Dean Corll “The Candy Man.”
Dean Arnold Corll (December 24th 1939 – August 8th 1973) was an American serial killer who along with several young accomplices comitted the Houston Mass Murders in Houston Texas. Corll along with his accomplices are believed to be responsible for the murders of at least 27 boys between the ages of 13 and 20. The crimes only stopped once Corll was shot and killed by one of his accomplices Elmer Wayne Henley. At the time of the murders being discovered the Houston Mass Murders were the worst case of serial killing in American history.
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Dean Corll’s Early Life
Dean Corll was born in Fort Wayne Indiana to Mary Robinson and Arnold Edwin Corll. Corll’s father was strict with him and his younger brother Stanely. Corll’s mother was an extremely protective of her sons. Corll was a shy, serious child who seldom socialized with other chilrden. At the age of 7 Corll suffered an undetermined case of rheumatic fever, which was only noted in 1950 when doctors found Corll had a heart condition and he was ordered to avoid P.E at school where he was regarded as a well behaved student who achieved satisfactory grades. Corll also played trombone in his high school band.
In 1946 Corll’s parents divorced but later remarried and moved to Pasadena Texas in 1950. By 1953 following the second divorce of his parents Corll’s mother married a traveling salesman with whom she had a daughter named Joyce in 1955. Corll’s mother would start a small candy company along with her second husband operating from the garage of their home and almost immediately Corll was working day and night while still attending school. At the age of 19 the family moved to Houston Heights and opened up a new shop called “Pecan Prince.” In 1959 Corll moved to Indiana to live with his grandparents he stayed in Indiana for almost two years even forming a close relationship with a local girl. Later Croll returned to Houston in 1960 to hlep with his family’s candy business following the breakdown of his mother’s second marriage in 1963 Corll’s mother appointed him vice president of the company and he moved into an apartment above the shop.
Dean Corll’s Army Life
On August 10th 1964 Corll was drafted into the US Army and was assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. He was later assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, before his permanent assignment at Fort Hood, Texas as a radio repairman. Corll reportedly hated military service he applied for hardship discharge on the grounds that he was needed to help run his family’s business. The Army granted his request and he was given an honorable military discharge on June 11th 1965 after 10 months of service. Speculation remains as to whether Corll first realised he was gay while he served in the Army.
Corll Candy’s Company
Corll would return to Houston Texas to resume his position within his family’s candy business. By 1965 shortly after Corll completed his military service, The Corll Candy Company moved across the street from a Heights elementary school. Dean Corll was well known for giving free candy to local children espically teenaged boys. The family company also employed a small workforce and Dean was seen to behave flirtatiously towards several teenage male workers. He even installed a pool table at the rear of the factory where employees and local youths would congregate. By 1967 Corll had befriended a then 12 year old David Brooks who would later on take part in the murders Dean Corll would later commit. Following the failure of his mother’s 3rd marriage Corll’s mother and half sister moved to Colorado although they often talked on the telephone she never saw her son again. By June 1968 the Corll Candy Company closed down for good Corll like his father took a job as an electrician at the Houston Lightings and Power Company. He worked there until the day he was killed by one of his accomplices.
Between 1970 and 1973, Dean Corll is known to have killed at least 27 victims. All of Corll’s victims were young males between the ages of 13 and 20; the majority of whom were in their mid-teens. Most victims were abducted from Houston Heights, which was then a low-income neighborhood north-west of downtown Houston. With most abductions, Corll was assisted by one or both of his teenaged accomplices: Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks. Several victims were friends of one or the other of Corll’s accomplices and two other victims—Billy Baulch and Malley Winkle—were former employees of the Corll Candy Company.Corll’s victims were typically lured into his van with an offer of a party or a lift and driven to his house. There, they were either plied with alcohol until they passed out, tricked into putting on handcuffs or simply grabbed by force; they were then stripped naked and tied to Corll’s plywood torture board, where they were sexually assaulted, tortured and—sometimes after several days—killed by strangulation or shooting with a .22 caliber pistol. The victims were then tied in plastic sheeting and buried in one of four separate locations: a rented boatshed; a beach on the Bolivar Peninsula; in woodland near Lake Sam Rayburn (where Corll’s family owned a lakeside log cabin) or on a beach in Jefferson County.”Dean (Corll) jumped up and said ‘I’m just having some fun,’ and he promised me a car if I kept quiet later he admitted he killed them, and he bought me a Corvette.”David Brooks describing his discovery of Corll assaulting two boys in 1970 to Houston Police officers in his initial statement, August 8, 1973.
