Henry Lee Lucas
American serial killer
Henry Lee Lucas
Henry Lee Lucas was an American criminal, convicted of murder in 11 different cases and once listed as America's most prolific serial killer; he later recanted his confessions, and flatly stated "I am not a serial killer" in a letter to researcher Brad Shellady.
Biography
Henry Lee Lucas's personal information overview.
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9 True Crime Books That Will Absolutely Disturb You
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Lately, I have had a horrible time getting to sleep. Last night, the anxiety was so bad that I had to put on an Audrey Hepburn movie on Netflix to calm my terrifying thoughts. Why is this going on? Stress at work? Trouble with my family? Nope, it's because I'm currently reading Truman Capote's classic, In Cold Blood, and it is scaring the hell out of me. I openly admit that I'm probably not the ideal reader of True Crime books; I definitely think about getting murdered more than the average person does, and my overactive imagination and extreme anxiety don't make matters any better. What is it about the True Crime genre that keeps me coming back for more, even though these stories petrify me? The truth is, I can't help it; the suspense reels me in. Who are these people who can take a life without thinking twice about it? Why are they the way they are? Whether or not you're as anxious and jumpy as me, I can guarantee that these books will leave you keeping the hall light on ...
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Huffington Post article
The Lost Girls of Gilgo: True-Crime Thriller Premieres In New York City
Huffington Post - over 3 years
A Craiglist escort goes missing. She was last seen screaming and running from a john's house along Oak Beach in Long Island. When police recover the escort's body, (her death was accidental, brought on by a panic attack) they inadvertently stumble upon the burial grounds of a killer murdering women just like the escort they'd been searching for. Nested in the dunes are the remains of 10 other people, including women with the same profile as the missing escort. Family members of identified victims report a series of taunting phone calls made from disposable cell phones. Police suspect these calls to have come from the killer. This was back in December, 2010, when police began to investigate the Gilgo Beach killer. Three years later, no arrests have been made and the case remains unsolved. But the story of lost girls, prostitutes and runaways, now compels our attention as the subject matter of a new film, The Gilgo Beach Murders. When it comes to horror, we like it ripped fr ...
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Huffington Post article
Kim Morgan: The Cars Have Eyes: Killer Cars
Huffington Post - over 4 years
My car was trying to kill me. Not in any cinematic supernatural way, a la Christine or The Car. It was actually far worse than that (for me). My car was torturing me like an abusive boyfriend or in the case of that crazy year (2009), Arch Hall Jr. in The Sadist. Though my sturdy muscle-mobile -- my 1971 Ford Torino -- had rarely steered me wrong, my deceptively adorable Datsun had quite suddenly become a holy terror. But why? For years I'd tended to the thing/bad seed/ "Shape of Rage" Brood creature like a spoiled child and it had remained well behaved, reliable -- a precious little angel. But one, two, three, four (five?) dark and desolate nights later, everything changed and that devil in disguise had turned against me -- Henry Lee Lucas style. Breaking down repeatedly, stranding me on scary streets, leaving me in high desert dereliction, and fending for myself in gas stations that make the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family pump look like a cheery Travel Center of America tru ...
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Huffington Post article
Hickory Farms Associates Lend a Hand to Help Fight Hunger - PR Newswire (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
Currently, the TNWOFB serves a network of more than 300 member agencies in an eight county area, including Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams and Wood. Agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, non-profit daycare
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Google News article
That Worst Nightmare, This Time Even Worse - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
WITH: Teddy Bergman (Elliott/Nurse), Lisa Emery (Charlotte), Daniel Jenkins (Christopher), Virginia Kull (Virginia), Ben Rappaport (Jeff/Rodney) and Mark Zeisler (Henry/Lucas). A version of this review appeared in print on June 23, 2011,
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Google News article
Thunderstorms and hail possible - WTOL.com
Google News - over 5 years
(WTOL) - The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe Counties in Michigan AND Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca,
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Google News article
Tornado Watch in effect - Toledo Blade
Google News - over 5 years
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch, in effect until 8 pm, for Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood counties. A Tornado Watch means conditions are
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Google News article
Casey Anthony Trial: Drama Shifts to Candidates in Fifth Day of Jury Selection - The Criminal Report Daily (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
Henry Lucas: Portrait of a Serial Killer After the man denied any association with true crime, Baez quoted from the candidate's Amazon.com review of “Henry Lucas: Portrait of a Serial Killer.” Asking about Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas,
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Google News article
