INDIANAPOLIS -- Convicted torture-slayer Gertrude Baniszewski, who said she regrets the murder that sent her to prison 20 years ago, was granted parole Tuesday for the second time by the Indiana Parole Board.
The Indianapolis woman was portrayed during the court-ordered hearing as both a sadistic murderer who had not been punished enough and a woman who would be no danger to society.
Baniszewski, convicted for the 1965 torture-slaying of Sylvia Likens, 16, was granted parole in September after a closed-door session. But a judge ruled the Parole Board did not follow Indiana's Open Door Law and ordered a new hearing.
Baniszewski, who sat slouched in a chair in front of the Parole Board Tuesday at the Indiana Women's Prison, said she was sorry for what had happened.
'I ask their (Likens' family members) forgiveness,' she said. 'I just wish it could be undone, but it can't be undone.'
Crying throughout questioning by board Chairman Lewis Gregory, Baniszewski claimed to be a changed person who is now involved in church, Bible studies and sewing. She said she was in charge of the prison agency that sews and alters correction officers' clothing.
'I'm not sure what role I had in it (the slaying) because I was on drugs at the time,' she said.
The board's 3-2 vote to parole Baniszewski was the same as in September.
Baniszewski, whose parole program was approved after the Sept. 10 vote, was expected to be released 'sometime' after 8 a.m. Wednesday, C.E. Trigg, the superintendent of the Indiana Women's Prison, said.
Under conditions of the parole, she has a job waiting for her and a place to stay when she is released, parole board members said. They also said people sentenced to life in prison who eventually are released usually are on parole for five years.
Likens, who lived in Baniszewski's rundown house, often was given scalding baths to cleanse 'her sins,' burned with cigarettes and eventually locked in a basement. At one point some of Baniszewski's children used needles to etch the phrase 'I am a prostitute and proud of it' on Likens' abdomen.
After continual beatings, Likens died. The county coroner later counted 150 sores and marks on the teenager's body.
Tuesday's hearing was ordered by Marion County Superior Judge Michael Dugan after opponents to Baniszewski's release filed suit. Dugan on Monday also ordered the release of medical and psychiatric records on Baniszewski.
The released documents said, in part, that Baniszewski is a 'healthy, stable pleasant and agreeable' person who wants 'to try to make up for the past and leave the world a little better.'