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Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas - "The Tag Team from Hell"
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Thread: Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas - "The Tag Team from Hell"

  1. #1
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas - "The Tag Team from Hell"

    Henry Lee Lucas

    Henry Lee Lucas was a serial killer who teamed up with fellow serial killer Ottis Toole in the 1980s to kill an unknown number of people of all ages and sexes. Lucas was accused of killing up to 3,000 murders, and eventually confessed to 600 murders, but is believed to have committed between three and twelve murders.Channel 12: The Tag Team from Hell: The connection of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas (December 16, 2008)

    Biography of Henry Lee Lucas

    Henry Lee Lucas spent most of his youth in and out of correctional institutes. In January, 1960, he stabbed his mother to death and confessed that he raped her corpse. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, where he was diagnosed as a suicidal psychopath, sadist and sexual deviant. He was released in 1970.Channel 12: The Tag Team from Hell: The connection of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas (December 16, 2008)2

    In 1978, Lucas met Ottis Toole, and together they picked up hitchhikers and killed them, sometimes eating the victims, sometimes just running them over. It was in July 1981 that six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared, and Lucas's lover Ottis Toole confessed that he killed him, although he later recanted. In 1981, Lucas and Toole broke up, because Lucas ran off with Toole's niece Becky Powell, then 12. Lucas and Powell lived for a time in a Texas Pentacostal commune called the House of Prayer. Lucas said that he and Becky argued on August 24, 1982, and Lucas killed her and then raped her corpse.TruTv: The Henry Lee Lucas Story: Some Bad Things1

    Lucas was arrested in 1983 for a minor weapons charge, and confessed to murdering Becky Powell and 82-year-old Kate Rich. He led detectives to where Powell's body was strewn over an agricultural field. He was sentenced to life in prison, and began a second career confessing to murders.Channel 12: The Tag Team from Hell: The connection of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas (December 16, 2008)2

    Detectives from 40 states came to see him, and Lucas toured the country looking for evidence of his murders, although little additional evidence was found. Lucas was eventually sentenced to death for the murder of a woman in Texas known to investigators only as "Orange Socks." Overwhelming evidence convinced prosecutors that he had not, in fact, killed Orange Socks, and then-governor George W. Bush commuted his sentence.Channel 12: The Tag Team from Hell: The connection of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas (December 16, 2008)2

    Lucas became a born-again Christian in prison, and died there, of heart failure, in 2001.Channel 12: The Tag Team from Hell: The connection of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas (December 16, 2008)

    True Confessions?

    In addition to confessing to hundreds of murders he probably did not commit, Lucas confessed that he had sex with the bodies of the people he and Toole killed, and with the slain carcasses of dogs and sheep. He said that he'd had sex with his siblings and murdered his 78-year-old mother and had sex with her dead body. He confessed that his first murder happened just before his 15th birthday in 1951. He confessed that he and Toole had eaten some of their victims. The truth of many of these confessions has been questioned but cannot be determined.TruTv: The Henry Lee Lucas Story: Some Bad Things


    Ottis Toole

    Ottis Toole was convicted of two murders in 1984 and plead guilty to another four killings in 1991. For several years, Toole traveled with fellow killer Henry Lee Lucas and corroborated Lucas' story that he was an accomplice in up to 108 murders.Biography.com: Notorious: Crime Files: Ottis Toole2 However, since Lucas was a notorious liar and Toole later recanted some of his confessions, it is unclear how many murders Lucas and Toole actually committed.TruTV Crime Library: Serial Killers: Henry Lee Lucas: Final Words

    Toole twice confessed to the murder of Adam Walsh, the son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, but later recanted. On December 16, 2008, authorities announced that the Walsh murder case had been officially closed and named Toole as the murderer.CNN: Police: Drifter killed Adam Walsh in 1981(December 16, 2008)

