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Ottis Toole is an American murderer. He was a serial killer who was convicted of 6 murders. He was awarded death sentence in 1983 which was later converted to life imprisonment. He was a psychopath and a homosexual and his victims were young boys whom he kidnapped, raped over days, and later killed them. It is a surprise that his crimes came to light after he confessed them to the police when he was detained on arson charges.
The troubled childhood days
Ottis had a troubled childhood. He was born on 5 March 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida. His father was a chronic alcoholic while his mother was an abuser. He was also sexually assaulted in his childhood by his elder sister, other close relatives, as well as his neighbors. His grandmother called him Devil’s child and subjected him to various satanic rituals. He was also a mildly mentally retarded child and had seizures.
He was sexually aroused by fire and was a serial arsonist. He used to often run from home and seek refuge in abandoned homes.
His sexual encounters as a child
He had subjected to sexual assault at age 5 by his father’s friend. At age 10, he realized that he was gay and had his first sexual encounter with a neighborhood boy when he was 12. He became a male prostitute in his teens and would frequent gay bars.
In 1962, when he was 14, Ottis committed the first murder. A traveling salesman asked him for a sexual favor which angered him and he killed him by running his car over him. He did more crimes and in 1964 was arrested for loitering.
Between 1966 and 1973 he resorted to prostitution to earn some money. In 1974, he came on the police radar as a prime suspect in the murder of Patricia Webb in Nebraska and also in the killing of Ellen Holman, 31 in Boulder, Colorado.
He then moved to Jacksonville. Here he met Henry Lee Lucas at the soup kitchen. They had sexual relations and he was an accomplice to Henry in 108 murders.
In January 1982, he befriended George Sonnenberg, and here too he had sexual relations with him. An argument between the two took an ugly turn when he set the house of Sonnenberg on fire killing him in it. In April 1983, he got arrested for an unrelated arson case. He got 20 years prison sentence. His Henry was also caught and brought there.
In October 1983, Ottis confessed the murder of Adam Walsh, 6 in 1981. He had raped and killed him by decapitation. In April 1984, he was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He was also found guilty of the murder of a 19-year-old Tallahassee, Florida woman by strangulation.
In 1984, he also admitted having killed 18-year old David Schallert who was a hitchhiker and a 20-year-old girl. Both were killed by shooting.
His death sentence was converted to life imprisonment
His personal life
Ottis was gay. In order to conceal his sexuality, he married a woman who was 25 years elder to him. The marriage took place on 14 January 1976 but on learning about his homosexual behavior, the woman left him on day 3 post-marriage.
Ottis died on 15 September 1996 at Florida State Prison due to cirrhosis. He was 49 years old at that time. No family member came forward to claim his body.