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Larry Eugene Loveless (May 20, 1946 - December 16, 1998) was a Vietnam War veteran and the father of Melinda Loveless, who is best known as being the primary perpetrator of the brutal torture and murder of 12-year old Shanda Sharer on January 11, 1992. He was an extreme sexual deviant and a serial adulterer who regularly had sex with other people and forced his wife, Marjorie, to have sex with other men, which she found disgusting. He also liked to wear his daughters' panties and makeup on a regular basis.
Larry worked irregularly for the Southern Railway after his military service; his profession allowed him to work whenever most convenient for him. In 1965, Larry became a probationary officer with the New Albany Police Department but was fired after eight months when he and his partner assaulted an African-American man whom Larry accused of sleeping with his wife. In 1988, Larry briefly worked as a mail carrier but quit after three months and did very little work, having brought most of his mail home to destroy it.
Marjorie had worked intermittently since 1974. When both parents were working, the family was financially well off, living in the upper-middle-class suburb of Floyds Knobs, Indiana. Larry did not usually share his income with the family and impulsively spent any money he earned on himself, especially firearms, motorcycles, and cars. He filed for bankruptcy in 1980. Extended family members often described the Loveless daughters as visiting their homes hungry, apparently not getting food at home.
Through most of their relationship, the Loveless parents often had an open marriage. They would often visit bars in Louisville, where Larry would pretend to be a doctor or a dentist and introduce Marjorie as his girlfriend. He would also "share" her with some of his friends from work, which she found disgusting. During an orgy with another couple at their house, Marjorie tried to commit suicide, an act she would repeat several times throughout her daughters' childhoods. When Melinda was nine years old, Larry had Marjorie gang-raped, after which she tried to drown herself. After that incident, she refused him sex for a month, until he violently raped her as their daughters overheard the event through a closed door. In the summer of 1986, after she would not let him go home with two women he met at a bar, Larry beat Marjorie so severely that she was hospitalized; he was convicted of battery.
The extent of Larry's abuse of his daughters and other children is unclear. Various court testimonies claimed he fondled Melinda as an infant, molested Marjorie's 13-year-old sister early in the marriage, and molested the girls' cousin Teddy from age 10 to 14. Both older girls said he molested them, though Melinda did not admit this ever happened to her. She slept in bed with him until he abandoned his family when she was 14. In court, Teddy described an incident in which Larry tied all three sisters in a garage and raped them in succession; however, the sisters did not confirm this account. Larry was verbally abusive to his daughters and fired a handgun in Michelle's direction when she was seven, intentionally missing her. He would also embarrass his children by finding their underwear and smelling it in front of other family members.
For two years, beginning when Melinda was five, the family was deeply involved in the Graceland Baptist Church. Larry and Marjorie gave a full confession and renounced drinking and swinging while they were members. Larry became a Baptist lay preacher and Marjorie became the school nurse. The church later arranged for Melinda to be taken to a motel room with a 50-year-old man for a five-hour exorcism. Larry became a marriage counselor with the church and acquired a reputation for being too forward with women, eventually attempting to rape one of them. After that incident, the Loveless parents left the church and returned to their former professions, drinking, and open marriage.
In November 1990, after Larry was caught spying on Melinda and a friend, Marjorie attacked him with a knife; he was sent to the hospital after he attempted to grab it. She then attempted suicide again, and her daughters called authorities. After this incident, Larry filed for divorce and moved to Avon Park, Florida. Melinda felt crushed, especially when Larry remarried. He sent letters to her for a while, playing on her emotions, but eventually severed all contact with her.
By December 1998, Larry was living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. On December 16, he committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving bus.
The level of abuse that Larry inflicted on his daughter Melinda very likely had a large role in leading her down the path to becoming a killer.