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Ivy Likens and her sons should be put to death

By Scott Tibbs, September 7, 2009

Eight years ago, I followed a shocking case in the Indianapolis media: Ivy Likens, then 42, left a three year old child in the care of her three sons. The oldest of the three monsters, Wayne Likens, then 17, had been convicted twice for child molestation. (That he was not in prison at the time shows the depraved weakness of our criminal justice system and is a slap in the face to the taxpayers.) The girl was brutally abused by the three monsters Ivy Likens cursed this planet with. TheIndyChannel.com reported at the time that "doctors compared the girl's injuries to those suffered in a car crash or a fall from a two-story building."

In order to accurately express my opinion on the evil behavior of the Likens family, I would need to write a string of profanities, obscenities and vulgarities that would be completely inappropriate for a family-friendly website. Explaining what I think should be done to these monsters would include some graphic descriptions of violence that civilized people would find nauseating and disturbing. I'll leave that to the imagination, but I will say that I believe Ivy Likens and her sons should have been put to death years ago. The world would certainly be a better place today if all four of them were dead. An 8-month-old baby would not have suffered brutal abuse because his "father" would be in Hell where he belongs.

Simply put, the criminal justice system failed, and now an 8-month-old baby is paying for it. The jail terms given to Ivy Likens and her eldest son were sickeningly short. A twice-convicted child molester and ringleader of a horrific abuse case got a pathetic 20 years in prison. Even if his sentence is not shortened, he will be free to brutalize more children when he is 38. After the "mother" allowed this abuse to happen by leaving the child in the "care" of her sons, she was sentenced to only 7 years. The victim will carry the scars with her for the rest of her life.

TheIndyChannel.com reported at the time that the horrific abuse suffered by the child was discovered by her father, who called police. This means that Ivy Likens either knew of the abuse and did nothing about it, not even seeking medical treatment, or that she was so irresponsible and neglectful that she did not even check on the child when she got back from her errand. That she only served seven years and is now free is an insult to her victim, and every citizen of Indiana. The criminal justice system that is supposed to protect the innocent and punish the guilty failed.

The reason that it is important to revisit the 2001 case and the reason I spent so much time on it is because it provides context to the charges that David Likens is facing now. The Indianapolis Star reports that the youngest of the three monsters was charged after it was discovered that his 8-month-old daughter had bone fractures on "her lower legs, a forearm and two ribs." The Star article reports prosecutors allege that "Likens picked the baby up by yanking her limbs, based on doctors' assessments." Clearly, David Likens has learned absolutely nothing and he's still a danger to every child he comes into contact with. As long as he is free to menace society, children are not safe.

We need much harsher punishments for these types of crimes. The law needs to be changed to mandate that people like the Likens family to at a minimum be put behind bars for the rest of their lives. Ideally, the Likens family should have been put to death. That these four monsters are guilty is not in dispute. While some criminals can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society after serving their time, there are some who should never see the outside of a prison. Examples of this are Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Ted Bundy, and Ottis Toole. They are predators on society and their lives have no redeeming value whatsoever. The Likens family easily fits into the same category of the monsters listed before them and the world will be a better place when all of them are dead.