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Dark Destinations > Locations - S > Sylvia Likens Memorial

Sylvia Likens Memorial Other destinations within a
mile radius.

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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Infamous Crimes > Sylvia Likens
Added By: Tom G
Added On: April 29, 2008 - 08:22 PM UTC
Last Modified: January 30, 2009 - 04:31 PM UTC
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Willard Park, USA (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Willard Park, Indianapolis
This park in Indianapolis began as the grounds of the Indiana School for the Deaf. The school was founded in 1850 by William Willard whom the park is named after. Willard, who was deaf himself, acted as a teacher and principal for the school. It was the first school of its type in Indianapolis. The school relocated to a new facility in 1911. The park itself was begun in 1907 and completed in 1909. The park has gone undergone some changes in the time since, including a period where the park fell into disrepair. In the mid-1990s, the Shepherd Church of the Nazarene (less than two miles from the park) bid and won the maintenance contract for Willard Park. This had the effect of putting responsibility for the park on people in the local community. Litterbugs suddenly found themselves being chastised by their neighbors for leaving trash lying about that they would have to pick up later. The park gradually improved.

Starting in 2001, further improvements were implemented at the park. Among the improvements and additions to the park was a memorial to Sylvia Likens, the victim of the Indiana Torture Slaying.

Sylvia Likens
Sylvia Likens was a 16-year-old victim of child abuse who was brutally murdered in a house a little over a mile and a half from Willard Park (see The Sylvia Likens House). A memorial meant in her honor was unveiled in the park on June 22,2001. The memorial, which was donated by the actor/filmmaker and Indianapolis native Ivan Rogers, was among the first changes made to the park as part of its restoration. Rogers had been a child in Indianapolis at the time of the murder and had nearly become a member of the Indiana State Police before going into filmmaking as a career.

The front of the memorial displays an image of Sylvia Likens and bears the following inscription:

I see a light;
I feel a breeze;
I hear a song;
Let them through,
they are the welcome

Ivan Rogers
Indianapolis Police Department
April 25, 2001

The back has the following inscription as well:

This memorial is in
memory of a young
child who died a
tragic death as a
result, laws changed
and awareness

This is a commitment
to our children, that
the Indianapolis Police
Department is working
to make this a safe city
for all our children.

Visiting the Park
Willard Park is one of the larger neighborhood parks in Indianapolis at slightly over 11 acres. The park has an outdoor swimming pool, a bath house a spray pool where jets of water provide a place for children to play and cool off. The park also features two basketball courts, a baseball diamond and soccer field. It also has a playground, a picnic area complete with shelter, and a roughly half-mile walking trail around the park.

The memorial rests close to the walking trail leading from by the playground to the picnic area. The marker on the map above is placed next to where the memorial stands within the park. It is not the only stone memorial for Sylvia Likens. She also has a small memorial marker at her grave in a cemetery roughly 26 miles away (see Oak Hill Cemetery, Lebanon, IN).
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User Trips
The Memorial of Sylvia Likens - From: pattikrieg (01/10/09, 03:29 AM UTC)
Its a very beautiful memorial, But the park that it is in is very run down,
Rating: 0/0 (0 Comments)
Related Sites
In Memory of Sylvia Likens
An online memorial to the memory of murder victim Sylvia Likens.
Crime Library: Sylvia Likens
Article on the murder of Sylvia Likens at Crime Library.
Wikipedia: Sylvia Likens
Entry for murder victim Sylvia Likens at Wikipedia.
International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
Website for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
The Center Against Domestic Violence
Web site for the Center Against Domestic Violence. Working to prevent domestic abuse and assist survivors of domestic abuse.
National Children's Alliance
Web site for the National Children's Alliance. An organization for the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
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See Also on
Blog: Dark Destination's Birthday: Top 25 Destinations (08/05/08)
Blog: The Top 25 for the Month of October 2008 (11/04/08)
Blog: The Demolition of the Sylvia Likens House (04/24/09)
Blog: The Dark Destinations Top 50 for Spring 2009 (05/24/09)
Blog: Top 20 Dark Destinations for Month of January 2010 (01/31/10)
Available from
House of Evil: The Indiana Torture Slaying (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
The Indiana Torture Slaying: Sylvia Likens' Ordeal and Death
The Basement
The Girl Next Door
An American Crime
The Girl Next Door
By Sanction of the Victim
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The Sylvia Likens Memorial
The Sylvia Likens Memorial in Willard Park, Indianapolis, Indiana.
From: jrock420cfh
The Back of the Sylvia Likens Memorial
The back of the Sylvia Likens Memorial in Willard Park.
From: jrock420cfh
Close-up of the Sylvia Likens Memorial
A close-up of the Sylvia Likens Memorial.
From: jrock420cfh
Sylvia Likens
A photo of Indiana torture slaying victim Sylvia Likens.
From: Tom G
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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