Dean Corll exclusively targeted teenaged boys. He worked from 1965 to 1968 in his family’s Houston candy company, giving him his horrid nickname, “The Candy Man.” He plied many of his victims with free candy, and also free alcohol and marijuana. His rampage lasted from 1970 to 1973, during which time he befriended two wayward accomplices, David Brooks and Elmer Henley.
For those 3+ years in Houston, TX, Corll sought out and murdered 28 boys aged 13 to 20, by offering them rides in his van to go smoke weed or drink. Once in his apartment, he, Brooks and/or Henley would drug the boy till he passed out, then tie him to a plywood board Corll made for the sole purpose of torturing these boys.
He raped them, beat them savagely, encouraged his accomplices to do the same, even though they were never enthusiastic about it, and sexually assaulted them by a variety of methods. Corll especially enjoyed chewing the victims’ genitals to mush. He castrated several. Even more than that, had glass rods inserted up their urethras and smashed with hammers. Corll drew out their torture as long as he could, sometimes for 3 days, before strangling them or shooting them with a .22 pistol.
They were buried in various places, including a boat shed and Bolivar Peninsula. Corll was not caught by the police, who were frantically trying to pattern the explosion of missing persons throughout the city. Corll did not seem to have a pattern, however, picking boys up wherever he saw them. Elmer Henley claimed later that he could no longer stomach what Corll did, a sentiment shared by Brooks, and when Henley attempted to get himself a life by finding a girlfriend, Rhonda Williams, Corll responded with irate fury, threatening to kill her and Henley.
Henley managed to pacify him by stating that Williams would only stay until her father sobered up. This seemed to calm Corll, who was looking forward to torturing and killing his next victim, Timothy Kerley, who was already in Corll’s home, drinking and smoking. When all three teenagers passed out, they woke up, handcuffed. Henley saved himself by promising to join in the torture. Corll agreed, and forced Henley to rape his prospective girlfriend, while Corll raped and bit Kerley. Henley could not bring himself to do so, and managed to get Corll’s pistol from him. He shot Corll to death while he was in the process of raping Kerley. They then called the police and the Houston Mass Murders came to light, the worst serial killing spree in national history at that point.