The Confession Killer (2019) s01e03 Episode Script

War in Waco

1 [horns honking.]
[reporter.]
On the Dallas homicide squad, there is a detective who will not be denied.
A super sleuth who turns cold trails into criminal convictions.
Twenty-seven-year veteran Linda Erwin has put more killers in jail in two decades than any pulp fiction gumshoe.
In one four-year period, she solved a remarkable 94% of her cases.
I was the first woman in the homicide unit in the Dallas Police Department.
[speaking indistinctly.]
We made arrangements to go down to Georgetown to talk to Henry Lucas.
I was told to bring him a carton of Pall Mall cigarettes, and he'd he would he'd tell me what I wanted to know.
When I went down there, he had drawn this picture, said that this was a woman that he had murdered in the city of Dallas.
Here's another one.
He had drawn this little picture.
Made these little notes.
She was redheaded, medium complexion.
[Henry.]
His name was on the thing [Linda.]
And then I just let him talk.
[speaking indistinctly.]
I think he told me about ten.
Ten murders.
He just He just talked.
Home was in Shreveport, which it's not no more.
- [speaking indistinctly.]
- [Linda.]
I knew that anything and everything he was telling me didn't match up with any unsolved murders that we had.
When I got back to Dallas, I told my supervisors I didn't think that Henry Lucas had committed any murders in the city of Dallas.
They said, "Just put together a case file, make up some bogus forensic reports, bogus crime scene photographs, just a totally bogus murder file, and see if he will admit to this.
" I did not tell the Rangers that it was a bogus case.
And I felt very uncomfortable about that, but, um we did it.
Went and talked to him again.
I kind of left the case file out on the desk, kind of laid some pictures out there so he could see 'em.
And then he described how he did it, how he broke into the house, how he stabbed the woman, how he took her out and dumped her body, everything.
Drain pipe, the way that the body was put in.
I took and buried the body after which And the body was never buried out there.
I just knew he was lying.
I knew he was lying.
I told my supervisors, "This is all gonna come crashing down.
" [reporter.]
Henry Lee Lucas says he has killed 360 people.
[reporter 2.]
First he said 100 victims.
Then 300.
Then 600.
[reporter 3.]
Easily making him the country's most prolific serial murderer.
[reporter 4.]
Lucas was confessing to any unsolved murder the Texas Rangers put before him.
I was a person beyond any criminal there ever was.
And he would have even confessed to the Lindbergh baby's death if he had known anything about it.
Do you know how many people you've killed? Well, I'm gonna stick with 360 right now until I'm definitely sure of it.
But I know it's gonna be way higher than that.
These are tales of Texas Rangers A band of sturdy men Always on the side of justice [Vic.]
I would describe the Rangers as American as baseball and apple pie.
And they were just They were everybody's hero.
They were my hero.
[narrator.]
Since 1835, these men have captured thieves, forgers, cattle rustlers, and murderers.
Riding along [Bob.]
Texas Rangers are part of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
When I'd get new Rangers in, I'd tell 'em, "There's probably not anything you can do to enhance the reputation of the Rangers, and don't do anything to tarnish the reputation of the Rangers.
You're a Ranger 24 hours a day.
" To enforce the law for you [Vic.]
And they were always the good guys, you know? I wa I wanted to be one of the good guys, too.
I thought I might can be a ranger someday.
I grew up the son of a Baptist preacher, and I was ordained as a minister when I was 18 years old.
Later, I worked right out of high school at the Austin Police Department.
My sergeant told me, he said, "Feazell, get your butt in college.
" And when I graduated, I started practicing law basically out of the trunk of my car.
[indistinct chattering.]
Until I decided to run for district attorney.
I will continue to stand for the young people And I think most of the people in this state [Vic.]
I was elected at age 32, the youngest district attorney in McLennan County since 100 years ago.
We ran a good office.
We had the highest felony conviction rate in the state of Texas for counties over 100,000.
I eventually either wanted to run for Governor or United States Congress.
[Jack.]
Feazell was charming, charismatic, and he was popular.
He was a popular DA.
He was a Bill Clinton before Bill Clinton.
- I don't think so.
- [Bob.]
Feazell was very ambitious.
Probably one of the most dangerous places in town would be between him and a and a TV camera.
[indistinct chattering.]
[Vic.]
I would see on TV Texas DAs with Henry Lucas pleading guilty to cases.