    Walsh Murder
    While in prison, Toole twice confessed to murdering six-year-old Adam Walsh, but later recanted both confessions. Although Toole successfully identified the areas at which Walsh was last seen and where his head was found, investigators did not find Walsh's body where Toole reported he had buried it. Further complicating matters were allegations that Toole was fed inside information about the case by a detective and the fact that Toole had a history of confessing to crimes he did not commit.CNN: Police: Drifter killed Adam Walsh in 1981 (December 16, 2008)5 Florida Sun-Sentinel: Adam Walsh case to be declared solved today (December 16, 2008)

    Despite officials' doubts, Adam Walsh's father, John Walsh, told the Miami Herald in 2001: "I believe Ottis Toole killed Adam."Miami Herald: Hollywood police to close Adam Walsh murder case (December 16, 2008)6 On December 16, 2008, during a scheduled press conference, officials announced that the investigation into Walsh's murder had been closed and named Toole as the murderer.


  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Episode Five: John Walsh rejects Jeffrey Dahmer theory

    'America's Most Wanted' host speaks about disappearance of Adam Walsh

    By Michelle F. Solomon
    WPLG Local 10

    On Dec. 12, 2008, John and Rev Walsh, along with their three children, Meghan, Callahan and Hayden, all born after their brother Adam was murdered 27 years before, gathered at the Hollywood Police Department for a national press conference.

    Hollywood Police Chief Chad Wagner was announcing that the Adam Walsh abduction and murder case was officially closed. The press conference was breaking news on every major news outlet and televised live.

    "Consistent with the opinions of investigators past and present," Wagner announced, "I agree with the conclusion that Ottis Toole was the perpetrator of this crime. With the acknowledgement that our investigation to place Ottis Toole in Hollywood, Florida, at or near the time of Adam's abduction, along with the multiple confessions countered by several subsequent recantations, our agency has devoted an inordinate amount of time seeking leads to other potential perpetrators rather than emphasizing Ottis Toole as our primary suspect. One common dominator remains following an additional 12 years and witnessing of the court-ordered disclosure of the investigative files -- that the pedophile and convicted murder Ottis Toole has continued to be our only real suspect."

    Wagner said all fingers pointed to Toole, a drifter from Jacksonville and a serial killer. Rev Walsh, Adam's mother, gave a tearful statement at the podium.

    "The words that came off of Chief Chad Wagner's lips just penetrate my soul," she says.

    John Walsh thanked Wagner for "having the guts to do this. The not-knowing has been torture, but that journey is over. Chief Wagner made the decision to end our pain. We believed for years that Ottis Toole killed Adam."

    Two weeks after Adam was snatched from the Hollywood Mall on July 27, 1981, his severed head was discovered in a canal west of Vero Beach. Detectives never found his body or his killer. Fifteen years after his disappearance, Toole told a fellow death-row inmate that he killed the 6-year-old boy. There were holes in his story, and he recanted twice. But Wagner said that the circumstantial evidence against him was overwhelming.

    The announcement by Wagner was followed by a humble apology to the Walshes, who for years were critical of detectives for misplacing evidence and overlooking important leads. Wagner admits that the case should have been presented to the state attorney's office long before Toole died in prison back in 1996. The Walshes say the closing of their case is a reaffirmation of their efforts to see that their son didn't die in vain.

    Today the case is shut and, certain Ottis Toole is the killer of his son, John Walsh talks to The Florida Files about the almost three decades of what he calls torture and misery for his family because of police missteps and the roadblocks in trying to get justice for his son.

    "Nobody's got it right, and you won't get it right either, but Ottis Toole didn't recant his story," Walsh said. "He had a dirt bag defense attorney who got paid by the state and he's the one who said Ottis Toole recanted his story. (Toole) played the game. He and Henry Lee Lucas would tell cops, 'I killed this person' when they didn't to get out of jail. If you're locked up in a prison, it's a horrible place to be, so you tell a dumb nut naive cop, 'I'll clear your case if you get me a Burger King, and I'll talk to you as much as you want.' Otherwise he's in jail hoping that other prisoners won't shag him for being a pedophile. That's what Toole learned from Lucas."

    Walsh said that it was his son Adam and his other children that made him so driven in his career as a crime fighter.

