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    An American Crime



    Age : 28
    Lokasi : Jember

    An American Crime

    Post  nadaegan on Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:36 pm


    Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim.Here's the Wikipedia synopsis of the case:

    Sylvia Likens was the third child of carnival workers Betty and Lester Likens. Her birth came between two sets of fraternal twins, Diana and Daniel (two years older), and Jenny and Benny (two years younger). The marriage of the Likens was unstable and the family moved many times. Likens was often boarded out or forced to live with relatives while her parents were working.

    In 1965, Likens and her sister Jenny, who was disabled from polio, were living with their mother in Indianapolis when the elder woman was arrested and jailed for shoplifting. Lester Likens, who had recently separated from his wife, arranged for his daughters to board with Gertrude Baniszewski, the mother of Paula, a girl with whom the Likens girls had become acquainted. Although the Baniszewski family was poor, with seven children, three spoons, and no stove, Lester Likens, as he reported in the trial, "didn't pry" into the condition of the house, and encouraged Baniszewski to "straighten his daughters out". He agreed to pay her twenty dollars a week.

    Baniszewski, described by the Indianapolis Star as a "haggard, underweight asthmatic" suffering from depression and the stress of several failed marriages, began taking her anger out on the Likens girls, beating them with paddles after payments from their parents failed to arrive on time.

    Sylvia Likens in particular became a target of abuse. Baniszewski accused her of stealing candy she had bought from a grocery store and humiliated her when she admitted that she had once had a boyfriend. She kicked Likens in the groin and accused her of being pregnant. Paula Baniszewski, who was in fact pregnant at the time, became enraged and knocked Likens onto the floor. Likens became convinced that she was pregnant, although medical examination proved that she was not and could not have been.

    Likens allegedly retaliated by spreading rumors at their high school that Paula and Stephanie Baniszewski were prostitutes. That supposedly prompted Stephanie's boyfriend, Coy Hubbard, to physically attack Likens. Mrs. Baniszewski encouraged Hubbard and other neighborhood children to torment Likens, including, among other things, putting cigarettes out on her skin, forcing her to remove her clothes and inserting a Coke bottle into her vagina.

    After Likens admitted stealing a gym suit, without which she was unable to attend gym class, Baniszewski pulled her out of school and did not allow her to leave the house. When Likens urinated in her bed, she was locked in the cellar and forbidden to use the toilet. Later, she was forced to consume feces and urine. Baniszewski began to carve the words "I'm a prostitute and proud of it!" into Sylvia's stomach with a heated needle, although Richard Hobbs finished the carving when Baniszewski couldn't.

    Likens attempted to escape a few days before her death. As punishment, she was tied in the basement and given only crackers to eat. On October 26, 1965, after multiple beatings, she died of brain hemorrhage, shock, and malnutrition.

    Two of the young people tried to revive Likens before realizing it was a lost cause.

    On May 19, 1966, Gertrude Baniszewski was convicted of first-degree murder, but spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison. Her daughter Paula, who had given birth to a daughter named Gertrude during the trial, was convicted of second-degree murder and also given a life term. Richard Hobbs, Coy Hubbard, and John Baniszewski were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two-to-21-year terms.

    The boys would spend two years in prison. In 1971, Paula and Gertrude Baniszewski were granted another trial. Paula pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was released two years later. Gertrude Baniszewski, however, was again convicted of first-degree murder. She came up for parole in 1985, and despite a public outcry and petitions against her release, the parole board took her good behavior in prison into account, and she was set free.

    Gertrude Baniszewski changed her name to Nadine van Fossan and moved to Iowa, where she died of lung cancer in 1990. 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. Damn old Gertrude died. Ha ha ha! I am happy about that." Jenny Likens Wade died of a heart attack on June 23, 2004 at the age of 54.

    orang aslinya...
    Sylvia Likens 1949 - 1965


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