The state of Indiana has produced its share of
murderers, madmen and gangsters -- but some infamous
Hoosier connections may surprise you. Depression-era
bank robber John
Dillinger's Hoosier roots are well known, but you
may not know that Charles
Manson spent his formative juvenile delinquent
years getting arrested in Indianapolis. And long before
the mass suicides at Jonestown in Guyana in 1978, the Rev. Jim Jones founded his
People's Temple sect in Indianapolis.
Most people who grew up in or near Indianapolis have
heard of the 1965 murder of
Sylvia Likens, a teenage girl who was tortured
over a period of weeks by other neighborhood children as
babysitter Gertrude Baniszewski watched and offered
In 1977, TV viewers in the Indianapolis market watched
live as disgruntled mortgage customer Tony Kiritsis wired a
shotgun to the back of a banker's neck and marched him
through the streets of downtown. When Kiritsis was later
found not guilty by reason of insanity, state lawmakers
changed the law to allow for a guilty-but-mentally-ill
verdict, which was then used in 1981 after King Edward Bell (yes,
"King" was his legal first name) took the lives of his
four small children and scrawled "Jesus take these
children" on the wall above their bodies.
In the 1920s, Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson was
the most powerful man in Indiana -- until a girl he
raped brought him down from beyond the grave.
Serial killer Belle
Gunness buried a dozen or more prosepctive
husbands on her northern Indiana farm, and may have
faked her own death to disappear.
Some infamous Indiana crimes have never been solved,
among them the LaSalle
Street murders and the disappearance of Shannon Sherrill.