HENRY LEE LUCAS
He has been called the most evil serial killer of all time. People have said that his killing spree is unsurpassed, that he was born evil and that no one was worse. He was a drifter, a loner, and a killer. Was he the most evil killer ever? You be the judge. This is the All Things Horror: Real Killer File of Henry Lee Lucas.
Evil Mother = Evil Child
When most things go wrong, many people blame the parents. In some cases, blaming the parents is a fair thing to do, and in others it is not. Henry Lee Lucas, definantly was evil because of his mother. The youngest of nine children, Lucas was born on August 23rd, 1936 to a sadistic, alcoholic, drug addicted prostitute by the name of Viola Dison Wall Lucas and an alchoholic legless father who made money by selling pencils and stolen whiskey. Viola provided for her large family by means of prostitution which she would frequently make her children watch and sometimes participate in. If the children tried to look away they would be punnished. Sex, pain, pleasure, and anguish became one in the same to Lucas. Viola often beat her children and enjoyed doing it. The small shack that Lucas called home was nothing more than a rundown shed with no power and few rooms. Also living in the tight quorters was a man by the name of Bernie, who was Viola's "live in boyfriend" and pimp. Viola offered no form of moral or physical support to anyone in the shack aside from herself and Bernie. She treated her family as servents. The food that Henry, his siblings and father ate was usually stolen from neighbors or stores. The older Lucas got, the more he was beaten and the harder he was made to work. His father often gave the boy some home made moonshine, and at the tender age of 10, Lucas was an alcoholic. As beatings became more regular and violent, Lucas feared his mother more and more. At one point she beat him over the head with a log untill his head split open and his skull was exposed. Lucas was in a coma for the rest of the day and was later taken to a hospital after his mother was convinced to do so by Bernie. She told doctors that he fell from a ladder, a story that Lucas backed for fear of reprisal.
Young Henry in school...
When Lucas came to the age where he could attend school, his mother tourmented him further by curling his hair and sending him to school in a dress. A teacher eventually cut his hair and gave him normal clothes after students taunted and teased Lucas. Viola was so furious about the actions that she went to the school and screamed at the teacher. The same teacher would later state that Lucas was a loner who had troubles learning, was malnourished, and rarely clean. Lucas continued to be beaten at home and teased at school. Eventually Lucas developed seizures and began hearing voices in his head. At one point Lucas was involved in an accident with a knife that caused him to lose most of the sight in one eye. Later he was hit in the head with a wooden ruler at school, and the dammage to the eye was perminant. Lucas' eye was removed and replaced with a glass one. The only adult family figure who showed any compassion or love twords Lucas was his father who died of pneumonia after getting drunk and passing out in the snow. Lucas began to dream of a life free from his tourment and wanted despratly to run away. After the death of his father, Lucas became more and more bitter and angry. At the age of thirteen, Lucas began to become infactuated with sex. He would often capture small animals, and preform sex acts to them before killing them. Aside from beastiality, and theift, it is believed that at in 1952, at the age of fourteen, Lucas killed his first victim. Lucas claims that he kidnapped a seventeen year old girl at a bus stop, beat her and tried to rape her, but when she came to and began to fight, Lucas strangled her untill she lie still. He claims that he had no intention of killing her and felt bad for a long time afterwards, however there are no records of such events even taking place.
Lucas' first stay in prison
It was around this time that Lucas' brother left for the Navy and Lucas began to wander the streets. Lucas was arrested one night for breaking and entering. He was found guilty and placed in the Beaumont Training School for Boys in Virginia. Records would show that Lucas would be calm and rational one minute and violent and uncontrolable the next. It was durring his stay at Beaumont that he met and befriended a black inmate who's relationship with Lucas officials would describe as sexual in nature. He remained at Beaumont for one year, after which he would later brag of raping his neice, aged twelve. Lucas worked for a short time as a farmhand where he picked up afew useful skills but was soon picked up a second time for breaking and entering. Lucas was now an adult and because of this was sentanced to four years in Virginia State Penitentiary. Lucas picked up some more basic skills while in prison and aquired the job duty of cleaning up highways. It was durring one of these supervised outings that Lucas escaped by stealing a car. Durring his breif spell of freedom he met a woman by the name of Stella. Lucas was free for two months before being picked up in Ohio for transporting stolen goods across state lines.