In several instances, Corll forced his victims to either phone or write to their parents with explanations for their absences in an effort to allay the parents’ fears for their sons’ safety. Corll is also known to have retained souvenirs—usually keys—from his victims.During the years Corll is known to have abducted and murdered young men, he frequently changed addresses; however, until he moved to Pasadena in the spring of 1973, he always lived in or close to Houston Heights.Jeffrey Alan Konen, aged 18. Murdered September 25, 1970.Corll killed his first known victim, an 18-year-old college freshman named Jeffrey Konen, on September 25, 1970. Konen vanished while hitchhiking with another student from the University of Texas to his parents’ home in Houston;he was dropped off alone at the corner of Westheimer Road and South Voss Road near the Uptown area of Houston. At the time of Konen’s disappearance, Corll lived in an apartment on Yorktown Street, near the intersection with Westheimer Road. Corll likely offered to drive Konen to his parents’ home in the Braeswood Place-West University Place area.
David Brooks led police to the body of Jeffrey Konen on August 10, 1973. The body was buried at High Island beach. Forensic scientists subsequently deduced the youth had died of asphyxiation due to manual strangulation and a cloth gag which had been placed in Konen’s mouth. The body was found buried beneath a layer of lime, wrapped in plastic, naked and bound hand and foot, suggesting Konen had also been violated.Around the time of Konen’s murder, David Brooks interrupted Corll in the act of assaulting two teenage boys whom he’d strapped to a plywood torture board. Corll promised Brooks a car in return for his silence; Brooks accepted the offer and Corll bought him a green Chevrolet Corvette. Brooks was later told by Corll the two youths had been murdered, and he was offered $200 for any boy he could lure to Corll’s apartment.Donald Waldrop, murdered January 30, 1971.
On December 15, 1970, David Brooks lured two 14-year-old boys named James Glass and Danny Yates away from a religious rally held near Houston Heights to an apartment Corll had rented on Columbia Street. Glass was an acquaintance of Brooks who, at Brooks’ behest, had previously visited Corll’s apartment. Both youths were tied to opposite sides of Corll’s torture board and subsequently raped, strangled and buried in a boatshed Corll had rented on November 17.Six weeks after the double murder of Glass and Yates, on January 30, 1971, Brooks and Corll encountered two teenage brothers named Donald and Jerry Waldrop walking to a bowling alley. Both boys were enticed into Corll’s van and driven to an apartment Corll had moved to at 3200 Mangum where they were raped, tortured and strangled before Brooks and Corll buried the youths in the boatshed. Between March and August 1971, Corll killed four more boys between the ages of 13 and 17; as with the Waldrop brothers, all lived in Houston Heights. Many were lured to Corll’s apartment by Brooks, usually with the promise of “a party.”David Hilligiest and Gregory Malley Winkle. Both youths disappeared May 29, 197 In the winter of 1971, following the August murder of 17-year-old Ruben Watson, Brooks introduced Elmer Wayne Henley, then aged 15, to Dean Corll, apparently as an intended victim. Corll decided Henley would make a good accomplice and offered him the same fee — $200 — for any boy he could lure to his apartment, informing Henley that he was involved in a “sexual slavery ring.”Henley accepted Corll’s offer, and initially participated in the abductions of the victims, then later actively participated in many of the killings. The first known killing Henley participated in was that of Willard Branch, a 17-year-old Houston youth who was abducted while hitchhiking in February, 1972. Henley assisted Corll in the abduction of the youth and tricked Branch into donning a pair of handcuffs before leaving him alone with Corll, who subsequently paid Henley $200 for assisting in the abduction.
One month later, on March 24, Henley assisted Corll in the abduction of 18-year-old Frank Aguirre; a youth he personally knew who worked in a local restaurant. Aguirre was lured to Corll’s house and tricked into donning a pair handcuffs before Henley again left him alone with Corll.Henley later claimed to having discovered Corll torturing the youth, upon which Corll informed him he had raped, tortured and killed the previous victim (Branch), and that he intended to do the same with Aguirre.Henley was again paid for luring the victim to Corll’s home and gradually became Corll’s major procurer of victims, although David Brooks still played a lesser role in the abductions. According to Brooks, on one occasion in 1972, Henley knocked him unconscious as he entered Corll’s apartment. Corll then tied Brooks to his bed and assaulted him repeatedly before releasing him. Despite the assault, Brooks continued to assist Corll in the abductions of the victims. Between February and December 1972, a minimum of eight teenagers were murdered, four of whom were buried at High Island beach, and four inside Corll’s boatshed.In the spring of 1973, following the February murder of 17-year-old Joseph Lyles, Dean Corll moved to Pasadena. By July 7, a further three victims had been murdered and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn. On July 12, a 17-year-old youth named John Sellars was murdered and buried at High Island beach. One week later, on July 19, a 15-year-old named Michael Baulch was strangled and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn. By August 3, Corll had killed a further three youths between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, all of whom he buried inside his boatshed.
