Kate Rich

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This is Kate Rich, an eighty-two year old lady who knew Becky Powell and Henry Lucas briefly. She lived in Ringgold, and allowed Lucas and his “wife” to live with her for a time, but her relatives got suspicious of the pair and had them kicked out.

Shortly after Becky was killed on the sixteenth of September, Lucas came calling again to his former benefactor’s house, asking her help in looking for poor, deceased Becky. Kate, of course, did not know she was dead, and agreed to help him in his search.

They drove around for a while, going north, before Lucas was seized by a burning curiosity to add another sin to his crumpled, soiled soul. Kate was sitting in the passenger seat beside him. Between them was a knife. Lucas picked it up and casually rammed it through the elderly woman’s side.

He stopped the car in a deserted spot, walked around to the passenger door and opened it. At this point Kate was dead, having been stabbed in the heart. Lucas unceremoniously shoved the remains into a drainage pipe and made good his escape. law enforcement would not find the body until he confessed to the murder.

And that is the sad story of Kate Rich, whose one mistake was to feel concern for the whereabous of a fifteen-year-old child.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Rich.

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Orange Socks

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What was her name? Only God knows. Not even her killer knew, although she might have been called Joanie. Her body was found in a culvert off the IH35, naked save for a pair of orange socks. She had been strangled to death.

Joanie-let’s call her Joanie-didn’t have it so good. The pathologist said that she had most likely been a runaway. Her legs were unshaven, and she hadn’t bathed for a while. Her nails were long. She may have met her killer-Henry Lee Lucas, who else?-via hitchhiking. She may have solicited men for money, because she had untreated gonorrhea. Lucas didn’t like what she did for him, so he strangled her. But even when dead she couldn’t satisfy him, so he heaved her lifeless body over the guardrail of the road and into the culvert.

Who was Joanie? What was the course of her daily life? She was a young woman, wandering around Texas, hungry and cold and sick. Lonely, feeling grotty for want of a wash. Homeless.

She was pretty, though.

There are people out there probaby wonders what happened to their daughter, their sister, their friend. Perhaps still hoping she’ll come home one day. Meanwhile, Joanie lies in a grave somewhere, under a headstone without a name on it

Rest in peace, Joanie. Maybe someday we’ll find out who you were.

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Becky Powell

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Frieda Lorraine Powell, nicknamed Becky, was the young niece of Ottis Toole, who was Lucas’ best friend. One day, whilst visiting his pal, Lucas happened to spot the girl-who at that stage had not yet hit puberty-and became besotted with her. A few years later, he came back for the girl and her brother, Frank, and took them with him on his rambles. Poor Frank went insane from seeing what Lucas did, and was later committed, but Becky stayed with him. 

After a time, they ended up at a religious commune called the House of God, and settled there for a little while. One day, on the twenty-third of August in 1982, they decided to have a picnic. Becky, who was by now fifteen, was feeling quite homesick-and why wouldn’t she? She had been taken from the people and places she knew and was being dragged across America to put up with cultists, and all on the whim of her uncle’s middle-aged friend. She had every right to be fed up.

Lucas, however, didn’t see it that way. At some point during the argument, Becky slapped him. He picked up a knife and stabbed her to death. He hacked her body to pieces and scattered them around the field to rot.

Becky had no people to mourn her, other than her maniac Uncle Ottis and her wretched brother. She had been in foster homes for a good deal of her life. Did she see Lucas as a kind of escape route, her only hope for independance?

She was only fifteen years old.

Rest in piece, Becky Powell.

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Viola Lucas

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Viola Lucas, at the age of forty-one, gave birth to Henry Lee Lucas in Virginia. The family was incredibly poor, and, like most destitute families back then, it included eight hungry children. Viola’s husband was an alcoholic who’d lost both his legs in a railroad accident. By all accounts, Viola was somewhat contentious-which appears to be a nice way of putting it. All stories concerning Lucas devote the early pages to tales of his mother’s cruelty, the most infamous being that she sent him to school wearing dresses, with his hair grown down to his shoulders and curled into rather becoming ringlets.

During the year of 1960, when she was seventy-four years old, Viola visited her wayward son. They drank a considerable amount of alcohol and got into an argument that quickly escalated out of control. Lucas the Younger hit his mother across the side of the neck, but then discovered that he was holding a knife. He decided to cut his losses and left his mother to bleed to death on the floor. His sister later discovered her and called an ambulance, but it was too late for the old woman.