And, uh, I wanted my photo-op.
I did.
It was good publicity for a district attorney that wanted to get reelected.
[indistinct chattering.]
The Rangers had Henry ready to come to Waco and plead guilty to three crimes in McLennan County.
But I had suspicions about Henry's confessions.
The confessions sounded funny to me.
Then I started looking behind the curtain.
When we typed in "Henry Lee Lucas" into the computer for the national criminal records Someone did not want other law-enforcement people to know where Henry was on certain dates.
It was a wake-up call.
[Hugh.]
I think that Feazell was willing to put himself on the line, like few other district attorneys would have done at that time.
And I admired that.
And I told him I'd help him any way I could.
[Vic.]
When Hugh Aynesworth sat down with us and showed us what he was going to publish, and started laying out these dates and these murders side by side I realized that this whole situation was bigger than I ever thought it was.
[Hugh.]
There was a great bit of anticipation about the articles from the editors.
Texas Rangers were renowned and adored by many people.
We knew that we were taking that on.
The editors once or twice over those months said, "Are you sure?" [Vic.]
When Hugh Aynesworth's article came out, man, did it make a splash.
That started the fire.
It really did.
My lieutenant called me, and he said, "Have you seen the morning paper?" And I said, "No, I have not.
" "Well, go out and get it.
" There's a huge front-page story.
The Rangers were upset because it cast criticism on them.
But everybody in the Dallas Police Department was elated that we had done what we had done.
Hugh Aynesworth is reporting his investigation to raise questions about Lucas's confessions.
We found scores of cases where, physically, uh, Mr.
Lucas just could not have been there.
We got ahold of some of the confessions and they're the most ludicrous things you could imagine.
If all this, uh, is true, uh, he could not have been in these places, uh, some 197 cases were closed that should still be open.
Murderers still in the street, families, uh uh, looking on bewildered as to what's going on.
It really is a bizarre situation.
[Linda.]
Word got out that we made a bogus Dallas case that he had confessed to.
I'm sure the Texas Rangers did not like me, and I I don't like to speak badly of brother officers, I just don't, but but some but some detectives or or investigators try so hard for something to happen and they want so hard for something to happen, that they can't see the forest for the trees.
[reporter.]
Sheriff Boutwell and the Rangers say Aynesworth got his facts wrong.
Well, the information that Aynesworth has is probably old, inaccurate, incomplete information.
Uh, some of these murders that have been confirmed uh, might show within the month in question.
Actually, that was the month that the body was discovered, but the murder may have happened months and months earlier.
You know, no one likes to have their name and agency smeared, and that's what Aynesworth obviously was trying to do.
Aynesworth had taken advantage of Boutwell's kindness, let him come in and interview Lucas and have access to him, and then then him turn on us, uh, and show that he was very, very anti-law enforcement and, uh uh, tried to show us in the worst light.
[reporter.]
Today in Austin, the state's Director of Public Safety denied reports that his office has bungled the case of the confessed murderer.
And I feel very comfortable and very confident in the fact that the task force has operated within the charter it was originally given.
[reporter 2.]
He said that in more than 100 cases, Lucas led officers to the scene without any guidance from them.
What I haven't seen is, I haven't seen any wholesale conspiracy to just write off a bunch of killings as having been, uh, committed, uh, by Lucas.
[Vic.]
I had decided, uh, the best way to get to the bottom of this was to impanel a grand jury specifically for Henry Lee Lucas, and let us figure out how it was that he had confessed to three cases in our county, that, to us, obviously, he had not done.
We got a warrant to take Henry away from the Rangers and to bring him to our jurisdiction to testify before our grand jury.
[siren wailing.]
And our sheriff drove to Georgetown to get Henry and bring him back.
[siren wailing.]
It was like an old Texas standoff there for a while.
[indistinct chattering.]
[Vic.]
They weren't gonna let him go.
Yes, that was a big major upset.
I was having a Bible study, and the jailer came up and said, "Sister Clemmie, they are taking Henry to Waco.
" Sheriff Boutwell said, "Who ever heard of an investigator from Waco, Texas coming and taking my prisoner away? Who gave him that power?" [Mike.]
I definitely saw frustration on the part of Boutwell and the task force.
[stammers.]
I think they all believed that they were involved in something extraordinary.
[engine turns over.]
I think Feazell's goal was to demolish the task force.
[Clemmie.]
Sheriff Boutwell said to me, "Vic will wish he never heard the name Henry Lee Lucas.
" And so, the war was on.
[Nan.]
After Clemmie had seen Henry in the Waco jail, she called me and she was very, very upset.
She thought he was suicidal.
Uh, he was speaking in a monotone, he was very confused.
She kept saying he's "He ate a sandwich with tomatoes, and he hates tomatoes.
Something is really wrong.
" And he was crying, and I saw him, and I started crying.
He kept repeating things like, um "I thought I killed people, but maybe I didn't.
Did I?" Clemmie was telling me that Vic Feazell was keeping Henry for hours at a time and quoting scripture to him, and was telling him that this was the most important moment in his life, and that God was telling him he needed to make this transition and finally tell the truth.
- [camera shutters clicking.]
- [indistinct chattering.]
[Vic.]
The atmosphere around the courthouse was like a circus.
There were cameras everywhere, media people everywhere.
[reporter.]
A special grand jury met in Waco, Texas today to hear the story of a self-described mass murderer.
The question they want answered: Is he really? [reporter 2.]
When Henry Lee Lucas walked into his first session with the McLennan County grand jury, he started officially telling a different story than he has been telling over the past two years.
[indistinct chattering.]
[camera shutters clicking.]
My client, Henry Lee Lucas, now would like to make a statement.
Henry.
Yes, I'd like to state that I haven't done these crimes.
[reporter.]
Lucas, the most publicized convict alive, said officers in Texas and across the country made it easy for him to confess by feeding him information.
Those are people that wanted cases cleared, and they'll show you pictures of that crime, they'll take and give you all the information of the crime, and all you have to do is stand there and say, "Yeah, I did it," and they've been cleared that way.
This is what This is what's got to stop.
[reporter.]
After saying you committed so many murders, what made you decide to say you didn't commit them? Well, when you see the hurt that you're causing to people by accepting these crimes And all these crimes, somebody had to kill these people.
That's leaving murderers out there on the street.
And I can't I just can't do that.
Henry Lee Lucas now admits he's not just a killer, he's also a liar.
[newscaster.]
He has confessed to more than 600 killings.
Now, he says those confessions were a hoax.
Henry Lee Lucas now says he did not kill hundreds of people, only his mother.
[reporter.]
Instead, he says law enforcement officers helped him confess to unsolved murders.
As the testimony went on, Attorney General Mattox indicated Lucas has been giving information to the grand jury that placed the confessed killer thousands of miles away from the scenes of crimes police have attributed to him.
[Vic.]
Attorney General Mattox got mad.
I mean, Mattox hit the roof.
He put the power of his organization behind our grand jury.
[reporter.]
Does this concern you, uh, as far as, uh, law enforcement officials overanxious to believe this man? Uh, I would hope that there's been no inappropriate activity, but but we don't know yet.
Our purpose is not, here, to investigate the task force.
Our purpose is to try to determine whether or not, uh, Henry Lucas committed some of these crimes here in McLennan County.
[reporter.]
But the Rangers say All right, Mr.
Lucas, as you say, over the last two years, you have said that you committed some 600 murders.
I have been admitting to crimes that I haven't committed.
Police say that you drew detailed sketches of the people you were supposed to have murdered, and you took them to locations.
Is this true? I di I have never took anybody to locations.
They have took me to locations.
I don't drive the car and I don't tell 'em which way to go.
If Lucas would kill his own mother, I think it is not a surprise that he'd lie to you.
It didn't It didn't surprise me one bit that he would recant.
That's about the only normal thing I saw him do.
He just wanted to please.
He wanted to please law enforcement, and he thought taking all these cases would make him a friend.
And then, when they got Henry away from law enforcement, then he I mean, he flipped just like that.
He Like I say, he He's gonna dance with whoever brought him.
[reporter.]
The Texas Rangers have not taken kindly to recent allegations that they did some sloppy police work.
The task force has nothing to apologize or be uh, to be embarrassed about.
I do feel very definite, without a doubt, that he is involved in an extremely large number of homicides.
From the very beginning, he's furnished, uh, reliable and unreliable information.
Uh, the one thing that, uh, the task force feels comfortable with, uh, is the fact that, uh uh, any statement he may now be making that he only killed three people That assertion is just patently false.
I think he's he's being responsive to our questions.
He is.
He's being cooperative.
- [man.]
In terms - [man 2.]
Is he being truthful? You'll have to ask the good lord that question.
Well, you have been quoted as saying that as long as you kept confessing, you wouldn't be sent to the penitentiary to be executed.
Did someone tell you that? I've been told that by the Rangers, I've been told that by the sheriff.
Bob Prince always said to me, before this even happened, that there would come a day when Henry would decide he didn't didn't want to do this anymore and he would change his mind.
And the reason he would do that was because he would realize that he was gonna have to be put to death.
Uh, maybe, uh, he's beginning to see that, uh the pace is picking up a little bit down in Huntsville on on executions.
[reporter.]
Authorities in California have doubts about murders Lucas claims to have committed there.
[reporter 2.]
Arlington police say they are going to re-examine two cases Lucas confessed to last year.
[reporter 3.]
District Attorney Darnell is asking a judge to dismiss the Lubbock cases against Lucas.
We do not feel that we have sufficient evidence to prove that he was responsible for the death of Debra Sue Williamson.
[Joyce.]
Lubbock PD said that they had reopened her case and were working on it.
We went to Waco to the grand jury.
It felt good to be able to tell our story and not be ridiculed for it.
And it was very encouraging to hear Henry tell his story, that he did not have anything to do with Debbie's murder.
Well, I didn't have a hard time finding her house.
Why not? Because he took me right to it.
[chuckles.]
And I says, uh, "There was a car parked in the carport at the time," which the picture shows the body laying there beside the car, you know? - [man.]
So they showed you photographs? - Yeah.
And so [man.]
This is before you actually had confirmed anything, they showed you photographs? Yeah.
I'd already seen photographs, you know.
And plus, they was sitting at the house, they're showing me photographs too.
[reporter.]
The special grand jury convened Thursday at McLennan County Courthouse in Waco.
[reporter 2.]
What was supposed to be an inquiry into whether Henry Lee Lucas killed two people near Waco has turned into an investigation of how those confessions were obtained.
[Vic.]
Henry started telling us that it was the Rangers that had let him look at photographs, let him read the police reports.
Boutwell and Prince testified before the grand jury.
They just stuck to the company line, that Henry really was a mass murderer, and you might find a few that he didn't commit, but that's not our fault.
[indistinct chattering.]
[reporter.]
Now that special Texas Ranger task force has come under fire, specifically by McLennan County District Attorney Vic Feazell, who said the team may have acted improperly in eliciting what may be false confessions from Lucas.
Uh, they don't seem to be concerned at this point in time with whether or not he's confessed to crimes he didn't commit.
[Vic.]
Whoa.
That statement kind of sealed my fate that they would never quit hounding me.
Vic Feazell didn't seem to be bothered about, in effect, coming out against law enforcement, which is not generally something that a district attorney usually does.
The DA had an axe to grind with the Rangers, and I believe that the sole purpose of that was to give the Rangers a black eye.
[Bob.]
Feazell was stating they were looking into the unethical conduct of the the task force.
That we were intentionally feeding Lucas information.
I think that puts him on a uh, the same level, in my view, than a lot of people I put in penitentiary for different crimes.
[Vic.]
I had no choice but to go against that thin blue line.
I had no choice but to violate the law enforcement brotherhood.
It just wasn't right what was going on with Henry.
I couldn't let it go.
I went to visit Colonel Jim Adams, head of the DPS, head of the Texas Rangers.
And I told him, I said, "If you'll just fix this, just tell me you'll make an effort to fix this, I'll back off.
" Jim Adams looked at me, and he said, "We're not reopening a single Lucas case, but I am investigating you.
" [tense music plays.]
[horn blares.]
Right after I met with Adams, this reporter, Charles Duncan, showed up in Waco.
[horn blares.]
[turns on TV.]
Channel 8's Charles Duncan has the first of a series of reports on the controversial DA.
Reports of large payments made [Vic.]
He accused me of taking bribes to dismiss DWIs.
[Charles.]
cases dropped after paying about $3,000 to lax prosecution [Vic.]
He accused me of being involved in drug rings.
calls the district attorney [Vic.]
He accused me of not prosecuting people who had assaulted police officers.
A Waco woman told Channel 8 News she [Vic.]
He accused me of taking money to recommend parole for people.
it would cost us $2,000.
[Charles.]
Feazell said he was currently [Vic.]
Eleven episodes over a three-month period.
[indistinct dialogue.]
Charles Duncan, Channel 8 News.
[indistinct chattering.]
[Vic.]
Just when we thought we were going to be able to focus on the Rangers, the plug got pulled on our grand jury.
[camera shutters clicking.]
And Boutwell took Henry back to the Georgetown jail.
"We're getting things back to business as usual.
" That's what he said to me when he took Henry away.
And I said, "You mean get back to having Henry confess to more murders?" He said, "Yeah! Get back to business as usual.
" [camera shutters clicking.]
Sheriff Boutwell talked very little to me about Vic.
But every time he would say anything, it would be with an ugly remark, like "His day is coming.
" "His time is limited.
" This is it, fellas.
Did you have the feeling that, uh, District Attorney Feazell was trying to embarrass you or the Rangers? Well, I would have to say that while the grand jury was proceeding in Waco, there were some public statements made that were critical of the Texas Rangers.
For instance, uh whether the Rangers had deliberately fed information to Lucas in order to, uh, clear murders.
There was no basis in fact for such statements.
[Mike.]
I worked directly for Jim Adams.
Reported straight to him.
Very intelligent person, Uh, good sense of humor.
Adams had chased Russian spies, spoke fluent Japanese, and really helped to modernize the Texas Rangers.
But before then, he had been the number two in charge of the FBI.
[reporter.]
This was the FBI's day before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Associate Deputy FBI Director James Adams conceded there had been abuses of constitutional rights.
J.
Edgar Hoover approved a wide variety of tactics, which included break-ins, wiretaps, dissemination of false information.
Everything that you did sought to silence somebody or frighten somebody into silence.
Now someone [Vic.]
The same dirty tricks that he used working under J.
Edgar Hoover, he could now bring in his FBI buddies and use them on me.
[reporter.]
Vic Feazell and his wife, Bernie, say there was evidence of an illegal wiretap at the telephone lines behind their house.
And Mrs.
Feazell says she surprised a man back there, who ran into a drainage tunnel.
A man she recognized.
She had recognized him as one of the men she had seen drive by the house before.
She's also She also recognized him because she had seen him in my office before, presenting cases.
He is with a law enforcement agency.
[Truman.]
I was a detective working with Vic.
Mysterious stuff started happening.
People's phones were being tapped.
All kinds of threats going around.
And, uh they killed Vic's dog.
They was putting a wiretap out there on the phone pole behind his house and that little dog would bark all the time.
[Vic.]
We had a little Sheltie.
And one day I came home from work and I said "Where's Spanky?" And we went outside looking for Spanky, and Spanky was laying on his side with his tongue out and We took him to the vet immediately, and the vet said, "This dog's been poisoned.
" [Truman.]
Whenever he'd leave at night to go home, I'd follow him home.
I thought somebody was gonna kill him.
I really did.
[Vic.]
I started receiving threats.
- My phone ringing at night.
- [siren wails.]
People saying, "We have a bullet with your name on it.
" I could not tell who was wearing the white hats and who was wearing the black hats.
That's how confused I was.
On both sides, they truly believed what they were saying.
But what was the truth? [reporter.]
What everyone wants to know now is does McLennan County have a crooked district attorney or are the Department of Public Safety, the FBI, and the Justice Department trying to teach Vic Feazell a lesson? No, I-I don't know of no retaliation whatever.
[reporter.]
How did some of the Rangers characterize their feelings toward Feazell? Well, I think fairly much the same way I did.
Uh, he had interfered with, uh, what was an ongoing nationwide investigation.
Uh, I didn't like it then, I don't like it now.
[reporter.]
Right.
[tense music plays.]
[Vic.]
September the 17th, 1986.
I pulled into the courthouse, and I could hear the car tires squealing in behind me.
Back off, please.
Back off.
[Vic.]
I was surrounded by FBI agents reading me my rights and putting me in handcuffs.
The FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety officers arrested Feazell after an Austin Federal Grand Jury returned a 12-count indictment against him for accepting bribes, racketeering, and mail fraud.
[indistinct chattering.]
- [Vic.]
They were making a show of it.
- [reporter.]
Mr.
Feazell! - [Vic.]
Making me do the perp walk.
- [reporter 2.]
Excuse me.
- Are you arresting Mr.
Feazell? - [Vic.]
Channel 8 was in on it.
They had five cameras there.
I think y'all know what's going on.
What I said all along and I'll still be proven right.
[Gary.]
They wanted to intimidate him.
And, of course, they made a mistake by not putting his hands behind his back, because they didn't like that picture where he was going like this with the handcuffs on, you know? [chuckles.]
[reporter.]
FBI agent Bob Vain took Feazell up to his office, where agents locked the doors, evidently to prevent any disturbance in gathering evidence.
Feazell was taken to the federal courthouse by the four arresting agents.
You know what happened.
I stepped on the wrong toes here.
- Where you going? - Slide into the center.
I have no idea.
[man.]
Sit right in the center.
- [reporters speaking indistinctly.]
- [camera shutters clicking.]
[Vic.]
At the same time they were arresting me, 15 agents descended on my house.
[reporter.]
Federal authorities searched the Feazells' Waco home for much of the day.
No one knows for sure what the authorities were looking for or what they found.
They opened all our cereal boxes, they unwrapped everything in the freezer.
They went through my wife's underwear.
I-I-I haven't even counted them all.
They're everywhere.
They're in every room.
They've They've tagged my snail bait.
[Vic.]
They searched all my little boy's toys.
That's when they took the toy syringe out of my son's doctor kit and labeled that narcotics paraphernalia.
- [applause.]
- [reporter.]
A US district judge set a $100,000 personal recognizance bond for Feazell and released him.
[reporter 2.]
Are you mad, Vic? No, I'm not mad.
I'm disappointed these people with an axe to grind could use the American justice system to do something like this.
I-I've never seen anything like it.
I believe it's retaliation.
[camera shutters clicking.]
There's absolutely no relationship whatsoever between the Lucas investigation and our initiation of this investigation.
The indictment speaks for itself in alleging that he's operated his office, uh, in the manner of a criminal enterprise.
That's the indictment speaking, not me.
[Vic.]
I was looking at 80 years in prison.
People I had sent to prison for murder would have been out before me.
[reporter.]
The stage is set in Austin, where the whole story of Feazell's tenure in office should finally unfold.
[reporter 2.]
Feazell has said the indictment was retaliation following his grand jury investigation which questioned confessions by convicted murderer Henry Lee Lucas, and that will be the core of his defense.
[reporter 3.]
During pre-trial hearings, US District Judge James Allen said he found no connection between the Lucas investigation and the federal investigation of Feazell.
[Gary.]
Judge told me, "I don't want to hear the name Henry Lucas one time during this trial.
Do you understand me?" And I said, "Yes, sir, I understand you.
" I brought up Henry in my opening statement.
[laughs.]
[reporter.]
During opening arguments today, prosecutor Jack Frels told the court it would see an unsavory side of the legal system.
The whole centerpiece of the case is the is the bribery racketeering, taking money to, uh to favorably handle cases.
It was alleged that Feazell was soliciting those bribes through just a very small group of lawyers that he trusted.
[reporter.]
Attorney Dick Clark testified that he paid District Attorney Vic Feazell several thousand dollars in exchange for favorable handling of several DWI cases.
[reporter 2.]
The Waco attorney Ron Voutti testified he gave Feazell more than $9,000 in cash.
[reporter 3.]
The attorneys Dick Kettler and Don Hall have been described as being inside the inner circle of greed that revolved around Vic Feazell.
[reporter 4.]
Prosecutor Jack Frels asked, "Did you make a record of money paid to Mr.
Feazell?" [Jack.]
Don Hall testified that he kept copies of the envelopes that marked the date and the amount provided to Vic Feazell.
[Vic.]
They pressured those men.
"You're gonna give us something on Vic Feazell or we're gonna go after your taxes.
We'll go after you.
" [reporter.]
Feazell says that you're lying to get out of tax trouble.
[lawyer.]
He's not gonna say anything right now.
We need to finish this trial.
Please let us go on with our business.
We're not gonna handle press conferences like Gary Richardson and and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and all that business.
[Guy.]
The pressure was incredible.
The feds were trying to bring in every lawyer in this town to roll over on the district attorney.
I mean, I-I was I was terrified.
I was afraid I was gonna be indicted.
They had me staring at two FBI agents and an IRS agent threatening me.
Feazell never asked me for any money.
The investigators didn't appear to care.
