Henry Lee Lucas

American Serial Killer, Aug. 23, 1936-Mar.12, 2001


Lucas's childhood began like trash right from the start. An unplanned child born from Viola Lucas, a prostitue, Henry was hated by his mother, whom constantly abuse him with beatings, forcing him to sleep outside, killing any pets he found, and forcing him to walk to school barefoot, a while in a girl's dress with his hair curled. This resulted in bullying and beatings from his classmates. His father was crippled and unable to protect him: his abuse from Viola stemmed him to suicide by sleeping out and freezing to death. This left Henry alone to suffer all of his mother's cruelty. She refused to care for him, so far as to deny him access to a hospital when he cut his eye with knife, leading to his losing that one eye.

Descent to Violence

On a routinely drunken night, Viola beat Henry severly, putting him in a coma for three days. Taken to a hospital by "Uncle Bernie", a live-in lover of Viola, he awoke and was taught of the pleasures of bestially. Bernie proceeded to show the young Lucas how to tortured and sexually abuse animals, and how to kill them in the most gruesome of ways.

Henry's First Victim

Henry, unable to cope with the abuse of his classmates, dropped out of school on December, 1949, barely into the 6th grade. Becoming a drifter, mostly roaming Virginia, a then 15 year old Henry picked up a 17 year old hitchhiker, Laura Burnsley. Initially friendly, Henry offered Laura money for sex, which Laura bluntly refused, enraging Henry to beat her, killing her by strangling. He claimed to have felt little remorse, and buried the girl near Harrisburg, Virginia.


Henry made a living by burglary, and was arrested on said charges in Richmond, Virginia, 1954. He served 5 five years. During his incarceration, he became involved with a pen pal, and became engaged to her after his release. Traveling to Tecumesh, Michigan, he moved I'm with his half-sister, Opal. Invited by his mother for Christmas, she berated Henry and his fiance, and insisted that he move back to take care for her (in her now fragile state) back in Blacksburg, Virginia.

While drinking heavily, Viola began verbally abusing Henry, and proceeded to strike him over the head with a broom. Henry got furious, and struck her back, then stabbing her in the neck. He fled the scene, and his sister later found Viola still alive, drowning in her blood. She died on the way to a hospital :)

Later Life

On his way back to Michigan, Henry was stopped and arrested in Ohio, for his outstanding warrant issued in Michigan. Claiming self defense during his trial, he was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20-40 years. He was released in June, 1970, only after serving 10 years,due to prison overcrowding. I'm 1971, Henry was charged with the attempted kidnap of 3 girls, and the molestation of said 2. Sent back to a state penitentiary, he was released in 1975. He married a family friend and widow, but divorced two years later when she found out of him molesting her daughter.
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Otis Toole

Becoming a drifter once again, the bisexual Henry roamed across the South, meeting and befriending a gay hitchhiker by the name of Otis Toole, then 26, in a Florida soup kitchen, 1976. In 1978, Henry moved in with Otis's sister and mother, living in Jacksonville, Florida. He made a living by fixing cars and doing odd jobs. It is there when he fell in love with Otis's 10 year old niece, Frieda Powell.
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Frieda Powell

When Powell's mother and grandmother died (1981), she was placed in a foster home. Henry convinced Powell of escaping and running away,traveling with Henry and becoming Henry's "wife", a title bestowed to her by a Texan priest. While in Denton County, Texas (1982), Powell became homesick and longed to go back home. Powell slapped Henry during a heated argument, and Henry responded by stabbing her. He dismembered her corpse, and traveled to Stoneburg, Texas.
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Arrest and "Confessions"

Henry went on to murder an elderly Kate Rich and burned her home to the ground. Arrested the day of the home fire, little evidence was stacked against Henry. Arrested as an ex convict possessing an illegal handgun, Henry serves time in the Stoneburg prison. Remorseful for his murder of Powell, he called a guard's attention, confessing "I've done a lot of bad things."

State officials were called, and Henry truthfully confessed to the murders of Powell and Rich. When further questioned, Henry started to falsely confess to murders, gaining better treatment in jail and enjoying wider freedom. He was allowed to roam police stations freely, unhandcuffed, and even knew the security codes for the doors.

When further questioned, he admitted to 75-100 killings, later increasing his claim to 150-300, then to around 400, and later claiming around 3,000 lives. Police began to become skeptical, and Henry soon claimed he and Otis were responsible, following orders from a Satanic Cult. Deeming the murders too far spread, and Henry's inability to recount the crime scene, it was soon discovered Henry had lied: his confessions were intricately detailed by reading unsolved cases and building scenarios around them. Otis falsely corroborated Henry's stories, and Henry's guilt was soon questioned. Admitting to his mother's murder, his death sentence was exchanged for a life sentence, due to mistrust of Henry's word. He reclaimed all his confessions, and died of a heart attack while in prison, age 64.

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