Stalking Ottis Toole, chapter 53: Ottis Talks by Phone with Henry Lee Lucas

This chapter of Tim Gilmore’s Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic is part of the only biography of the supposed serial killer Ottis Toole. Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic is the only full-length exploration of the contradictions of Jacksonville’s Ottis Toole and the story that supposedly led to one of America’s worst serial killers.

Toole photobooth 1

Ottis saying, “Well, I’m, uh, I’m comin’ forward to sayin’ what I done that I can remember of, you know.”

Henry saying, “Well, that’s what I wantchoo to do.”

Ottis saying, “But it don’t make no difference what you think about me, I still care about you either way it goes.”

Henry saying, “Well, I know, but there’s something I got to ask you. Now, the organization we belong to.”

Ottis: “Yeah.”

Henry: “You know, uh, what the circumstances is there.”

Ottis: “Yeah.”

Henry: “Alright, when I start telling them full and complete…”

Ottis: “Yeah.”

Henry: “It’s gone cost me my life.”

Ottis: “Yeah.”

Henry: “You understand that?”

Ottis: “Yeah.”

Henry: “It’s also gone cost you your life.”

Ottis: “Oh yeah.”

Henry: “I just want you to feel that my feelings for you is just like it always was.”

Ottis: “You want me to tell how, you know, how you can tell if it’s me talkin’ or not?” Sounding so sweet, so innocent, so kind.

Henry, the one creating the story Ottis should tell, saying, “I can hear you already.”

Ottis saying, “Huh?”

Henry saying, “I can hear ya already.”

Ottis saying, “Can ya?”

Henry saying, “Yeah.”

Ottis saying, “You know what you told me would make you madder than anything?”

Henry saying, “Yeah, I do.”

Ottis saying, “If I swear tell on ya, it’d make ya mad, won’t it?”

Henry saying, “Yeah, it will.”

Ottis saying, “I couldn’t remember that, could I?”

Henry saying, “No.” Henry saying he wants Ottis to be truthful, saying he wants Ottis to tell the truth about a murder case that “concerns a gray car with a red top on it.”

Ottis saying, “Gray car with a red top.”

Henry saying, “Yeah.”

Ottis saying, “That don’t hit mah mind, it don’t.”

Henry saying it’s a girl about 20 years old on Interstate-35 in Texas.

Ottis saying, “I cain’t picture it in mah mind right now, maybe it come to me later.”

Henry saying, “June ’a ’82.”

Ottis saying, “June ’a ’82?”

Henry saying, “Yeah.”

Ottis saying, “June ’a ’82?”

Henry asking if Ottis was ever around Round Wood, or Round Rock?

Ottis saying, “There been so many of ’em, I don’t know the name of all them towns, Henry, you know.”

Henry saying, “Yeah.”

Ottis saying, “You know, you can take me in circles all day long and I wouldn’t know which way I’m goin.’”

Henry laughing, saying, “Oh, I know that.”

Ottis saying, “Just like sometimes you tell me you in another town, and shoot, we still in the same town.”

Henry, laughing.

Ottis saying, “You would do that to me too.”

Henry saying, “Yeah, I done that.” And Henry saying, “If you tell me I go ahead, then I go ahead.”

Ottis saying, “Yeah. Go ahead and tell ’em everythang you want to tell ’em, Henry.”

Henry saying, “Alright, but I don’t want, like I say now, I don’t want you to come back 10 days later and say, ‘Well, I didn’t say it.’”

Ottis saying, “No, I want you to go ahead and tell ’em everythang you want to tell ’em, Henry, and be done with it.”

Henry saying, “Alright.”