The short romance of Lucas and death of mother
After his release in 1959, Lucas lived for a short time with a half sister. He eventually called Stella and, after a short dating and courting spell, asked her to marry him. Stella agreed and the couple announced their engagement. A short time later, Viola came to visit Lucas and tried to convince him to leave his new love and move back in with her, as she was becomming old and needed someone to care for her. Lucas refused and after a short, but violent arguement, Stella decided she didn't want to be a part of such a family and broke off the engagement. Furious, Lucas headed back to his half sisters apartment and was followed by Viola. She continued to verbally assult him and, at one point, broke a broom stick over his head. Lucas returned the blow with a knife slash across her neck. In a later confession to police, Lucas 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. Then I noticed that I had my knife in my hand and she had been cut." Viola had not died from the wound, but only lived for forty-eight hours after the attack. She later died of a heart attack. Lucas drove to Virginia after shutting out the lights, thinking he had killed his mother. Lucas swore that the attack was self deffence, but was arrested in Ohio and brought to Michigan, charged with second degree murder. Lucas plead guilty and was sentanced to 20-40 years to be served in the State Prison of Southern Michigan.
Lucas claimed that durring his stay in prison he was constantly taunted and bugged by voices in his head, one of which was his mothers. Lucas claimed that his mother wanted him to commit suicide for what he had done to her. In a letter to his sister, Lucas said good bye and expressed his need to free himself of the voices. Lucas attempted suicide several times by slashing his wrists and stomach with a razor, but guards would save him each time. Lucas was transfered to Iona State Mental hospital where he would endure four-and-a-half years of intense shock and drug therapy. The treatment only made Lucas meaner and more violent. At one point he even told doctors that if he were released, he would kill again. In 1966 Lucas was sent back to the prior prison where he would become hell-bent on revenge. He spent his time reading books about police proceedures and studying methods of murder. Lucas was eventually put to work in a records room where he learned the mistakes of other inmates and discovered that all he had to do not to get caught was keep moving across state lines. Lucas was convinced that he knew exactly how not to get caught and how to commit the perfact crimes, including murder. Due to an overpopulated prison system, lucas was released in June of 1970. He told guards that he would leave them a present on their doorstep. Lucas later claimed to have murdered two women on the day of his release and left one of the bodies within site of the prison walls, although no evidance has ever been uncovered to prove his statement true. One year later Lucas found his way back to prison, having been arrested for the attempted kidnapping of a girl near a bus stop. Lucas was also found to be in violation of his parole, by having possession of a handgun. In 1975 Lucas was again paroled after telling prison officials that this time he was going to find a place to settle down and get a job. Settle down was the farthest thing from what he would do. It was at this time that Lucas would become a drifter, moving all around the country.