[stammering.]
The investigators and I were confident, but we knew there were some challenges.
I would think, "Okay, if it's between Feazell's personality, his charisma, his charm, and me, I'm gonna get my rear end whipped.
" [Vic.]
The trial lasted five weeks.
They called 65 or 70 witnesses.
And then the government rested.
[reporter.]
The jury in Feazell's racketeering trial deliberated about six hours before returning the verdict.
[indistinct chattering.]
[newscaster.]
Vic Feazell was found not guilty by a federal jury in Austin of charges he accepted bribes from Waco attorneys.
The smoke has cleared, the dust has settled, and I'm still standing, and I'm going back to Waco.
[cheering and applause.]
[reporter.]
Prosecutor Jack Frels said he was surprised by the verdict.
This is a failure, and I'm gonna have to live with it, and, uh and go on.
[camera shutters clicking.]
Vic Feazell was correct.
There were some real flaws, as everybody now knows, in the Henry Lee Lucas investigation.
But the theme of their defense, that it was for revenge, that's completely false.
[reporter.]
Has this, uh, damaged your political career at all, do you feel? I don't know if I want a political career.
We'll wait and see later on down the line.
[applause.]
- Remember this? - [laughter.]
- Well, now it's all right.
- All right! [laughter.]
[birds chirping.]
[Bob.]
After Lucas recanted, and we told him we want to go ahead and continue with the task force, he said, "Well we can, but, you know, I really didn't kill anybody.
" And I said, "Well, no use to us continuing then.
" You know, he he's not gonna talk to the officers that are coming to see him, so, after that, he was taken on to the penitentiary.
Lucas had 11 homicide convictions, a 60-year term, two 75-year terms, the rest were life terms, and, um, one death sentence.
[Henry.]
I'm not a mass murderer.
I did not kill the people that they say I killed.
And no matter when or if I die, you know, I somehow will prove it to the public.
You know, I might say I wouldn't do it from the grave, but I'm gonna do it.
[Vic.]
I wanted to sue the Rangers.
I wanted to sue the FBI.
But when I did my research, I realized they all had governmental immunity.
The only ones I could really sue were Charles Duncan and Channel 8 for libel.
In my criminal case, I had no access to their files, to their documents, to what they had been up to, but after I was found not guilty and we started the civil case, we got to issue subpoenas.
We took depositions.
We did Freedom of Information requests.
We got a massive amount of video from Channel 8.
And then we were able to connect the dots.
It all started when we got Henry away from the task force.
That night, they had a meeting in Boutwell's office.
Present was the assistant US attorney, an FBI agent, and DPS officer Ron Boyter, Jim Adams' right-hand man.
A few weeks later at the Ramada Inn, Boyter met with Charles Duncan from Channel 8.
He gave Duncan the stack of allegations against me, which later became the basis for Duncan's episodes.
Because the district attorney [Gary.]
I had Charles Duncan on the stand for 11 days.
What we learned was that Ron Boyter fed him all this information about Vic that wasn't true.
[Vic.]
Then Boyter plays Duncan's episodes to a federal grand jury.
They heard no witnesses, they saw no documents.
All they did was watch the Channel 8 reports, and they indicted me based only on those tapes.
I was looking at 80 years.
[tense music plays.]
Who would have had the power to orchestrate that with Channel 8? Who would have had the power to have the IRS start investigating every criminal defense lawyer in town? Jim Adams, head of the Texas Rangers.
We proved Charles Duncan and Channel 8 had lied, lied, lied, lied and had done it with malice.
Jury brought in a 58-million-dollar verdict.
It was the largest in US history for a libel case.
[Gary.]
And it's in The Guinness Book of Records.
[Vic.]
My political career was over.
I didn't want any part of it.
And I resigned before the end of my term.
There are still people that say, "Oh, well, he just had a good lawyer.
" Or, "He's a good liar.
" It totally destroyed the world I lived in.
My marriage ended in divorce and my little boys had had a lot of trouble after that.
It wasn't right.
People still thought I was a crook.
They still thought Henry Lucas was a serial killer.
And then something happened that made me believe I was gonna be able to turn it all around.
[camera shutters clicking.]
Well, I was shocked to find out I was dead.
Becky Powell, his girlfriend who he'd supposedly killed, and here she was, back from the dead.
He did not cut me up and throw me throw my body parts everywhere.