The Confession Killer Jan 29, 2022 0:50:21 GMT -5
Post by pakman on Jan 29, 2022 0:50:21 GMT -5
I've gotten into Netflix true crime docuseries and documentaries lately (I saw a fascinating one on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist not too long ago) and I very recently finished one called The Confession Killer, which was all about Henry Lee Lucas, the infamous "serial killer" who confessed to killing over 200 people, then recanted all his confessions.
After watching the documentary, I'm now convinced that Lucas was not, in fact, a serial killer at all. I believe that, in his life, he killed three people - his own mother back in the 1960s, and two women in the early '80s. Apparently at his sentencing, he made the comment, "Your honor, what are we going to do about the 100 other women I killed?" and law enforcement took him seriously. He became very friendly with a local sheriff (to the point where they'd let him walk around the sheriff's office without handcuffs on). The sheriff/task force would feed him information about the crimes and then he would basically repeat that information back, making dozens of law enforcement agencies believe him. But a couple prosecutors got wise to him (including a Dallas prosecutor who got him to confess to a murder that didn't actually happen - they made up a case and Lucas said he did it) and another prosecutor basically had his professional life ruined because the sheriff and Texas Department of Public Safety went after him on false corruption charges (he was thankfully acquitted) after the prosecutor convened a grand jury and got Lucas to recant all his confessions in front of the grand jury.
In the years since Lucas' death, DNA has confirmed that 20 of the crimes he confessed to he didn't do, and the actual killers have been identified in those cases. But there are still hundreds that a lot of police agencies are refusing to reopen, even though there is hard evidence that Lucas didn't commit them. This includes the Orange Socks Jane Doe case that AMW profiled several times.
I highly recommend this documentary. It'll fascinate you and really infuriate you too to see how desperate these agencies were to solve these crimes, and how in a lot of instances these agencies refuse to even consider that Lucas was lying. Someone on the program interviewed thinks the reason Lucas confessed was because he knew it would keep him off death row if he kept confessing.
Also, one interesting note; former Texas Ranger Phil Ryan is interviewed (the Rangers are the ones who headed the task force). After he left the Texas Rangers he became sheriff of Wise County, where, at one point during his tenure, he hired none other than AMW fugitive Eric Rosenstrom as an evidence technician (this was prior to him becoming a fugitive). He discovered that Rosenstrom was a liar and completely fabricated his credentials.