TOOLE, OTTIS ELWOOD
Ottis Elwood Toole (sometimes spelled Otis) was an American serial killer. A sometimeaccomplice of convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, Toole admitted to multiple counts of murder,rape, and cannibalism, and was the suspect in several unsolved murders. Toole had built up arap sheet filled with counts of petty theft and lewd behavior. He recanted and restated anumber of confessions. Toole was twice convicted of murder, and confessed to four more murdercharges before dying in prison.
About 1976, Toole met Lucas in Florida. Both would later claim to have committed manyhundreds of murders, sometimes at the behest of a secret cult called The Hand of Death. Lucas would recant his confessions, saying he made such statements only to improve his livingconditions in jail.
On October 21, 1983, Toole confessed to the murder of Adam Walsh. A few weeks afterToole made the confession, however, police investigating the case announced that they no longerconsidered him a suspect. John Walsh, Adam's father, has said repeatedly that he believesToole to be guilty. In April 1984, Toole was convicted and sentenced to death for a 1982arson incident that killed 64 year old George Sonnenberg in Jacksonville, Florida. Later thatyear, he was found guilty of the 1983 murder of 19 year old Tallahassee, Florida resident AdaJohnson, and received a second death sentence; on appeal, however, both sentences were commuted tolife in prison. Toole pleaded guilty to four more murders in 1991 and received four more lifesentences. In September 1996 he died in prison from cirrhosis of the liver and was buried ina prison cemetery, as nobody claimed his body.
Police suspect Toole in the death of 24 year old Patricia Webb, shot in Lincoln, Nebraska,on April 18, 1974. Five months later, on September 19, a lone gunman invaded a massage parlorin Colorado Springs; employee Yon Lee was stabbed, her throat slashed, before the attacker moved onto rape, shoot and stab her coworker Sun Ok Cousin. Both women were set on fire, but Leesurvived to describe her assailant as clean-shaven, 6'2 and 195 pounds, driving a white pickuptruck. On October 10, 31 year old Ellen Holman was abducted from Pueblo, Colorado, shot threetimes in the head and dumped near the Oklahoma border. Homicide investigators now believeToole also pulled the trigger in that crime.