Betty Likens - Mother of Deceased

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Betty Likens - Mother of Deceased

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 6:50 pm

MR. NEW: Mrs. Likens.

WITNESS SWORN BY THE COURT.

MR. ERBECKER: May I approach the bench?

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

MR. ERBECKER: (out of the hearing of the jury) Defendant Gertrude Baniszewski objects to any testimony elicited by the mother of the deceased, the present witness, Mrs. Likens. This would be cumulative and is notessential to prove the corpus delicti. It would be the same substantially testified by the husband and already in evidence. It would not prove or disprove anything not in evidence. The sole purpose of this witness is to inflame, bias and prejudice the jury and to try to elicit from the witness some testimony that would prove highly detrimental to the defendant because it would tend to cause an emotional outburst. For that reason, the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski objects to the testimony of this witness.

MR. RICE: We object for the same reasons.

MR. BOWMAN: I will concur. Any relevant testimony on any disputed issue of a fact that could possibly come from this witness would only contradict the testimony of the State's previous witness, which the State may not do since the State's previous witness has excluded, by his testimony, the presence of this witness at the time any testimony she could give that would bear on any disputed issue in this cause.

MR. NEDEFF: Richard Hobbs concurs.

THE COURT: Show the objections of all defendants overruled. (in hearing of the jury)

BETTY LIKENS , a witness called on behalf of the State of Indiana,
being duly sworn by the Court, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MISS MARJORIE WESSNER,
DEPUTY PROSECUTOR

Q. State your name, please.

A. Betty Likens.

Q. Where do you live?

A. 1334 South Meridian, Lebanon.

Q. Are you the wife of Lester Likens?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you born, Betty?

A. I was born in Indianapolis.

Q. What date?

A. March 2, 1927.

Q. And were you raised and reared in Indianapolis?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. Where did you go to school?

A. Tech.

Q. Tech High School, how long did you go to school?

A. Two and a half years.

Q. When were you married to Lester Likens?

A. 1944, March 22.

Q. Indianapolis?

A. Yes.

Q. How old are you now?

A. Thirty-nine.

Q. And do you have any children, Mrs. Likens?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What are their names?

A. Diana Likens - she is married - Danny is a twin to Diana. Denny and Jenny.

Q. Were you the mother of Sylvia Likens?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. When was she born?

A. January 3, 1949.

Q. Did Sylvia live with you all her life?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she go to church?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did she attend church?

MR. BOWMAN: We object, Your Honor, this is repetitious.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. Where did she attend?

A. East 16th Street Church. In California, she went to Pentecostal Church.

Q. Did she attend Sunday School?

A. Yes.

Q. How was her attendance in Sunday School?

A. Very good.

Q. Did she go every Sunday?

A. Yes.

Q. Where did she attend school when she was in Indianapolis?

A. Tech and 62.

Q. She graduated from -

A. 62.

Q. And when did she start Tech High School?

A. Well, it was right after that, as soon as the term started again in September.

Q. How was her attendance in school?

A. It was pretty good.

Q. What kind of grades did she make?

A. Average.

Q. Was Sylvia an obedient child?

A. Yes, a very good girl.

Q. Did she help you around the house with the house work?

A. Yes.

Q. What were her chores?

A. Well, she would do dishes and help babysit a lot, you know.

THE COURT: Talk a little louder.

A. She helped do dishes and would go to the store and anything I asked her to do she was willing to do it.

Q. Did she follow your directions?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she cooperate with you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she ever give you any trouble around the house, Mrs. Likens?

A. No, she never.

Q. How did she get along with her brothers and sisters?

A. Real good.

Q. How was her relationship with Jenny?

A. Real nice, they had lots of fun together. They were always laughing.

Q. How much older was she?

A. A year.

Q. Did she spend much time - did they spend much time together?

A. Yes, they was always together.

Q. Did Sylvia work outside the home any?

A. She babysitted one time.

Q. Was she paid for this?

A. Yes.

Q. What did she do with the money she earned?

A. She would buy some clothes and liked to go skating.

Q. Did Sylvia have a nickname?

A. Yes.

Q. What was this?

A. Cookie.

Q. How would you describe her cleanliness?

A. She was really nice and neat.

Q. Did she take care of her own clothes?

A. Yes, she did.

Q. Did she take care of her hair?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she keep her body clean?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she ever have any trouble in school of any kind that you know of?

