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Henry Lee Lucas
Henry Lee Lucas is frequently touted as the ultimate serial killer, because he ultimately claimed to have killed more than 600 people. This in-depth story, by Bonnie Bobit, editor of the Death Row series of books, not only brings Lucas into sharp focus, but explains why the Texas board of pardons and paroles recommended that his death sentence be reduced to life imprisonment -- the only such instance of mercy by that board in modern times.
by Bonnie Bobit
For several years during the mid-1980s, Henry Lee Lucas enjoyed holding the title of "the most infamous man on death row." His fleeting fame did not evolve from the three cold-blooded murders he did commit, but from hundreds of murders he did not. When Lucas was sentenced to death in 1984, it wasn't for the 1960 murder of his mother. Nor was it for the 1982 cold-blooded rape and murder of Kate Rich, an 82-year-old Texas woman. And it wasn't even for the 1982 murder and dismemberment of Becky Powell, his longtime girlfriend. Instead, Lucas was sent to death row for the 1979 rape and murder of a woman known only as "Orange Socks" – a woman he probably never met.
After Lucas served 10 years in prison for the murder of his mother, he was released on parole free to kill again. And he did. During Lucas' second murder trial, in 1983, he shocked a Texas courtroom when he not only confessed to killing the elderly Rich, but then announced: "And I've got 100 more out there somewhere."