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The Gay History Series

Lesson #2: Horror in Houston Heights (1973)—Dean Arnold Corll

Homosexuals are cruel people. I once had a twenty-year police veteran (from Houston, ironically) tell me that any time the cops find a homicide where the body has been set on fire as part of the assault, or there has been an attempt to burn the body in an effort to destroy the evidence, they always look first at a possible homosexual angle to the crime.

There are a couple of other homo serial killers who will get a mention in this series, although I will try not to make it nothing but a string of horror stories. I could, though. I repeat: these are cold, cruel people, unnatural in every sense of the term, not just sexually inverted.

Between 1970 and 1973, a faggot named Dean Arnold Corll murdered at least 28 young boys after sodomizing them and torturing them. He was assisted by two of his youthful catamites, David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. Henley eventually turned on Corll and murdered him in turn, when he suspected that Corll was about to turn his homicidal lust on him. Corll is known in the history of American serial killers as the "Candy Man" and the "Pied Piper,” due to the fact that he and his family owned and operated a candy factory in the Heights, and he had been known to give free candy to local children. At the time of their discovery, the Houston killings were considered the worst example of serial murder in American history.

Dean Arnold Corll was born on December 24, 1939 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1950, Corll's parents moved to Pasadena, Texas; however, in 1953 the couple divorced, with the mother retaining custody of her two sons. His mother married a traveling clock salesman named Jake West, and the family moved to the small town of Vidor, where Corll's half-sister, Joyce, was born in 1955. Upon advice from a pecan nut salesman, Corll's mother and stepfather started a small family candy company named Pecan Prince, initially operating from the garage of their home.

Corll graduated from Vidor High School in the summer of 1958. In a logistical move shortly thereafter, he and his family moved to the northern outskirts of Houston in order that the family candy business could be closer to the city where they had noted the majority of their product had been sold. Corll's family opened a new Pecan Prince shop. In 1960, at the request of his mother, Corll moved to Indiana to live with his widowed grandmother. During this period of time, Corll formed a close relationship with a local girl, although he rejected a subsequent marriage proposal this girl made to him in 1962, probably on the grounds that by then he had already turned faggot. Corll lived in Indiana for almost two years, but returned to Houston in 1962 to help with his family's candy business, which by this date had moved to Houston Heights. He later moved into an apartment of his own above the shop.

Corll's mother divorced Jake West in 1963 and opened a new candy business, which she named Corll Candy Company. Dean was appointed as vice-president of the new family firm. The same year, one of the teenage male employees of Corll Candy Company complained to Corll's mother that Corll had made sexual advances towards him. In response, Mary West simply fired the youth.

Corll was drafted into the United States Army on August 10, 1964, and assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. He was later assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia to train as an Army radio repairman before his permanent deployment to Fort Hood, Texas. According to official military records, Corll's period of service in the Army was unblemished, and he was given a hardship discharge on June 11, 1965 after ten months of service “because he was needed in his family business.” In a time period when Vietnam was heating up, this sounds odd. It is possible that Corll may have been getting up to things he shouldn’t have in the showers after lights out, but at this distance in time we have no way of knowing. Reportedly, Corll divulged to some of his close acquaintances that it was while he was in the Army that he had realized he was a faggot and he had experienced his first homosexual encounters.

Following his honorable discharge from the army, Corll returned to Houston Heights and resumed the position he had held as vice-president of his family's candy business. In 1965, shortly after Corll completed his military service, the Corll Candy Company relocated to 27th Street, directly across the street from Helms Elementary School. Corll was known to give free candy to local children, in particular teenaged boys: as a result of this behavior, he earned himself the nicknames the Candy Man and the Pied Piper. The family company also employed a small workforce, and he was seen to behave “flirtatiously” towards several teenage male employees. Corll installed a pool table at the rear of the candy factory, where employees and local youths would congregate.

In 1967, he befriended 12-year-old David Brooks, then a sixth grade student and one of the many children to whom he gave free candy. Brooks initially became one of Corll's many youthful close companions. The buggery seems to have started around 1970, when Brooks was 15 years old. Brooks dropped out of high school and more or less moved permanently into Corll’s apartment. Brooks' parents were divorced: his father lived in Houston and his mother had relocated to Beaumont, a city 85 miles east of Houston, and neither of them seemed to care much what their son did.

