Serial killer Henry Lee Lucas demonstrated no remorse for his behaviour or empathy for his victims, with the exception of Becky Powell. His lack of conscience allowed him to be guilt-free and to commit possibly more murders than any other serial killer in the US (although his self-report is likely exaggerated due to his compulsive lying). His cruelty to, and torture of, his victims is an additional manifestation of his personality pathology. While some clinicians diagnosed Lucas as seriously emotionally impaired and/or schizophrenic, the symptoms supporting these diagnoses can also be explained as Lucas’s manipulation of the clinicians, and such manipulation is a classic characteristic of antisocial personality disorder. The alleged hallucinations, for example, were a convenient manipulative attempt to reduce his culpability for the murders of Becky Powell and an elderly Texas woman. Lucas’s statements of seeing light in his cell and talking with god would also provide Lucas’s attorney material for an insanity defence. A attempted suicide also proved fruitful for Lucas when it resulted in his move to Riverside Prison in Ionia, which was a significantly smaller and safer prison than the one he had been housed in at the time of the attempt.
In light of this apparent manipulation it is also fair to question the validity of the diagnosis of borderline mental retardation that he received after an assessment. While Lucas’s actions may have frequently been impulsive, the malingering behaviour he used to produce the diagnosis of schizophrenia is not indicative of someone who has an intellectual deficiency.