Do you remember the evil grandmother of the Little Red Riding Hood? The original versions of Disney’s evil grandmothers can turn the world into a horrible place.
And nothing is more grieving than the torture and death of a child in the hands of her grandmother. Helen Ford has been convicted of first-degree murder of her own granddaughter Gizzell Ford in 2013.
Gizzell Ford was a cheerful girl of 8, who lived with her father Andre Ford and grandmother Helen Ford in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Ford was bedridden and was under the care of Helen, and both of them had a disturbing history.
It had been only eight months, after Andre had been granted the custody of little Gizzell, that her body was found in their apartment, tortured and strangled to death. Andre managed to secure the custody of his daughter because her mother, Sandra Mercado, was homeless. However, according to Mercado, she was desperately trying to convince the judge during the hearing, but he ruled out in favor of Andre.
The rainbow-colored personal diary of Gizzell bears testimony to her horrific story, how she suffered abuse at the hands of her grandmother and her father.
After denying her of food and water, she was forced to keep standing and squatting for hours and was tied to the bed for days.There was video evidence, recorded by Gizzell’s father where he said, “She’s getting defiant,” and then “Stand up! Do your squats!” The video also showed the Fords pulled out clumps of hair and beat the child mercilessly.
When her body was found by paramedics, it was apparent that her legs and hands had been tied for long hours and there was a severe injury to her head.She was wearing ripped underwear, with her face lying on a pillow, soaked in blood.
While convicting Helen, Ford was told, “This murder was torture. That child suffered a slow and agonizing death. “
The judge further said,”That little body looked like it had been pulverized from head to toe… Her treatment (of Gizzell) was evil.”
Another disturbing report revealed that Gizzell paid a doctor’s visit, 16 days before her death. Despite noticing the warning signs of physical abuse, the doctor never reported the event. After the harrowing death, Mercado has filed a lawsuit against the doctor. She claimed that he could have saved Gizzell, by helping her to relocate from her abusive.
The heartbreaking journal of Gizzell read, “I am going to be a beautiful smart and good young lady.” Andre and Helen were arrested for abusing and murdering the 8-year-old girl. Helen was convicted of the murder, but Andre died of heart attack while awaiting the trial. Gizzell’s family has been awarded a $48 million settlement by a Chicago jury.
Her teacher, Kathryn Wanicek said “Gizzell was one of those who I knew would make a difference in the world … maybe as a teacher or writer,” and the jury shaded tears as he came across the story. Mercado said, “We just wanted justice for Gizzell, and in our eyes we got it.”