Here's How Killers Ottis Toole And Henry Lee Lucas Met

Convicted killers Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas had one of those hard to find relationships in which they really seemed to get each other. Likely, it's because the men came from similar backgrounds. Both reportedly had terrible childhoods that meet the usual "here's how you grow a serial killer" tropes. Between the two, they grew up in poverty, were abused in all the ways, neglected, abandoned, and the coup-de-grâce, both had unloving mothers

Toole's ma is said to have became a religious fanatic after Toole's father left, and used her beliefs to justify the cruel things she did to her child, according to Your Queer Story, while Lucas' mom was an alcoholic sex worker who did her work in the presence of her children, per The Pylon. His father lost both legs in a railroad accident, so finding work was tough, and the man eventually drank himself to death, The Pylon reported. 

Toole, who hailed from Jacksonville, Florida, took off to be a drifter when he was about 19, supporting himself with sex work and panhandling. During those years he was under suspicion of murder in Nebraska and Colorado, but was never charged, according to Investigation Discovery. He also claims to have killed a man when he was 14 after the man made unwanted sexual advances. 

Lucas, from near Blacksburg, Virginia, was convicted of killing his mother in 1960 during an argument. By 1970 he was out on parole. 

Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas met at a soup kitchen in 1976

Toole and Lucas were just a couple of lonely-guy-murdering-drifters when their paths finally crossed in 1976 at a Jacksonville soup kitchen, per Investigation Discovery. Toole was back in his hometown to get away from the heat of the murder suspicions in other states, and Lucas frequented Florida during his drifter years, according to The Pylon. The men made fast friends while chatting outside the soup kitchen. They became lovers, and realized drifting, raping and killing was better together. But just how much killing the duo did will likely never be known.

Not for the usual reason — i.e. lying to hide crimes. In the case of Toole, and especially Lucas, they confessed to so many killings investigators realized they must be lying. The logistics just didn't add up, The Toronto Sun reported. Toole was convicted of arson in 1983 and Lucas followed just two months later when he was arrested on a weapons charge. That's when Newsweek says Lucas started confessing, claiming he'd killed around 600 women from 1975-1983. Toole said he himself had killed just over 100 women. 

Lucas was convicted of nine murders and sentenced to death, according to ABC News. He died of natural causes in 2001. While in prison, he changed his story and said he'd killed no one at all, per The Pylon. Toole was convicted of six murders and died in prison in 1996 of cirrhosis of the liver, Investigation Discovery reported.

The Confession Killer, a five-part documentary series on Lucas, is streaming on Netflix.