JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Convicted murderer Ottis Toole, who is linked to 100 slayings nationwide, again confessed to killing 6-year-old Adam Walsh, describing his crime in vivid details but saying the death was accidental.
Toole, who was sentenced to death last Friday for setting a fire that killed a Jacksonville man, told The Florida Times-Union in a copyrighted story Sunday that he abducted Walsh from a south Florida mall, beheaded him, burned the body and scattered it in a Jacksonville city dump.
It was the second time Toole had confessed to the murder. Last year he told authorities he left the Hollywood, Fla., boy's body by the side of the Florida Turnpike but a search along the highway proved futile. Toole later recanted the confession.
Walsh's body never was found. His disappearance and death was the subject of a television movie that galvanized efforts to locate missing children.
Toole, described in recent court testimony as 'primitive,' said he killed Walsh accidentally when he hit the boy in the abdomen to make him shut up.
The 37-year-old drifter said he had intended to 'keep' Walsh, whose head was found in a canal two weeks after he disappeared from a Hollywood, Fla., mall in July 1981.
'I got in my mind I'm going to kidnap the kid, get him in my car and keep him for myself,' said Toole.
Toole said he struck Walsh after the boy asked to be taken back to the mall. He discovered Walsh was dead an hour later and decapitated him with a machete, throwing the head into a 'creek.'
'I put both hands on it and I chopped his head off,' Toole said.
Toole said he stuffed the body into a discarded 'icebox' after reaching Jacksonville and cannibalized the body before burning it and spreading the remains at the city dump the next day.
'I took that machete and I cut out some of his side and I ate some of it,' he said.
Authorities said Toole may have committed more than 100 slayings in a nationwide spree with his former homosexual lover, convicted Texas killer Henry Lee Lucas. He made headlines last year with the confession to Walsh's death.
Defense attorneys said the confession may have been motivated by a desire for publicity, but authorities said Toole's account of Walsh's death matches evidence they have been able to recover.
Toole, who is charged in nine slayings, said he and Lucas killed people after breaking into their houses or picking them up along the road.
'We killed a lot of hitchhikers and people we picked up broken down on the side of the road,' he said.
Despite his death sentence and other pending murder charges, Toole said he may never be executed.
'It might not really happen,' he said. 'You can always appeal for years and years.'