Believe it or not, Ottis Toole was once an innocent little boy who turned into a monster because of the adults in his life, who had also become monsters.
If all accounts are true, Toole was the lover of convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, as well as being his accomplice in a number of murders. During his adult life, Toole confessed to multiple counts of murder, and to rape and cannibalism. He was also a suspect in many unsolved murders.
Ottis Elwood Toole was born March 5, 1947 in Jacksonville Florida. According to sources, his mother was a “religious fanatic,” which could mean many things, but one thing it can indicate is that she was vehemently against homosexuality.
Toole says that his mother (or sister) made him dress in girl’s clothing, and that his mother sexually abused him. He also said that he was sexually abused by many other close relatives, including his older sister. Reportedly, Toole’s grandmother, “was a Satanist, who exposed him to various satanic practices and rituals in his youth, including self-mutilation and grave robbing,, and dubbed him “Devil’s Child.” It is very possible that his grandmother practiced, or was involved in, both same-sex child abuse, and the belief system that homosexuality is abhorrent.
In the documentary, Death Diploma, Toole said that, at age five, he had been forced into sex with a friend of his father’s, and by age ten, Toole felt that he was “homosexual.” He says he began to have sex with a male child when he was age twelve. Toole said that by the ninth grade, he dropped out of school and went to gay bars. This shows a tendency towards an abnormal obsession with sex.
The reason that I put the word “homosexual” in quotation marks is because I do not believe that Ottis Toole was a true homosexual. Any five year-old boy who is forced into sex with a man, is going to grow with sexual confusion. Child sexual abuse can, and often does, cause the person who endures it to grow up with turmoil about whether or not they are straight or gay. Any child, who is forced into sex with an adult of the same-sex (or another child of the same-sex), will often be stimulated by the sex acts and grow to mistakenly believe they are gay when they become aroused by people of the same-sex. Some survivors of this kind of abuse would have been homosexual whether or not they were abused, but I believe this to be the exception, not the norm.
Toole was a serial arsonist from the time he was a young boy and he was reportedly sexually stimulated by fire. This tells me that he was sexually stimulated by doing dangerous and ‘forbidden things.’ His arousal by fire, and his desire to set fires, are indicative of being sexually excited with men as a child. Toole’s arousal as a child was most likely a dangerous and forbidden thing in his mind and as an adult, he probably made a psychological transference between fire-setting and sexual stimulation by men.
Toole says that he committed murder for the first time when he was fourteen, after being propositioned for sex by a traveling salesman. Toole ran over the man with his car. This shows extreme repressed rage that was taken out on the man who propositioned him. The salesman might have triggered Toole’s deep-seated anger for the man who sexually abused him as a child, or even for his father, who might have propositioned Toole as a boy with candy or favors if he would have sex with the other adult male. In Toole’s mind -in the moment that the salesman propositioned him- he might have re-lived his father’s betrayal and took his rage out on the salesman.
It is alleged that Toole was a prime suspect in the 1974 murders of twenty-four year-old Patricia Webb and thirty-one year-old Ellen Holman. This shows that Toole also had rage for women. If, as alleged, his mother, and or, sister sexually abused him, Toole probably killed these women out of repressed rage for the women in his childhood.
In 1982, Toole locked a sixty-four year-old man inside the man’s house and set it on fire, killing his victim. To me, this is repressed rage about the man who raped him as a child, but who probably also sexually stimulated him as a child. Toole’s subconscious mind most likely associated this victim with his childhood abuser. Again, using fire (representing rage), what is dangerous and forbidden to do –being sexual with a man.
In April 1984, Toole was convicted of the murder and given the death penalty. That same year, Toole was found guilty of nineteen year-old Ada Johnson, which took place in 1983. Toole received another death sentence for that crime but both sentences were later commuted to life in prison. While serving his sentence, Toole plead guilty to another four murders and received four more life sentences.
Ottis Toole died in prison on September 15, 1996. He was forty-nine years-old. No one claimed his body, so he was buried in the prison cemetery.
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=john+walsh&iid=8164179″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8164179/the-paley-center-for-media/the-paley-center-for-media.jpg?size=500&imageId=8164179″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]
Almost three decades after little Adam Walsh’s severed head was found, authorities officially named Ottis Toole as the man who most likely killed the son of John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. Even though the case against Toole is weak, John Walsh proclaimed, “We can now move forward knowing positively who killed our beautiful little boy.”
I’m not so sure. Ottis Toole did not have a history of killing children. His convictions were of male and female adults. In addition, with the exception of Adam Walsh, Toole’s murder confessions all involved adult victims, and Toole recanted his confession about killing Adam. Based on his history of murders, Toole did not seem to have a propensity to kill children. He seemed more inclined to take his rage out on adults of either sex. Toole’s repressed anger from his childhood abuse and trauma was against women and men. Yes, it’s absolutely possible that Toole also took his degeneracy out on a six year-old boy, but I don’t think this case is as open and shut as John Walsh wants it to be.
According to Wikipedia, “Toole’s niece told John Walsh that her uncle confessed on his deathbed in prison that he had murdered and decapitated Adam Walsh.” The truth? Or did the niece feel that it would bring closure to a grieving Walsh to make up a nice death-bed confession? Was a man dying of liver failure, and who reportedly had AIDS, truly concerned about confessing one more time to a crime that he had originally confessed to, and then recanted? It seems to me that his mind was probably pretty deteriorated by then and his body was in a lot of pain. I wouldn’t put so much merit into what Toole said on his death-bed.