The Party At Corll’s
At approximately 3a.m. on the morning of August 8th 1973 Henley aged 17 invited a 19 year old youth named Tim Kerley to attend a party at Corll’s Pasadena house. Kerley who was intended to be Corll’s next victim accepted the offer. The two youths arrived at Corll’s house accompanied by a 15 year old girl named Rhonda Williams a friend of Henley. David Brooks was not present at the time Corll was furious that Henley had brought a girl along he told him in private that he had “ruined everything.” Henley explained that Rhonda had argued with her father that evening, and did not want to return home. Corll appeared to calm down and offered the 3 teenagers beer and marijuanan. The 3 teenagers began drinking and smoking the marijuana as Croll drank beer and watched them intently. After two hours of drinking and smoking the 3 teenagers each passed out.
Henley awoke to find Corll snapping handcuffs onto his wrists. His ankles had also been bound together. Kerley and Williams had also been tied with nylon rope, gagged with adhesive tape and tied to opposite sides of Corll’s torture board – Kerley on his stomach, Williams on her back. Kerley had also been stripped naked.Corll told Henley he was furious he had brought a girl to his house, and explained he was going to kill all three teenagers after he had assaulted and tortured Kerley. He then dragged Henley into his kitchen and placed a .22 caliber pistol against his stomach, threatening to shoot him. Henley calmed Corll, promising to participate in the torture and murder of both Williams and Kerley if Corll released him. Corll agreed and untied Henley, handing him a hunting knife and ordering him to cut away Rhonda’s clothes, insisting that while he would rape and kill Kerley, Henley would do likewise to Rhonda Williams. Henley began cutting away Rhonda’s clothes as Corll undressed and tried to assault and torture Tim Kerley. Both Kerley and Williams had awoken by this point: Kerley began writhing and shouting as Williams lifted her head and asked Henley: “Is this for real?”, to which Henley replied “yes.” Rhonda then asked Henley: “are you going to do anything about it?”
Henley then asked Corll if he could take Rhonda into another room. Corll ignored him and the youth then grabbed Corll’s pistol, shouting: “You’ve gone far enough, Dean!” Corll approached Henley, saying: “Kill me, Wayne!” Henley stepped back a few paces as Corll continued to advance upon him, shouting: “You won’t do it!” Henley fired at Corll, hitting him in the forehead; Corll continued to lurch towards him and Henley fired a further two rounds at him, hitting him in the left shoulder. Corll spun round and staggered out of the room, hitting the wall of the hallway. Henley fired a further three bullets into his lower back and shoulder as Corll slid down the wall in the hallway outside the room where the three teenagers were bound. Corll died where he fell – his naked body lying face towards the wall. Wayne Henley outside Corll’s boatshed on August 8, 1973. He is seen here phoning his mother to confess to having shot Corll.After shooting Corll, Henley released Kerley and Williams from the torture board and all three teenagers dressed and discussed what actions they should take. Henley suggested to Kerley and Williams that they should simply leave; to which Kerley replied: “No; we should call the police.” Henley agreed and looked up the number for the Pasadena police in Corll’s telephone directory.
At 8:24 a.m. on August 8, Wayne Henley placed a call to the Pasadena police: his call was answered by an operator named Velma Lines. In his call, Henley blurted to Lines: “Y’all better come here right now! I just killed a man!” Henley gave the address to the operator as 2020 Lamar Drive, Pasadena. As Kerley, Williams and Henley waited upon Corll’s porch for the police to arrive, Henley mentioned to Tim Kerley that he had “done that (killed by shooting) four or five times.”
Kerley later informed detectives Henley had also informed him: “I could have gotten $200 for you.In custody, Henley explained that for almost three years, he and David Brooks had helped procure teenage boys (some of whom were their own friends) for Corll, who had raped and murdered them. Corll had paid $200 for each victim he or Brooks were able to lure to his apartment. Henley gave a statement admitting he had assisted Corll in several abductions and murders of teenage boys, informing police Corll had buried most of his victims in a boatshed in Southwest Houston, and others at Lake Sam Rayburn and High Island Beach.
