- Henry Lee Lucas
(August 23, 1936 - March 13, 2001) was an American criminal,
convicted of murder and once listed as America's most prolific
serial killer. However, he later recanted his confessions. Lucas
confessed to involvement in about 3,000 murders, an average of
about one murder per day between his release from prison in mid-1975
to his arrest in mid-1983. A more widely circulated total of
about 350 murders committed by Lucas is based on confessions
deemed "believable" by a Texas-based "Lucas Task
Lucas claimed to have first murdered in 1951, when he strangled
a girl who refused his sexual advances. On January 12, 1960,
Lucas killed his mother, stabbing her with a knife. He served
fifteen years and was released on August 22, 1975. He then drifted
around the American South and met up with Ottis Toole for an
alleged murder and crime spree.
Lucas was arrested in June 1983 and charged with killing 82-year-old
Kate Rich in Ringgold, Texas, and the earlier murder of Becky
Powell. Ultimately, Lucas was convicted of eleven homicides.
He was sentenced to death for the murder of an unidentified woman,
dubbed "Orange Socks" after her only clothing, who
was discovered in Williamson County, Texas, on Halloween 1979.
Lucas's sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by then-Governor
George W. Bush, and Lucas died in prison of natural causes.
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