Get a free audiobook

Torture Mom

A Chilling True Story of Confinement, Mutilation and Murder (True Crime)
Written by: Ryan Green
Narrated by: Steve White
Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria Haugen
  • 2018-10-01

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!

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • cafurg
  • 2018-08-14

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 2019-05-21

Not for everyone

I read a lot of true crime and I'm used to encountering depraved violence. However, most of those instances are against teens and adults, not young children. And it's usually 1 victim after another, not continued brutality toward 1 person. This book was extremely uncomfortable to listen to.

The author injects a lot of unsettling details to flesh out and humanize the abuse. To some extent there's probably something wrong with a writer (and narrator) who produces these embellishments but I sure am glad he has an outlet with non-fiction crime novels. I was starting to suspect that the author was enjoying himself a bit too much so I did just a few web searches to make sure this wasn't merely his twisted fantasy. Sure enough, this wretched case is true and it appears to be every inch as messed up as this book depicts. Maybe I was just hoping it was the product of a sick writer. The reality that this woman perpetrated such sadism makes you question your belief in goodness.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa Noel
  • 2018-09-17

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jstep
  • 2018-08-13

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gabrielle
  • 2018-09-04

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Polly Poizendem
  • 2019-08-04

Heartbreaking Horror . . .

As the title implies, this is indeed a sad case of torture, in very graphic detail. The listener will be more than surprised to learn how long this had gone on for, as I was. Although many were in on it and had participated, surprisingly no one that could save the girl from abuse was made aware, or even slightly suspicious. This is a hard one to get through - hard to listen to - yet hard to NOT listen to. Wow. Of the hundreds of true crime books I’ve read, it’s one of the most shocking, for sure.

The author did an excellent job at making you feel like a fly on the wall during all the events that took place, and the narrator was great! I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion - it was quite well done - and it will definitely leave you gasping in disbelief. All the way to the very unexpected outcome!!!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • timj26
  • 2019-05-28

<br />Excellent

Ryan has quickly become my go to for true crime
This real life horror story is based on testimony from the trial
As brutal as this is I can only imagine what Sylvia’s side would uncover
Steve’s narration is fantastic once again highly recommended
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simone
  • 2019-04-14

Depraved

I consume a lot of true crime content and rarely am I shook by something I read or hear. I've even heard this story before, and upon the retelling by Ryan Green, I was freshly and deeply disturbed. If you're sensitive to child abuse, you'll definitely want to avoid this book. Sylvia Likens is about as likable of a young woman as one could find. That doesn't stop (and perhaps is one of the reasons why) Gertrude Baniszewski and her band of violent children from torturing her until she ultimately dies. This is a heartbreaking tale about the worst of what human depravity has to offer. I found it fascinating and horrifying how easily Gert was able to manipulate the children around her into doing unspeakable things. This is a study in real world terror. Steve White gives a really good performance.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • wdarling
  • 2019-03-17

Really hard to listen to

This is an incredibly sad story to listen to. The torture of this young girl is hard to fathom, much less read about in detail. Gertrude was a monster, along with her children and I can’t imagine how the whole family went along with and participated in this torture.
Well written and narrated. The only thing I’m really taking away from listening to this book is that monsters are indeed real and walk amongst us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful