Kimber, S., 2013. Merging Fact/Fiction: Film, Narrative and the Henry Lee Lucas ‘Story’. In: Round, J. and Thomas, B., eds. Real Lives, Real Stories. London: Continuum. (Unpublished)
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Henry Lee Lucas has a central place within US serial killer history. During the late 1970’s convicted murderer Lucas partnered up with Ottis Elwood Toole and carried out a range of robberies, arson attacks, rapes and murders. Arrested in 1983 Lucas was eventually sentenced to death. Encouraged by law enforcement agencies he confessed to numerous crimes which he later retracted. In 1998 Lucas’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment due to doubts over the veracity of his confessions. This chapter seeks to investigate the ambiguous relationship between fact and fiction operating within contemporary western culture through an examination of the narrative constructions of three American serial killer films, which draw upon the Henry Lee Lucas ‘story’. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) has sparked controversy around the world due to its presentation of a morally blank fictional character study based on Lucas’s crimes and relationships. Confessions of a Serial Killer (1987) attempts to get closer to the biographical details of the Lucas ‘story’ by constructing its narrative to focus upon a series of confessions told to the police via flashbacks. Two decades later Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas (2009) (aka Henry Lee Lucas: Serial Killer) was released. Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas similarly to Confessions of a Serial Killer constructs its narrative around the ‘story’ of Henry Lee Lucas but without flashbacks and plotted over longer story duration. The chapter will use these films to consider the functions of realism, authenticity, spectacle, memory and confession within their production, circulation and consumption.
|Item Type:||Book Section|
|Subjects:||Social Sciences > Communication, Cultural and Media Studies|
Arts > Film and Television
Social Sciences > Sociology
|Deposited By:||Dr Shaun Kimber|
|Deposited On:||28 Mar 2012 12:09|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:54|
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