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Dean Corll [The Candy Man Serial Killer]: Forensic Case Study

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Table: Dean Corll [The Candy Man Serial Killer] Forensic Information

Full NameDean Arnold Corll
Alias NameThe Candy Man, The Pied Piper
Number of Victims28 known victims, 2 unknown
Span of CrimeAugust 1970- August 1973
Type of CrimeAbduction, rape, murder
Modus OperandiAbducting young boys under the pretense of giving drugs or lift and torturing, raping, and murdering them by strangulation or shooting
SignatureKept the keys of the young boys as a souvenir 
TraitsSerial Killer, Serial Rapist, Hebephile, Abductor
Conviction StatusDead before being convicted

Why Dean Corll is Called “The Candy Man Serial Killer”?

Dean Corll with his mother owned a candy company named “Corll Candy Company”. It was located right across from Helms Elementary School.

He was known to distribute free candies to the local kids where he was often seen flirting with younger boys. This is how he got his name Candy Man or the Pied Piper.

He also employed some of those boys in his company. And installed a pool table, where the workers and other teenagers often got together. 

How He Chose His Victims?

Corll’s Partner in Crime: Corll’s employed two teenagers, David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley, who were paid to find boys.

Victims: The majority of the victims were local teenage boys aged 13 to 21. Some of them were even friends of Henley or Brooks.

Why were Brooks and Henley involved with Dean Corll?

Both were persuaded by Corll or his accomplices to go to one of his properties to “party,” where they would smoke weed and smell acrylic paint that Corll stole from his electrical relay job, or under the pretense of giving them a lift. (Philbin & Philbin, 2009)

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List of Know Victims by Dean Corll

It is believed that the list of his victims is longer than it is known to be.

When his crime was unraveled, only 28 bodies of the stated 30 bodies were found. Many of the victims are still unknown.

It was also rumored that more bodies would be discovered near the candy factory where he used to work. The known list of his victims is collected either through the confession of his accomplices or the identification of the bodies recovered and tallied with the missing person’s list.

NumberCandy Man Victim’s NameMissing from
(as per Accomplice’s Confessions)
Age of victim (Years)
1.Jeffrey Alan Kollen25 September 197019 
2.James Eugene Glass13 December 197014
3.Danny Michael Yates13 December 197014
4.Donald Wayne Waldrop31 January 197116
5.Jerry Lynn Waldrop31 January 197114
6.Randell Lee “Randy” Harvey9 March 197116
7.David William Hilligiest 29 May 197114
8.George Malley Winkle29 May 197116
9.Ruben Willfard Watson17 August 197117
10.William Karmon “Rusty” Branch Jr.9 February 197217
11.Frank Anthony Aguirre24 March 197219
12.Mark Steven Scott21 April 197218
13.Billy Gene Baulch Jr.21 May 197217
14.Johnny Ray Delome21 May 197217
15.Steven Kent Sickman20 July 197218
16.Richard Edward Hembree3 October 197213
17.Richard Alan Kepner15 November 197219
18Joseph Allen Lyles1 February 197319
19William Ray “Billy” Lawrence7 June 197315
20Raymond Stanley “Ray” Blackburn15 June 197320
21Homer Louis Garcia7 July 197315
22John Manning “Johnny” Sellars12 July 197318
23Michael Anthony Baulch19 July 197316
24Marty Ray Jones27 July 197318
25Charles Cary Cobble25 July 197317
26Marty Ray Jones27 July 197318
27James Stanton Dreymala5 August 197314
28Roy Eugene “Ikie” Bunton8 August 197321
29Willy Jay Simoneaux3 October 197315
(Xx – Victims of Dean Corll – 1970-73: A Virtual Cemetery – Find a Grave, n.d.)

What was the Common Pattern in Candy Man Serial Killer?

Pattern 1: Site

The boys who were taken to Corll’s house.

Pattern 2: Spreadeagle Handcuffs

Teenage boys were given alcohol and drugs and were handcuffed spreadeagle position, either by persuasion or by sheer force. Spreadeagle refers to stretching out with arms and legs extended.

