If you can recall being told “don’t take candy from strangers” growing up it was probably because of this man. Well, maybe not entirely because of him but at least in part. Especially if you grew up in Houston, Texas. They called him “The Candy Man”, and he was anything but sweet. Just look at those eyes. CRAZY.
Dean Corll regularly stalked the Heights area of Houston giving kids free candy. This is why they called him The Candy Man. He seemed like everything someone called “The Candy Man” should be: always smiling and literally giving out candy from his family’s candy factory, Corll Candy Company. But the candy was a front. He was a vicious serial killer.
He targeted young boys. Unlike many serial killers, this one had some unlikely assistance. His accomplices were two young men named David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne henley Jr. They did a lot of the dirty work for him. They would lure other teenage boys to Corll’s car, promising all the things your parents told you to watch out for: drugs, a free ride, and parties. The Candy Man’s method consisted of getting the young boys to his house and then stripped and tied to a wooden torture board. Then he raped and tortured them for days at a time.
When he was ready to kill his victims he either shot them with a .22 caliber pistol or strangled them. On one occasion he did asphyxiate one of his victims, Jeffrey Konen. Then he buried their bodies in one of his three mass graves in either southwest Houston, Lake Sam Rayburn, and High Island Beach. Corll was able to murder 30. At times even the assistant, Elmer Wayne henley Jr., killed a few of the young boys that Corll was targeting himself. The boys’ bodies were buried in a boat shed on property that Corll owned. This killing spree lasted for three years in all. Corll wasn’t careless with the Houston mass murders either. At times he had the teenage boys write letters to their parents with an excuse for their disappearances. He kept their keys as kill trophies.
The Candy Man’s Demise
The whole sick operation went under when Henley invited a boy named Timothy Kerley to Corll’s apartment. Kerley made the mistake of bringing a friend, a girl named Rhonda Williams. Corll was initially irritated at the intrusion but offered the three weed and booze nevertheless. As a way out of the situation, Corll gagged all three of them, including his associate, Henley. Henley awoke to find himself gagged and Corll told him that he was going to kill them all since Rhonda Williams was there. Henley bargained for his life in exchange for helping with the torture and killing of Rhonda Wiliams and Timothy Kerley.
When the other two awoke frightened, strapped to the wooden torture board, and questioned Henley about what was happening. Henley had a sudden crisis of conscience and ended up trying to save Williams. He shot Corll when The Candy Man disagreed. Henley, shortly thereafter, admitted to the crimes and told the Houston Police Department where the bodies were buried around the Houston area. He was later indicted and found guilty of six murders. Brooks was indicted for four and found guilty of one murder.