Title: Torture Mom
Author: Ryan Green
Narrator: Steve White
In July 1965, teenagers Sylvia and Jenny Likens were left in the temporary care of Gertrude Baniszewski, a middle-aged single mother, and her seven children.
The Baniszewski household was overrun with children. There were few rules and ample freedom. Sadly, the environment created a dangerous hierarchy of social Darwinism where the strong preyed on the weak.
What transpired in the following three months was both riveting and chilling.
In October 1965, the body of Sylvia Likens was found in the basement of the Baniszewski home, where she had been imprisoned. She was starved, beaten, burned, and had the words “I am a prostitute and proud of it” carved into her stomach.
Gertrude Baniszewski oversaw and facilitated the torture and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens. While she played an active role in Sylvia’s death, the majority of the abuse was carried out by her children and other neighborhood youths.
The case shocked the entire nation and would later be described as “The single worst crime perpetuated against an individual in Indiana’s history”.
Caution: This audiobook contains descriptive accounts of abuse and violence. If you are especially sensitive to this material, it might be advisable not to listen any further.
Gertrude Baniszewski was not a nice woman. She was selfish, cruel, and twisted. Everything she did to Sylvia Likens was horrific, and it’s hard to believe that a person could all those things to another person, let alone a child. The fact that it was a group effort to torture that girl only made it all the more horrific.
This book has a lot of disturbing content against children so only listen if you have a strong stomach.
Narration paired well with the audiobook.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.