Childhood & Early Life
Dean Corll was born on December 24, 1939 on Fort Wayne Indiana to Mary Robinson and Arnold Edwin Corll. He had a younger brother Stanley. His parents separated in 1946.
After the separation of his parents, Corll along with his mother shifted base to Memphis, Tennessee. As a child, he was shy and timid. He rarely socialized with children around but was fond of them. Corll suffered from an undiagnosed rheumatic fever that led to heart murmur.
Corll’s mother remarried Jack West in 1955. Together they started a small family candy company named ‘Pecan Prince’. Young Corll together with his brother operated the candy making machine and packed the product while his father sold them on his sales route.
From 1954 to 1958, he attended Vidor High School where his only interest was in the brass band where he played tambourine. After he graduated from Vidor High School in 1958, his family shifted near Houston. Two years later, he moved to Indiana with his widowed grandmother.
In 1962, Corll returned to Houston to help in his family’s candy business. Following year, after his parents divorced, his mother started a new candy business, Corll Candy Company, of which Corll served as the vice-president.
In 1964, Corll was drafted into the US Army. However, disliking the same, he requested for an early acquittal which he was granted in June 1965. It was during his time in the army that Corll first realized that he was homosexual.
Following his honorable discharge from the army, Corll returned to Houston and resumed his position as vice-president. During that time, Corll earned the nickname the Candy Man and the Pied Piper for giving free candies to local children. He befriended David Brooks, his accomplice in the murders.
In 1968, his mother and half-sister moved to Colorado after the failure of the candy company. Thereafter, Corll took up work as an electrician at the Houston Lighting and Power Company (HL&P), testing electrical relay systems. He worked as an electrician until his death.
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What turned Dean Corll into a murderer and sexual assaulter is unknown but by 1970, he had turned himself into one. His first ever victim was an 18 year old freshman Jeffrey Konen whom he caught on September 25, 1970 by offering him a drive. Konen was strapped to a plywood torture board and sexually assaulted.
After Konen, Corll did not stop his brutal assault, his next target being James Glass and Danny Yates. He picked the boys from the neighbourhood of Houston Heights and lured them into his car. He then sexually assaulted them and buried them in the boat shed. His friend and accomplice, David Brooks helped him in the process.
Corll next picked up Donald and Jerry Waldrop, the brother duo and took them to an apartment on Mangum Road. He then raped, tortured, strangled and subsequently buried them in the boat shed. By May 1971, Corll abducted and killed three more victims (Radell Harrvey, David Hilligiest and Gregory Malley Winkle). Between August and September 1971, Corll changed his address twice and abducted three more victims. The trio met with the same fate as the other boys.
During the winter of 1971, Henley was lured to Corll’s house as an intended victim by David Brooks. However, instead of victimizing the boy, Corll lured him to a deal –$200 for every boy that Henley managed to get to Corll’s apartment. Corll informed Henley that the boys were used for the white slavery ring operating from Dallas.
Henley accepted the offer and started bringing boys to Corll’s house. His first ever ‘client-victim’ was a boy Willard Branch from Houston Heights in February 1972. A month later, he lured Frank Aguirre to Corll’s apartment. It was during this time that Henley first got acquainted with Corll’s real intention. Despite knowing the fact that Corll used the boys for his lust and later murdered them, Henley did not move back and instead further helped Brooks and Corll in this vicious act.
Corll kept rotating his residential address and did not stay at one apartment for long. With the assistance from Brooks and Henley, he targeted almost 10 teenage boys between February and November 1972, five of whom were buried at High Island Beach and the rest five in his boat shed.
After a period of inactivity from February to June 1973, Corll returned to the malicious violence, this time the brutality being more severe. Furthermore, the acceleration in the frequency of killings also increased severely. In a span of just two weeks, he victimized two teenage boys and buried them at Lake Sam Rayburn. His lustful vengeance and his merciless bloodshed became all the more ruthless.
In July 1973, Henley became the sole procurer of victims for Corll as his accomplice David Brooks got married off. He brought Corll three more victims who met with the same tragic fate.
Corll killed his last victim on August 3, 1973. The victim was a 13-year-old boy from South Houston named James Dreymala. Dreymala was abducted by Brooks and driven to Corll's home where he was tied to Corll's torture board, raped, tortured and strangled with a cord before being buried in the boat shed.
On August 7, 1973, Henley sweet-talked a teenage boy, Timothy Cordell Kerley as Corll’s next victim. After a round of drug dose, Henley and Kerley went out for some fresh air. Meanwhile they hit upon a girl Rhonda Williams who accompanied them to Corll’s residence. The next day, after tying Kerley and Williams on the opposite side of the torture bed, he was about to rape them when Henley took hold of Corll’s gun and fired him to death.
After he shot Corll, Henley released Kerley and Williams from the torture board. They called the Pasadena Police who seized the weapon, the .22 calibre gun and took them in the patrol car where Henley was questioned. He admitted to serving as an assistant to Corll who raped and murdered teenage boys.
Henley admitted of abducting young boys, all of whom died in the process. He even agreed to accompany police in the search of victim bodies. David Brooks, who had earlier denied to being directly involved in the acts, was later convicted after Henley passed a statement against him. Henley stated that except for only three abductions and murders Brooks had been directly involved in all of the rest.
By August 13, 1973, Henley and Brooks assisted police in their search of 27 victim bodies. Later known as the Houston Mass Murder, Corll is said to have killed a minimum of 28 victims, the worst ever macabre record in American history