Stephen Hawking calls heaven a fairy tale - Geek.com
Google News - almost 6 years
Few people realize that the chair, which was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, actually has a stipulation that the holder of the professorship should not be active in the “church.” Based on recent comments by Hawking during an exclusive interview with
Article Link:
Google News article
Quodlibetum VI - Red Voltaire
Google News - almost 6 years
EDIMZA, Primera edición, febrero de 2007, Huancayo, Perú. 44 páginas. 4. La misma que, fundada por Henry LUCAS en 1663, y oficializada por Carlos II de Inglaterra en 1664, fue ocupada por Isaac NEWTON entre 1669 y 1701
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Google News article
Second Stage Presents SEX LIVES OF OUR PARENTS - Broadway World
Google News - almost 6 years
Mark Zeisler (Henry/Lucas). Broadway: A View from the Bridge, Brooklyn Boy. Off-Broadway: Eurydice, Second Stage; The Accomplices, The New Group; Self-Defense, New Georges; Acts of Faith, Mosaic Theatre/92 St Y. New England: Major Barbara,
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Google News article
Lucas County gets 'F' from lung group for smog control - Toledo Blade
Google News - almost 6 years
Lucas County has received another failing grade for smog from the nation's oldest clean air advocacy group. In its 12th annual State of the Air report, scheduled for release at 5 am Wednesday, the American Lung Association gave Lucas
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Google News article
Tornado watch issued - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Google News - almost 6 years
... Parke, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Wells, White and Whitley. Ohio – Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams and Wood
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Google News article
''The Devil's Right-Hand Man''
NYTimes - almost 10 years
At this late hour of his life, Charlie Hess said the question ''Why?'' didn't matter anymore. After all the years he spent in the F.B.I. tilting at the criminal mind, all his years in private practice running lie-detector tests, his time extracting secrets as a C.I.A. agent in Vietnam, he was no longer interested in ''Why?'' What counted were
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NYTimes article
HEADLINERS; True Confessions?
NYTimes - over 25 years
The police in Biloxi, Miss., are fairly certain that Donald Leroy Evans is a serial murderer, but now they must find out if he is also a liar. After he was arrested two weeks ago on charges of kidnapping and murdering a 10-year-old girl, Mr. Evans began confessing to dozens of killings across the country over the last decade. By last week, the
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NYTimes article
Troubled Past for Drifter in Serial Killing Claims
NYTimes - over 25 years
The drifter who says he killed more than 60 people in 20 states in a decade of frenzied wandering that began in 1977 was in and out of jails for a total of nearly two years on theft charges during that period, the authorities say. The 34-year-old drifter, Donald Leroy Evans of Galveston, Tex., also spent a month in a Chicago hospital then, seeking
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NYTimes article
THE F.B.I.'S NEW PSYCHE SQUAD
NYTimes - over 30 years
THE POLICE IN A SMALL MID-dle Western community were recently confronted with the case of a petite young nurse who vanished into the night from the parking lot of the local medical center. The next day, her car was found nearby, its interior bare, save for the nurse's white left shoe. Twenty-four hours later, her body was discovered, partially
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NYTimes article
MAN WHO TOLD OF 300 KILLINGS GETS HEARING IN TEXAS SLAYING
NYTimes - over 30 years
A pretrial hearing began today for Henry Lee Lucas, accused of a 1983 ax slaying that was among the more than 300 killings he once admitted but later denied. Wes Statton, foreman of the grand jury that indicted Mr. Lucas in the death of 72-year-old Librada Apodaca, testified that the panel saw Mr. Lucas's videotaped confession to the slaying and
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NYTimes article
REAGAN NAMED 44 TO SPECIAL GROUP ON CHARITY
NYTimes - about 35 years
President Reagan established a Task Force on Private Sector Initiative today to seek ways to help take up the slack left by the deep cuts he has made in Federal spending. ''Americans should never have to consider themselves wards of the state,'' the President told a luncheon audience of businessmen, lawmakers, clergy and government officials.
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Henry Lee Lucas
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2001
    Age 64
    On March 12, 2001, at 11pm Lucas was found dead in prison from heart failure at age 64.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1998
    Age 61
    A newspaper exposed the improbable logistics of the confessions made by Lucas, when they were taken as a whole, and a study by the Attorney General of Texas concluded he had falsely confessed; the death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Assertions by local law enforcement that in certain cases Lucas had demonstrated knowledge of unsolved crimes that only a perpetrator could have possessed added to the enigma, as did his association with Ottis Toole.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1995
    Age 58
    Two documentary films have been released: 1995's The Serial Killers and the 1995 television documentary Henry Lee Lucas: The Confession Killer.
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  • 1994
    Age 57
    The lawmen most involved with Lucas were widely seen as refusing to admit that they had been fooled by him, according to a 1994 article in Texas Monthly magazine.
