“The Tale of the Worst Foster Mother Ever”
Sylvia Likens was one of five children, born to carnival workers. Due to financial difficulties and a tendency to move around frequently, her parents boarded her and her sister, Jenny, out when necessary. In 1965, the two were sent to live with Gertrude Baniszewski, who had seven children herself. Gertrude proved to not be the best caretaker, despite the fact that the Likens parents were sending money to her to feed, cloth, house and care for the girls. Gertrude, instructed her children and neighborhood kids, to torture and abuse Sylvia, on the guise that she needed to “cleanse her soul”.