Local Filmmaker Discovers Unknown Dean Corll/Elmer Wayne Henley Victim

Categories: Crime

corll_military062712.jpg
Dean Corll in the military.
Local filmmaker Josh Vargas set out to make a movie about the life of Houston serial killer Dean Corll, and ended up discovering evidence of a never-before identified victim. Now he and the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences are hoping you will be able to identify him.

Forty years ago, Houston was plagued by Corll, dubbed the Candy Man because of his penchant of handing out sweets to neighborhood children from his family's candy business. Beneath all that beat the heart of a monster who at the time he was killed held the record for the highest body count of a serial killer. Between 1970 and 1973, he and accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered at least 28 boys.

Henley eventually shot Corll during an argument about a female victim Henley had brought to Corll's apartment. Henley was sentenced to almost 600 years in prison in 1974. Brooks was sentenced to life in 1975. Both are still incarcerated, and the willingness of Henley to talk to an aspiring director has led to a victim that had never been discovered.

"I first became interested in the Corll/Henley crimes after finding out that one of my best friends was the relative of a Corll victim," said Vargas. "I was uninformed about the crimes up until that point. I was surprised at how under the rug the crimes have been and how very few people knew about it. It was easily one of the worst mass murders in American history.

"The idea of doing a film about it came after doing a bit of research and becoming aware of the magnitude of the crimes, not just in the avenue of savagery, but just how little care was put towards the families of the missing boys. There were over 40 kids missing from The Heights during the years that Corll was known to be active and that wasn't enough to send a red flag to the police, even though the vast majority of the missing kids came from good homes and had families that actually searched for them."

Conversations with Henley at the Mark W. Michael Unit in Anderson County led Vargas to seek out Henley's mother, who gave him permission to examine and use Henley's personal effects for the film. She had boxed and sealed all his possessions and left them in an abandoned school bus. In February of this year, Vargas rummaged through the boxes, securing clothes for costumes, posters for set design, and ultimately the picture below.

vargas1.jpg

"My reaction to finding the picture was that of a temporary shock," said Vargas. "Once we obtained Henley's personal belongings, I was dumbfounded when I learned that the police never searched Henley's room. How do you arrest someone for such a crime without going through the room that he lived and slept in? Had they done that, they would have found the picture, rather than my producer and I."

Though it's blurry and indistinct, Vargas and forensic anthropologist Dr. Sharon M. Derrick both feel that the photo represents an as-yet-unknown victim and doesn't match any of the previously found bodies or the two John Does that remain. The boy's ultimate fate is certain, sadly: Corll's toolbox of torture implements looms in the foreground.

Still, someone out there, maybe a sibling, a cousin, maybe even parents who lost a loved one in 1972 or `73 and never knew their fate, Vargas would like to finally deliver answers to them. If you can identify the victim, please call the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences at 713-796-9292.

Vargas's film is scheduled for release near the end of 2012. Chris Binum will star as Wayne Henley, with Dead of Knight director Joe Grisaffi portraying Corll.

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34 comments
Rick
Rick

@Cyndi Yates Hey Cindy , I remember when your brother was thought to have run away , I thought right away something was fishy , he had a fantastic new Drum set . No way would he have run away and leave that behind , it was years before I knew what happened , George Lambrights Brother was the Prosecutor , Donald and he would not tell us anything at the time. A bunch of us lived off Rutland , his prime target area , we hitched everywhere back then , Corll and Henley would have had a hand full picking one of us up . I agree with you 100% , Henley was just as sick . How do get your friends and do what Henley did . He was not scared and just kept doing it over and over , I have no idea why he did not get the Death penalty . Just think how many more are out there . I sure hope this film company realizes Henley was in no way brain washed , it was greed and mentally deranged any normal person would have flipped and what about the other guy Brooks , he was there before Henley . Sickos , yes they are Monsters !