Police were initially skeptical of Henley’s claims, assuming the sole homicide of the case was that of Dean Corll, which they had ascribed to a result of a drug-fuelled fisticuffs that had turned deadly. Henley was quite insistent, however, and upon his recalling the names of three boys — Cobble, Hilligiest and Jones — that had been procured by himself and Brooks for Corll, police accepted that there was something to his claims: all three teenagers were listed as missing at Houston police headquarters. David Hilligiest had been reported missing in the summer of 1971; the other two boys had been missing for just two weeks. Moreover, the floor of the room where the three teenagers had been tied was covered in thick plastic sheeting. Police also found a plywood torture board measuring seven-by-three feet with handcuffs in each corner; also found at Corll’s address were a large hunting knife, rolls of clear plastic of the same type used to cover the floor, a portable radio rigged to a pair of dry cells to give increased volume, a number of dildos, thin glass tubes and lengths of rope.Police begin to excavate Corll’s boatshed on August 9, 1973.The Ford Econoline van belonging to Corll parked in the driveway conveyed a similar impression. The rear windows of the van were sealed by opaque blue curtains. In the rear of the vehicle, police found a coil of rope, a swatch of beige rug covered in soil stains and a wooden crate with airholes drilled in the sides. The pegboard walls inside the rear of the van were rigged with several rings and hooks. Another wooden crate with airholes drilled in the sides was also found in Corll’s backyard. Inside this crate were several strands of human hair.
Search For Victims
Henley agreed to accompany police to Corll’s boatshed in Southwest Houston, where he claimed the bodies of most of the victims could be found. Inside Corll’s boatshed, police found a half-stripped car, which turned out to have been stolen from a used-car lot in March, a child’s bike, empty bags of lime and a box full of teenage boys’ clothing.”He (Henley) started to take a step inside (the boatshed), but then his face just turned ashen, pale, grim he staggered around outside the door. Right then’s when I knew there were going to be bodies in that shed.”Houston Police officer describing Henley’s actions upon leading police to Corll’s boatshed on August 8. Police began digging through the soft, shell-crushed earth of the boatshed and soon uncovered the body of a young blond-haired teenaged boy, lying face up and encased in clear plastic; buried beneath a layer of lime. Police continued excavating through the earth of the shed, unearthing the remains of more victims in varying stages of decomposition. Most of the bodies found were wrapped in thick, clear plastic sheeting. Some victims had been shot, others strangled, the ligature still wrapped tightly around their necks.
All of the victims found had been sodomized and most victims found bore evidence of sexual torture: pubic hairs had been plucked out, genitals had been chewed, objects had been inserted into the victims’ rectums, and glass rods had been shoved into their urethrae and smashed. Cloth rags had also been inserted into the victims’ mouths and adhesive tape wound round their faces to muffle their screams. In some instances, Corll had also castrated his live victims; severed genitals were found inside sealed plastic bags. On August 8, a total of eight corpses were uncovered at the boatshed.
David Brooks presented himself at Houston Police Station on the evening of August 8, and gave a statement denying any participation in the murders, but admitting to having known Corll had raped and killed two youths in 1970.On August 9, police accompanied Henley to Lake Sam Rayburn in San Augustine County, where Henley had told police Corll had buried four victims he had killed in 1973. Two further bodies were found in shallow graves.Police found a further nine bodies in the boatshed on August 9. David Brooks gave a full confession that evening, admitting being present at several killings and assisting in several burials, although he continued to deny any direct participation in the murders. He agreed to accompany police to High Island Beach to assist in the search for the bodies of the victims.Wayne Henley (left) and David Brooks (right, in handcuffs), pictured on High Island beach on August 13, 1973.
On August 10, Henley again accompanied police to Lake Sam Rayburn, where two further bodies were found buried just ten feet apart. As with the two bodies found the previous day, both victims had been tortured and severely beaten, particularly around the head. That afternoon, both Henley and Brooks accompanied police to High Island beach, leading police to the shallow graves of a further two victims.On August 13, both Henley and Brooks again accompanied police to High Island beach, where four more bodies were found, making a total of twenty-seven victims – the worst killing spree in American history at the time.Henley initially insisted that there were two more bodies to be found inside the boatshed, and also that the bodies of a further two boys had been buried at High Island beach in 1972. At the time, however, the killing spree was the worst case of serial murder (in terms of number of victims) in the United States, exceeding the 25 murders attributed to Juan Corona from California, who was arrested in 1971 for killing twenty-five men. The ‘Houston Mass Murders’ , as they became known, hit the headlines all over the world: even Pope Paul VI commented on the atrocious nature of the crimes and offered sympathy to relatives of those who had died. Police were inundated with enquiries regarding missing boys from parents across the United States.
