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Re: slapd dying ...

Whenever slapd dies unexpectedly, or if gets killed hard for some reason,
it's probably a good idea to do a db_recover. ldapsearch hangs like you
described are often fixed by recovery.

Go to http://www.openldap.org/software/release/changes.html and look for
the word "crash." Note that .24, .25, and .26 all fix crashes! There's not
enough information here to know for certain if one of those bugs is your
issue, but patching for them by installing 2.2.26 can't hurt.

If the process still dies unexpectedly after upgrading, you want to see
what signal it's dying with, and get backtraces if it's software related
(SEGV etc.). I'm not a Debian user, but I believe files in
/proc/sys/kernel/ and/or the ulimit command are good places to start on
Linux to coerce core dumps out of the system.