YY
YY

Thank you very much for your kind words! I agree, I've read a lot of comments on youtube and articles saying that he (Henley) is a changed and good man etc. I've never met him and never will, so I don't know (although I truly believe that he and Brooks don't deserve to be up for parole). The only thing I do know though is that if I ever went through anything like the relatives of the victims, I would try to do anything to make him and Brooks stay in jail, just like you and many others. That's why I think it's very disrespectful of people trying to help them get paroled from prison and why you guys need more support! I will keep you in my prayers, and hope that more people will focus on the right things instead of the 15 minutes of fame, getting them released or money. 

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

Be careful what you ask for, you really don't want the images in your head, trust me I've lived with them for over 40 years, this film is not a story but a ploy to profit from our love ones tragedy, and to promote henley as something he is not, and that is a victim, and totally controlled by corll actually I believe it is the other way around, the killings and tortures got far more and worse when henley joined up, as he lured his friends and neighbors and took part in everything that brought these "Friends of Wayne Henley" to their death and his profit and lust for torture and murder!  He did these things to his friends, and he helped corll and initialized this tortures and killing as he was the 1st to do the horrible things that he did.  It takes a cold blooded murder to do the things he did and that is who he is and not someone controlled, this film is a forest, not the truth, cause henley is a liar and corll isnt here to tell the story different, he is a con and manipulator he hasnt changed he has just had time to do somethings, he can't be trusted to do the right thing cause once again he is covering his butt, concerning this id of this boys picture that was found in his possession, all of a sudden he can't remember, nor he is going to offer up this boy, in hopes of parole, and not let his family have the peace they deserve. He is afraid of more time and that in itself proves he has not changed and can't be trusted! 

Davidbrack
Davidbrack

I lived in Houston during that time and remember these stories quite well. In fact the place where it took place ( High Island, Tx ) is not far from we lived. I have always wondered why there was never any interest in the story. It would make a good movie.

CS
CS

Omg, that picture makes me want to cry. That poor kid :'( there's no way to convince me that that guy is not a monster...

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

Codi the young girl you think this is, couldnt be for one she came up missing in Grand Prairie Texas, this happened in Houston, plus they only did boys, never girls, that is what set if off when corll was killed cause henley brought a girl.  And read this article again it does not say that its corll possessions but HENLEY's possessions, please don't be going on wild goose chases and get your facts straight. No need to call Harris co ME you are totally off track and we need real information Please don't use our events for your lust for detective work to muddy the search which it seems you are doing!  Regardless this picture is in his possession and he needs to confess and be charged and given more time.  I pray that you aren't hurting anymore investigation with your bright ideals and muddy facts 

Codi / Goldilocs
Codi / Goldilocs

ok I called the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences...got an answering machine, left a message....

Codi / Goldilocs
Codi / Goldilocs

 No, not looking for tweeters or "15 minutes of fame". Already sent my info...I didn't know this person, I just did a bit of old-fashioned detective work. I don't see this as a joke at all. I also don't think this is a boy. I don't see the harm in posting what I forwarded...I hope this isn't wrong of me to do...but I want to prove that I do not have any ill intentions...I was just excited that I may have found a match when I posted...anyway, it is important to note that this HAS NOT been confirmed, so far I haven't received a response back...here's what I sent the police: "I am a bit of a "crime-nerd", and about an our ago I was reading a crime blog that I recently began to frequent. One brand new post was about Dean Corll aka "The Candy Man", a serial killer from the Houston area in the 1970's. The article went on to say that a filmmaker was given access to some of Dean Corll's belongings, among them a disturbing photograph of what could be yet another unidentified victim. See this blog post here: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2012/06/dean_corll_henley_new_body.php The article goes on to state that if anyone knows who the person is, to please contact the police. Well, it just so happens the last few nights I had been surfing missing children's cases, and I knew two good sources to view missing children cases. I first checked the America's Most Wanted website, but my search results came back very limited...so I went to The Doe Network website and searched there. I looked at first for missing boys from Texas in the early 1970's. Nothing came up that struck my attention. However, I thought back to the blog post and the picture, and my very first reaction to seeing the picture. My first reaction was that the person pictured was female, not male. I then searched for females from Texas that had gone missing in this time frame. Joyce Creola Brewer's image came up, and I truly believe the person in that photograph could be her. > From the Doe Network: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1465dftx.html I would like very much if someone would look into this. Please let me know if this is confirmed or denied, and thank you."It's important also that Ms. Brewer was 15 when she went missing and it appears that the two images on the left are probably age progressed, the image on the left is likely a recent one from when she went missing....if she had grown her hair out just a little, I believe the person in the image looks just like her... I contacted the police department assigned to the case, I haven't called the Forensic Sciences number, but anyone is welcome to w this info if they want... I figured the info would get to them if I just contacted the police involved in the case...didn't want to spell out urls over the phone...I'll try to look for an email for them a little later if I don't hear back that someone already called.