    More Details Hide Details One Texas Ranger said that although it was obvious to him that Lucas often lied, there was an instance where he demonstrated guilty knowledge, "I remember him trying to cop to one he didn't do, but there was another murder case where I’ll kiss your butt if he didn’t lead us right to the deer stand where the murder took place. Ain’t no way he could’ve guessed that, and I damn sure didn’t tell him. I think he did that one." Another Ranger had a similar experience: Lucas demonstrated his apparent familiarity with a crime scene by directing his escort to the murder location with ease, as if he had been there before. Lucas could possibly be involved in the murders of two young unidentified people found in Sumter County, South Carolina in 1976. Lucas stated that he had been in South Carolina on the day of the crime. Lucas is also suspected in the death of another unidentified victim, the New Castle County Jane Doe, who was discovered in June 1977. He had described a crime scene similar to the one that this woman was found. Yet another unidentified victim was discovered in 1980, that of the Walker County Jane Doe. It was initially believed that Lucas was responsible for both her murder and sexual assault. However, a bite mark on the girl's shoulder has not been confirmed to match Henry Lee Lucas' dental charts.
  • FORTIES
  • 1985
    Age 48
    There have been several books on the case. Three narrative films have been made based on Lucas' confessions: 1985's Confessions of a Serial Killer, 1986's Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, played by Michael Rooker, and the 2009 film Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas.
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    After the story appeared in April 1985 and revealed the flawed methods of the Lucas Task Force, law enforcement opinion began to turn against the claims that crimes had been solved.
    More Details Hide Details The bulk of the Lucas Report was devoted to a detailed timeline of Lucas's claimed murders. The report compared Lucas's claims to reliable, verifiable sources for his whereabouts; the results often contradicted his confessions, and thus cast doubt on most of the crimes in which he was implicated. Attorney General Jim Mattox wrote that "when Lucas was confessing to hundreds of murders, those with custody of Lucas did nothing to bring an end to this hoax" and "We have found information that would lead us to believe that some officials 'cleared cases' just to get them off the books". Lucas remained convicted of 11 homicides. He had been sentenced to death for one, an unidentified woman dubbed as "Orange Socks," whose body was found in Williamson County, Texas, on Halloween 1979, even though the court heard that on that date a timesheet had recorded his presence at work in Jacksonville, Florida. Lucas was granted a stay on his death sentence after telling a hearing that the details in his confession came from the case file, which he had been given to read. The sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by Governor George W. Bush.
  • 1984
    Age 47
    In 1984, Lucas confessed to the murder of a previously unidentified girl, Tammy Alexander, known as the Caledonia Jane Doe until early 2015, discovered in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details Investigators found insufficient evidence to support the confession. Lucas also is believed to have falsely confessed to the 1980 slaying of Carol Cole in Louisiana. Cole was unidentified until 2015. Journalist Hugh Aynesworth and others investigated for articles that appeared in The Dallas Times Herald. They calculated that Lucas would have had to use his 13-year-old Ford station wagon to cover 11,000 miles in one month to have committed the crimes police attributed to him.
  • 1983
    Age 46
    In November 1983, Lucas was transferred to a jail in Williamson County, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details In interviews with Texas Rangers and other law enforcement personnel, Lucas continued to confess to numerous additional unsolved killings. It was thought that there was positive corroboration with Lucas's confessions in 28 unsolved murders, and so the Lucas Task Force was established. Eventually, because of Lucas's confessions, the task force officially "cleared" 213 previously unsolved murders. Lucas reportedly received preferential treatment rarely offered to convicts, being frequently taken to restaurants and cafés. Some of his alleged treatment was odd for someone whom the police believed to be a cunning mass murderer: he was rarely handcuffed, often allowed to wander police stations and jails at will, and even knew codes for security doors. Later attempts at discovering whether Lucas had actually killed anyone apart from Powell and Rich were complicated by Lucas's ability to make an accurate deduction that seemed to substantiate a confession. In one instance, he explained how he had correctly identified a victim in a group photograph through her wearing spectacles; a pair of glasses were on a table in a crime scene photo shown to him earlier. There were also suggestions that the interview tapes showed that, despite Lucas's supposedly low IQ, he had adroitly read the reactions of those interviewing him and altered what he was saying, thereby making his confessions more consistent with facts known to law enforcement. The most serious allegation against investigators, that they had let Lucas read case files on unsolved crimes and thus enabled him to come up with convincingly detailed confessions, made it virtually impossible to determine if, as some continue to suspect, he had been telling the truth to the Lucas Task Force about a relatively large number of the murders.
    Lucas was a prime suspect in the killing of Rich. A few months later, in June 1983, he was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by Texas Ranger Phil Ryan.
