Little Girl Found Dead, Beaten, Tortured - Then Police Find Her Diary (Video)

A beautiful 8-year-old girl is dead, and the only thing more tragic than her death is the person behind it.

The little girl, from Chicago, died at the hands of her own grandmother. The elderly woman reportedly beat the little girl and tortured her throughout her life, before finally taking the girl's life. The grandmother will now spend life in prison.

Helen Ford was convicted of first-degree murder for her 8-year-old granddaughter's death. Gizzell Ford died in 2013 after her grandmother beat her and strangled her. The judge sentenced 55-year-old Ford to life in prison.

According to an investigation, Gizzell's body showed that she had gone through prolonged abuse before she was killed. A medical exam showed she had blunt-force injuries, bruises and cuts all over her body.

She had an unhealed head wound that was infested with maggots.

She also showed signs that she was on the verge of kidney failure.

"This murder was torture. The child suffered a slow and agonizing death with injuries from head to toe," said the judge.

"This is the type of murder that makes you lose faith in the human race," said the prosecuting attorney.

Ford's attorney says the grandmother was overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising her grandchildren. The abuse was severe, however.

In addition to beatings, Gizzell was denied food and water. She was forced to endure extreme punishments, such as doing squats for hours or standing, being sleep deprived, for days.

Video shows evidence of the girl also being emotionally and verbally abused. Another piece of evidence was Gizzell's own diary, which paints a portrait of heartbreaking abuse.

"I know if I be good and do everything I'm told I won't have to do punishments," the girl wrote.

According to the prosecutor, the diary shows a pervasive fear that Gizzell had to live with.

Despite the abuse, the young girl had a bright spirit that shone through. She wrote in her journal, "I am going to be a beautiful smart and good young lady," she wrote not too long before her death in a diary entry.

"People say I'm smart and courageous and beautiful."

A straight-A student, a teacher had high hopes for her succeeding. “Gizzell was one of those who I knew would make a difference in the world … maybe as a teacher or writer," said the girl's first and second grade teacher,” Katryn Wanicek.

Before Gizzell died, a Department of Children and Families investigation was launched. The department failed her; despite finding warning signs of abuse, nothing was done to remove the child from the home or get help for the family. The visit occurred a month before the girl’s death.

Gizzell’s father, who had a prison record, was also found guilty in his daughter’s death. Home videos showed the father was complicit in his mother’s abuse of his daughter while he was living there with them.

He died in prison of a heart attack while awaiting trial.

Gizzell’s mother is reportedly homeless and was unable to take care of the young girl.

Source: ABC 7, Chicago Tribune
Photo: ABC 7 Screenshot

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