Up until this point, no one knows how many murders that Henry lee Lucas and Ottis Toole committed. They claimed to have killed, raped, and mutilated hundreds of victims, although many confessions have now been discredited.

Of those hundreds of murders, they claimed to be responsible for, at least nine have been confirmed; three on Lucas and six on Toole.

The string of confessions first emerged in 1983 from Lucas, who had just been arrested for possession of a handgun. It was a time when advanced crime scene investigation technique such as DNA testing was not yet available.

Law enforcement all over the country was looking for an effective way to solve and close murder cases, and they were happy to listen to everything Lucas had to say.

Investigators grew suspicious as Lucas often made exaggerated claims of some murders from already closed cases.

After a killing spree that spanned over 20 years, Lucas died in prison from heart failure at 64. Toole also died in jail from cirrhosis in 1996 at the age of 49.

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10 Partners In Crime And Love

Not only were Lucas and Toole partners in crime, but also a romantic relationship. They met a soup kitchen in 1976 and hit it off right away.

Toole invited Lucas home and shared a bed with a man he had just met. From that point on, they traveled across the country on a rape and murder spree.

In 1978, they moved in with Toole’s mother. If the confession of Henry Lucas is indeed true without exaggeration – although highly unlikely – they killed more than 1,000 people together. An outstanding yet uncorroborated claim.

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9 Troubled Childhood

Both of them were raised in some weird manners. Lucas was born to a woman named Viola, who made a living with prostitution and bootlegging.

Lucas said his mother would entertain clients in front of him, his brother, and his father (some say, stepfather). His mother used to dress him up as a girl.

Toole’s upbringing had some similarities in which his mother also dressed him as a little girl. Toole’s mother was a religious fanatic, while his grandmother had been an alleged Satanist.

Grandmother would sometimes take Toole to the graveyard to search for human body parts for magic charms.



8 Kindred Twisted Souls

By the time they met, both had already killed their first victims. Lucas’ first victim, by his own admission, was 17 years old Laura Burnley after she refused his sexual advances in 1951.

He was only 14 years old. Lucas claimed he abducted the girl from a bus stop and beat her until she was unconscious. He then raped and strangled her to death—no record to support this claim.

Toole too claimed to have committed his first murder at the age of 14. His victim was an unnamed traveling salesman who tried to pick him up for sex. Toole ran the man over with his car.

7 Hand Of Death

Between 1979 and 1981, Lucas and Toole found work with a roofing company in Jacksonville called Southeast Color Coat. The office manager said that the two would disappear quite often, sometimes for weeks.

Toole would come and go, but there was always a job waiting for him because he was a good worker. Their landlord also said something similar, suggesting they were frequently disappearing.

Along the way, Toole allegedly brought Lucas into the world of a satanic cult known as “Hand of Death” that practiced human sacrifice and produced snuff films.

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6 Becky Powell

For a little while, two orphaned teenagers, Frank and Becky Powell, lived with Toole and Lucas. The teens were Toole’s nephew and niece. Lucas and Powell had started having sex by the time she was 12 years old.

She would do just about anything to be with Lucas, who later admitted to loving her too. He liked that Becky just accepted everything he said.

It remains unclear whether or not Toole was aware of the romantic relationship Lucas had formed with Powell.

Still, when they eventually ran away from home in 1982 because Lucas wanted her for himself, Toole was in so much anger as he learned they had left him. Toole would never see Becky again.

5 Betrayal

Toole’s mother died in 1981 following surgery, and his sister died of a drug overdose a short time later.

The deaths of his immediate family, added with Lucas (and Powell) ‘s betrayal, triggered a murder spree. In the course of the next 13 months, he allegedly killed nine people in six different states.

In April 1983, Toole was arrested for an arson incident in Florida, to which he confessed and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. While he was in the custody of the police, he admitted to having set around 40 fires.

4 Back To Killing

As Toole was wandering and killing people, so was Lucas, who ended up with Powell at the home of Kate Rich, an 80 years old woman whose family hired them to care for her, in Ringgold, Texas.

It did not end well, and Rich’s relatives kicked them out. The two, claiming to be husband and wife, then found a home in a religious commune known as All People’s House of Prayer near Stoneburg.

Soon enough, Powell grew tired of the condition they lived in. Lucas killed, raped her corpse, and dismembered her body.

About three weeks later, Lucas killed Kate Rich then had sex with her corpse before shoving her body and clothing into a drainage pipe.

3 Lucas' Arrest

For some reason, Lucas returned to House of Prayer and told the lay minister he wanted to find Powell and Rich.

By this time, the authorities had already grown suspicious of him for the disappearance of Rich. Lucas also left a pistol with the minister for safekeeping and drove out of town.

Lucas returned to Stoneburg in June 1983 and was immediately arrested and jailed as an ex-con possessing a handgun; he already had served time in prison for the murder of his mother in 1960.

TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo

2 Confession Began

After several nights in prison, Lucas earned the attention of one of the jailers, Joe Don, by claiming he had killed for the past ten years, yet no one would believe him.

Investigators realized Lucas was ready to talk, so they probably had a good chance of closing the Becky Powel and Kate Rich disappearance cases.

They did, and then some. Lucas confessed to killing both women and gave officers details about the locations of their remains, which were accurate.

1 Letter To Toole

After Lucas was convicted of Powell’s murder, he wrote a letter to Toole, who was then serving time in prison on an arson charge.

In the four-page letter, he informed Toole of his niece’s death and asked for assistance in recalling their crimes together.

Toole had heard about Lucas’s confessions and was ready to corroborate murder stories with gruesome details of his own.

In one phone call they were allowed to make (first direct contact in two years), gruesome information came to the surface.

The conversation was filled with talks about cannibalism, chopping a man with an ax, and the corpses of a boy and a girl that Toole killed on his own.

Toole wanted Lucas to confess all the crimes they did, both separately and together. And the confession just never stopped.

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