|Who is it?||Serial Killer|
|Birth Day||December 24, 1939|
|Birth Place||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States, United States|
|Age||81 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||August 8, 1973(1973-08-08) (aged 33)\nPasadena, Texas, US|
|Cause of death||Gunshot wounds of left chest and back. Homicide|
|Other names||The Candy Man The Pied Piper|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|Span of killings||1970–1973|
Dean Arnold Corll was born on December 24, 1939, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the first child of Mary Robinson (May 9, 1916 – May 31, 2010) and Arnold Edwin Corll (February 7, 1916 – April 5, 2001). Corll's father was strict with his son, whereas his mother was very protective of him. Their marriage was marred by frequent quarreling, and the couple divorced in 1946, four years after the birth of their younger son, Stanley. Mary Corll subsequently sold the family home and relocated to a trailer home in Memphis, Tennessee, where Arnold Corll had been drafted into the U.S. Air Force after the divorce, in order that her sons could retain contact with their father.
Corll's parents attempted reconciliation and remarried in 1950, subsequently moving to Pasadena, Texas; however, the reconciliation was short-lived and, in 1953, the couple once again divorced, with the mother again retaining custody of her two sons. Their divorce was decreed on amicable grounds and both boys maintained regular contact with their father.
From 1954 to 1958, Corll attended Vidor High School, where he was regarded as a well-behaved student who achieved satisfactory grades. As had been the case in his childhood, Corll was also considered somewhat of a loner, although he is known to have occasionally dated girls in his teenage years. In high school, Corll's only major interest was the brass band, in which he played trombone.
Following the second divorce, Corll's mother married a traveling clock salesman named Jake West and the family moved to the small town of Vidor, where Corll's half-sister, Joyce, was born in 1955. Upon advice from a pecan nut salesman, Corll's mother and stepfather started a small family candy company named 'Pecan Prince', initially operating from the garage of their home. From the earliest days of the family candy Business, Corll was working day and night while still attending school. He and his younger brother were delegated the responsibility of running the candy making machines and packing the product, which his stepfather sold on his sales route. This route often involved West traveling to Houston, where much of the product was sold.
Corll graduated from Vidor High School in the summer of 1958. In a logistical move shortly thereafter, he and his family moved to the northern outskirts of Houston so that the family candy Business could be closer to the city where the majority of their product was sold. Corll's family opened a new shop, which they named Pecan Prince in reference to the brand name of the family product. In 1960, at the request of his mother, Corll moved to Indiana to live with his widowed grandmother. During this period of time, Corll formed a close relationship with a local girl, although he rejected a subsequent marriage proposal this girl made to him in 1962. Corll lived in Indiana for almost two years, but returned to Houston in 1962 to help with his family's candy Business, which by this date had moved to Houston Heights. He later moved into an apartment of his own above the shop.
Following his honorable discharge from the army, Corll returned to Houston Heights and resumed the position he had held as vice-president of his family's candy Business. Corll's former stepfather had retained ownership of the family's former candy Business following his mother's divorce in 1963, and competition between the two firms was fierce. As had been the case in his teenage years, Corll increased the number of hours he devoted to the candy Business to satisfy an increasing demand for his family's product.
Corll was drafted into the United States Army on August 10, 1964, and assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana, for basic training. He was later assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, to train as a radio repairman before his permanent assignment to Fort Hood, Texas. According to official military records, Corll's period of Service in the army was unblemished. Corll, however, reportedly hated military service; he applied for a hardship discharge on the grounds that he was needed in his family's Business. The army granted his request and he was given an honorable discharge on June 11, 1965, after ten months of Service.
In 1965, the Corll Candy Company relocated to 22nd Street, directly across the street from Helms Elementary School. Corll was known to give free candy to local children, in particular teenage boys: as a result of this behavior, he earned himself the nicknames the Candy Man and the Pied Piper. The company also employed a small work force, and he was seen to behave flirtatiously towards several teenage male employees. Corll is known to have installed a pool table at the rear of the candy factory where employees and local youths would congregate.
In 1967, Corll befriended 12-year-old David Owen Brooks, then a bespectacled sixth grade student and one of the many children to whom he gave free candy. Brooks initially became one of Corll's many youthful close companions; the youth regularly socialized with Corll and various teenage boys who congregated at the rear of the candy company. He also joined Corll on the regular trips he took to south Texas' beaches in the company of various youths, and later harked to the fact that Corll was the first adult male who did not mock his appearance. Whenever Brooks told Corll he needed cash, he was given money, and the youth began to view Corll as a father figure. Upon Corll's urging, a sexual relationship gradually developed between the two: beginning in 1969, Corll paid Brooks in cash or with gifts to allow him to perform fellatio on the youth.
Former 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 Corll Candy Company employees also recalled that Corll had rolls of clear plastic of precisely the same type used to bury his victims. Moreover, co-workers at the Houston Lighting and Power Company would also state that, from the earliest days of his employment, Corll had repeatedly retained coils of used nylon cord which would otherwise have been discarded. This brand of cord was the same type used to strangle and bind the bodies of many of 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.
Moreover, Brooks claims that Corll's first murder victim was a youth killed at an apartment complex on Judiway Street, where Corll had lived prior to September 1970. The earliest of Corll's victims known by Brooks were two teenage boys killed at 3300 Yorktown, where Corll lived after moving out of his Judiway Street apartment. Corll's earliest double-murder, that of James Glass and Danny Yates, took place in December 1970; Glass and Yates were actually killed at Corll's Yorktown address, as was Corll's earliest known murder victim, Jeffrey Alan Konen, killed in September 1970. A possibility exists that the earliest double-murder victims were Glass and Yates; however, Brooks specifically described Glass as being killed in an altogether separate double-murder from Corll's first double-murder in his confession to police. In addition, Brooks only knew the location of Konen's body at High Island Beach due to the fact that Corll had shown him the location. It is possible that the initial double-murder Brooks had discovered Corll in the process of committing occurred after the murder of Konen and before those of Glass and Yates. These details, alongside the two additional bones that were found with the 26th and 27th victims discovered, indicate a minimum of two and possibly four more unknown victims.
