Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Torturing Death of Sylvia Marie Likens

She Will not be Forgotten

There are websites dedicated to keeping her memory alive. One called sylvialikens.com has a summary of the crime and the punishment of its perpetrators on its homepage. This informative website includes the complete trial transcript and a page at which people are invited to share their thoughts or prayers for Sylvia by leaving a "Tribute, Testimonial or Dedication to Sylvia below." The website does not want vengeful expressions so it warns, "We understand that some people are enraged by what happened to Sylvia and have a hatred towards her killers, but try to keep these Memorial Pages respectful by focusing on Sylvia." The website includes a forum on which people may discuss various aspects of the Sylvia Likens case and other child abuse cases. John McCormick, owner of the Springfield Clock Company, runs sylvialikens.com. What is the purpose of the website? "To keep the memory of Sylvia alive with respect and to promote the prevention of child abuse," he replies.

Sylvia Likens
Sylvia Likens

Another website is entitled "For Sylvia Likens." Its homepage opens with two pictures of a smiling and pretty Sylvia before her tragedy. In between those pictures is one of a pensive Jenny during the trial. The rest of the website consists of forums in which people discuss the case and its significance and also share information about its principals.

There is another website through an online organization called "Memory-Of.com: Your Online Center for Healing." This Sylvia Likens website states, "This page was created in memory of our beloved Sylvia Marie Likens." Then it gives her birth and death dates and writes, "Rest in peace Cookie." It features a photo album showing Sylvia both alone and with members of her family, a family tree, a timeline of her life and several tributes including a video tribute.

The people of Indianapolis ensured that the citizens of that city would always remember Sylvia through the memorial plaque erected in her honor.

At the conclusion of The Girl Next Door, David says he will never forget Megan. Decades after her death, the world has not forgotten Sylvia Likens. Her story continues to touch hearts and minds. It is an extraordinary legacy for a life so cruelly cut short.

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