By April, 1974, twenty-one of Corll’s victims had been identified, and all but four of the youths had either lived in or had close connections to Houston Heights. Three further teenagers were identified between 1983 and 1994 – two of whom also lived in Houston Heights, although Henley has consistently disputed the 1994 identification of a body unearthed from the boatshed as being that of Mark Scott; whom he claims he, Brooks and Corll buried at High Island beach in 1972.Families of Corll’s victims — which included two who had lost two sons each to Corll — were highly critical of the Houston Police Department, who had been so quick to list the missing boys as runaways who were not considered worthy of investigation.
Below are the list of Dean Corll known victims all of whom had been killed by either shooting, strangulation, or a combination of both these are the ones who have been identified by police are are males.
- September 25th: Jeffrey Konen aged 18 was picked up by Corll while hitchhiking to Houston. He was burried at the High Island beach.
- December 15th: Danny Yates aged 14 was lured with his friend James Glass from an evangelical rally by David Brooks to Corll’s Columbia Street apartment.
- December 15th: James Glass aged 14 an acquaintance of Corll who also knew David Brooks he and his friend were strangled before being buried in Corll’s boatshed
- January 30th: Donald Waldrop aged 15 vanished on his way to visit a bowling alley according to Brooks Donald’s father who was a builder was working on the apartment next to Corll’s at the time Donald and his brother was murdered.
- January 30th Jerry Waldrop aged 13 the youngest of Corll’s victims was murdered with his brother both were strangled and buried in Corll’s boatshed.
- March 9th: Randell Harvey aged 15 disappeared on his way home from his job at a gas station he was shot in the head and buried in Corll’s boatshed his remains were identified in October 2008.
- May 29th: David Hilligeist aged 13 another young victim was one of Henley’s earliest childhood friends he was last seen alongside his friend Malley Winkle climbing into a white van.
- May 29th: Gregory Malley Winkle aged 16 a former employee of Corll’s Candy Company and boyfriend of Randell Harvey’s sister disappeared on his way to visit a local swimming pool.
- August 17th: Ruben Watson aged 17 vanished on his way to the local cinema Watson last called his mother to tell her he was spending the evening with Brooks he was strangled and buried in Corll’s boatshed.
- February 9th: Willard Branch aged 17 A Houston Police officer’s son whose father died of a heart attack in the search for him was buried in Corll’s boatshed his remains was identified July 1985
- March 24th: Frank Aguirre aged 18 had been engaged to marry Rhonda Williams who was presence in Corll’s house that sparked the fatal confrontation between Henley and Corll he was strangled and buried at High Island beach.
- May 21st: Johnny Delome aged 16 a Heights youth was last seen with his friend walking to a local store he was shot in the head then strangled by Henley.
- May 21st: Billy Baulch aged 17 a former employee of Corll’s Candy Compnay Baulch was strangled by Henely and buried at High Islands beach.
- October 2nd: Wally Jay Simoneaux aged 14 vanished on his way to spend the night with his friend he was strangled and buried in Corll’s boatshed
- October 2nd: Richard Hembress aged 13 was last seen in a white van parked outside a grocery store he and his friend were killed at Corll’s Westcott Towers address.
- November 12th Richard Alan Kepner aged 19 vanished on his way to call his fiancee from a pay phone he was buried in Corll’s boatshed his remains were identified September 1983.
- December 22nd: Mark Scott aged 17 a friend of both Henley and Brooks was killed at Corll’s Schuler Street address he was strangled and buried at High Island beach his remains were identified January 1994
- February 1st: Joseph Lyles aged 17 an acquaintance of Corll who lived on the same street as Brooks was buried at Jefferson County beach.
- June 4th: Billy Ray Lawrence aged 15 a friend of Henley who phoned his father to ask if he could go fishing with some friends he was kept alive by Corll for 4 days before he was killed and buried at Lake Same Rayburn
- June 15th: Ray Blackburn aged 20 a married man from Baton Rouge Louisiana who had a child and was Corll’s oldest victim was strangled and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.
- July 7th: Homer Garcia aged 15 met Henley while both youths were enrolled at a Houston driving school he was shot in the head and chest before being buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.
- July 12th: John Sellars 17 from Orange Texas was shot and buried at High Island Beach he was the only victim to be buried fully clothed.
