Henry Lee Lucas was one of the most prolific serial killers in the annals of criminal history.
Dubbed the ‘one eyed drifter’ and ‘confession’ killer, Lucas was indicted for 246 homicides and confessed to some 600 murders, some involving later recanted versions. Interestingly enough, Lucas had divulged sparse details about various slayings that only the killer would have been privy to. His murderous rampage spanned from 1960 to 1983. Lucas was the definitive example of being a product of his environment. His dysfunctional family was comprised of a drug addicted prostitute mother who routinely exposed her son to a world of crime and deviance. His father was a heavy drinker who later succumbed to his alcohol-inducted lifestyle. The early and later life for Lucas was void of any form of parental and social nurturing. His exposure to routine beatings and a sexually deviant lifestyle would be internalized as normal behaviour.
In 1960, then 24-year old Lucas became embroiled in a verbal argument with his mother. The domestic dispute escalated as Lucas unleashed years of pent up rage, leaving her dead in a pool of her own blood. He was convicted in Michigan for second degree murder and jailed for 10 years before being released in 1970 due to prison overcrowding. In 1976 Lucas was in the state of Florida when he met Otis Toole, an equally demented and deranged sociopath. Together, they embarked on a cross-country murder spree, claiming many innocent lives along the way. Lucas would later claim that the pair committed an exorbitant number of homicides, divulging that Toole was directly involved in approximately 108 homicides.
In 1983, Lucas was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm. Unbeknownst to authorities, Lucas was about to unleash a startling confession. In the state of Texas a ‘Lucas Task Force’ was established enabling investigators to debrief Lucas in an effort to solve various homicide cases and locate victims. Lucas would later attempt to recant some of these confessions.
In 1998 an imprisoned Lucas had his death sentence commuted to life in prison by then Governor George W. Bush, after it had been recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Lucas died in prison in 2001 at the age of 64. His murderous accomplice, Otis Toole, had died back in 1996 while serving six life sentences in Florida state prison.
Story by: Stephen G. Metelsky (Pseudonym: Stephen G. Boyle)
Published in 2012