    "Until you have a child, it's a love that you can't explain to anyone," Walsh said. "It isn't like the death of a lover, brother. It's a gut-tearing love of a little person."

    Taking Another Look at the Investigation

    Thousands of pages of the case were released to the media in 1996 after a contentious court battle in Broward County, but John Walsh said it only served to be another bump in the rocky road for the Walshes.

    "A Hollywood attorney told us that you can't open up a capital file," he said. "They tell a couple, a mother and father, that you'll never get justice for Adam if they open the files. He had us convinced that once the files are open it's public domain and they will never be able to use it to convict Ottis Toole. They convinced us that this would be the end of us getting justice. That's why 27 years later, I went to Chad Wagner. It was at Rev's urging. She was the one who said, 'We've got to know. You're out catching bad guys, but we've got to know.'"

    Walsh talks about the lost pieces of evidence, and pictures that were never developed that former Miami Beach police Detective Joe Matthews obtained from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    "Hollywood police never developed the pictures with Adam's face imprinted in the blood of that carpet," Walsh said. "There was no DNA back then. They sent it to different labs and when (Hollywood police Detective Jack) Hoffman lost it they never told us. They lost Toole's car. How do you lose a car?"
    Walsh said when Matthews and former state attorney Kelly Hancock went to work on combing through the investigation, "it took them two months to do what the Hollywood PD hadn't done in 27 years."

    Walsh remembers, like it was yesterday, that press conference in 2008.

    "I never thought I would be that emotional," he said. "People say to me, 'You're tough. You're rough.' But that was the most beautiful little boy and he was the light of our life. Tell me, who decapitates children?"

    He tells the story of the day Adam disappeared and information that he said Matthews discovered when the files were re-opened. They found out that a 17-year-old security guard working at the Sears store sent some boys who began fighting over an Atari game out of the store.

    "She ordered the boys out into the street," he said, adding that the woman told Matthews years later that she was told by her supervisor not to tell police.

    That woman is now an emergency room nurse because of what Walsh said is from "her guilt" about what happened that day.

    "So, Rev had no basis to look for Adam," Walsh said. "The security guard said, 'I had an abortion two days before and I was on drugs. I didn't know what I was doing. I ordered those boys out and I never told anyone.' How's that to start the story when you are looking for your missing child? That girl to this day says she has regrets and has terrible guilt and thinks about Adam every day."

    Not Ottis Toole?

    Today the Walsh family, investigators and law enforcement are satisfied with the closing of the case, that it was Ottis Toole who took Adam from outside of the Sears store, began to drive north in a white 1971 Cadillac to take the boy to Jacksonville and make him his own, but then ended up killing him instead.

    Yet there are others who doggedly continue to this day to prove that someone else was responsible for Adam Walsh's death.

    Hollywood resident Willis Morgan was at the Radio Shack, not far from the Sears store in the Hollywood Mall, that day in July 1981. He said he saw the man who took Adam, and it wasn't Ottis Toole. He's written a book about his experience called "Frustrated Witness" and started the website JusticeForAdam.com.

    Morgan said he's been devoted to this personal quest since Adam disappeared on July 27, 1981, and it got stronger and more intense after notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was captured in 1991.

    Dahmer had lived briefly in South Florida around the time of Adam's abduction and murder.

    Morgan said a young, disheveled man started talking to him "about the weather" that day at the Radio Shack.

    "My thinking was he was lonely and just wanted to talk," Morgan said. "I thought he was just a nut job, but he got progressively more dangerous. I thought, 'Once you say something to someone like that, it initiates more conversation.' He didn't go away. Now I know what he was after. He wanted me to go with him. He did have a hotel room at that time. He was trying to pick me up. That encounter was so intense. I just knew someone was going to be in trouble."

    Morgan said he watched the man walk out of the Radio Shack down the hallway and turn into Sears.

