Larry worked irregularly for the Southern Railroad 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 he was fired after eight months when he and his partner assaulted an African-American man whom Larry accused of sleeping with his wife. When both parents were working, the family was financially well off, living in the upper-middle-class suburb of Floyds Knobs, Indiana.
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.
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.