Lucas left the prison to travel to Port Deposit, Maryland where he would visit his half sister and her daugher. He stayed with them for three days before moving in with his neice and her husband. It was through her that Lucas met a woman by the name of Betty Crawford. Lucas and Betty became good friends and eventually married in 1975. Betty had three daughters. The new family of five moved around the country living off of Betty's social security payments, moving in and out of various trailer courts, as Lucas continued to try to find and keep a job. Eventually the family would move back to Maryland, where Betty would accuse Lucas of molesting her daughters. Lucas denied the claims but decided to move out anyway. From that point untill 1977, Lucas continued to drift around the country and at one point met a man who would accompany him. Lucas spent time in California, Flordia, and Michigan durring this time staying mostly with family members. Lucas took many odd jobs including work at a few carpet stores owned by family members. He would eventually move in with one of his sisters and her husband and work at a wrecking yard with his brother-in-law. Eventually his sister would accuse him of molesting her grand daughter, something that he denied. That night he stole their car and whent to Jacksonville Flordia. Although he knew no one in Jacksonville, Lucas soon learned of a shelter that offered food and shelter to thoes in need, and Lucas was in need. It was while standing in line waiting for food that Lucas met a man by the name of Otis Toole, who invited Lucas to come stay with him at his mother's house in Springfield. Toole's family knew him to often bring home strangers from the shelter for different reasons. A one time guest at the Toole house told of Toole being a known bi-sexual who often brought men home for sexual perposes. Toole also enjoyed watching people have sex with his underage wife. Toole found work for Lucas at a paint factory where Lucas would work for a month before quiting and trying to head north. At that time his family found and beat him and he had a short stay in a hospital before returning back to Springfield and returning to work at the paint factory. Sarah, Toole's mother, eventually moved her extended family into a different house and Lucas went with them. Lucas then returned to the scrap metal business and began to fill the new backyard of the house with scraps and junked cars. In May of 1981, Sarah died and Toole, Lucas, and the other two members of the family decided to take a trip to California. At first, Tooles wife an child saw the trip as something fun but soon became homesick and the foursome would later return to Springfield.
The Lucas murders and the cult
Shortly after meeting, Lucas and Toole realized that they shared a mutual thirst for violence and blood. The deadly duo then began to rob convenience stores and sometimes small banks for "fun". Lucas later told police of a time that he and Toole had robbed a small convenience store where they tied up a clerk and told her not to move. Lucas claimed that he warned the clerk that he didn't want to have to kill her. As they counted the money, Lucas noticed that the clerk was trying to loosen the ropes that she had been bound with so he casually walked to the back of the store and shot her in the temple. He then loaded the stolen beer into their truck as Toole had sex with the body. As with many of Lucas' confessions, he showed no remorse or emotion while telling the tale. The more they robbed and looted stores the more violent the crimes became. As the crimes continued, Toole and Lucas began competing to see who could be more violent and cruel. Toole once told of a time when they came across a couple who's car had broken down on a highway in Texas. Toole stopped the car and shot the boy in the head and chest nine times, while Lucas brought the screaming girl to the back of the car where he raped her. Seeing Lucas have sex made Toole so angry that he threw the girl out of the car and shot her six times before driving off, leaving the body by the side of the road. Durring this time Lucas and Toole would kill almost anyone they came in contact with, stealing anything they needed to survive and killing any witnesses. If the car they were driving ran out of gas or broke down, they would simply kill a driver and steal that car. No one was safe as they traveled across state lines killing who they pleased. Most victims were shot although some were found stabbed as many as 35 times or more. Athourities believed that Toole and Lucas were responsible for atleast four to five bodys in each state before moving along in their deadly trail of terror. The pair would often kill more than one person a day in fulfillment of their blood lust. Althogh the pair made some confessions to the police that were indeed strange, none were more strange and mind boggleing than the confession that Lucas and Toole had joined a cult. Although the storys of how the men joined differ, both men swear that it happend. Lucas claimed that he entered the cult after being told that the would recieve $10,000 for each hit he completed. He claimes that he underwent a seven week training period in the mountians where he became involved with sex with corpses, canniblism, arson, and was taught the proper methods of murder in accordance to the cult. Lucas and Toole claim that their first missions involved kidnaping and sometimes raping and murdering babys, young