    "I went home and I tried to forget about that crazy guy in the mall," Morgan said. "But then I heard something on the news. It might have been your TV station. I heard on the news Hollywood Mall. I said, 'Wow, that's right down the street. Sears. I was there.' Then I heard abduction. I thought, 'That guy actually did it.' It was all right there, and there was no question, it was that guy."

    But Morgan didn't actually see the abduction, so when he went to the Hollywood Police Department, he said they weren't interested in his story.

    "They just wanted the tag number and the vehicle," Morgan said. "I didn't have any of that. What I saw was all inside the mall. The detective on the case at the time, Jack Hoffman, dismissed it, and the reason being was because he was so focused on John Walsh's house guest (James Campbell) and two years later then went after Ottis Toole. They were chasing all the wrong people."

    Morgan said there are other people who saw the same man he did. He tracked down Mia Cockerman Taylor for his book, who said she and her brother Joel saw the man at the mall on the day before and the day of Adam's disappearance. When Morgan contacted her in 2013, he sent her pictures to look at, and she picked out a picture of Dahmer from 1981.

    She was about 11 at the time.

    "I recall that he smelled like stale alcohol because he was talking that close to my brother the day before Adam was kidnapped," she said.

    She isn't certain but believes a police report wasn't filed by her mother about who she and her brother saw those two days. Her mother died in 1995, and Taylor never was able to find out if her mother had called police.

    Morgan tracked her down through a call her brother made to "America's Most Wanted" telling the tip line about the man he saw at the mall, which was then mentioned in Matthews and Les Staniford's book "Bringing Adam Home." She remembers the boys fighting at the Atari game, then getting sent out of the store. She also said there was a little boy who her brother had been talking to that they saw standing at the curb outside of the store minutes later.

    "My brother wanted to go talk to the little boy, but I said, 'No, his dad is there.' The same man I saw inside was holding the fingertips of this little boy," she said. "It was not until Willis and anyone had anyone ever talked to me."

    Her brother took his own life in 2006 from what Mia said was "survivor's guilt." She said he had confided in her that maybe he should have been the one taken because "Adam would have had more to offer the world."

    Dahmer comes into the public spotlight in 1991 when it is discovered he has been killing and dismembering victims, saving and storing their body parts. Video is televised around the world of crews in biohazard protection suits taking evidence out of his Milwaukee apartment. And his connection to South Florida also becomes suspect.

    In August 1992, Hoffman visits Dahmer in jail. In police records, pages 2382 to 2422, there's file No. 13, a statement dated Aug. 13, 1992. Hoffman is at the Columbia Correctional Facility in Wisconsin to interview Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer.

    "As I told you earlier, Jeffrey, my main purpose of coming up here is to speak to you about your activities upon your arrival into South Florida," Hoffman says.

    Dahmer talks about sleeping on the beach and getting a job at Sunshine Subs. He tells Hoffman that he threw out his Army clothes because he wanted nothing to do with the Army.

    "I didn't go walking around in fatigues," he says.

    Hoffman asks Dahmer if he ever "went up to the Hollywood Mall." Hoffman mentions a man at the Hollywood Mall who says he saw someone who fit Dahmer's description in fatigues.

    Dahmer tells Hoffman stories about how he killed and saved body parts of his victims. At the end of the interview, Hoffman tells Dahmer again, "Just to reiterate, my main purpose of coming here for you is the investigation of Adam Walsh and you to go on record to say that you had nothing to do with it."

    "Nothing to do with it," Dahmer says. "I heard it on the news, but I had nothing to do with it, no."

    True crime author Arthur Jay Harris, who is based in Florida, has written two books on the disappearance of Adam and Dahmer's connection to South Florida. He believes that by the police focusing so much on Toole, they missed leads that would have pointed to Dahmer.

    Harris told The Florida Files that he found a police report from 1981, when Jeffrey Dahmer had been one of the people who, while working inside a sub shop called Sunshine Subs on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, was questioned about a dead man by a dumpster.

    "He knew the man's name and said the man hadn't been feeling well and he had been sleeping nearby in an electric room," Harris said. "The police report says that 'according to Mr. Jeffrey Dahmer.' This is the first evidentiary proof that anyone has had that Jeff Dahmer had been in Miami at all. I found that police report from Metro Dade Public Safety Division from 1981."