- July 19th: Michael Tony Baulch aged 15 was the youngest brother of Corll’s victim Billy from the pervious year was shot in the head and buried in Corll’s boatshed.
- July 25th: Marty Jones aged 18 was last seen along with his friend and flatmate Charles Cobble walking towards Corll’s apartment in the company of Henley.
- July 25th Charles Cary Cobble aged 17 a school friend of Henley whose wife was pregnant at the time of his murder was shot twice in the head and was found in the boatshed.
- August 3rd: James Dreymala aged 13 disappeared while riding his bike in South Houston he last called his parents to tell them he was at a party across town.
- * At Henley’s trial in 1974, the Harris County medical examiner raised questions as to whether John Sellars was actually a victim of Dean Corll. Sellars, a US Marine who had been reported missing July 12, 1973, had been killed by four gunshot wounds to the chest fired from a rifle whereas all Corll’s other known victims had either been shot with the same pistol Henley had used to kill Corll or strangled. Moreover, Sellars’ car had been found burned-out one week after the youth had disappeared. However, Henley and Brooks had led police to Sellars’ grave on High Island beach, and the youths body was bound with rope as other victims had been.
- * In June 2008, Dr. Sharon Derrick, a forensic anthropologist with the medical examiner’s office in Houston, released digital images of Corll’s three still-unidentified victims. The unidentified victims were listed as ML73-3349, ML73-3356 and ML73-3378. Two of the unidentified victims were found buried in the boatshed and were estimated to have been killed in 1971 or 1972. ML73-3378 was buried at Lake Sam Rayburn just 10 feet from the body of Homer Garcia, who had disappeared on July 7, 1973. The victim was estimated to be in a slightly more advanced state of decomposition to Garcia, leading investigators to estimate he had been killed in mid- to late-June 1973.
- * On October 17, 2008, ML73-3349 was identified as Randell Lee Harvey, a Heights teenager who had been reported missing on March 11, 1971 – two days after he had disappeared. Harvey, who had been shot through the eye, was wearing a navy blue jacket with red lining, jeans and lace-up boots. A plastic orange pocket comb was also found alongside his body. Efforts to identify the two still-unidentified victims are ongoing.
- * On September 13, 2010, DNA analysis was able to confirm that the unidentified victim known as ML73-3378 was actually Michael Baulch, who had incorrectly been identified as case file ML73-3333: the second victim unearthed from the boatshed. Michael Baulch had disappeared en route to a barbers on July 19, 1973: a year after his brother Billy had been murdered by Corll. Henley had stated in his confession to police that he and Corll had “choked” Michael Baulch and buried him at Lake Sam Rayburn: the unidentified victim mistakenly identified as Michael Baulch had been killed by two gunshots to the head and buried inside the boatshed. Three factors had helped lead to the misidentification of the unidentified victim as being that of Michael Baulch: Michael’s parents had previously filed a missing person’s report on their son (who had previously left home to search for his older brother) in August 1972 – precisely the same time as the unidentified victim buried in the boatshed is estimated to have been killed. This was the only missing person’s report on file of Michael Baulch: in addition, the unidentified victim was of a similar height and age to Baulch and circumstantial dental fractures had also helped incorrectly facilitate the misidentification of the second body unearthed as that of Michael Baulch. The unidentified body buried in the boatshed and initially mistakenly identified as Michael Baulch is estimated to have been killed on or about August 21 of 1972.
- A body found on a beach in Jefferson County in August, 1983 is strongly believed to be a 28th victim of Dean Corll. The body was identified November 11, 2009 through DNA analysis as 17-year-old Joseph Allen Lyles, a Heights teenager who had disappeared on February 1, 1973. Lyles is known to have both visited Corll’s apartment and to have lived on the same street as David Brooks. He was listed as a possible victim of Corll upon the murders being discovered in 1973. At the time of his disappearance, Corll resided in an apartment at 1855 Wirt Road, where he lived between January 20 and March 7 of 1973, when he moved to his father’s Pasadena bungalow. Brooks had specifically stated Corll had “got one boy by himself” during the time he lived at this address. In addition, at the time Lyles disappeared, Henley had temporarily moved to Mount Pleasant and Brooks had recently married, which leaves a strong possibility Corll had killed Lyles without the assistance of Henley.
