I spend a lot of time writing about all the good and happy things that have to do with Indiana. Unfortunately, some of us do have a dark side. These 5 crimes were committed by Hoosiers in Indiana. They’ll absolutely terrify you (and make you sick to your stomach). Especially the first one with is arguably the worst crime to ever happen in the state of Indiana.
1. The Murder of Sylvia Likens
Gertrude Nadine Baniszewski is the name of a murderer in Indiana who, with the aid of her children and the neighborhood children, oversaw and controlled the torture, mutilation, and eventually the murder of a teenager named Sylvia Likens who was living in her home. Gertrude was convicted of murdering the teenager in 1966. At the time this case was referred to as the “single worst crime perpetrated by a single individual in Indiana”
Being very honest with you, the story of how Sylvia Likens was tortured and eventually murdered turns my stomach every time I read it. This is a little girl who was left in Gertrude’s care by her parents. Her parents were paying Gertrude to watch Sylvia and her sister. When the payments for the girl’s board came late, Gertrude began beating the girls. It was shortly after that regular child abuse ensued. Gertrude even went as far as to let her children and the neighborhood children torture and have their way with Sylvia while she was tied up in the basement. Burned and brutalized, Sylvia was eventually beaten to death.
The murder of Sylvia Likens was such a horrific crime that there was an actual movie made based off of what happened to this poor little girl. Below is a quick trailer if you want to watch it. I’ve seen the movie and I can tell you, it's pretty hard to watch. It's pretty accurate with what actually happened to the teenager.
2. The Candy Man aka the Pied Piper
Technically, the Houston Mass Murders happed in Texas, not Indiana. Unfortunately, Dean Arnold Corll was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He, with two accomplices named David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr spent 3 years (from 1970 to 1973) kidnapping, raping, torturing, and murdering at least 28 boys. What makes this crime even more haunting is the fact that it didn't come to light until after Henley shot and killed Corll.
Corll was commonly referred to as the Pied Piper or the Candy Man because he (and his family) owned a candy store and he gave free candy to all of the local children. When this crime first came to light, it was used as one of the worst examples of a serial murder case in American history.
At least four of the boys killed by the Candy Man were buried at the location in the picture.
3. The Murder of Daniel Bridges
In 1984 Larry Eyler was convicted and sentenced for the murder and dismemberment of Daniel Bridges, a 15 year old boy. After being captured, he confessed to killing 21 other boys and young men in five different states. The gay community of Indianapolis said he was a good looking person who had a very hot temper and often showed an interest in violence during acts of intimacy.
4. Mike Tyson, Heavyweight Champ, convicted of Rape
Mike Tyson was accused of raping one of the Miss Black America hopefuls back in 1991 in his hotel suite at Canterbury. He was sentenced to six years and only ended up doing three because he was a “model prisoner”. I don’t know about you, but I think he got off awful easy for such a horrid crime.
5. Four Dead in Burger Chef Murders
In November 18, 1978 the four people working the night shift at a Burger Chef in Speedway just disappeared. It wasn't until several days later that their bodies were discovered in Johnson County. Two of the individuals had been shot, one was stabbed, and one had been beaten until they chocked to death on their own blood. Nearly four decades later and no one knows who committed this crime. A little less than $600 was taken from the store that night. Was this crime really just to steal $600?
While the building is no longer a Burger Chef, it still stands as a payday loan business today.
I know, these are not the only crimes to have happened in the state of Indiana. I’m sure I could do more digging and find an endless number of crimes committed by horrible Hoosiers. These five crimes just leave a sour taste in my mouth and stomach. I wonder what it is that snaps in a person and causes them to take a horrid turn.