A. No, not that I know of.

Q. How would you describe her language?

A. Real good.

Q. Did you ever hear her use swear words?

A. No, I never did.

Q. Did you ever hear her use vulgar language?

A. No.

Q. Have you ever worked, Mrs. Likens?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you working at the present time?

A. No, I am not.

Q. Where have you worked?

A. We had a cleaners and I helped my husband in the cleaners.

Q. Were you employed anywhere else?

A. I have been a bookkeeper at Capitol Paper Company.

Q. How long did you work there?

A. About a year.

Q. Directing your attention to July 1965, did you meet Gertrude Baniszewski at that time?

A. Well, I did not meet her till after my husband had already, you know.

Q. Can you speak up?

A. I met her later, after my children met her first.

Q. When did you meet her?

A. Well, me and my husband was separated at the time and I met her later after we went back together.

Q. Where did you meet her?

A. At her home.

Q. Did you go there?

A. Yes, I went to see the children.

Q. With whom?

A. With my husband.

Q. With your husband?

A. Yes.

Q. And who said your children were there - what children are you referring to?

A. Jenny and Sylvia.

Q. How long had they been there when you went?

A. Just a few days.

Q. And do you recall this address?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is it?

A. 3850 East New York.

Q. Indianapolis, Marion County?

A. Yes.

Q. And who was there when you went?

A. I seen most of her girls.

Q. Who are they?

A. Stephanie and Paula and two of the littlest girls.

Q. Is Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski in court this morning?

A. Yes.

Q. Point her out, please.

A. Right over there. (indicating defendant Gertrude Baniszewski)

MISS WESSNER: Let the record show the witness is pointing to the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski.

Q. Was Paula Marie present?

A. Yes.

Q. Point her out, please.

A. In the middle of the boys. (indicating defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski)

Q. Is that the young lady with the blue checked blouse?

A. And brown sweater.

Q. Was anyone else present when you went there at that time?

A. I don't remember too well, I don't think so at that time.

Q. Did you have a conversation with Mrs. Baniszewski?

A. Yes, my husband said he would like for me to meet her.

Q. What was said at that time?

MR. BOWMAN: We object.

MR. ERBECKER: We object unless the time and place is established.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Do you recall what date this was?

A. I think it was October.

Q. The first time you had conversation?

A. July, I think, July 7, something like that, or the 6th.

Q. This was at Mrs. Baniszewski's house?

A. Yes.

Q. And was this conversation in the presence of Mrs. Baniszewski?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. In the presence of Paula Marie Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. What was said at that time?

MR. BOWMAN: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained as to defendants Coy Hubbard and John Baniszewski.

A. Well, she just said she was going to take care of the children. We were going to pay her $20.00 a week. She said she was going to take care of the children. My husband said he thought she was a good woman to take care of the children.

Q. When did you next see Mrs. Baniszewski, if you did?

A. Well the next time might have been a week or so.

Q. And where would you see her?

A. At the same place, her house.

Q. In her house?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was present?

A. Well, every time I went there it seemed like it was always the same. I never seen any boys there - I don't remember.

Q. This second time you testified to, who was present then.

A. Herself and Paula and Stephanie and Sylvia and Jenny.

Q. Who were you with?

A. With my husband.

Q. Was Sylvia present?

A. Yes.

Q. Was there a conversation at this time?

A. No, not too much.

Q. Would you relate what conversation you did hear in the presence of Mrs. Baniszewski and Paula Marie?

A. Well, they said they were treated real good and they wanted to keep her.

Q. What did Mrs. Baniszewski say?

A. She just said she would like to keep Sylvia and she needed an education real bad and she wanted her to go back to school.

