Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific.Written by
The real life daughter, Paula Baniszewski, was released from prison and changed her name. She ended up getting a job as a guidance counselor aide in an Iowa school and worked there for 14 years before anyone found out about her real past. She was immediately fired. See more »
When a shot of the front of the house is shown, you can see that there is a red Chevrolet Corvette '68 parked in front of the neighbor's. At that time, the story is set in 1965. See more »
Reverend Bill used to say, "For every situation God always has a plan." I guess I'm still trying to figure out what that plan was.
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The final credit states "Sylvia Likens, 1949-1965". See more »
The "disclaimer" at the end of "An American Crime" could not be more appropriate. Why does Hollywood have to make up "fake scenarios" about one of the most horrific crimes ever committed? Are the actual facts not "interesting" enough for the big screen? I can assure you, they are indeed, and need to be told. Anyone who has ever comprehensively researched this case can tell you, there is very little "fact" here. The ferocity and unrelenting cruelty of the monster "Gertrude," as well as the "enthusiasm" of the children who participated in the torture of Sylvia Likens, particularly, daughter Paula, has been falsely conveyed and greatly understated. It's really a travesty and dishonors the memory of an innocent young girl. They had a great opportunity to show the truth, and they blew it. Shame on them.
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