    The report was filed 20 days before Adam Walsh's disappearance, Harris points out.

    "It got better after the public records of the entire case were opened in the 2008 exceptional closing," Harris said. "There weren't just two witnesses. There were six total police witnesses who came to police, and who they had dismissed. When I talked to them and showed them Ottis Toole's picture, I ask them, 'Is this the guy you saw at the mall?' They said, 'No.' Four were absolutely certain. Two said, 'I didn't get that great of a look, but looking at this picture,' one of them said, 'gives me shivers.'"

    Harris admits he hasn't ever talked to John Walsh.

    "No, I have attempted and been rebuffed," Harris said.

    But John Walsh did talk to The Florida Files.

    "Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story," John Walsh said. "And the Dahmer stuff is BS. I'll tell you, you'll never talk to me again if you spend time on that. It's a lie. It's not a fact. It's yes, you can be all the reporter and cover all sides, and the public needs to know. It's a tabloid grab at some money. They wrote a book at the expense of a little 6-year-old boy and threw an investigation off course."
    He continues: "I stuck by take the high road, try not to hurt victims and exploit victims because the media knows all the rules, and the victims don't know any of the rules, so they can shove a mic in front of your face while you're crying and dying and brokenhearted and ask you stupid questions, but there's no fairness about it. I explored the Dahmer angle. I actually got a letter from the DA saying that they wouldn't bring Dahmer back to a death penalty state if he agreed to talk to cops. And the two FBI agents that interviewed him said, 'Not him, no shape or form.'"

    Former Milwaukee Journal reporter Anne E. Schwartz, who went on to work for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, was the first to report the story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in 1991 and wrote a book about the man dubbed the Milwaukee cannibal. She and the reporting team at the Journal were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for their work.

    She talked to The Florida Files about the Dahmer theory.

    "It's not unusual when there's a very high-profile serial killer case that it's announced in the news that people try to find the connections to something else," Schwartz said. "If this person has killed 17 men and boys, then of course, we have to see who else he might have killed in a high-profile case that's still out there, everything from the Lindbergh baby case, to, of course, Adam Walsh."

    From her research and police investigations, Schwartz said, "Jeffrey Dahmer was attracted to every one of his victims. I am going by his confessions and also the conversations he had with the best forensic psychiatrists. By all accounts, he was very attracted to every single victim that he killed. He never had to kidnap them. He lured them back to his apartment or his grandmother's house."

    She continues: "Everything that was alleged to have happened in the Walsh case is completely outside of Dahmer's profile. He was a young boy. He was Caucasian. He was kidnapped from a store. Dahmer didn't do any of these things. There's a reason that I believe the confession and that's because, according to forensic psychiatrists, he was ready to confess to everything and unburden himself. He confessed to murdering Steven Hicks in Ohio in 1978 when that state still had the death penalty. He could have left that out. There were murders that he confessed to that we would not have known about. I remember when the police from Hollywood, Florida, came up to Milwaukee and Dahmer was adamant that there was no connection to the Adam Walsh case. The conclusion that they came to here is that Jeffrey Dahmer had no involvement whatsoever, and I haven't seen any evidence that shows me differently."

    Getting On With Their Lives

    Since the case was closed in 2008, the Walshes have tried to get on with their lives, as much as can be expected, Rev Walsh tells ABC News' Dan Harris in a 2016 interview.

    "When all this was going on, I just thought to myself, 'I can't wait until it's 25 years from now,'" Rev Walsh says. "I just want this experience in my life to be that far away from me.' Because I thought it would be different. It's really not."

    John and Rev are still married. John loves being a grandfather and playing polo with youngest son, Hayden. The former "America's Most Wanted" host is coming out of retirement for a new series in 2019 that will be on the Investigation Discovery cable channel called "In Pursuit with John Walsh." It's described as a real-time investigation series that encourages the audience to engage in the pursuit.

