The Lost Boys”

Sadly, some of these boys would never be identified. Other boys were forced to write letters home, telling their parents that they had found jobs in other cities and wouldn’t be home for a while, presumably so their disappearance wouldn’t be suspicious. Still, most of the local boys had been reported missing, but police initially considered them to be runaways. With no missing persons division, follow-ups on the cases and tracking down leads seemed to be a daunting task that the Heights police force was ill equipped to handle at the time. It was a major contributing factor in how Corll was able to kill so many without drawing much suspicion. Collectively these missing boys would come to be known as “The Lost Boys”.

lostboys

A mother of one of these missing boys, David Hilligiest, was able to track down more information than the police did at the time. Hillgiest was diligent in her search and had the assistance of other neighborhood boys with passing out “Missing” posters. One of those boys was none other than David Hilligiest’s long time childhood friend, Wayne Henley.

With the help of a private investigator, Hilligiest drove to various known haunts for runaway teens, hoping her son David would be found amongst them. Following a lead that David may have been kidnapped by a homosexual sex ring, Hilligiest spent a number of evenings sitting outside of a local gay bars, and called local police to the point of harassment in order to divulge any piece of information she could find involving her son’s disappearance. Hilligiest would finally have a break in her case when the evening news broadcast came across her television set. 28 bodies had been uncovered.

Known Victims

1970

  • September 25: Jeffrey Konen, 18. A student at the University of Texas at Austin abducted while hitchhiking from Austin to the Braeswood Place district of Houston. He was buried at High Island Beach.
  • December 13: James Glass, 14. An acquaintance of Corll who also knew David Brooks. Glass was last seen by his brother in the company of Danny Yates walking towards the exit of the church the trio had attended. He was strangled with a cord and buried inside the boat shed.
  • December 13: Danny Yates, 14. Lured with his friend James Glass from a Heights evangelical rally by David Brooks to Corll’s Yorktown apartment. He and his friend were strangled before being buried in a common grave in Corll’s boat shed.

1971

  • January 30: Donald Waldrop, 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 that Donald and his brother were murdered.
  • January 30: Jerry Waldrop, 13. The youngest of Corll’s victims. He and his brother were strangled and buried in a common grave inside Corll’s boat shed.
  • March 9: Randell Harvey, 15. Disappeared on his way home from his job as a gas station attendant; he was shot in the head and buried in Corll’s boat shed. Remains identified October, 2008.
  • May 29: David Hilligiest, 13. One of Henley’s earliest childhood friends; he was last seen alongside his friend Gregory Malley Winkle climbing into a white van.
  • May 29: Gregory Malley Winkle, 16. A former employee of Corll Candy Company and boyfriend of Randell Harvey’s sister; Winkle disappeared on his way to visit a local swimming pool. His body was found in the boat shed with the cord used to strangle him knotted around his neck.
  • August 17: Ruben Watson Haney, 17. Left his home to visit the cinema on the afternoon of August 17. Haney later called his mother to tell her he was spending the evening with Brooks. He was gagged, strangled and buried in Corll’s boat shed.

1972

  • February 9: Willard Branch, Jr. 17. The son of a Houston Police officer who subsequently died of a heart attack in the search for his son. Branch was emasculated before he was shot and buried in the boat shed. Remains identified July, 1985.
  • March 24: Frank Aguirre, 18. Aguirre had been engaged to marry Rhonda Williams, whose presence in Corll’s house sparked the fatal confrontation between Henley and Corll. He was strangled and buried at High Island Beach.
  • April 20: Mark Scott, 17. A friend of both Henley and Brooks who was killed at Corll’s Schuler Street address. According to Henley, Scott was strangled and buried at High Island, although his remains were never found.
  • May 21: Johnny Delome, 16. A Heights youth who was last seen with his friend walking to a local store. He was shot in the head, then strangled by Henley.
  • May 21: Billy Baulch Jr., 17. A former employee of Corll Candy Company. Baulch was forced to write a letter to his parents claiming he and Delome had found work in Madisonville before he was strangled by Henley and buried at High Island Beach.
  • July 19: Steven Sickman, 17. Sickman was last seen leaving a party held in the Heights. He suffered several fractured ribs before he was strangled with a nylon cord and buried in the boat shed. Remains misidentified December, 1993 and correctly identified March, 2011.
  • August 21: Roy Bunton, 19. Disappeared on his way to work at a shoe store. He was shot twice in the head and buried in the boat shed. Remains misidentified October, 1973 and correctly identified November, 2011.
  • October 2: Wally Jay Simoneaux, 14. Lured with his friend into Brooks’ Corvette on the night of October 2. Simoneaux attempted to call his mother at Corll’s residence before the phone was disconnected. He was strangled and buried in Corll’s boat shed.
  • October 2: Richard Hembree, 13. Last seen alongside his friend in a vehicle parked outside a Heights grocery store. He was shot in the mouth and strangled at Corll’s Westcott Towers address.
  • November 12: Richard Kepner, 19. Vanished on his way to call his fiancée from a pay phone, he was strangled and buried at High Island Beach. Remains identified September, 1983.

1973

  • February 1: Joseph Lyles, 17. An acquaintance of Corll who lived on the same street as Brooks. He was seen by Brooks to be “grabbed” by Corll at his Wirt Road address and was subsequently buried at Jefferson County Beach. Remains located August, 1983 and identified November, 2009.
  • June 4: William Ray Lawrence, 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 three days before he was strangled with a cord and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.
  • June 15: Raymond Blackburn, 20. A married man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who vanished while hitchhiking from the Heights to see his newborn child. He was strangled by Corll at his Lamar Drive residence and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.
  • July 7: Homer Garcia, 15. Met Henley while both youths were enrolled at a Bellaire driving school. He was shot in the head and chest and left to bleed to death in Corll’s bathtub before he was buried at Lake Sam Rayburn.
  • July 12: John Sellars, 17. An Orange County youth killed two days before his 18th birthday. Sellars was killed by four gunshots to the chest and buried at High Island Beach. He was the only victim to be buried fully clothed.
  • July 19: Michael Baulch, 15. Corll had killed his older brother, Billy, the previous year. He was strangled and buried at Lake Sam Rayburn. Remains identified September, 2010.
  • July 25: Marty Jones, 18. Jones was last seen along with his friend and flatmate, Charles Cobble, walking along 27th Street in the company of Henley.
  • July 25: Charles Cary Cobble, 17. A school friend of Henley whose wife was pregnant at the time of his murder; Cobble last phoned his father in a state of hysteria claiming he and Jones had been kidnapped by drug dealers. His body, shot twice in the head, was found in the boat shed.
  • August 3: James Dreymala, 13. The son of Seven-day Adventists, Dreymala was last seen riding his bike in South Houston. He last called his parents to tell them he was at a “party” across town.
Billy didn't want to be identified and wore a paper bag over his head during the trials for Brooks and Henley. He could have saved the lives of 15 victims if he had went to police.

Billy didn’t want to be identified and wore a paper bag over his head during the trials for Brooks and Henley. He could have saved the lives of 15 victims if he had went to police.

Up until the day of Corll’s death only one boy was able to escape the clutches of the Candy Man. His name was Billy Ridinger. Although he has refused to speak publicly about his story, he was present throughout Henley and Brooks’ trials. He went in and out of the court room wearing a bag over his head, in order to conceal his identity. It was Brooks who begged Corll to spare Billy’s life and Corll agreed to let the boy go. Had Ridinger gone forward to the police sooner, at least 15 young lives could have been spared.