‘Til Death Do They Part: The Nine Most Gruesome Serial Killer Couples

Published February 10, 2016
Updated June 22, 2020

Henry Lucas And Ottis Toole

Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole

Wikimedia CommonsMug shots of Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole. April and June 1983.

Henry Lucas and Ottis Toole are among the most prolific serial killer couples in the world. In a crime spree that spanned nearly half the country, the pair traveled around murdering, raping, burning, and sometimes eating anyone who came into their path.

When Lucas was arrested at the end of the pair’s massacre, he admitted to thousands of murders.

Lucas and Toole both faced horrible childhoods filled with abuse and rape from their family and those who they trusted. When the two men met in 1976 at a soup kitchen, the kindred spirits hit it off.

Shortly after meeting, the pair took off on their killing spree, which covered 26 states. Anyone who they came across was fair game. The couple attacked hitchhikers, prostitutes, and migrant workers, luring them away from other people and then killing them in cold blood.

Their grisly crimes often involved more than just murder. Oftentimes they would sexually assault their victims before killing them, and once the deed was done, the men would mutilate the bodies beyond recognition.

Gruesome Serial Killer Couples

YouTube/Serial Killer DocumentariesLucas and Toole. Date uncertain.

Toole would also cannibalize the bodies that they had killed. In one conversation between the couple over a prison phone, Toole nostalgically recalled to his lover one particular incident saying:

“Remember how I liked to pour some blood out of them? Some tastes like real meat when it’s got barbecue sauce on it.”

The pair’s murderous relationship came to a deadly end when Lucas started seeing Toole’s 12-year-old niece. Toole was allegedly so upset by the betrayal that he killed nine people in a fit of rage.

Lucas ended up murdering his young companion after they got into an argument and soon after he was arrested. Toole’s reign of terror came to a close as well once he was arrested in a separate incident where he burned a 64-year-old man alive.

Lucas gleefully confessed that he and Toole committed thousands of murders together but it is widely believed that he inflated the number. Toole was a bit more reluctant to confess to the crimes and put the final body count somewhere around 108 people.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.