Henry Lee Lucas….man oh man, I could devote an entire blog to just making fun of him. But this blog isn’t about him, so I’ll merely devote a few sentences to his shortcomings.
Henry Lee Lucas had so few teeth that paying people to chew his food for him was a major debit. Such a stench came off him that flies considered him carrion. He was so cowardly that the Cowardly Lion from Oz thinks about him to feel better about himself. The movie version of him is scarier than the man himself.
He was a psychopath, but he wasn’t a very good one. After being caught and incarcerated, the authorities wanted to find out his final body count, and so they sent a few investigators his way. They took with them a file on just about every disappearance, every unsolved murder that had occured throughout Lucas’ adult life. They questioned him about the deaths the files detailed. Apparently, he ended up confessing to over three thousand murders. A skeptical investigator decided to feed him a file for a murder that had never been committed. He set it down in front of him and said, “Henry, do you know anything about this?”
And Lucas drawled, “Oh, sure! I killed her, alright.”
He wasn’t good at anything. He wasn’t even a good liar.
But God bless those poor people he really did kill. They were good souls, just trying to get by in less-than-pleasant circumstances.
To them, I say, Rest in peace.
To him, I say, Rot in hell. Burn while you’re at it.
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.
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.
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.
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….