On August 8, 1973, at approximately 8:15 a.m. Pasadena Police receive a phone call. The caller was a young man claiming that he had just shot another man and identified himself as Elmer Wayne Henley. Investigators would later learn that Henley had not only just killed the most notorious serial killer within the state of Texas, if not the country, but also played an integral role in the wave of mysterious child abductions that had been occurring within the Houston Heights area.

Before Ted Bundy’s misogynistic victimization of women and the Son of Sam was commanded by his neighbor’s dog to go out and kill, a Texas man by the name of Dean Corll was on the hunt for teenagers and young boys. His only intention was to torture, rape, and murder these boys, before dumping their plastic wrapped bodies into a mass grave housed inside of a boat storage facility, a lake outside of Sam Rayburn, and in shallow graves at the sandy shores of High Island.

Together with his two teenage accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks, Corll amassed a body count the likes the world had never seen. 28 bodies in total were discovered, wrapped in plastic and soaked in lime in order to speed up the decomposition process. A grisly tale that all began at the dawn of the 1970s.

The Candy Man

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Before the term “serial killer” entered into public vernacular, Dean Corll was the worst murderer the world had ever seen.

Not to be confused with the Clive Barker film by the same name, Corll picked up the nickname “the Candy Man” for his reputation of giving out free candy he had gotten from his family’s candy company, located conveniently near an elementary school. Corll would often hand out candy to the children walking by or hanging around the area of the shop. A number of male teenage employees who worked with Corll at the candy store reported that he often seemed to come off as flirtatious. Later, Corll would take up a job as an electrician after his mother closed the candy shop and relocated to Colorado.

Corll seemed to have a way with children, especially troubled teenage boys. He found it easy to relate to them and was able to quickly gain their trust. By all appearances Corll was just a friendly neighborhood electrician, but that was all a part of Corll’s cleverly crafted facade. Inside, Corll was a cold and calculated monster who thrived on the suffering of his young teenage victims.

David Owen Brooks was one of the few boys to get close to Corll who wasn’t brutally murdered. It is believed that initially Brooks may have been a potential victim of Corll’s, but for unknown reasons Corll decided to spare him as long as he went along with his plans. It would be shortly after this introduction that Brooks would take up residency with Corll and bore witness to some of the carnage less fortunate boys had suffered at the hands of the Candy Man.

It was through Brooks that Corll would be introduced to his future accomplice, Elmer Wayne Henley. Henley looked at Corll as a mentor and almost as a father figure in some regards, but aside from that the two would later develop a type of business relationship. Corll extended an offer of $200 for every boy that Henley brought back to him and Henley agreed to the deal. Like Brooks, Henley may have been a potential victim, but for reasons known only to Corll he decided he would be of more use as partner.