On August 14, 1987, in a hot South Side Chicago apartment, police and paramedics found the tortured body of four-year-old Lattie McGee. Over the summer, when many inner-city children were outside enjoying splashing in the flow of spraying water hydrants, little Lattie was being systematically tortured by his mother and her boyfriend.
The then 28-year-old Alicia Abraham and her 40-year old boyfriend, Johnny Campbell, spent the summer beating the small boy with their fists, burning him with cigarettes and an iron, dunking his small legs into boiling water, depriving him of food and water, sticking him repeatedly with sewing needles and then wrapping a clothing line around his tiny raw ankles and hanging him upside down in the closet for the night. To muffle the innocent boy’s cries, the couple would sometimes stuff a rag in his mouth.
Campbell did not like the 4-year-olds “effeminate” voice so to toughen the young boy he would starve him then beat him if he complained. On the hot August night, Campbell and Alicia stuffed a rag into Lettie’s mouth, potato peels were placed on his eyes, his hands were bound, and he was hung by his feet in the closet. His complaints of having problems swallowing and that he was in pain from the broken collarbone and broken pelvis, were ignored.
Flesh Ripped Away
The next morning Alicia Abraham seemed more concerned with watching TV then getting Lattie down from the closet. It would not have mattered because he died sometime during the night. There was no more pleasure for her and her boyfriend to get from abusing this innocent child.
Pathologist said Lattie died of a severe blow to the head that slowly killed him, but they added, “His emaciated body, scarred from head to foot, was so infected from untreated wounds that he probably would have died a short time later.” When the paramedics and police lifted the boy’s shirt, they uncovered a chest of raw skin, his flesh ripped away from repeated abuse.
Not the Only Victim
There was another child in the home, six-year-old Cornelius Abraham, Lattie’s brother. With courage, the young boy testified against the Alicia and Campbell. He recounted all the episodes of abuse that he and Lattie suffered.
For their crimes, Johnny Campbell and Alicia Abraham were both sentenced to life in prison.
Remarkably, two years earlier in 1985, Alicia Abraham was being counseled for neglecting her children by state investigators, who incredibly concluded the situation had improved.
|Birth:||Dec. 29, 1982
|Death:||Aug. 14, 1987
Murdered by his mother and live in boyfriend who tortured him to death. They are serving life terms with no parole because of their callous indifference which continues to this day.
Lattie was buried in a pauper’s grave with no marker. Two stonecutters, Tom and James Gast, carved him a stone and the public donated money to help pay for it. It says “You Are Loved” with his name and dates of birth and death.
Burr Oak Cemetery
|Created by: Ash Montagu|
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