An American Crime Review

CRJU/SOCW 4220 Grading Rubric Media Review Presentation

1. In the beginning of the movie both Lester and Betty Likens were separated. Why didn’t Betty want to get back on the road with the carnival/fair? What did Lester suggest would help their relationship?

 

2. How did the Likens girls meet the Baniszewski children? How long did Lester Likens know Gertrude Baniszewski before he agreed to let the girls stay with her and her family? How much money per week did the Likens have to pay in order for the girls to stay? What Medical condition did Jenny Likens have?

 

3. What type of punishment did Sylvia and Jenna get because of the money order from their parents being late?

 

4. Gertrude’s daughter Paula ended up getting pregnant by a married man. How did Sylvia catch the brunt of it? What other lies did Paula tell in order to get Sylvia in trouble? How did Gertrude allow Paula to get even on the lies she allegedly told?

 

5. Why do you believe that Gertrude threw away the letter that the Likens had written to their daughters? Sylvia and Jenny called their parents from a pay phone after they found the letter and expressed concerns. Based on the short conversation in the phone booth, should it have been a red flag? If so, why? What was the punishment that Sylvia had to suffer because the girls called their parents?

 

6. How did the neighbors react to the abuse that they heard? Why do you think they reacted this way?

 

7. After locking Sylvia in the basement, what was the story that Gertrude has the children to tell everyone? How did the other kids treat Sylvia when they came over to see her in the basement?

 

8. Who helps Sylvia up the stairs to escape? Why did this person have a change of heart?

 

9. Gertrude stuck to her lies till the very end and received life in prison. She was paroled after 20 years, do you agree with her parole? Why or why not? The other children who took part in the assaults only received a few years, should they have gotten more time? Why or why not?

 

10. It’s not clear according to the movie if Lester and Betty Liken were held accountable for leaving the girls with the Baniszewski’s. Should they have been charged with neglect? Why or why not?

 

*Please be sure to answer all questions thorough and substantially. Mediocre answers will result in mediocre grades.

 

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