Viola Lucas has been described as a sadist and a shameless prostitute, who often entertained her lovers in front of her disabled husband and young children. But this may not have been entirely her fault-she may have had a mental disorder such as psychopathy or sociopathy. Also,her own childhood may have been just as miserable-as the poet Philip Larkin says, “Man hands misery down to man/ It deepens like a coastal shelf/ Get out early while you can/ And don’t have any kids yourself.”

Viola Lucas may not have been easy to deal with, but she still deserves a commemoration.

Rest in peace, Mrs. Lucas.

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Laura Burnley

Laura Burnley was Lucas’s first victim. She was seventeen, he was fifteen. During March in the year 1951, he picked her up near Lynchberg, drove her out to a secluded spot, and strangled her when she refused to have sex with him. He buried her there and drove off. The mystery of her disappearance was not solved until Lucas was caught a couple of decades later, and confessed to her murder.

It’s a terrible story-all poor Laura did was reject him, which she had every right to do, and he retaliated by wiping her off the face of the earth.  I can find no photographs of her-I wish I could. I wish I could write pages and pages on her, like she deserves. But I can only find her name and her age.

Rest in peace, Laura Burley. I wish I could do more for you.

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Henry Lee Lucas: Introduction to the Deadly Drifter

Henry Lee Lucas was a no-good, dirty-rotten layabout who ranged the southern states of America, killing and mutilated as he went. He was aided in his crimes with his best friend, fellow serial killer Otis Toole. When apprehended, Lucas eventually confessed to over six hundred murders. One source puts the number at three thousand.

Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the resources to research and commemmorate three thousand people. Instead, I’ll stick with five. As five is a nice, manageable number, I’ll do it in a series of posts, like I did with the Dahmer victims.

Before I get underway with this honoured task, I would just like to mention that, for some reason, Mr. Lucas never had any groupies that I know of-unlike Dahmer or Bundy. I suppose that his glass eye, slovenly hygiene habits and rotten teeth had something to do with it.

On to the victims….

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One Minute of Silence For: The Philpott Children

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I know that I said I was going to write about the Lucas victims next, but I remembered that a few months ago I vowed to write a blog post honouring six little English children who died in monstrous circumstances. So here is the first in a series of One Minute of Silence posts, where I write about the victims of murderers other than serial killers. Here goes.

The children in the photo above, from left to right, are (back row): Duwayne, aged thirteen, John, aged nine, (front row) Jack, eight, Jesse, six, Jade, ten, and Jayden, five. The ugly bugger in the top right corner is their father, Mick Philpott.

On the eleventh of May, 2011, Mick Philpott put into action a plan to get revenge upon his former live-in mistress, who had fled his controlling, abusive personality and taken the children she’d had by him. Together with his wife, Mairead, and a friend of his named Paul Mosley, he set fire to his own house whilst the children lay asleep in their beds. They laced the premises with petrol, lit it, and then leant ladders up against the house and called for the children to come down.

But they never did.

The six little Philpotts stayed in their beds, sound asleep, as the fire gained momentum and spread throughout their home. They proably died of smoke inhalation. Not one of the three adults present climbeed up the ladders to save them.

The adult Philpotts at first acted heartbroken at the press conferences afterwards, but something was off. For starters, Mick tried to embezzle the money that the community raised to help him bury his children. Then, a hidden recording machine in a hotel room revealed that he and his wife had been lying to a considerable extent about their involvement in the murders. And of course there was the small matter of Mr. Philpott being diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder-a mental defect one Jeffery L. Dahmer was also diagnosed with, if memory serves correct.

Mick Philpot was sentenced to life in prison. His wife got seventeen years. But what about the six little angels killed in their beds, and their grieving brothers and sisters? (Before the fire, there were seventeen Philpott children, mostly quite young.)

One image remains burned in my head from when a teacher at school showed us vidoes concerning the case, and it is this: Six white little coffins, balanced on the shoulders of men in black suits. The coffins have the names of the dead children incribed on their sides. The men are trudging into the church in a straight line. Six little coffins in a neat little line, going to be buried in the cold, damp cementary clay.

Duwayne and his siblings did not deserve their piggish father. They deserved the best, but they got the worst. If it is true that only the good die young-as it now appears to be-then Mick Philpott will live to a great age.

But, if God is just, he will die screaming.

Duwayne, John Jack, Jesse, Jade and Jayden-rest in peace, you poor misfortunate kids.

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