Parents charged with whipping daughter to death

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

CHICAGO -- A South Side couple was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly whipping their daughter so severely it caused her death.

Police said that Larry and Constance Slack strapped 12-year-old Laree Slack to a futon and beat her with an electric cord Saturday evening because she could not find her mother's coat. The girl died Sunday morning at South Shore Hospital.

The beating allegedly happened after Constance Slack, who was preparing to go out for the evening, realized she couldn't find her coat and the credit cards it contained, police spokesman Ozzie Rodriguez said. The parents, both 42, then gave their children 45 minutes to find the coat or suffer a beating, he said.

When the children did not produce the coat, Rodriguez said, Laree was punished. She was the child responsible for doing the family laundry.

Rodriguez said Constance Slack stuffed a towel in the girl's mouth and wrapped her head in a scarf, then her husband beat the girl.

Cook County state's attorney spokeswoman Marcy O'Boyle said both parents were charged Sunday with first-degree murder and with aggravated battery of a child in the alleged beating of an 8-year-old son. Five other children were removed from the home and placed in protective custody.

Andy Martinez of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the incident was the department's first contact with the Slack family.

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