Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
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By D Magazine |

On April 14, when the Dallas Times Herald and investigative reporters Hugh Aynesworth and Jim Henderson broke the story that admitted murderer Henry Lee Lucas was clearly not responsible for the hundreds of murders he claims to have committed, WFAA (Channel 8) anchor Tracy Rowlett reported a nearly identical story on the evening news that night. Some observers thought the timing was too coincidental.

And, in fact, there was a collaboration of sorts. As Aynesworth tells it, he had been working for several months on the Lucas story from a national angle, hoping to publish his findings in a book. Last December, Rowlett picked up a more regional angle of the story and asked Aynesworth for an interview. Aynesworth talked to Row-lett and gave him some taped interviews of the family of one woman Lucas claims to have murdered. By February, Aynesworth was having trouble finding a publisher for his book, so he decided to sign an employment contract with the Herald and gear up for breaking his story in it. That was when he sat down with Rowlett and Channel 8 news director Marty Haig, and they agreed that trying to beat each other to the punch would do neither of them any good. In exchange for some time to put the Times Herald story together, Aynesworth gave Rowlett a few more notes and leads.