Henry Lee Lucas
Henry Lee Lucas was born August 23 1936 and he died of natural causes in a Texas Prison on March 13, 2001. Henry Lee Lucas was convicted of eleven murders and he once admitted to over 3000 murders but many people now believe that most of the murders Lucas confessed to were false. Though it is not doubted by anyone that he was a serial killer.
Some investigators believe that Henry Lee Lucas and his partner Otis Toole may have indeed committed as many as 350 murders.
Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole. Quite possibly the two together may have killed more people than any other serial killer.
Henry Lee Lucas however did confess to many murders that he could not have committed. When many of them were committed he was in another state or in jail and could not have murdered the person or persons he admitted to killing
The Lucas Confessions And Controversy
Henry Lee Lucas was arrested on June 11th 1983 by a Texas Ranger named Phil Ryan. Initially Lucas was arrested for a firearm violation but he was soon charged with the murder of a Ringgold Texas woman 82 year old Kate Rich and also with the murder of Frieda Powell who he had been traveling with and having sex with. When he first met Powell she was Otis Toole's 12 year old niece who was a juvenile who had run away from a Juvenile Detention Facility. Lucas had a sexual relationship with Powell and he claimed she ran away with a truck driver at a truck stop but he was charged with her murder.
Lucas committed many of his later murders with his crime partner Otis Toole who was also his homosexual lover.
Lucas later claimed that when he was arrested that he was stripped naked, denied cigarettes and held in a cold cell. He said he started to confess to multiple murders to improve how he was being treated. It's interesting to note that Lucas admitted to many murders but said he couldn't take the police to the bodies. At the end of his written confession Lucas said he was not allowed to contact anyone and that he was denied access to a lawyer. When he was finally allowed a attorney the lawyer said the treatment of Lucas was inhumane and what was done to Lucas was to get him to confess to murders whether he was guilty or not. Lucas went on a short time later to admitting in open court that he killed Powell and Rich and about a hundred other women. Lucas later said if they were going to make him confess to one murder he was going to confess to everything. Lucas quickly became a celebrity criminal as he and Texas Rangers flew from state to state where Lucas admitted to more and more murders.
In November of 1983 Lucas was transferred to the Williamson County in Texas where the Lucas Task Force was soon established. While he was in Williamson County he was interviewed by the then sheriff Jim Boutwell. Boutwell is said to have played an important part in the task force as was Bob Prince of the Texas Rangers. Police eventually cleared 213 murders through the confessions of Lucas but it is now common knowledge that a lot of the information Lucas knew was fed to him by the police. Lucas later said he only confessed to the murders because of the wonderful treatment he was receiving as a celebrity serial killer. He was allowed to roam around jails and he was taken out to eat at restaurants and cafes.
Some police and media officials soon caught on to what was going on so they made up fictional murders and Lucas confessed to those also. Lucas went on to make such outlandish claims that he was a member of a cannibal cult, that he had killed Jimmy Hoffa and that he had delivered the poison to Jim Jones before the mass suicide.
Finally in 1986 The Texas Attorney Generals office put out a statement saying that police had used Lucas to clear old murders and while they believed Lucas to be a serial killer that he could not have committed many of the murders he had confessed to.
In the end Lucas was eventually found guilty of killing eleven people and he was found guilty of killing a woman known only as orange socks and he was sentenced to death for that murder. Long afterwards though it was proven that Lucas could not have committed the orange socks murder because he was some where else when the murder occurred. At that time the Attorney General of Texas said that while he didn't doubt that Lucas was a serial killer that he doubted that if even Lucas knew or remembered who he had killed or when.
Lucas' supposed confidant and fellow serial killer Ottis Toole died in prison in Florida on September 15th 1996 of cirrhosis of the liver. At the time of his death Toole was serving six life sentences. In 1998 The Texas Board Of Pardons and Parole voted to commute Lucas' death sentence to life in prison in accordance with the wishes of then Governor George W. Bush's request. It remains the only successful commutation of a death sentence since the death penalty was reinstated in Texas in 1976. Henry Lee Lucas died on March 13th 2001 of heart failure at age 64. Exactly how many people he did kill he took to his death with him.
It is now believed that Ottis Toole killed and beheaded Adam Walsh the son of America's Most Wanted. Some people claim that Lucas and Toole together may have been responsible for 350 murders while some researchers say that you can count murders committed by Lucas at around 40 and maybe as few as 15. There is no doubt however that Lucas and Toole were both serial killers.
The Huntsville Unit near downtown Huntsville Texas is where the executions are carried out in Texas. The prison here opened in 1849 and it is the most used execution chamber in the United States. 423 execution took place there between 1982 and 2008. Texas executes more people than any other state in modern times followed by the states of Florida and North Carolina.