PASADENA, Texas — It happened in a ranch-style home on a quiet street in Pasadena, Texas, in the early 1970s. The man who lived there, Dean Corll, murdered dozens of teenage boys who had been lured to his house with the promise of beer and marijuana. He was dubbed “The Candy Man” because he once owned a candy store.
Corll’s two accomplices – Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks – would get paid for finding the young victims and bringing them to Corll where they would be sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.
Eventually, Henley turned on Corll, killed him during an argument then confessed to police about the murders.
In the summer of 1973, Henley led police to the bodies of his victims, whom Corll buried on the beach between Galveston and Port Arthur, in a boat shed in Pasadena and in the Angelina National Forest in East Texas. Authorities recovered the bodies of 28 teenage boys and young men who had been killed between 1970 and 1973.
Even though the case is nearly 50 years old, over the past few weeks, new efforts have begun to find more bodies of victims. Volunteers with Texas EquuSearch, working with Pasadena police, dug up a yard behind Corll’s former home last week based on the belief that as many as 20 young victims are still unaccounted for. No additional bodies have been found yet, but the group leading the search efforts plans to look at other east and southeast Texas locations in the months ahead.
“Many of these parents have passed away never knowing where their child was,“ said Tim Miller, an EquuSearch volunteer. “Hopefully, there are brothers and sisters who are out there who can reach out to us, and we can let them know somebody still cares.”
Henley and Brooks were convicted of murder in 1974 for their role in some of Corll’s killings. Brooks died of COVID-19 in prison in 2020. Henley comes up for a parole hearing in 2025.
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