Serial Killer Project

Henry Lee Lucas and Dennis Nilsen

About Henry:

  • Born August 23, 1936 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • Growing up both of his parents were alcoholics. His mom was abusive and earned the family's income by doing sexual favors to strangers.
  • His mom moved the pimp into their house. She would make him and his half brother watch her have sex with strangers.
  • At an early age he was subjected to both physical and emotional abuse. That could have been instrumental in his criminal behavior. The emotional and psychological abuse by his mother shaped his later violence.
  • Viola (his mother) would dress him as a girl and would curl his hair so he would go to school like that. That caused him to get made fun of a lot.
  • His mothers boyfriend introduced him into the practice of brutal animal torture.
  • Lucas also engaged in sex with his half-brother, and he became obsessed with all forms of sex and torture.
  • He killed his first victim because she refused his sexual advances when he was 15.
He met a girl named Stella and proposed to her before Christmas 1959 when he moved in with his half-sister in Michigan. His mom VIola disproved. She tried to get him to move back in with her instead. They all had a huge argument that caused Stella to brake off the engagement.

Him and his mom had so many arguments and the last one was on January 11, 1960 which ended with him stabbing her.

Years later he met a guy named Otis Toole at a food shelter who became his partner in crime.

They would rob and kill hitchhikers, store clerks, and stranded motorist.

  • Henry later on killed Otis's niece after a violent argument. He confessed to stabbing her, having sex with her corpse, dismembered her, and finally stuffed her body into 3 pillow cases that he left on an open field.
  • He had already gone to prison and jail many times for burglary, kidnapping, and murder. But the last time he got arrested was in Texas because he was set up by an old friend who knew what was going on. He said he would help him get money but ended up calling the cops on him.
  • Based on Lucas's confessions he killed over 200 people although most of the claims could not be substantiated.
  • He was sentenced to die in a TX prison in 1999. Governor George W, Bush Jr. commuted the sentence to life in prison.
  • Otis died of Cirrhosis of the liver years earlier while serving his own prison sentence.

Dennis Nilsen

About Dennis:

  • Born on November 23, 1945
  • His parents marriage was an unhappy one. Dennis, his mother, and his siblings moved in with his grandfather whom he adored. He claimed that his grandpa's unexpected death, and the traumatizing viewing of his corpse at the funeral led to his later behavioral psychopathology.
  • His mother remarried and had 4 more children which caused Dennis to be a lonely child.
  • At the age of 16 he enlisted into the army. He became a cook serving as a butcher in the Army Catering Corps, learning the skills that served him on his 5 year killing spree.
  • He was a British serial killer also known as the Muswell Hill Murderer and the Kindly Killer.
  • He recognized his homosexual desires, but he was never comfortable with them and began acting on them through murder and dismemberment.
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  • He killed at least 12 men and dissected their bodies. Only 4 of them were identified.
  • He would strangle his victims.
  • He would also hide the bodies in his apartment
  • The neighbors complained about the smell so he would spray his room twice a day and convinced the neighbors that the smell was coming from structural problems with the building.
  • To get rid of the corpse he would put them on the kitchen floor, take their clothes off, and dismember them with a large knife. Sometimes also boiling their skulls to remove the flesh. He would place the organs in plastic bags for disposal. He buried limbs in the garden and in the shed. He also stuffed torsos into suitcases until he was able to burn them.
  • Later on moved to different apartments and killed 3 other people known as John Howlett, Archibald Graham Allan, and Steven Sinclair.
  • Dennis would boil their head, feet, and hands, and dissecting the bodies into smaller pieces so he could flush them down the toilet, and disposed of in plastic bags.
  • One of the neighbors called a drain specialist to investigate a drain blockage that was going on and the specialist found human remains in the drain. Nilson got scared and tried to remove some of the human tissue from the drain and one of his neighbors saw and became suspicious of his actions.
  • The tenant reported it. An investigator later on came to question Nilson and he confessed to the investigator that what they were looking for was in bags around his apartment.
  • He was taken to trial and confessed to killing 15 young men.
  • He was charged with 6 counts of murder and 2 charges of attempt murder but later pleaded not guilty to all charges. They said it was all due to a mental illness.
  • They later figured out that it was false and charged him with 6 counts of murder.