Q. Did she do anything at that time?

A. No, not that I remember. She put her arm around Sylvia, and said she would like to keep her.

Q. Then Mrs. Likens, when was the next time you saw the defendants, if you did?

A. Well, it was the next week or so, sometimes we would not be gone over a week or so. We would go on another fair and be back.

Q. How many times did you visit Sylvia in Mrs. Baniszewski's home?

A. I would say - it is kind of hard to remember - I'd say at least eight times or ten, maybe.

Q. Now, during these times did you see Sylvia when you were there?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you at any of these times, Mrs. Likens, see anything out of order, out of the usual, when you visited in the home?

A. No, it seemed like anybody else's, normal.

Q. Did you see any bruises or marks on Sylvia any of these times?

A. No.

Q. When was the last time you visited Sylvia?

A. October 5.

Q. Who was present then?

A. Well, I seen Sylvia and Jenny, Paula and Stephanie and I think that was all.

Q. Was your husband present?

A. Yes.

Q. Was this the last time you ever saw Sylvia?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. At any time did you see the defendant John Baniszewski in the home?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever see Coy Hubbard in the home?

A. No, I did not know him.

Q. Have you ever seen Richard Hobbs?

A. No, not that I can remember of. I don't remember seeing any of them before.

Q. Did you know any of the defendants before the first time you visited in Mrs. Baniszewski's home?

A. No, I never knew them before.

Q. When did Sylvia die, Mrs. Likens?

A. October 26.

Q. Where were you then?

A. Well, I was in Jacksonville, Florida.

Q. With your husband?

A. Yes.

Q. What work was ho doing?

A. We was playing a fair at Jacksonville.

Q. During the times you visited Sylvia in Mrs. Baniszewski's house, did you ever see your husband give Mrs. Baniszewski money?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Do you know how many times? How much?

A. He would always pay $20.00 and one time he gave her $40.00. He would always pay in advance.

Q. Would this be cash?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he send money orders when he was away from town?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you come back to Indianapolis after Sylvia's death?

A. Yes, right away.

Q. With your husband?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you attend her funeral?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was that?

A. Lebanon, Indiana, October 29 - I am not real sure - it was on Friday because we had to get back.

MISS WESSNER: Cross examine.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. Now, Mrs. Likens, which is the first time you ever saw the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Well, it was July 7, I think.

Q. You and your husband were together?

A. Yes.

Q. At any time did you make any investigation with reference to the premises there at 3850 East New York Street?

A. Well, I went inside and did not see anything unusual.

Q. You never?

A. It looked like a nice home.

Q. You never saw her before that time?

A. No.

Q. You never made inquiry of neighbors or anybody else?

A. Well, no.

Q. Did you ever talk to Mrs. MacGuire, the neighbor there about Gertrude here?

A. I never did. My girls did.

Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mrs. MacGuire in the early part of 1963?

A. I talked to her one time about watching Jenny while I worked at RCA.

Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mrs. MacGuire relative to any of your children at that time?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever have a conversation with her - MacGuire relative to your husband and his attitude toward the children?

A. No, I don't remember of it.

Q. Did you ever go out socially with any of your children while you were in Indianapolis?

A. Yes, I went skating with them on Saturday.

Q. Was Sylvia along?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Sylvia ever smoke?

A. No.

Q. She never did?

A. No.

Q. Now on July 7, 1965 was your first conversation with the defendant?

A. I think it was. I don't remember exactly the date.

Q. After arrangements had been made for her to take care of your children or before?

A. After.

Q. Other than you going and talking to Mrs. Baniszewski, that was the only inquiry you ever made about her character or background?