    Rev remains active in her work with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

    "They have had issues in the past and have thankfully stayed together," Callahan Walsh said about his parents. "I think the stats are something like 90 percent of couples who have a missing child divorce and don't stay together. It's a testament that my parents have stayed together this long. I think the birth of my sister (Meghan) after Adam's abduction was one of the main reasons my parents did stay together. They had this beautiful new baby girl that they had to take care of, and I think she might have been the saving grace."

    Callahan grew up with the tragedy of the disappearance of Adam Walsh and admits it wasn't easy.

    "But we celebrated Adam's life," he said. "There wasn't a moment that I can recall where my parents just sat me down and told me about Adam. I always knew I had this brother. We celebrated his birthday. We mourned the anniversary of his disappearance. I knew his favorite sports and movies, baseball and 'Star Wars.' I grew up with my parents telling me that Adam didn't die in vain, and if his song is to continue that we need to do the singing."

    Adam Walsh was born on Nov. 14, 1974, disappeared on July 27, 1981. Today, he would be 43 years old.

    One truth remains. What happened almost 40 years ago, when a little boy vanished after a trip to the mall with his mother, remains one of Florida's most perplexing mysteries. And, no doubt, it forever will.

    Last edited by CharlesMartel; 08-05-2018 at 11:59 AM.
    In the Shadow of Your Wings
    1 A Prayer of David. Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!

  3. #3
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Cold case murder of Provo resident Marla Scharp in 1978 to be re-opened

    By Genelle Pugmire
    Daily Herald

    A cold murder case from 1978 in Provo has been reopened and apparent evidence may show that Henry Lee Lucas, notorious serial murderer, did not commit the crime.

    Marla Scharp, 26, was raped and murdered in her downtown Provo apartment at 45 W. 200 South near the location of the old Roberts Hotel and the current south parking lot of the Provo City Center Temple.

    Now her family members have presented enough researched evidence through the Utah Cold Case Coalition that the Provo Police Department has reopened the case.

    The Scharp case is not the only one in question. The coalition, according to co-founder Karra Porter, is asking for others to be reopen as well.

    We are calling on law enforcement to reopen any Henry Lee Lucas confessions, Porter said

    Porter said that combined information from Texas and Florida show that he could not have murdered Scharp, and that there are another 80 people with closed cases that could be in the same situation.

    We thought for 30 years he was the killer of Marla, said Leah Scharp, a sister to Marla. It has been a tireless effort of research that has led to this conclusion. We are grateful for Provo police looking into this after 41 years.

    Leah Scharp added, Somebody killed my sister. She was 13 months older than me and we were like twins. Her loss, weve never gotten over. We are glad this is being reopened.

    The family is seeking information or help from area residents that may have information large or small they could add to finding the real killer.

    They found evidence (at the scene) that Henry Lee Lucas could not have provided, certain forensic evidence, Leah Scharp said, including two Budweiser beer tap tops left at the scene.

    Craig Scharp, a brother, said he never thought Lucas was the murderer.

    What he did by claiming he murdered them stopped the investigations, Craig Scharp said. Were confident they will find Henry Lee Lucas did not do it and someone else did.

    Lucas died in 2001 in a Texas prison. He was originally given the death penalty but then-Gov. George W. Bush commuted the sentence at the request of individuals still investigating murders Lucas claimed he committed.

    Lucas claimed to have killed 200 people in 27 states from California to Florida and New York to Texas, including Scharp in Utah.

    However, in a letter dated Oct. 10, 1985, then-Texas prisoner Lucas wrote a letter to the Provo Police claiming he did not commit the murder.

    In the letter Lucas said he was in Maryland from June 1978 until January 1979.

    I can prove that with the Texas Attorney Generals Office and I do feel that they should look at the facts that were sent to the Texas Rangers and look at the truth that I never killed the Sharp girl, Lucas wrote, omitting the c in Scharp. And as I said I can prove my case against the police detectives who took the confession because they know they had to change the date.

    Residents who may have any information about the Marla Scharp rape and murder case may contact Capt. Devon Jensen with the Provo Police Department.

