Family and friends mark 50-year anniversary of Sylvia Likens’ death

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 26, 2015) — It was called the most terrible crime ever committed in Indiana. On  Sunday, friends gathered at a Lebanon cemetery to honor and remember the life of Sylvia Likens 50 years after her tragic death.

A crowd of family and friends including Sylvia’s sister Dianna Bedwell laid roses at her grave site today.

Even well-known civil rights attorney Gloria Allred was there supporting Sylvia’s family.

Sixteen-year-old Likens was tortured over a three-week period and ultimately died from her injuries on Oct. 16, 1965, at the east side Indianapolis home.

Thirty-seven-year-old Gertrude Baniszewski and her 18-year old daughter Paula were sentenced to life in prison.

Baniszewski’s 13-year-old son John Stephen and two teens from the neighborhood were sentenced on manslaughter charges.

Sylvia’s sister says 50 years after her death the pain is still there.

“A death for a child an innocent child for this kind of abuse. It never gets easy, never,” she said.

“This must always be remembered. Sylvia’s tragic murder and abuse must always be remembered.”

After Sylvia’s death, it became a law in Indiana that if you suspect a child is being abused, it is your duty to report it.

Sunday’s remembrance was also to honor all child abuse victims who lost their lives.

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