I am a resident of the Indianapolis area and am very familiar with the Sylvia Likens murder case, of which Paula Banizsewski Pace played an integral part. I am so glad Paula has been "outed." The people of Iowa have a right to know what kind of person lives among them.
Every article I've read about the discovery of Paula Pace's true identity has been very mild. Sanitized, actually. The true facts of the crime are horrendous. I think it would cause even people who know Paula well to look at her in a different light, and wonder what kind of person could do such horrible things to another.
Oct. 26 will mark the 47-year anniversary of Sylvia Likens' death. Sylvia was 16 years old when Paula, Paula's mother and siblings, and some neighborhood kids took her young life. To say the torture and murder was heinous would be a gross understatement. This poor girl died a slow, painful, horrible death. The acts perpetrated upon Sylvia are unspeakable and took place over a period of months, until her small malnourished body couldn't take anymore.
There are people who would say Paula was just a teenager at the time, and she was acting under the instruction of an abusive mother. True, but she had ample opportunity to help Sylvia, had she wanted to do so. She could have told her own father, who was an Indianapolis police officer at the time. She did exactly what she wanted to do, and took great pride and pleasure in her actions. Every photograph of Paula taken at the time of her arrest and trial(s) shows a young girl with a smirk on her face. Not even a hint of remorse was ever shown by her.
There are also those who would say Paula has served her time, and she should be allowed to live out the rest of her life in peace. I am not one of those people. What chance did she give Sylvia? Certainly not to live her life ... in peace of otherwise.
Why should Paula, or anyone else responsible for Sylvia's torture and death, have the right to a peaceful, normal life? The answer, for me at least, is that they should not. They should live with the consequences forever. Their right to a peaceful, normal life died with Sylvia Likens.