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Man charged in 1980 slaying of 25-year-old Norfolk woman

    By Jonathan Edwards and Cleo-Symone Scott
    The Virginian-Pilot

    A 70-year-old man has been accused of murdering a Navy pilots wife in Norfolk nearly 40 years ago a slaying in which police once suspected two notorious serial killers.

    On Friday, police arrested Dennis Lee Bowman in the 1980 strangulation and stabbing of 25-year-old Kathleen OBrien Doyle. He was arrested in Allegan County, Michigan, where he now lives.

    Friends found Doyles body on Sept. 11, 1980, inside her Ocean View area home in the 9400 block of Granby Street, police said at the time. Doyle had been raped, stabbed with a knife, and choked with a cord, according to police. She had been dead for at least 24 hours by the time her body was found.

    At the time, Doyles husband of nine months, Lt. Stephen Doyle, was away at sea on the USS Eisenhower in the Indian Ocean. While her husband was deployed, Doyle had been living in her home alone with her tabby cat. They had no children.

    Doyle grew up in a Navy family. Her father was a retired Navy officer in San Diego and her grandparents reportedly lived in Tidewater at the time of her death.

    Bowman, who was 31 in 1980, is being held Michigan and awaiting extradition to Virginia.

    Police did not specify what cracked the case 39 years later, but in a press release credited an extended investigation by Norfolk detectives and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, along with forensic evidence.

    Two other men were previously accused of murdering Doyle.

    In 1984, Norfolk police charged Henry Lee Lucas, then 47, and Ottis Elwood Toole, 37, with rape and murder.

    By that time, Lucas had already been convicted of murdering a Texas woman in 1979, and sentenced to death, according to a 2001 Associated Press story reporting that Lucas had died in a Texas prison of an apparent heart attack at 64.

    Before being sent to prison in Texas, Lucas served 15 years in Michigan for beating his mother to death.

    After his arrest in 1983, he claimed to have killed as many as 600 people around the country, prompting detectives from 40 states to interview him about some 3,000 homicides, according to the AP article.

    One of them: Doyles.

    In June 1984, Norfolk police Sgt. R.E. Hazelette interviewed Lucas in Texas, where the death row inmate confessed to killing Doyle, and implicated Toole as well, according to a Ledger-Star article about Lucas being charged.

    After getting Lucas to confess, Hazelette requested authorities in Florida send him reports about Lucas and Tooles hair and blood types. Norfolk detectives determined that information matched forensic evidence found at the scene, resulting in the two men being charged.

    Lucas also admitted to killing a Virginia Beach woman, 18-year-old Alice Margeret Eskew, a hitchhiker whose naked body was found in September 1979 in a wooded area in Virginia Beach.

    Lucas told police he murdered because hated women. I wanted to destroy every one I could find, he said. I was doing a good job of it.

    Lucas later recanted many of his confessions, and the Texas prosecutor who helped send him to death row said he believes Lucas killed between three and a dozen people a fraction of the total he once claimed.

    ''I dont think he knew exactly,'' the prosecutor said. ''Its difficult to imagine you can rely on anything he said, but the fact remains he was a serial killer, even though were unable to pinpoint the exact number.''

    Norfolk prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Lucas and Toole, said Amanda Howie, spokeswoman for the Norfolk Commonwealths Attorneys Office. She said shes not sure when that happened.

    Norfolk police did not immediately respond to a call and an email requesting comment.

    Before he died, Lucas told The Houston Chronicle he concocted the hoax to make the police look stupid. I was out to wreck Texas law enforcement.''

    In 2003, Doyles father, John OBrien, chastised Norfolk police and city leaders in a letter to the editor in The Virginian-Pilot. OBrien said he thinks they, like many other officials and law enforcement agencies around the country, were eager to believe Lucas so they could clear their books.

    It is my opinion that my daughters case might have been solved long ago if only the Norfolk Police Department had not been duped into believing a national-scale hoax perpetrated by Henry Lee Lucas, OBrien wrote.

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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