In an interview with Vanity Fair, Rob Zombie was asked who his favorite non-fictional serial killer was. He replied:
I love ’em all. Not, you know, as people or anything, but they all make for great stories. I think Henry Lee Lucas is probably one of my favorites.
He and his buddy Ottis Toole were just a couple of deranged rednecks. But given his upbringing, y’know, it’s just not that surprising. Some of these guys, you think, “What would make a person do something like this?” And then you read about their upbringing and you’re like, “Oh, okay, well I guess that might do it.”
He also said:
I’ve read so many books about these guys, I start confusing their backstories. But with Henry and Ottis, I remember it was pretty horrible. Stripper moms, alcoholic dads, I think they were both forced to dress up like girls at some point. Henry killed his mom and raped her corpse, and Ottis had a thing for arson and cannibalism. They were into some really perverted stuff, like having sex with dead animals and that kinda thing.
So we can see several similarities between Zombie’s Michael Myers and Henry Lee Lucas. In addition to both being serial killers, both were deranged rednecks with stripper moms and alcoholic father (figures) and both were emasculated by a parent figure. Henry was made to dress like a girl by his mother and Michael’s mother’s boyfriend mocked Michael for seeming gay, predicting Michael would cut off his penis and change his name to “Michelle”. It’s unclear if Michael ever had sex with a dead animal, but his sister joked about him having sexual relations with the pet rat he killed.
It is tempting to conclude that a terrible parenting causes one to become a serial killer, but it could be that the children of terrible parents become serial killers for genetic reasons. If psychosis and psychopathy are genetic, then the parents of the criminally insane would be expected to manifest these same traits though to a much lesser degree, but the bad genes, and not the bad parenting, may be to blame for their kids becoming serial killers.
Although Zombie focuses a lot on Michael’s bad upbringing, he ultimately explains in the clip below that bad upbringing was not responsible for Michael’s cold, robotic, merciless nature. Michael was just born that way as Lady Gaga would say. His brain was wired differently.