Families of Corll's victims were highly critical of the Houston Police Department, which had been quick to list the missing boys as runaways who had not been considered worthy of any major investigation. The families of the murdered youths asserted that the police should have noted an insidious trend in the pattern of disappearances of teenage boys from the Heights neighborhood; other family members complained the police had been dismissive to their Adam Ant insistence that their sons had no reasons to run away from home. Everett Waldrop, the father of Donald and Jerry Waldrop, complained that shortly after his sons had disappeared in 1971, he had informed police an acquaintance had observed Corll burying what appeared to be bodies at his boat shed. In response, the police performed a perfunctory search around the shed, before dismissing the reports as a hoax. Waldrop also stated that on one occasion when he visited the Houston Police Department, the police chief had simply told him, "Why are you down here? You know your boys are runaways." The mother of Gregory Malley Winkle stated: "You don't run away [from home] with nothing but a bathing suit and 80 cents."
Henley initially insisted that there were two more bodies to be found inside the boat shed, and also that the bodies of two more boys had been buried at High Island Beach in 1972. At the time, the killing spree was the worst case of serial murder, in terms of the number of victims, in the United States, exceeding the 25 murders attributed to Juan Corona, who had been arrested in California in 1971 for killing twenty-five men. The macabre record of number of known victims attributed to a single murder case set by the Houston Mass Murders was only surpassed in 1978 by John Wayne Gacy, who murdered 33 boys and young men and who admitted to being influenced by Corll and his accomplices.
Regardless of the date when the unidentified boat shed victim 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 Brooks. However, police were again unwilling to extend the search.
On July 15, 1974, both counsels presented their closing arguments to the jury: the prosecution seeking life imprisonment; the defense a verdict of not guilty. In his closing argument to the jury, District Attorney Carol Vance apologized for his not being able to seek the death penalty, adding that the case was the "most extreme Example of man's inhumanity to man I have ever seen."
During a routine investigation in March 1975, the Houston police discovered a cache of pornographic pictures and films depicting young boys. Of the 16 individuals depicted within the films and photos, 11 of the youths appeared to be among the 21 victims of Dean Corll who had been identified by this date. The discovery raised the 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 that "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 Corll was proven, as Houston police declined to pursue any possible link to the killings, stating they felt Corll's victims' families had "suffered enough".
Henley appealed against his sentence and conviction, contending the jury in his initial trial had not been sequestered; that his attorneys' objections to news media being present in the courtroom had been overruled and citing that his defense team's attempts to present evidence contending that the initial trial should not have been held in San Antonio had also been overruled by the judge. Henley's appeal was upheld and he was awarded a retrial in December 1978.
Brooks also appealed against his sentence, contending that the signed confessions used against him were taken without his being informed of his legal rights, but his appeal was dismissed in May 1979.
The two bodies that Henley had insisted were still buried on the beach may have been those of Mark Scott and Joseph Lyles. In light of developments relating to the identifications of victims, the body of Scott still lies undiscovered at High Island, while Lyles' remains were only found by chance in 1983. Had the search for bodies continued, both victims would have likely been discovered. Following Hurricane Ike in 2008, the area of High Island Beach where Corll is known to have buried his victims remains submerged, leaving a strong possibility that Scott's body will never be found.
Henley later claimed that he had not known of Corll's true intentions towards Aguirre when he had persuaded the youth to accompany him to Corll's home. In a 2010 interview, he claimed to have attempted to persuade Corll not to assault and kill Aguirre once Corll and Brooks had bound and gagged the youth. However, Corll refused; informing Henley that he had raped, tortured and killed the previous victim he had assisted in abducting, and that he intended to do the same with Aguirre. Henley subsequently assisted Corll and Brooks in Aguirre's burial at High Island Beach.
In February 2012, a picture was released to the news media of a likely unknown victim of Corll. The color Polaroid image had been found in the personal possessions of Henley, which had been stored by his family since his arrest in 1973. The image depicts a blond-haired teenage youth in handcuffs, strapped to an undepicted device upon Corll's floor – alongside a toolbox known to contain various instruments Corll is known to have used to torture his victims. The individual depicted has been ruled out by the Harris County Medical Examiner as being any of Corll's known victims – including his one remaining known unidentified victim. Henley himself has stated that the picture must have been taken after he had acquired a Polaroid camera in 1972 – although he is Adam Ant that he has no idea who this boy is. Given that Henley became acquainted with Corll in 1972, it is likely this boy would have been killed in 1972 or 1973.
The jury deliberated for 92 minutes before finding Henley guilty of all six murders for which he was tried. The following day, 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.
Nonetheless, from June, Corll's rate of killings increased dramatically, and both Henley and Brooks later testified to the increase in the level of brutality of the murders committed while Corll resided at Lamar Drive. Henley later compared the acceleration in the frequency of killings and the increase in the brutality exhibited by Corll towards his victims to being "like a blood lust", adding that he and Brooks would instinctively know when Corll was to announce that he "needed to do a new boy", due to the fact that he would appear restless, smoking cigarettes and making reflex movements. On June 4, Henley and Corll abducted a 15-year-old named william Ray Lawrence; the youth was last seen alive by his father on 31st Street. After three days of abuse and torture, Lawrence was strangled before being buried at Lake Sam Rayburn. Less than two weeks later, a 20-year-old named Raymond Stanley Blackburn was abducted, strangled and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.