A. Yes, I thought it was a good home, it seemed like it. She said she took them to church.

Q. You and your husband went to Florida when?

A. Well, we did not go to Florida for a while. We worked all summer on the stand.

Q. How long did you stay in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana?

A. When?

Q. After you first saw Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski on July 5?

A. We went to Brownstown, Indiana.

Q. Right away?

A. We did not have a stand. We worked all summer to buy the stand.

Q. What was your purpose leaving your daughter there, Sylvia, at a total stranger's house?

A. So she could go back to school. She said she needed her education.

Q. How far did she go to school?

A. She quit at sixteen and she wanted to go back.

Q. She quit?

A. At sixteen and I always thought she would stay in school and she did too.

Q. She quit at sixteen?

A. Yes, and then went back.

Q. How old was she July 7, 1965?

A. She was sixteen and six months, sixteen and a half.

Q. She was sixteen around January then, '65?

A. Yes.

MR. ERBECKER: No further questions.

THE COURT: Paula Marie Baniszewski may cross examine.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. GEORGE RICE, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
PAULA MARIE BANISZEWSKI

Q. I believe you said the 7th of July you talked to Mrs. Baniszewski the first time and her daughter, Paula Marie was present?

A. Yes.

Q. Am I correct - was there any conversation with Paula Marie Baniszewski?

A. No.

Q. Did she enter into any conversation with you?

A. She did not may too much to me.

Q. As far as you know, she said nothing, had to do with your children being quartered at the Baniszewski household?

A. No.

Q. You said a few days later you came back and Paula Marie was present there at that time?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have a conversation with her at that time, that is Paula?

A. She never said much of anything.

Q. Did she have a conversation with you?

A. No.

Q. You spoke of a third interview the 5th of October, at which Paula was present. Did you have a conversation with her at that time?

A. No.

Q. Did she have any conversation with you?

A. No.

MR. RICE: No further questions.

THE COURT: Defendants John Stephan Baniszewski and Coy Hubbard may cross examine.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. FORREST BOWMAN, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANTS,
COY HUBBARD AND JOHN STEPHAN BANISZEWSKI

Q. Mrs. Likens, do you recall being at the Baniszewski home October 5?

A. Yes.

Q. About what time of day or night?

A. Around noon.

Q. How long did you stay?

A. We stayed long enough to see the girls and pay her and just long enough to see the girls. I imagine a half hour.

Q. About a half hour?

A. Yes.

Q. You saw Sylvia at that time?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you see any bruises her?

A. No.

Q. Any marks?

A. No.

Q. No injuries?

A. No.

Q. She was alright?

A. Yes.

MR. BOWMAN: No further questions.

THE COURT: Richard Hobbs may examine.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. JAMES NEDEFF, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
RICHARD HOBBS

Q. Are you presently living with your mother here in the city?

A. I am living with my mother-in-law in Lebanon.

Q. Are you working now?

A. No.

Q. How old was Sylvia when she quit school?

A. She was sixteen and she went back.

Q. Did your daughter Diane finish school or did she quit?

A. She quit at sixteen too.

Q. Your son Danny?

A. He quit and he went back.

Q. He dropped out later?

A. Yes.

Q. He never finished?

A. No, a boy at school knocked his teeth out and he did not want to go back. I don't know exactly what happened.

THE COURT: Please speak up, Mrs. Likens, the men are entitled to hear what you say and the jury wants to hear what you say.

Q. Do you remember the exact date you and your husband started playing the fairs in July?

A. Yes, I think around July 29.

Q. What date?

A. July 29. if I remember right. It might have been a little sooner. He can remember dates more than I do. He had worked with this man every year.

Q. Your husband testified the first days in July.

A. He could have been right. After we took them over there, we left. It must have been around the 10th.

Q. Is it a fact, you and your husband made quick arrangements for placing Sylvia and Jenny with someone because you wanted to make the fair July 4th?

A. No, the kids met her and we was looking for somebody anyway to take care of them. She said she would take care of them like her own.

Q. You have worked carnivals a long time. Is that biggest weekend of the fair, July 4?

A. Yes, usually. We did not make that fair. This man does not make that fair any more. He used to be at Connorsville.

Q. July 4, last year fell on Sunday, were you and your husband working those fairs on Sunday?

A. No.

Q. You said hasty preparation to place Sylvia and Jenny were not made because you wanted to make the July 4 weekend fair?

