An Illinois grandmother was convicted last Thursday in the murder of her 8-year-old granddaughter, who was found strangled and beaten to death in 2013, People magazine reported.
Helen Ford, 55, reportedly showed no emotion during her conviction, though Judge Evelyn Clay expressed horror at the particulars of granddaughter Gizzell Ford’s death.
“This murder was torture,” Clay said. “That child suffered a slow and agonizing death. That little body looked like it had been pulverized from head to toe. Her treatment of this child was evil.”
Gizzell—a straight-A student—wrote about her abuse at Helen’s hands in her diary, which was read during the trial. She would be punished by being forced to squat or stand in one place for hours, she wrote.
Lawyers also found video of Gizzell being tortured while a sock was stuffed in her mouth to muffle her screams. And prosecutors claimed that the third-grader was tied to her father’s bed and used as a “punching bag,” beaten with a belt and deprived of food, water, and sleep, reported The Chicago Sun-Times.
Gizzell’s body was discovered in Helen Ford’s filthy trash-filled apartment, where maggots fed on her skull, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said that the punishments were directed by Gizzell’s father, who recently died of a chronic degenerative illness while facing trial for the death, but that Helen was the person who carried out the abuse.
She will be sentenced later this month.
[Image: Cook County Sheriff]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.