SAN FRANCISCO -- Investigators have released transcripts of a grisly jailhouse telephone conversation in which mass murderer Henry Lee Lucas reminisces about killing and sometimes cannibalizing his victims in a cross-country death-spree.
The transcripts of conversations recorded in November 1983 between Lucas and his killing partner, Ottis Toole, were obtained by the San Francisco Examiner and published in its Sunday editions.
Lucas, a 48-year-old drifter who says he is a born-again Christian, has been convicted of seven murders in Texas and has been sentenced to death in one. He is charged in about 30 others in six states. Toole, 38, who is mentally retarded, has been sentenced to death for one murder in Florida and is charged in five states with 10 more.
So far, Lucas has convinced police thatt he killed 187 people, including 14 in California. He claims to have killed at least 360 times.
Lucas is in jail in Williamson County, Texas. Toole is in custody in Jacksonville, Fla. Their conversation was taped while lawmen and defense attorneys listened in.
Both men had spent the previous weeks telling police where they had dumped bodies and answering questions about hundreds of unsolved killings.
Lucas: I got just about every law enforcement agency in the country talking to me. I'll continue to talk as long as they treat me like a man.
Toole: If they get rowdy with me, I just freeze up on 'em.
Lucas: Ottis, I don't want you to think I'm doing this as a revenge.
Toole: No. I don't want you to hold anything back on me.
Lucas: See, we got so many of them, Ottis. We got to turn up the bodies ... Now this boy and the girl, I don't know anything about.
Toole: Well, maybe that's the two I killed my own self. Just like that Mexican that wasn't going to let me out of the house. I took an ax and chopped him all up ... What made me -- I been meaning to ask you. That time when I cooked some of those people. Why'd I do that?
Lucas: I think it was just the hands doing it. I know a lot of the things we done, in human sight are impossible to believe.
Toole: When we took 'em out and cut 'em up ... Remember one time I said I wanted me some ribs. Did that make me a cannibal?
Lucas: You wasn't a cannibal. It's the force of the devil, something forced on us that we can't change.
Toole: One time you filleted some of them bodies and I did, too. That cutting them up like meat, you know?
Lucas: I've seen bodies cut up worser than you ever seen bodies cut up.
Toole: I know that. I even took fire and burnt the bodies. Some tastes like real meat when it's got barbecue sauce on it.
Lucas: Ottis, you know everything you say is going on tape here.
Toole: I know.
Lucas: Personally, I'd have preferred you not talk about that. I don't want people to look at us as that kind of person.
Toole: Remember how I liked to pour some blood out of them?
Lucas: Otis, you and I have become something people look at as an animal. Ther's no way of changing what we done but we can stop it and not allow other people to become what we have.