A. No, it was not.

Q. Now, do you know where your daughter Diane lived on July 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, the middle of June and July and August and September, do you know where your daughter Diane lived?

A. I think she lived on South Tuxedo.

Q. Do you remember the address?

A. It is the 1200 block, that is not exactly the number but it is 1200.

Q. In July and August, you did not know where she was living, did you?

A. Not exactly.

Q. You learned she lived on Tuxedo since October 26, 1965?

A. She was married. I thought she was with her husband. She moved around quite a bit.

Q. Do you know if in June or July she might have lived on Sherman Drive?

A. I never knew it if she lived on Sherman Drive.

Q. You did not know where she was living July in 1965?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Where were you at in September when school opened in 1965?

A. We was at the State Fair here for two or three weeks.

Q. Where at?

A. At the State Fair. We had a layover here at least three weeks. Then we went to Saganaw, Michigan.

Q. Do you know what Sylvia and Jenny did all through July and August before they started school in September last year?

A. Well, Sylvia had a babysitting job 9000 east. She gave me $5.00 a week of her money. That is how good she was.

Q. What did Jenny do?

MR. NEW: I am sorry, Mrs. Likens, you let your voice drop.

Q. Now you knew the MacGuires that lived there in that neighborhood?

A. I knew Naomi. I did not know the rest.

Q. How about the Monroes' who lived there?

A. No, I never heard of them.

Q. Those visits you made at 3850 East New York, did you ever see Richard Hobbs?

A. I don't remember it.

Q. Do you know him?

A. I know him.

Q. Did you ever see him?

A. No, I only seen him from his picture.

MR. NEDEFF: No other questions.

MR. ERBECKER: An omitted question.

THE COURT: Alright, on cross.

CROSS EXAMINATION (OMITTED QUESTIONS),
BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. Did you say you visited Sylvia eight times in the Baniszewski home?

A. I don't remember, eight or ten times. It might have been more. Every time we were in town.

Q. Eight or ten or more. How long did these visits last?

A. We were there a half hour.

Q. What parts of the house did you visit when you were there?

A. The front room and the dining room. I seen it from the view.

Q. The front roam and dining room?

A. I did not ever see the kitchen but the last time.

Q. You did see the kitchen the last time?

A. The last time she told us to come in the kitchen.

Q. Did you ever go to the basement?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you ever go upstairs?

A. No.

Q. You went there eight or ten times, or possibly more, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And it averaged a half hour each time?

A. Yes.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MISS MARJORIE WESSNER,
DEPUTY PROSECUTOR

Q. You testified on cross examination after Sylvia quit school she went back. When did she start back?

A. September when the term started.

Q. 1965?

A. Yes.

Q. That is when she was living with Mrs. Baniszewski, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know how long she continued to go to school then?

A. Well just until this happened. I don't know exactly the date.

MISS WESSNER: That is all.

THE COURT: Any re-cross?

MR. NEDEFF: I have one question.

Q. How many times have you talked to Mr. New and Miss Wessner here for the State?

A. Quite a few times ever since we have been up here.

MR. NEDEFF: No other questions.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. GEORGE RICE, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
PAULA MARIE BANISZEWSKI

Q. Mrs. Likens, can you tell us the last day your daughter attended school?

A. The last day?

Q. Yes.

A. Well -

Q. Approximately?

A. On October 5, I don't know if that stuff at school had been said or not. I don't know if she went back any more or not. I think it might have been October 4, I am not sure. I was not there.

MR. RICE: No further questions.

THE COURT: Any additional questions?

MISS WESSNER: No.

WITNESS EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Next witness.

MR. ERBECKER: I would like to make a motion in open court. I would like to make a motion for inspection of the premises by the jury.

THE COURT: I will rule on it at the next recess.

MR. NEW: Sgt. Don Campbell.
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