Henry Lee Lucas started out in a dark world of physical and mental abuse. His mother often beat him with any type of object she was able to get a hold of including her own hands. The abuse became so severe that it eventually damaged Lucas physically and had a deep emotional impact as well.
Lucas started his murdering habits at the age 15 of a 17 year old girl. He had at first tried to rape her and knocked her unconscious. She woke back up and fought back somewhat. Lucas then strangled her. Later, when talking Lucas would tell of how he didn’t me to kill the girl; that it just happened. It was also at the age of 15 that Lucas had his first time in jail, convicted for breaking and entering. He was discharged a year later to be convicted of the same thing. He was sentenced to 4 years.
In 1959 he made his way back to Michigan to join his sister. Being here proved to have Lucas commit another murder; this time his mother. An argument had started to get heavy at a bar that later continued. The result was Lucas beating her to the brink of death. He fled. His sister however, found their mother. The mother later died at the hospital.
Lucas stole a car he fled to Va. He was later arrested in Ohio and returned to Michigan where he was later tried for murder. In 1970, Lucas was recommended for parole. However, he warned officials he would kill again if released. The timing of overcrowding and money ignored his warning and he was released. As soon as he was released, his next victim was killed that day right down the road. Soon after he was released he was arrested for kidnapping a 15 year old girl waiting for a school bus.
He was sentenced to prison and released in 1975. In 1979, he went to Jacksonville, Florida. This is where he met his new partner in crime, Ottis Toole. Ottis and Lucas went across the state committing burglaries, hitting gas stations and convince stores. This is when he had met Becky Powell as well. All three of them fled cross country, killing and robbing what was said to be over 100 victims until finally settling in southern California.
In August of 1982, Lucas made his way back to Florida. Becky was with him. Here is where Lucas committed yet another murder, Becky’s. They had an argument where Becky was threatening to leave him. He ended up hitting her, striking her so hard that she hit her head. She died. He took off her ring and tried to hide her body after attempting to hack it into pieces. Lucas eventually dragged her body under a desert scrub.
In 1983, Lucas was picked up on a weapons charge. He later confessed to the police about the murders. Lucas was convicted of 11 counts of murder. He received the death sentence for only one of the victims, a hitchhiker named “Orange Socks” that was killed during the time of him and Ottis. After trail evidence came back, it was proven there was no way Lucas could have killed him. 4 days before his lethal injection, Governor Bush commuted his sentence. It was later thought his partner Ottis Toole had committed the murder.
It was later discovered that brain damaged had occurred which stopped him from logically thinking of what was right and wrong. Delusions set in from emotional abuse and from some of the brain damage that was caused. He was diagnosed as a psychopath through testing later. It was later thought that some of this may have caused the murders and behavior he held through out his life; including wanting to die in his cell with the several attempts of suicide.
Henry Lee Lucas confessed to over 300 murders at one time to later take that confession back and later to just re-confess. He died of a heart attack in his cell in March 2001.