Pattern 3: Torture Table

He’d take them to plywood and cuff them spreadeagle. That was known to be his torture table. A plastic sheet was then placed beneath the plywood to collect any excreta, blood, or vomit that might be released as a result of his activities.

Pattern 4: He took his time torturing boys

It lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to days, depending on his mood and spare time. They were repeatedly s*xually assaulted and s*domized. And eventually killed by strangulation or shot with a .22 caliber pistol.

Pattern 5: Disposable

The victims’ bodies were wrapped in plastic sheets and buried on beaches or in a rented boat shed in Houston. To decompose the body faster, he used to spread ground lime over the burial.

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What was the Motive for Killing? Why Corll Kills?

Dean Corll and his brother, Stanley Corll, were raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet.

According to Philbin & Philbin, 2009, those kids often make up identities to escape, and often these identities are related to the parent with the stronger character. On the other hand, his mother was strict. That’s why Corll related to his mother and loathed (strongly disliked) it.

He somehow developed s*xual urges toward young boys which he didn’t proud of. Furthermore, in that age when homosexuality was still frowned upon, he had to strangle this part of himself. This makes him frustrated that pilled-up with time.

And the way to let out his frustration was to kill the boys that he befriended and had physical relations with.

Forensic Evidence Against Corll

  1. The plastic sheet and plywood with cuffs found in his house were covered in body fluids.
  2. The bodies were discovered at the known site of burials. 
  3. The s*domized bodies with traces of Corll’s seminal fluid on them.
  4. Bodies that were shot with Corll’s .22 pistol.
  5. Eyewitnesses testified later to seeing Henley and Brooks talking to the boys before they disappeared.
  6. Keychains of the victims were found at Corll’s house that he kept as trophies.

How was His Childhood? How it Change him to be a Serial Killer?

Dean Corll was from a broken home where he and his brother often stayed alone and raised themselves. These kids usually make up an imaginary identity to escape from the reality. These identities are based on the parent with stronger character, in this case, his mother which led him to enjoy the company of boys. But at that time, homosexuality was taboo.

On seeing, one of his candy company workers once complained to his mother about his advances and she fired him. This bothered Corll and he believed that his mother did not approve of his s*xuality.

Shyness and Beyond: He was a shy isolated kid. In school he also developed an illness that prevented him from joining sports, further isolating him. He often spent his time out of school working in the family candy business, harming his social life.

This isolation from his peers prevented him from enjoying his teenage years as he should have.

(healthpsychologyconsultancy, 2012)

Growing up, he had all these repressed feelings. Flirting and befriending younger boys, became his way of staying in touch with his regressed teenage self who might have been into boys. He hated the idea of growing old and got angry whenever his age was mentioned. (Philbin & Philbin, 2009)

Despite all these, he was in denial of being homosexual. And that led him to kill the young boys that he managed to form and physical or emotional bond with.

How did The Candy Man Killer Die?

On the 8th of August, 1973, Henley, one of Corll’s accomplices, brought his girlfriend Rhonda Williams and his friend Timothy Kerley, to Corll’s usual den to party.

When Corll found out that there was a girl in his house, he freaked out. He blamed Henley for ruining everything. But after talking with Henley, he calmed down and joined them in drinking and smoking.

The Final Scene: Few hours later, Henley awoke to find himself cuffed to the torture table, and also saw his friends tied down and unconscious

He pleaded for his life to Corll. When he promised to help Corll in killing his friend, Corll untied him. But Henley turned back on his words and attacked Corll instead.

He shot Corll six times with his .22 pistol and then called the cops to confess his crimes. He said it was in self-defense. That he did not want the same fate for himself and his friends that he had led many to. 

References:

  • Healthpsychologyconsultancy. (2012, July 14). Making of a Monster: Dean Corll (Pied Piper). Health Psychology Consultancy. [Link]
  • Olsen, J. (1974). The man with the candy: the story of the Houston mass murders. Simon And Schuster.
  • Philbin, T., & Philbin, M. (2009). The Killer book of serial killers: incredible stories, facts, and trivia from the world of serial killers. Sourcebooks. [Book]
  • xx – Victims of Dean Corll – 1970-73: a Virtual Cemetery – Find a Grave. (n.d.). [Findagrave.com]. Retrieved September 4, 2022.

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