Henry Lee Lucas (August 23rd, 1936 - March 12th, 2001) was an American serial killer who confessed to multiple murders, but in reality, was confessed of 11. He was imprisoned for the first time in 1960 but was released in June 1970 due to prison overcrowding. He was arrested on June 11th, 1983, and was sentenced to death in prison. His death sentence was commuted to life in prison by then-Texas governor George W. Bush in 1998.
His mother, Viola Lucas was a prostitute who would force Henry to watch her mother have sex with her clients and force Henry to cross-dress in public. He killed his mother on January 11th, 1960. Surprisingly, the initial attack didn't kill her, but a heart attack led to her death.
Ottis Toole, a fellow serial killer, was Lucas' lover and partner-in-crime.
In November 1983, Lucas was transferred to a jail in Williamson County, Texas. In interviews with Texas Rangers and other law enforcement personnel, Lucas continued to confess to numerous additional unsolved killings. It was thought that there was positive corroboration with Lucas's confessions in 28 unsolved murders, and so the Lucas Task Force was established. Eventually, because of Lucas's confessions, the task force officially "cleared" 213 previously unsolved murders. Lucas reportedly received preferential treatment rarely offered to convicts, being frequently taken to restaurants and cafés. Some of his alleged treatment was odd for someone whom the police supposedly believed to be a cunning mass murderer: he was rarely handcuffed, often allowed to wander police stations and jails at will, and even knew codes for security doors.
Later attempts at discovering whether Lucas had actually killed anyone apart from Powell and Rich were complicated by Lucas's ability to make an accurate deduction that seemed to substantiate a confession. In one instance, he explained how he had correctly identified a victim in a group photograph through her wearing spectacles; a pair of glasses were on a table in a crime scene photo shown to him earlier. There were also suggestions that the interview tapes showed that, despite Lucas' supposedly low IQ, he had adroitly read the reactions of those interviewing him and altered what he was saying, thereby making his confessions more consistent with facts known to law enforcement. The most serious allegation against investigators, that they had let Lucas read case files on unsolved crimes and thus enabled him to come up with convincingly detailed confessions, made it virtually impossible to determine if, as some continue to suspect, he had been telling the truth to the Lucas Task Force about a relatively large number of the murders.
In 1983, Lucas claimed to have killed an unidentified young woman, later identified as Michelle Busha, along Interstate 90 in Minnesota. When questioned by police, he gave inconsistent details on the way he murdered the victim and was eliminated as a suspect.
In 1984, Lucas confessed to the murder of an unidentified girl who was discovered shot to death in a field at Caledonia, New York on November 10, 1979. The unidentified girl was referred to at the time as "Caledonia Jane Doe". Investigators, however, found insufficient evidence to support the confession. In early 2015, over 35 years later, "Caledonia Jane Doe" was identified through a DNA match as Tammy Alexander.
Lucas also is believed to have falsely confessed to the 1980 slaying of Carol Cole in Louisiana. Cole was unidentified until 2015.