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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

entry arrow11:42 PM | The Shadows in Our Midst

I feel sad, and a little angry. Because something brought back memories I thought I had long since buried. I was reading this review of Gregory M. Wilson's Jack Ketchum’s the Girl Next Door (see the trailer here), which led me to this other film by Tommy O'Haver titled An American Crime (see the trailer here). Both are based on the torture and murder of a teenage girl named Sylvia Likens by Gertrude Baniszewski, an ordinary Indiana housewife, in 1965. (Crime Library has the story here.) Sylvia and sister Jenny were her wards, and Gertrude soon began systematically torturing the older sister whom she accused of being "a prostitute," with the willing help of her children and their friends -- a perfect illustration in Milgram's experiments on evil.

I feel this story... because I know what it was like to be a mere child in the "care" of another person. Somebody who owns the house that you're family is living in and working for as caretakers. Somebody who soon takes special delight in first abusing you verbally, with each passing day becoming more and more sinister as the abuse grows grander and more sinister. I was ten.

It never became murder, but you know what you did, J.

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