Ottis Elwood Toole

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Ottis Elwood Toole

Birthplace: Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, United States
Death: September 15, 1996 (49)
Raiford, Union County, Florida, United States (Liver failure)
Place of Burial: Starke, Union County, Florida, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Bill H. Toole and Sarah L. Toole-Harley (Cooper)
Partner of Henry Lee Lucas
Brother of Oliver Toole; Elean Toole; Vernon Duane Toole; Drusilla Powell-Carr (Toole); Howell Charleston Toole and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Ottis Elwood Toole



Serial killer Ottis Toole was born on March 5, 1947, in Jacksonville, Florida and committed his first murder at age 14. Toole began a sexual relationship and crime partnership with Henry Lee Lucas in the ‘70s. Once arrested, the two confessed to more than a hundred murders, including the murder of America’s Most Wanted host John Wash’s son. Toole died in prison in 1996.


Serial Killer. Born March 5, 1947 in Jacksonville, Florida. Raised by a mother who was a religious fanatic, Toole admitted to committing his first murder at age 14. After being picked up by a traveling salesman who forced him to have sex, Toole ran the man down with his own car. As a boy, Toole was classified as retarded, and he soon dropped out of school and turned to a life of petty crime.

During the mid-1970s, Toole??s crimes turned murderous, though the exact number of killings is unknown. In 1976, he hooked up with a deviant named Henry Lee Lucas, who became his partner in crime. Though he married in 1977, Toole??s bride complained about the homosexual relationship he shared with Lucas, and the couple soon separated.

Following his mother??s death in 1981, Toole reportedly claimed nine more victims in six states between January 1982 and February 1983. Once incarcerated, Toole backed up Lucas??s game of confessions with police officers, admitting to helping Lucas in another 108 homicides. A practicing cannibal, Toole provided gruesome details to the crimes, but in the end, it remains unclear how many killings he and Lucas actually committed.

In 1984, Toole was convicted of setting a fire that killed 64-year-old George Sonnenberg. Sentenced to death for that crime, he was indicted one month later for the murder of 19-year-old Ada Johnson. In 1991, he pled guilty to four more slayings in Florida. Toole died of liver failure while incarcerated in September 1996.

In December 2008, police announced definitively that serial killer Ottis Toole was responsible for the 1981 murder John Walsh's son. The announcement brought to a close a case that has troubled the Walsh family for more than two decades. Their search was responsible for launching the popular television show "America's Most Wanted" about the nation's most notorious criminals, and inspired changes in how authorities search for missing children.

Toole twice confessed to killing the child, but later denied his testimony. He claimed responsibility for hundreds of murders, but police determined most of the confessions were lies. While police were not specific about the evidence that linked Toole to the Walsh killing, they said an extensive review of the case file pointed only to Toole.

The Walsh family long ago derided the investigation as botched. Still, Walsh praised the Hollywood, Florida, police department for closing the case. "This is not to look back and point fingers, but it is to let it rest," Walsh said.

Serial Killer. He was the man responsible for the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh on July 27, 1981, the son of television's "America's Most Wanted" show, John Walsh. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, his alcoholic father soon abandoned the family, and he was raised by a religious fanatic of a mother and a Satanist grandmother. To further compound his identity, his mother and sister would dress him in girl's clothing. With an IQ of 75, he was considered retarded, and dropped out of school in the 8th grade. His first murder took place when he was 14, when he murdered a traveling salesman who had molested him. He married briefly, but his wife left him after three days, repulsed by his overt homosexuality. Unable to keep a job, he began to drift about the Western US in an old pickup truck, and later evidence suggests that he began his serious murder spree at this time. Two years later, Toole met serial killer Henry Lee Lucas at a Jacksonville soup kitchen, and the two became fast friends, sharing sex, robbery and murder together. Finding work with a Jacksonville roofing company, the two men would frequently disappear for several days, while they would pick up a woman, rape and murder her. During this period, Toole supposedly introduced Lucas to a satanic cult, the "Hand of Death," which practiced human sacrifice and murder. When Toole's mother died in 1981, and his sister died shortly afterwards of a drug overdose, while Lucas was in jail for a minor crime, Toole was alone for the first time. It was during this period that Adam Walsh was kidnapped and murdered. All that was found of Adam was his head, ripped from his body, and left in a Florida canal. When Lucas returned from jail, to slip away with Toole's niece, Frieda Powell, Toole felt abandoned and betrayed. He went on the road to forget the betrayal, taking his revenge out by killing 9 people between January 1982 and February 1983. In May 1983, he was arrested for torching two houses (arson) in Jacksonville, Florida, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Shortly afterwards, Lucas was captured in Texas, and confessed to multiple murders committed with Toole. As police investigated both men, Toole also confessed, admitting up to 25 murders in 11 states, and participating with Lucas in an additional 108 murders. Convicted of two murders in Florida, he was sentenced to death, but both sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. He died of cirrhosis of the liver in September 1996, while in prison. His friend and partner in crime, Henry Lee Lucas, would also die in prison. On December 16th, 2008, the Hollywood Police Department finally identified Adam Walsh's killer as Ottis Toole. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46483611" target="_blank Kit and Morgan Benson)] Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: May 22, 2002

Find A Grave Memorial# 6438768

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Ottis Elwood Toole's Timeline

March 5, 1947
Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, United States
September 15, 1996
Age 49
Raiford, Union County, Florida, United States
Age 48
Starke, Union County, Florida, United States