In 1960, Leonard Lucas was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for murdering his mother but was paroled after serving only 10 years. Released yet again from jail in 1975, Lucas teamed up with a petty thief named Ottis Toole, who shared an unhealthy interest in rape and death. Lucas was arrested, known to have killed two people, but in his jail cell, he began confessing to hundreds of murders.
Murderer. Born Henry Lee Lucas on August 23, 1936, in Blacksburg, Virginia. One of nine siblings, Lucas was raised by abusive alcoholic parents. His mother ruled the household with an iron fist and prostituted herself in their backwoods community to make money. As a teenager, Lucas? sexual deviance became increasingly pronounced, and he reported having sex with his half-brother and with dead animals.
Lucas spent his teen years in and out of jail. In March 1960, he was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for murdering his mother. He was sent to Jackson State Penitentiary in southern Michigan, but after two attempted suicides, he was admitted to Ionia State Mental Hospital. He was paroled in 1970 after serving 10 years.
A year after his release, Leonard Lucas was sentenced to five years for attempting to kidnap a fifteen-year-old girl at gunpoint. After his second release in 1975, he traveled to Michigan where he teamed-up with a petty thief named Ottis Toole. They shared an unhealthy interest in rape and death. In October 1979, Lucas traveled the country accompanied by Ottis and his young niece, Becky Powell, who was mildly retarded.
According to Lucas, he and Powell became romantically involved, filling one another?s lifelong need for love and respect. Despite this romance, however, Lucas eventually killed Powell, along with Katharine Rich, an elderly woman with whom they had been staying.
In June 1983, Leonard Lucas was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon. In his cell, he began confessing to hundreds of murders. Egged on by investigators from around the country, Lucas? confessions became increasingly farfetched. It is unclear how many murders he actually did commit, but some believe it was just three: his mother, Becky Powell and Katharine Rich. He was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by Texas governor George Bush.
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