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Convicted Killer’s Wife And Half-Sister Doubt His Claims To Mass Slayings

April 23, 1985

PORT DEPOSIT, Md. (AP) _ Family members of convicted murderer Henry Lee Lucas say it’s impossible for him to have killed as many as 600 people in 26 states, as he has claimed.

Betty Crawford, who married Lucas in 1975 and lived with him for two years before they were separated, said her estranged husband wouldn’t have had the time to kill people across the country while he lived with her.

She also said in an interview last week that she saw him nearly every day for three years.

″They can execute and get rid of him,″ Ms. Crawford said. ″I haven’t seen him for eight years and I don’t want to see him again.″

Almeda Kiser, Lucas’ half-sister, agreed in an interview last week that Lucas’ claims are phony.

″I will not lie for him one way or another,″ said Mrs. Kiser, of Port Deposit, located near Maryland’s eastern border with Delaware. ″I don’t see how in the world he could have committed the murders when he was right around (here) when it was going on.″

Mrs. Kiser said she saw Lucas ″about every day″ between 1975 and 1978 when he worked in a junkyard for her husband.

After serving eight years in a Michigan prison for the murder of their mother, Mrs. Kiser said, Lucas lived in Cecil County and neighboring Pennsylvania between 1975 and 1979. Lucas is suspected of killing at least 65 people during that time, including murders in Texas, California and Colorado.

Lucas has claimed to have killed as many as 600 people, and law enforcement officials nationwide currently attribute 189 slayings to him.

But evidence made public last week by the Dallas Times Herald suggests the 48-year-old condemned killer concocted the confessions to prevent his execution.

Lucas has been convicted of murder in Texas, Michigan and West Virginia. He received the death penalty in Texas for murdering a hitchhiker in 1979. The Dallas newspaper said Lucas told its reporters he really had killed only three people.

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