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Jenny Likens:
Jenny was born Feb. 13, 1950.  She was fifteen at the time that she stayed with Gertrude Baniszewski.  Jenny had a twin named Benny Likens.  Jenny was a pretty young girl who was very close to her sister Sylvia.  It is thought that Sylvia took abuse for Jenny, because Jenny had a leg brace.  Jenny was a polio victim, and her sister Sylvia took really good care of her.  Jenny received several beatings from Gertrude; however, the children were not abusive toward her. It is thought that Jenny was spared much of the abuse because of her handicap.  People have a tendency to blame Jenny for not getting help for Sylvia, but she was paralyzed by fear.  Jenny was also worried about what would happen to Sylvia if she was gone too long when she went for help.  Jenny suffered terrible guilt because of what happened to Sylvia.  She had to leave the courtroom on several occasions, because she broke down in tears.  She had to live this trial two times, once in 1965 and another time in 1971 when Gertrude and Paula won an appeal.
Jenny did not speak much about what happened to Sylvia, until Gertrude Baniszewski came up for parole. She was quoted as saying, "I still have nightmares about it. I have had two breakdowns." also..."No one on this earth will ever know the pain, hurt and suffering me and Sylvia went through," Jenny Likens writes. "Gertrude Baniszewski should never be allowed out of prison, but should stay there locked up for the rest of her life because she put Sylvia where she is forever."  

Jenny found a friend in the lead prosecutor of the case.  Leroy New practically adopted Jenny, and bought her a new leg brace.  Jenny made a home with Leroy New and his daughters, who accepted Jenny like a sister.  She is quoted as saying, "I just wish.... me and Sylvia could have been left with people like this, instead of with Gertrude."  
Jenny got married to Leonard Wayde and had two children, but she never got over the sadness of losing Sylvia.  She died on Jun. 23, 2004 at age 54 of a heart attack. 


Lester Likens:
Lester was born in Lebanon, IN. He was a carnival worker who was the father of Jenny and Sylvia Likens.  He was never able to find gainful employment, but he worked hard and for the most part, supported his family.  After arriving home to an empty house July 3, 1965, he went looking for his daughters and his wife. Lester found Jenny and Sylvia at the house of Gertrude Baniszewski. After learning his wife was in jail, he stayed the night at the house. He later made arrangements for Gertrude to board his daughters for twenty dollars a week.  He made the very unfortunate mistake of not looking around the house.  If Lester had looked around the house, he never would have left the girls there.  The house was very dirty, there were not enough beds for the children, and not enough food for one person let alone ten.  Lester greatly suffered for this lapse in judgment.  He and his wife  divorced 1967 and he lived with his daughter Diana in California until February 22, 2013 when he passed away.

Betty Likens/ Matheson:
Betty Likens was born in Indianapolis, IN March 2, 1927.  She was arrested for shoplifting the day Sylvia and Jenny found themselves at Gertrude Baniszewski’s house for dinner.  She was a traveling carnival with husband at the time.  Lester and Betty had a troubled marriage and split up several times.
Betty Likens was a good mother according to her daughter Jenny.  Betty never really got over Sylvia’s death.  She filed for divorce from Lester in early 1966, and married Clifford Matheson.  Betty Likens passed away May 29, 1998 at age 71.  After her death, there was a suitcase filled with sympathy letters and pictures of Sylvia.  It is called the suitcase of sorrow.

Dianna Likens/ Shoemaker
Dianna was nineteen, married, and on her way to a divorce when Sylvia was murdered.  She did see Jenny in the park one day.  Jenny told Dianna that Gertrude was beating them, but Dianna thought she was exaggerating.  She knew that Lester had a heavy hand as well and figured the girls were misbehaving. There is no way that she had any idea what was going on.  Dianna also went to the house and insisted on seeing her sisters, but Gertrude said she would call the police if she did not leave.
Dianna is still living, and I am not going to post her married last name here for privacy.  I have spoken with her two children.  They say that Dianna is a wonderful mother and a kind hearted person.  They also say that Dianna is reluctant to talk about Sylvia or Jenny, because it upsets her too much.

Danny Likens:
Danny Likens was Dianna’s twin brother.  At the time of the trial, he was barely scraping by doing odd jobs.  He was also was thought to have had a gambling problem in local pool halls. Danny has been married at least once March 21, 1968.  The latest update has him homeless and living somewhere near Las Vegas.  It is my understanding that he has refused all help from Dianna and Lester.

Benny Likens:
Benny was Jenny’s twin brother.  At the time Sylvia and Jenny were with Gertrude Baniszewski, Benny was with his grandmother.  He even stayed a few times at the Baniszewski household.  This is a very sad Likens story.  I hate to write it out.  Benny never married and was diagnosed schizophrenic after his military service.  His decomposed body was found August 3, 1999, the body remained unclaimed and was cremated at the cost of the state. Lester Likens was in the process of reaching out to help him, when his letter was returned deceased.