- Wayne Henley has always insisted that the body identified as Mark Steven Scott was mistakenly identified. In his 1973 confession, Henley had stated that Scott had been strangled and buried at High Island. David Brooks had also stated in his confession that Scott (who was well known to both of Corll’s accomplices) was likely buried at High Island. Dr. Joseph Jachimczyk had identified the remains of the victim known as ML73-3355 as being those of Mark Scott in 1994. In 2010, Henley reiterated his claim to an interviewer that Scott had been buried at High Island “in the sand: fetal position; head up.” As a result of Henley’s claim, results of a DNA analysis upon the remains identified as those of Scott are to be concluded in January 2011. All six bodies found at High Island have been identified. If DNA analysis proves Henley’s claim of misidentification to be correct, the tally of victims claimed by Corll will reach 29.
Forty-two boys had vanished within the Houston area since 1970. The police were heavily criticized for curtailing the search for further victims once mass killer Juan Corona’s macabre record for most victims had been surpassed. After finding the 26th and 27th bodies, tied together, at High Island beach, the search was called off. A curious feature about this final discovery was the presence of two extra bones (an arm bone and a pelvis) in the grave, indicating at least one further victim awaiting discovery. The search for further bodies at the beach was abandoned on August 13, 1973, despite Henley’s insistence there were a further two bodies buried on the beach in 1972.
Fellow workers at the Corll Candy Company recalled Corll doing a lot of digging in the years leading up to 1968, when his mother’s third marriage was deteriorating and the firm was failing. Corll stated he was burying spoiled candy to avoid contamination by insects. He subsequently cemented over the floor. He was also observed digging in waste ground that was later converted into a car park. Former employees also recalled that Corll had rolls of clear plastic of precisely the same type used to bury his victims. The suspicion is that Corll may have begun killing much earlier than 1970, and may also have been abusing youths prior to this date.
During a routine investigation in March, 1975, the Houston police discovered a cache of pornographic pictures and films depicting young boys. Of the sixteen individuals depicted within the films and photos, eleven of the youths appeared to be among the twenty-one victims of Corll who had been identified by this date. The discovery raised a disturbing possibility that the statements Corll had given to both Henley and Brooks prior to his murder that he was associated with an organization based in Dallas catering to pedophiles which “bought and sold boys” may indeed have held a degree of truth: the discovery of the material in Houston in 1975 subsequently led to the arrest of five individuals in Santa Clara, California. No direct link in these arrests to the Houston Mass Murders was proven as the Houston authorities declined to pursue any possible link to the serial killings, stating they felt Corll’s victims’ families had ‘suffered enough’.
It should be noted there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest Corll had ever solicited any of his victims in this manner; not only because the Houston authorities chose not pursue this potential possibility, but also because neither David Brooks nor Wayne Henley have ever mentioned either meeting any individuals from the “organisation” Corll had claimed he was involved with. In addition to these facts, they have never mentioned ever having seen the victims either filmed, photographed or released from Corll’s torture board until after their torture and murder. The arrests in Santa Clara do, however, indicate a possible validity into Brooks’ statements to police that Corll had informed him that his earliest murder victims had been buried in California.
Moreover, Brooks names Corll’s first murder victim as a youth killed at an apartment complex on Judiway Street, where Corll had lived prior to September 1970. The earliest victims Brooks had initially confessed to having known Corll had killed were two teenage boys killed at an address Corll had moved to after he had moved out of his Judiway Street apartment: 3300 Yorktown. The earliest double murder Corll is known to have committed is the double murder of James Glass and Danny Yates in December, 1970. Glass and Yates were killed at Corll’s Columbia Street address, whereas the only identified victim killed at the Yorktown address was Jeffrey Alan Konen, killed in September, 1970. Brooks only knew the location of Konen’s body at High Island beach due to the fact Corll had shown him the location. These facts indicate a minimum of three further unknown victims.
There are three suspiciously long gaps between known victims in the chronology of Corll’s known murders. Corll’s last known victim of 1971 was Ruben Watson, who disappeared August 17: the first victim of 1972 was Willard Karmon Branch, Jr., who disappeared on February 9, meaning no known victims were killed for almost 6 months. Moreover, Corll is not known to have killed either between May 21 and October 2 of 1972 or between February 1 and June 4 of 1973. Of Corll’s two confirmed still-unidentified victims; both were in advanced stages of decomposition at the time of their discovery, leading investigators to deduce both victims were killed in 1971 or 1972. One of these two victims (the second victim unearthed from the boatshed) is estimated to have been killed on or about August 21 of 1972. The other known unidentified victim, the 16th body found in Corll’s boatshed, was found wearing swimming clothing leading investigators to conclude he was likely killed in summer months. The body was found near the entrance to the boatshed, whereas the victims known to have been killed in 1970 and 1971 buried in the boatshed were found at the rear of the shed. It is likely, though not conclusive, that this victim may have also been killed in the summer of 1972, which leaves a gap of almost six months between the dates Corll is known to have killed.
