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Title: House of Evil: The Indiana Torture Slaying
Author: John Dean

A couple of years ago, PopCrunch put out a list of the 10 Most Disturbing Books of All Time.  At the time, I could say that I had either read or heard about all of these on the list except the number one book, The Girl Next Door. So I went investigating it, trying to determine what made it so scary.

Turns out, it is a fictional story based on a true story of Sylvia Likens, a girl who was left with some neighbors while her parents worked across the country with the carnival. While in her neighbors care, she was beaten and tortured not only by the woman left in charge of her, but by her children and several of the neighborhood kids.

After finishing The Girl Next Door, I couldn’t quite shake the story. I have driven by the lot where the house use to live and every time, I get a cold shiver thinking about the events that took place there. So I had to keep digging for more information about this tragedy.

House of Evil is a reporter’s coverage of the events. Where The Girl Next Door fictionalized the story, House of Evil is the true account of what happened. While some might think it’s a pretty dry reporting, as a former journalist I appreciated the straightforwardness of Dean’s writing style.

The story goes down in infamy in Indianapolis, particularly on the East side where the events took place. After reading the book, I think anyone, regardless if they are from Indianapolis or not, would be haunted by what happened.


About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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