiana Torture Slaying: Sylvia Likens' Ordeal and Death epub
ISBN: 0960489479
ISBN13: 978-0960489473
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: True Crime
Author: John Dean
Language: English
Publisher: Borf Books; 2nd edition (October 26, 1999)
Pages: 189 pages
ePUB size: 1660 kb
FB2 size: 1521 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 836
Other Formats: azw lrf docx doc

Essentially same book as House of Evil, John Dean. This was the first edition by a paperback company wanting to move from porn into more mainstream books. It pre-dated House of Evil which the Author, John Dean published years later under his own label. This book is sans the disturbing photos in the latter publication...otherwise, essentially same.
Horrible graphic detail, such a shame this true story happened.
Thought it was good I was born and raised on the east side of Indy, although I was a small girl in 65 I remember the talk of it. Interesting reading
I first heard about this book when the movie was on showtime, with Ellen Page. Got the book and was totally disappointed. Not in the story but the book itself. The cover is just a piece of heavy constrution paper and the binding looks like something I would have made at summer camp in the 70's. Amazon was kind enough to let me return the book and I called my locale library. The story is good, the writing is good but save your money for the next Stephen King Book. Thank You Jennifer
I first found out about Sylvia Likens while doing research on the life and death of Lisa Steinberg in 2004, and this story is one of the most depressing and unjust stories I've read in my entire life. I've since bought and read this book and I'm finally ready to relay some thoughts on it.

John Dean (now known as Natty Bumppo) thoroughly and unabashedly describes the long-term pain and suffering poor Sylvia Likens endured at the hands of her torturers during a three-month stay with her caretaker, Gertrude Baniszewski, that ended with her death (These acts are too appalling to write about in a public review forum). He helps us understand what motivated Gertrude, six of her seven children and their friends to do what they did: having no money, a large family, insane jealousy towards Sylvia, and sadistic fun on the account of those monsterous children (encouraged by Gertrude, of course). Mr. Dean also makes an impartial point in stating how many times several outsiders had a chance to save Sylvia's life, and even how Sylvia could have saved herself from her fate. It's possible that this story could have had a different, happier ending if people had acted differently, but given the circumstances it doesn't seem very likely. (Gertrude was a vile and cunning creature who lied very easily, and Sylvia seemed so fragile at the end of her life that I'm not sure she would have been able to function normally after all the horrific punishment she received had she survived)

*Warning: The next paragraph is an explanation of the four-star rating and may influence your decision to read this book*


As for the reason that I've given this book a four-star rating: While I think that Mr. Dean's retelling of this story according to court transcripts is exceptional, I also feel that he is terribly partial in describing Gertrude Baniszewski's daughter Stephanie's role in this atrocity. I won't go so far to say that Mr. Dean is 'biased', but I will say that there was a definite minimizing of Miss Baniszewski's involvement. From what I've read elsewhere, she was in fact a participant, namely in watching (if not participating in) Sylvia's scalding baths and the violent beatings of Sylvia by Coy Hubbard (Stephanie's boyfriend), neither of which are mentioned in this telling. More appallingly, it seems in a few parts that Mr. Dean is attempting to blame Sylvia for Stephanie's failure to help her. I don't say this to take anything away from the author's writing skills, nor am I saying that Sylvia was an 'earth angel'; rather, I am making the point that Sylvia is the one who was brutally tortured until she died. I don't care that Stephanie Baniszewski was 'slender', 'pretty', and 'she continually brought home A's and B's on her report card'; Stephanie was involved and didn't deserve any more consideration from onlookers than the other participants. In an attempt to be a little more understanding of this author, I'll try to soften the abrasiveness of this paragraph with a theory: He's trying to make some sense of why the courts decided to drop the case against Stephanie and allowed her to go to college and eventually become a schoolteacher. Given the gruesome nature of this crime, that personal knowledge sickens me.


In spite of the one shortcoming mentioned in the above paragraph, this probably is the truest telling of this sickening, perverse crime and I do recommend it to serious crime buffs. This one-of-a-kind true crime book is worth reading, but approach it with caution as it is indeed a most disturbing tale that's has to be read to be believed.
I am a retired criminal investigator so I appreciated the fact-based book. The name/words "SylviaLikens" run through my mind like a horrible dream. "SylviaLikens" - a girl's name runs together and conjures up absolute cruelty. How could a woman and a group of young children be so cruel? How could this happen in Indiana? I was eleven yrs old and lived about 25 miles south of Indianapolis when this crime occurred. "SylviaLikens", a dead girl found dead and abused on a filthy mattress on the floor of an old house on E New York. Is this the way people behaved on Indianapolis' east side? Beaten, burned, malnourished. To make matters worse for me my father had just started a new job as Dean of Boys at Tech High School in the summer of 65. Sylvia attended Tech briefly in the fall of 65. A few yrs later I would frequently pass the house on E New York and it always sent a chill through me. In that horrible house a weak and destroyed "SylviaLikens" was thrown down the cellar stairs like some sort of an animal. She had simply given up. It's hard to understand but that is the truth. A bruised and battered "SylviaLikens" had lost the desire to live. Gertrude Baniszwski became a monster to me. I followed the story in the Indy Star and on the local TV channels. A few yrs later my dad met met Gertrude at the Indiana Women's Prison in Indianapolis. She was a student in a class that he taught. I looked at my Dad's grade book and actually saw her name written in his book. He had brought this monster home to our own house. I think that October 1965 was the end of innocence for me. Before that time I did not think that people treated other people with such cruelty. May God always bless you Sylvia Likens.
Mr. Bumppo's (nee John Dean) unassuming-looking book is one of the masterpieces of the True Crime genre, ranking right up there with HELTER SKELTER, IN COLD BLOOD, and Robert Graysmith's ZODIAC. The crime, which took place in Indianapolis in 1965, was the murder by slow torture of a sweet-looking 16-year-old girl named Sylvia Likens, carried out in unspeakable fashion by a group of Goldingian adolescents under the direction of a depraved thing called Gertrude Braniszewski (a Poster Creature for the Death Penalty if there ever was one). Bumppo/Dean's stark, riveting narrative, and that angelic photo of Sylvia Likens gazing out from the front cover, are guaranteed to haunt all but the most sociopathic among us for a very long time.

Oh, and a note to fellow reviewer Ms. Grubb: there has been a film made of the tragedy, called an AMERICAN CRIME and starring Catherine Keener as the Beast and Ellen Page as its Victim. It premiered at Sundance this year and is due to go into release this August.