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Ottis Toole

Ottis Elwood Toole (March 5, 1947 – September 15, 1996) was an American drifter who was convicted of six counts of murder. Like his companion Henry Lee Lucas, Toole made confessions he later recanted, but which resulted in murder convictions. The discrediting of the case against Lucas for crimes in which Toole had offered corroborating statements created doubts as to whether either was a genuine serial killer or, as Hugh Aynesworth suggested, both merely compliant interviewees who police used to clear unsolved murders from the books. Toole received two death sentences, but on appeal they were commuted to life imprisonment. He died in his cell from cirrhosis, aged 49. Police attributed the murder of Adam Walsh to Toole on the basis of recanted statements. Lucas had backed Toole’s confession to the Walsh murder, claiming he had been in possession of the victim’s severed head.

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