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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Ryan Green (P)2018 Ryan Green

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sad, Angry... Lot of Emotions

Wow, I can't even fathom doing to ANY LIVING CREATURE what Gertrude Baniszewski did to young Sylvia Likens. It's gripping, horrific, and makes me really mad. But, sad thing is, it's not so uncommon, it happens a lot - did then and still does now. That's the really scary part.

This woman and those who are responsible for this unspeakable act deserve a place in Hell, and I'm glad they're there.
Very well written and well narrated book - I've read, listened to or watched stories about many horrific things, and this one is one that will haunt you. It's hard to hear, but needs to be told. I long for a world where this crap doesn't happen.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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buckle up for this ride

Over the years I have read many articles, books, and seen websites on the Sylvia Likens case. This is one of the most horrible torture deaths I have heard of. I listened to this book straight through. I just cannot believe anyone could be so horrible at what this woman is responsible for.

Ryan Green has done an amazing job with this book. Laying out the facts that are no known.

Steve White narrated thus story and kept me enthralled and a little sick to my stomach with this book.

I was given this title at my request and chose to leave this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Torture Mom

When a sadistic and mentally unstable woman takes in a pair of poor and homeless sister’s the chaos and the horror begins. Life has never been easy for the Likens sisters, but it turns into Hell when they are taken in to the Baniszewski house. Soon the daily torture that Sylvia has to deal with becomes too much and her body is found mutilated and emaciated and thrown into the basement of the home. When the truth comes out the Baniszewski family is put on trail and judged for their crimes. This is a disturbing tale of what pain one woman can inflict and teach others to do. The horrible truth of what the poor girl had to endure is a painful to read. One can never understand what drives people to do such things. What Sylvia endures was beyond torture and humiliation but must be told so that people will recognize the signs and be human enough to step up and question things before something like this happens again. Narrator Steve White does a good job of bringing the facts of this story to life. He speaks clearly and at a good pace. This story is a hard tale to listen to but hopefully we will learn from it.

I received this audiobook at my request and I voluntarily wrote a review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Unimaginably Tragic

This is the story of Sylvia Likens of Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1960s. She was brutally, brutally, brutally, tortured and murdered for no reason whatsoever. I feel that it is important to say her name. I live in Indy and have known this story all my life. This book has a slightly different perspective, so it was interesting to kind of get the back story of the adult murderous ringleader. I refuse to state her name, although I will never forget it. Sylvia suffered horrendously basically due to what began as shallow jealously. How, and why, the neighborhood kids came over and joined in, is beyond me. The penalties for these people were either non-existent or extremely lenient. None of the perpetrators should have ever seen the light of day. It is a difficult story, but Sylvia deserves for the truth to be told. The narration was smooth and easy to follow.
Rest in Peace, Dear Sylvia.
-I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Tough tale of woe

I have a pretty high tolerance for gruesome tales, but listening to chapter after chapter of a girl getting horrifically abused was tough. Every time I had to hear "whore" shouted yet again, I cringed inwardly. That said, it's a true story and the heads-up is right there on the cover. The pace is a little slow at the beginning, with less fleshed-out details of the eponymous Mom's early life, and then once she has charge of the little girls, it's anecdotal retelling of awful abuses for a long while.

I thought Steve White was a strong narrator, though his narration is bizarrely lighthearted for such a dark story. I'd love to hear him in other genres.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unfortunately a true crime

Torture Mom: A Chilling True Story of Confinement, Mutilation and Murder (True Crime). Graphic, upsetting, but superbly read and written. Written as a testament to the memory of a child who is horribly tortured.
Reading this book you come face to face with the fact that this world contains some truly evil people,
Humanity has a dark side hiding just under the surface, all it needs is the smallest push; to be released.
The lesson of this book is - that all it need is for us the ordinary people to look and see and not act, Then the evil is empowered.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wow!

Chilling, shocking and totally riveting! I'm not going to sleep well after listening to this but the narration was fantastic. Crazy story but highly recommend for any true crime lover!


I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Crazy A$$ People

My heart literally is breaking for Sylvia, that no one, not one person stopped to help her or to investigate this horrible, horrible woman. I literally do not understand how people can be so sadistic and hurt others....the abuse this poor girl endured should never, ever have occurred. What sick person, would burn another with their cigarettes and encourage others to do the same....let alone, brand them with hot needles. I started crying imagining the pain this poor young lady went through and the humiliation, pain and loneliness that she must have felt.


This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gripping and Heartbreaking

Not for the weak or soft heated. Written along the lines of A Child Called It. So sad and horrible. This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply unbelievable how beyond cruel people can be

Torture Mom by Ryan Green left me pretty speechless. The fact that it's a true story is just...wow. I know the book has a warning that if you're sensitive to descriptive account of abuse and violence then you may not want to listen to this story is a well placed warning. I love true crime, horror, suspense, etc. and this was just over the top. Gertrude Baniszewski is pure evil, plain and simple. What she did, and allowed and encouraged others to do to poor Sylvia and Jenny Likens is just reprehensible beyond anything I can even describe. While listening, I was thinking of the psychological affect that she had on her children and the other kids that she allowed and encouraged to torture Sylvia and I'm just speechless. It's difficult to listen to, but if you want a true crime story that will really get under your skin, this is the book you want to listen to.

Steve White did a good job narrating this audiobook. I simply don't have a complaint. Did his narration blow me away? No, but this wasn't a book where the narration allowed the reader to really show off narration skills. He did a good job and I had no problem following along and enjoying the listen, as well as one can "enjoy" this type of story. I'd listen to narrations of his in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 08-09-18

Shocking

Im not sure how to describe this book, I would recommend it to fans of true crime, but I was thankful for the warning given to me by the author before I listened to it

It is a truely shocking book, and really hard to listen to in places, at times I felt physically sick. It is very graphic

How a mum, or another human can cause this sort of suffering to a child is beyond me, and to have the sort of control over others, to be able to get them to keep quite and even participate.

Sylvia was let down by so many people, it really is heart breaking

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • marie
  • 11-10-18

omg

i couldn't put this book down, omg what a sad sad life this poor child suffered
:(