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

you're not looking for some tweeters are you Codi cause I doubt very seriously that a young person like you knows who this boy is that would of been almost 60 years old now.  Please ppl this is not a joke or your 15 min of fame, it is serious to us family members, and the family of this boy, not to have something to tweet about.  and if you do have any real information then forward it to to them. If you can identify the victim, please call the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences at 713-796-9292.  This is what the article say not call the police.  

Fubo
Fubo

Gay rapists and serial murderers. I am shocked...

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

jv why did you take over a year to report this, you had his belonging for over a year and said nothing, I hope you are trying to help and this isn't to promote your film, and earlier reports the ME said he did'nt match any potential victim, so has this changed or is this a hype for the story? Anyway regardless this is going to the parole board, I hope you know that henley is not a victim and controlled teen by corll but is a cold blooded murderer, who victims were "Friends of Wayne Henley"

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

Elmer Wayne Henley is currently up for review by the parole board.  The families of those that he murdered are fighting to keep him where he belongs -- in jail!  I encourage you to write a letter to protest his parole.  You can send an email to victim.svc@tdcj.state.tx.us and reference his tdcj # 241618.  This was the most heinious of crimes!

Cyndiyates
Cyndiyates

thanks for the article and the picture they both prove the horror of what henley done and the picture was in his possession and the fact that he has'nt I've sent the link to the parole board to be put in his file and a hard copy is going to the parole hearing, thanks alot hp and jv for evidence against henley parole release 

Sam
Sam

WHAT?? How can someone who was senteced to 600 years in jail be eligible for PAROLE??? Do these numbers in the sentences just not mean ANYTHING?? I am appalled. Sorry for your loss, and that they are more or less making it up to you to keep him in prison. Disgusting.

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

thanks for the article and the picture they both prove the horror of what henley done and the picture was in his possession and the fact that he hasn't come clean about who that boy is for fear of more charges, proves that he is not ready for release. I've sent the link to the parole board to be put in his file and a hard copy is going to the parole hearing, thanks alot hp and jv for evidence against henley parole release

kstallings100
kstallings100

Not to forget Jack Cato getting on video "Mom, I killed Dean."

kstallings100
kstallings100

Honey, just because you are young doesn't mean this was in any way swept under the rug. We all were appalled when it was discovered. You just now discovered the atrocities.   We lived through it at the time.

Chuck
Chuck

Damn man, that picture...chilling.

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

Dangerouse, regard less of the correctness of what means what, it's called the Mass Murders in Houston, and the killers are serial killers that is for sure! 

Dangerouse
Dangerouse

These killings were serial killings, not mass killings. A mass killing would have been a mass of people murdered at the same time.

Dangerouse
Dangerouse

It's because by law they use the entire name of the perp. in all paperwork, etc...so as not to confuse.

