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Infamous American Serial Killers: Stano & Lucas

LucasWith a killing spree under his belt that lasted about 7 to 8 years, Gerald Stano claimed his victims between the late 1960s and early 1970s. He targeted hitchhikers and young females, and would use a variety of different methods to kill. In this article, you will learn more about Stano’s crimes, as well as those of Henry Lee Lucas.  

Gerald Stano

Stano did not have an easy start in life. Born in Schenectady, NY, Stano was called Paul Zeininger at birth. His natural mother neglected him to the point that he was given up for adoption at six months old. However, he was deemed unable to be adopted because they believed he was living at what they called ‘an animalistic level.’ Eventually, Norma Stano, who was a nurse, adopted the child and gave him the name Gerald Eugene Stano.

Stano admitted that he started killing women in the early 1970s, when he was in his 20s, but he also claimed to have killed when he was 18 , during the late 1960s. At the time, a handful of girls were missing in the same region that Stano lived. However, there was not enough physical evidence to prove that he had anything to do with their disappearance. 20 years later, he would come under investigation. Stano was not even 30 years old when he was apprehended for murdering 41 women.

Facts

·    Until he reached 10 years old, Stano was a bed wetter , a trait that is interestingly common amongst serial killers when they were youths.

·    Stano was 21 years old when he graduated high school. He did not go to college.

·    Stano was caught in 1980 and was sentenced to life in prison until he was executed in 1998 by way of the electric chair.

·    Florida and New Jersey were the states where Stano killed the most women.

Henry Lee Lucas

The exact body count attributed to Henry Lee Lucas is not known, but it is estimated that he took the lives of between 4 and 213 victims. Controversy surrounds the case of Lucas because while it is known that he killed at least 4 people, he actually confessed to 3,000 murders. At one time, he earned the titled of the most prolific serial killer in America, but he later retracted his confessions and stated that he was not a serial killer.

The total number of murders that Lucas claimed he committed was constantly changing. At one point, he claimed that he was involved in around 600 murders. This meant he killed on an average of one murder every five days between his release from jail in mid-1975 to his arrest in mid-1983. Others believe that he probably killed around 350 people, which is based on other sets of confessions.

Police found possible links to around 213 murder cases, but only four were able to be solidly proven to have been committed by Lucas. One of his victims was his own mother, who had delivered years of abuse to the murderer.

Facts

·    Lucas was apprehended in 1983.

·    Although Lucas was sentenced to death, then-Governor George W. Bush commuted his sentence to life in prison.

·    No one will ever know how many murders Lucas committed, as he died of natural causes in 2001. He was 64 years old.