Regardless of the dates the unidentified victims buried in the boatshed had been killed, there still remains a gap of four months between February and June 1973 when no known victims had been claimed by Corll. In March 1973, a Mr. and Mrs. Abernathy had reported to Galveston County authorities that they had observed three men carrying and burying a ‘long, wrapped bundle’ at Galveston beach. The couple identified two of the men as Corll and Henley. The third individual had long, blond hair – like Brooks. As the couple watched the trio, one of the men (whom they later identified as Henley) advanced upon the car with such a menacing expression that the couple felt compelled to drive away.Two women had also observed three men digging at the beach in May 1973 – one of whom they positively identified as David Brooks. However, police were again unwilling to extend the search
Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks were tried separately for their roles in the murders. Henley was brought to trial in San Antonio on July 1, 1974, charged with 6 murders committed between March, 1972 and July, 1973. The prosecution called dozens of witnesses, including Tim Kerley and a youth named Billy Ridinger, who had been lured to Corll’s Schuler Street address by Henley, Brooks and Corll in 1972. Ridinger testified that at Corll’s home he was tied to Corll’s torture board and assaulted repeatedly by Corll before he was released.Other incriminating testimony came from police officers who read from Henley’s written statements. In one part of his confession, Henley had described his luring two of the victims for whose murder he had been brought to trial, Charles Cobble and Marty Jones, to Corll’s Pasadena house. Henley had confessed Jones was tied to a board and forced to watch Charles Cobble be assaulted, tortured and shot to death before he himself was raped, tortured and strangled with a venetian blind cord. The two youths were killed on July 27, 1973, two days after they had been reported missing. Several victims’ parents had to leave the courtroom to regain their composure as police and medical examiners described how their relatives’ were tortured and murdered.
Throughout the trial, the State introduced a total of eighty-two pieces of evidence, including Corll’s torture board and one of the boxes used to transport the victims. Inside the box, police had found hair which examiners had concluded came from Charles Cobble. Upon advice from his defense counsel, Henley did not take the stand to testify. His defense attorney, Will Gray, did cross examine several witnesses but did not call any witnesses or experts for the defense. On July 16, Henley was sentenced to six consecutive 99-year terms — a total of 594 years — for each of the murders for which he was charged. Henley was not charged with the death of Dean Corll, which was ruled self-defense.Henley appealed against his sentence and conviction and was awarded a retrial in December, 1978. He was tried again in June, 1979 and was again convicted of six murders on June 27 and again sentenced to six consecutive 99-year terms.
David Brooks (who had married in 1973 and was expecting his first child at the time of Corll’s death) was brought to trial on February 27, 1975. Brooks had been indicted for four murders committed between December, 1970 and June, 1973, but was brought to trial charged only with the June, 1973 murder of 15-year-old Billy Ray Lawrence. Brooks’ defense attorney, Jim Skelton, argued his client had not committed any murders and attempted to portray Corll and, to a lesser degree, Henley of being the active participants in the actual killings. Assistant District Attorney Tommy Dunn dismissed the defenses contention outright, at one point telling the jury: “this defendent was in on this murderous rampage from the very beginning. He attempts to inform you he was a cheerleader if nothing else. That’s what he is telling you about his presence. You know he was in on it.”
David Brooks’ trial lasted less than one week: the jury deliberated for just 90 minutes before they reached a verdict: he was found guilty of Lawrence’s murder on March 4, 1975 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He showed no emotion as the sentence was passed, although his wife burst into tears.Brooks also appealed against his sentence, contending the signed confessions used against him were taken without his being informed of his legal rights, but his appeal was dismissed in May, 1979.As of 2011, both Henley and Brooks are still in prison.
My Thoughts on Dean Corll and The Murders
Dean Corll and the young men who helped in with the murder were both sadistic twisted people not only did the take lives of innocent young men but they continued to do so over 4 years most of the victims were only teenagers who had their lives ahead of them and these men took their lives in some of the cruel ways possible if i had to rate him i would rate him the highest level at 25 for a sick twisted man i have never said this about anyone but i am glad they got what they deserved espically Dean who was killed by his own accomplicance. I hope Henley and Brooks both feel quilty for what they did if not may god have mercy on their souls when they die