Cyndi Yates
Cyndi Yates

I do hope that terrified little boy is identified and then they charge and convict henley and brooks and give them some more time on top of what they have so they can't come up for parole for 20 years, tired of dealing with them.  I'm going to encourage other family and friends of our brothers, and sons, not to come to this site to look at that picture unless they are missing someone because this puts visions of the horror my brother and his friend went thru at the hands of corll, and I thank God every day that henley wasn't involved in his murder, I feel comfortable know that corll wasn't as twist then, only when henley come on the scene did everything get horrible for those boys.  I believe henley knows who that boy is, but folks he's not going to talk, not this time, hopefully he will when he realizes that he is never going to be release!  Come on henley do the right thing like you're trying to make everyone believe you are!  Remember these boys henley lured to their tortures and death by his hand were "Friends of Wayne Henley"

sbterry
sbterry

Elmer Wayne Henley is currently up for review by the parole board.  The families of those that he murdered are fighting to keep him where he belongs -- in jail!  I encourage you to write a letter to protest his parole.  You can send an email to victim.svc@tdcj.state.tx.us and reference his tdcj # 241618.  This was the most heinious of crimes!

Manxlucky
Manxlucky

Obviously not from around here: "I was surprised at how under the rug the crimes have been and how very few people knew about it. It was easily one of the worst mass murders in American history."

ontosomething
ontosomething

What is it about mass murderer's names? Many have the middle name "Wayne," and there were two in Houston with similarly unusual names of Corll and Coral (Coral Watts). Mamas, don't ever name your kid "Coral Wayne."

Rick
Rick

@Cyndi Yates Hey Cindy , I remember when your brother was thought to have run away , I thought right away something was fishy , he had a fantastic new Drum set . No way would he have run away and leave that behind , it was years before I knew what happened , George Lambrights Brother was the Prosecutor , Donald and he would not tell us anything at the time a bunch of us lived off Rutland , his prime target area , we hitched everywhere back then , Corll and Henley would have had a hand full picking one of us up . I agree with you 100% , Henley was just as sick . How do

Sajacks
Sajacks

Cyndi, You are very correct that these were friends of Wayne's. My brother and my first husband were invited to parties in 1970 and 1971. I was pregnant and convinced my husband not to go and my brother just didn't go for reasons of his own. When I saw this break on the news I was shocked. It took awhile for us to realize the many losses of life. Some we knew personally. I knew Mark Scott, one of the victims. There may have been more that I had met because just as you said, he chose his friends. It was easier for him to get a person he knew to accompany him to Dean's "parties". There is no good in this and never will be. Wayne is smart enough to realize he can never be released from prison.

guest
guest

Don't get so caught up in your emotion that you can't distinguish when someone is just trying to help. Mistrust serves no purpose at all, and only creates further problems. Why not just say thank you and let the officials determine if this is the girl or not? I'll be honest, I thought it was a female too. Regardless, I hope whoever that poor child was is found and their family gets justice. 

guest
guest

 jv why did you take over a year to report this, you had his belonging for over a year and said nothing, I hope you are trying to help and this isn't to promote your film, and earlier reports the ME said he did'nt match any potential victim, so has this changed or is this a hype for the story? Here's your answer Cyndi: "I tried to get someone,....anyone,...to look at that picture. I tried anyone from the police, to the detectives that worked the case. I even tried the (supposed) victims rights advocate, Andy Kahn, to listen, but he was too busy doing talk shows and making an *** of himself. It took a woman by the name of, Barbara Gibson, to get them to listen. Obviously, they've changed their tune now that we have their attention. Sad, right?"

Khalil McMillan
Khalil McMillan

You are correct, Sir.  Jim Jones/Heavens Gate are mass killings.  Hell, 9/11 is a mass killing, not a serial killing.

Deceiverofmen
Deceiverofmen

 they were both actually, serial mass murders. They killed the boys in trios.

Richard Horgan
Richard Horgan

Sickening. I'm way out here in LA/SoCal, but I will definitely send an email. Just wrote about this article and resonant 2012 topic at FilmStew.com.

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