children, and teenagers. Although the mountians where Lucas said he had been trained had been combed, no proof of the existance of the cult was ever found. Lucas claims that the reason for the lack of evidance is that the cult has members in law enforcement and even high ranking politicians, so they were probably tipped off. Lucas then says that after carrying out some more orders on behalf of the cult he was ordered to take a vacation. At this time he took his girlfriend, a girl he called "Becky", and moved from Jacksonville towards California. In the past, if he wanted sex he would simply rape someone. Rape was as common as theift to Lucas and like theift, he did it to fulfill needs. Murder was something he did for fun and to "kill time". Durring the trip, Lucas claims that he and Becky went to Texas to preform a hit as ordered by the cult. Becky helped dispose of the body and, Lucas claimed, was sexually excited by it. Once in California, the pair continued to rob, rape, and murder for fun and for food. Lucas did some odd handy-man jobs and made a name for himself as someone who could work hard, fast, and accurate. They soon were given an oppurtunity to live rent free in Texas for taking care of an elderly woman and her home. Eventually they blew that too and were once again broke, homeless, and hungry. The couple later met a priest who offered them food and shelter in exchange for Lucas' help in a roofing company and Becky's help with chores. Becky soon became a firm believer in the christian faith and convinced Lucas to move with her back to Texas where she could confess her sins. One night while on the road, Becky and Lucas got into a heated fight after Lucas got drunk and began swearing at each other. At one point Becky hit Lucas in the head and he snaped. He later told police that: "That was it, I just stabbed her with my knife. I just picked it up, brought it around, and hit her right in the chest with it. She sort of set there for a little bit and then dropped on over." Although he claimed to be shocked to kill someone he loved, his shock and paind didn't last long because he then told police: "I took her bra and panties off and had sex with her. That’s one of those things I guess that got to be a part of my life – having sexual intercourse with the dead." This was the first and last time that Lucas and Becky ever had sex. Lucas then cut her body into little pieces and stuffed them into three pillow cases, and left them in a field. For the first and probably only time in his life, Lucas felt true remorse and guilt for killing one of the only people in his life he had ever loved. After the murder Lucas claimed to hear her voice in his head constantly haunting him. Lucas then returned to work for the priest but word soon traveled fast about Becky not being with him. One woman, a former friend of Becky's questioned lucas about Becky and was later killed, raped and cut into pieces and hidden in a wood burning stove. Local police soon became alarmed at the dissipearence of the woman and realized that Lucas was behind it. By the time an arrest warrent was issued, it was too late, Lucas had already left the county. Although he was caught a short time later, Lucas was released on lack of evidance. He continued to move north then south then north again killing and robbing freely, but being sloppy to cover his tracks. Eventually he ran out of gas, cash, and patients and called his priest friend in Texas, asking for a place to stay. The Priest declined, but knowing that the police were looking to question Lucas, told him to call back in afew days and he would see what he could do. Lucas agreed. The priest contacted officials. They decided that the best course of action was to get Lucas to come back to Texas, so the priest wired Lucas $100 for his return. The local sheriff had been checking Lucas' records and found that he was wanted in relation to the theift of his brother-in-laws truck and decided that that would be enough to hold him. After his return to the priest's ranch, Lucas was arrested but never confessed to the murders of the elderly woman and Becky. He was later released but returned to the ranch to pay his "friend" a visit. Lucas gave the priest a handgun and told him to look after it. Soon after that, Lucas was arrested a final time.
Justice for Lucas?
Lucas spent 13 years on death row after confessing to many, many murders. In 1999, George Bush Jr. Govener of Texas stepped in and commuted Lucas' sentance from death to life in prison. Because of his constant change in stories and lack of proof to his confessions, no one truly knows how many people Lucas killed. By his own account it was more than 200 people, but all it took was two to catch him. Lucas' penciled confession started out with these words: "I have tried to get help for so long and no one will believe me. I have killed for the past ten years and no one will believe me. I cannot go on doing this. I also killed the only girl I ever loved."
A Movie has come out about Lucas called "Henry: The portrait of a serial killer" and has been said to be one of the most gruesome and horrific serial killer movies to date. The movie, like Lucas' case, is controversial, but I have not seen it so I will leave my comments at that. Lucas was born an innocent child as we all are but was molded into a monster. I don't know if most of Lucas' claims are true or not but I do believe that he believes they are. Now you know the full story of Henery Lee Lucas.