Henry Lee Lucas – 1951-1982

By | December 19, 2016

“I am not a serial killer”

henry-lee-lucas

Fantasist killer Henry Lee Lucas is arrested in Texas

THE CRIME:

Most, but not all, serial killers act alone. When Henry Lee Lucas joined forces with Ottis Toole they became among the most deadly serial killers of all. They originally claimed to have murdered more than 600 people but then recanted their confessions. How many victims they actually killed is unknown.

Lucas insisted, “I am not a serial killer.” He was born the son of alcoholic bootleggers on 23 August 1936 in Blackburg, Virginia. His prostitute mother, Viola, detested him and made his childhood a misery. She even allowed him to play with a knife, which resulted in him losing an eye. At the behest of “Uncle Bernie”, he began having sex with animals progressing, at 14, in March 1951 to trying to rape 17-year-old Laura Burnley but she fought him off so he killed her. He was jailed in June 1954 for burglary and released on 2 September 1959. On 11 January 1960 he murdered his 74-year-old mother and then raped her corpse. He was sent to a hospital for the criminally insane and released on 3 June 1970. He was back in jail from December 1971 to August 1975.

At the end of 1976 he met homosexual arsonist Toole, 29, who had a low IQ and they became lovers. Lucas moved in with Toole’s family and took an interest in his mentally retarded, 10-year-old niece, Frieda Powell, who preferred to be called Becky. They began a sexual relationship.

In January 1982 they ran away together to California and then to Texas before moving around the States. On 24 August they had an argument and 15-year-old Becky slapped Lucas’s face. He stabbed her to death and cut up her body. Arrested on 11 June 1983, Lucas confessed to a litany of murders, implicating Toole who was then in a Florida jail. Many of their “victims” turned out to be alive and Lucas confessed to crimes in Spain and Japan even though it is thought he never left the USA.

WHERE:

Virginia; California; Texas, USA

WHEN:

1951-1982

THE AFTERMATH:

Lucas was sentenced to death for the murder of a female hitchhiker, nicknamed Orange Socks, those being the only items on her body when it was found at Williamson County, Texas, on Halloween 1979. However, Texas Attorney General Dan Morales believed it was “highly unlikely” that Lucas was involved in the murder.

Toole’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison and he died of liver failure on 15 September 1996. On 26 June 1998 Governor George W. Bush commuted Lucas’s sentence to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Lucas died from heart failure on 13 March 2001.

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