    More Details Hide Details Lucas reported that he was roughly treated by bullying inmates in prison and attempted suicide. Lucas claimed that police stripped him naked, denied him cigarettes and bedding, held him in a cold cell, and did not allow him to contact an attorney. After four days, Lucas confessed to the murder of Rich, which confession investigators had good reason to believe was genuine; in addition, he confessed to killing Powell. When he started confessing to numerous unsolved cases, he was initially credible; police knew that he had truthfully admitted committing two killings. Some interrogators, including Ryan, thought many of Lucas's confessions were made to get out of his cell and improve his living conditions. They did, however, treat dozens as potentially genuine.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1975
    Age 38
    They married on his release in 1975, but he left two years later after his stepdaughter accused him of sexually abusing her.
    More Details Hide Details Lucas began moving between various relatives and one got him a job in West Virginia, where he established a relationship that ended when his girlfriend's family confronted him about abuse. Lucas befriended Ottis Toole, and settled in Jacksonville, Florida where he lived with Toole's parents and became close to his adolescent niece Frieda 'Becky' Powell, who had a mild intellectual impairment. A period of stability followed, with Lucas working as a roofer, fixing neighbors' cars and scavenging scrap. Powell was put in a state shelter by the authorities after her mother and grandmother died in 1982. Lucas convinced her to abscond and they lived on the road, eventually travelling to California, where an employer's wife asked them to work for her infirm mother, 82-year-old Kate Rich, of Ringgold, Texas. Rich's family turned Lucas and Powell out, accusing them of failing to do their jobs and writing checks on her account. While hitchhiking they were picked up by the minister of a Stoneburg, Texas religious commune called "The House of Prayer". Believing Lucas and the 15-year-old Powell were a married couple, he found Lucas a job as a roofer while allowing the couple to stay in a small apartment on the commune. Powell had become argumentative and homesick for Florida, and Lucas said she left at a Bowie, Texas truck stop. According to some of his later accounts Lucas murdered Powell and then Rich.
  • 1971
    Age 34
    In 1971, Lucas was convicted of attempting to kidnap three schoolgirls.
    More Details Hide Details While serving a five-year sentence, he established a relationship with a family friend and single mother who had written to him.
  • 1970
    Age 33
    After serving 10 years in prison, he was released in June 1970 due to prison overcrowding.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1960
    Age 23
    On January 11, 1960, in Tecumseh, Michigan, Lucas killed his mother during an argument regarding whether or not he should return home to her house to care for her as she grew older.
    More Details Hide Details He claimed she struck him over the head with a broom, at which point he stabbed her in the neck. Lucas then fled the scene. He subsequently said, All I remember was slapping her alongside the neck, but after I did that I saw her fall and decided to grab her. But she fell to the floor and when I went back to pick her up, I realized she was dead. She was not in fact dead, and when Lucas's half-sister Opal (with whom he was staying) returned later, she discovered their mother alive in a pool of blood. She called an ambulance, but it turned out to be too late to save Viola Lucas' life. The official police report stated she died of a heart attack precipitated by the assault. Lucas returned to Virginia, then says he decided to drive back to Michigan, but was arrested in Ohio on the outstanding Michigan warrant.
  • 1959
    Age 22
    In late 1959, Lucas traveled to Tecumseh, Michigan to live with his half-sister, Opal.
    More Details Hide Details Around that time, Lucas was engaged to marry a pen pal with whom he had corresponded while incarcerated. When his mother visited him for Christmas, she disapproved of her son's fiancée and insisted he move back to Blacksburg. He refused, after which they argued repeatedly during the visit about his upcoming nuptials.
  • 1957
    Age 20
    He escaped in 1957, was recaptured three days later, and was subsequently released on September 2, 1959.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1954
    Age 17
    On June 10, 1954, Lucas was convicted on over a dozen counts of burglary in and around Richmond, Virginia, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
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  • 1951
    Age 14
    Lucas claimed to have committed his first murder in 1951, when he strangled 17-year-old Laura Burnsley, who had refused his sexual advances.
    More Details Hide Details As with most of his confessions, he later retracted this claim.
  • 1949
    Age 12
    In December 1949, Lucas' father, Anderson, whose legs had been severed in a railroad accident, died of hypothermia after going home drunk and collapsing outside during a blizzard.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, while in the sixth grade, Lucas dropped out of school and ran away from home, drifting around Virginia.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Born
    He was born on August 23, 1936 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details Lucas lost an eye at age 10 after his brother knifed him. A friend later described him as a child who would often get attention by frighteningly strange behavior. Aside from this, Lucas' mother was a prostitute who would force him to watch her have sex with clients and, on at least one occasion, go to school dressed as a girl.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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