Law: Master Of Cant and Recant

A dark tale of mass murder gets even murkier

Serial killers are the folklore monsters of the media age. And to hear him tell it, Henry Lee Lucas was the most monstrous of them all. After his arrest in 1983 on a weapons charge, the one-eyed drifter startled Texas police by confessing to scores of aimless murders in 27 states. Soon lawmen from around the country were converging on Texas to see if Lucas might lay claim to unsolved killings in their jurisdictions. He was jetted to murder locations, and as he spoke impassively of stranglings and dismemberments, police gave him meals, gifts and national notoriety.

When his 18-month talkfest...

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