Serial Killers: Henry Lee Lucas
Serial Killers: Henry Lee Lucas (Crime Documentary). Henry Lee Lucas was born in Blacksburg, Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains, on 23 August 1936, to Anderson & Viola Lucas. Following the loss of both of Anderson’s legs in a drunken train track accident, Viola was the sole source of income in the house, a squalid two-room log cabin where the entire family shared the single bedroom. Most of Lucas’ siblings, eight in all, were fortunate enough to have been farmed out to relatives early on in their lives, but Henry and his half-brother were forced to stay with their mother, a vicious, brutal tyrannical woman who earned a living as a prostitute. She moved her lover and pimp, a man named Bernie, into the family home, and would regularly force the boys to observe her having sex with a succession of strangers. She provided absolutely no nurturing, either physically or emotionally, and believed that the sole purpose of her children was to do her bidding. Lucas’ disabled father gave the young boy some comfort, when he could, but was generally as brutalised as his son. Anderson was responsible for the brewing of bootleg whisky to supplement their meagre income, but he consumed more than he sold, also encouraging his young son: Lucas later claimed to have been practically an alcoholic by the age of 10.
Viola Lucas had a sadistic nature, inexplicably forcing the young Lucas into girl’s clothing, and curling his hair, before sending him to school where he naturally suffered the mockery of his schoolmates. When teachers tried to intervene, Viola made it clear that she would raise the boy her own way, and she brooked no interference. Lucas was regularly beaten by her, on one occasion into unconsciousness for a couple of days; on another, he lost an eye due to his mother’s lack of action following an accident at school, and he had to have a prosthetic glass eye fitted.
Following the death of Anderson, who froze to death in a drunken stupor, Viola’s boyfriend Bernie introduced Lucas to bestiality, and also indoctrinated him into the practice of brutal animal torture. In addition to witnessing his mother’s sexual acts from a very early age, Lucas also engaged in sex with his half-brother, and he became obsessed with all forms of sex and torture. He also became a prolific burglar, and spent a good deal of his teens in Young Offenders institutions, where the authorities noted his sexual activities with other inmates.