The family candy company failed, Corll’s mother and half-sister moved to Colorado, and Corll took a job as an electrician at the Houston Lighting and Power Company, where he tested electrical relay systems. He worked in this employment until the day he was killed by Elmer Wayne Henley.

Between 1970 and 1973, Corll is known to have killed a minimum of 28 young men. All of his victims were males aged thirteen to twenty, the majority of whom were in their mid teens. Most victims were abducted from Houston Heights, which was then a low-income neighborhood northwest of downtown Houston. With most abductions, he was assisted by one or both of his teenaged catamites, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks. Several victims were friends of one or the other of his accomplices, and two other victims, Billy Baulch and Malley Winkle, were former employees of the Corll Candy Company.

Corll's victims were typically lured into one of two vehicles he owned (a Ford Econoline van and a Plymouth GTX) with an offer of a party or a lift, and driven to his house. There, they were either plied with alcohol or drugs until they passed out, tricked into putting on handcuffs, or simply grabbed by force. They then were stripped naked and tied to either Corll's bed or, usually, a plywood torture board, which was regularly hung on a wall. Once manacled, the victims would be sexually assaulted, beaten, tortured and—sometimes after several days—killed by strangulation or shooting with a .22-caliber pistol. Their bodies then were tied in plastic sheeting and buried in any one of four places: a rented boat shed; a beach on the Bolivar Peninsula; a woodland near Lake Sam Rayburn (where his family owned a lakeside log cabin); and a beach in Jefferson County. In several instances, Corll forced his victims to phone or write to their parents with explanations for their absences in an effort to allay the parents' fears for their sons' safety. Corll is also known to have retained keepsakes—usually keys—from his victims.

Brooks introduced Elmer Wayne Henley to Dean Corll; Henley was likely lured to Corll's address as an intended victim. However, Corll evidently decided the youth would make a good accomplice and offered him the same fee — $200 — for any boy he could lure to his apartment, informing Henley that he was involved in a "sexual slavery ring" operating from Dallas. Henley later stated that, for several months, he completely ignored Corll's offer; however, in early 1972, he decided to accept the offer as he and his family were in dire financial circumstances. (Hey, every young man needs an entry level position to get him started in life.) According to Henley, the first abduction he participated in occurred at 925 Schuler Street, an address Corll had moved to in February of 1972. David Brooks later claimed that Henley became involved in the abductions of the victims while Corll resided at the address he had occupied immediately prior to Schuler.

[Long, sickening list of these creatures’ victims and practices redacted.]

On August 3, 1973, Corll killed his last victim, a 13-year-old boy from South Houston named James Dreymala. Dreymala was abducted by Brooks and Corll while riding his bike in Pasadena and driven to Corll's home where he was tied to Corll's torture board, raped, tortured and strangled with a cord before being buried in the boat shed. David Brooks later described Dreymala as a "small, blond boy" whom he had bought a pizza before the youth was attacked.

On the evening of August 7, 1973, Henley, aged 17, invited a 19-year-old youth named Timothy Cordell Kerley to attend a party at Corll's Pasadena house. Kerley, who was intended to be Corll's next victim, accepted the offer. David Brooks was not present at the time. The two youths arrived at Corll's house and sniffed paint fumes and drank alcohol until midnight before leaving the house to purchase sandwiches. Henley and Kerley then drove back to Houston Heights and Kerley parked his vehicle close to Henley's home: Henley exited the vehicle and walked towards the home of 15-year-old Rhonda Williams, who had been beaten by her drunken father that evening and had decided to temporarily leave home until her father became sober. Henley invited Rhonda to spend the evening at Corll's home: Rhonda agreed and climbed into the back seat of Kerley's Volkswagen. The trio drove towards Corll's Pasadena residence.

At approximately 3 a.m. on the morning of August 8, 1973, Henley and Kerley arrived back at Corll's home accompanied by Rhonda Williams. Corll was furious that Henley had brought a girl along, telling him in private that he had "ruined everything." Henley explained that Williams had argued with her father that evening, and did not wish to return home. Corll appeared to calm down, and offered the three teenagers beer and marijuana. They began drinking and smoking the marijuana as Corll watched them intently. After approximately two hours of drinking and smoking, Henley, Kerley, and Williams each passed out. Henley awoke to find himself lying upon his stomach and Corll snapping handcuffs onto his wrists. His mouth had been taped shut and his ankles had been bound together. Kerley and Williams lay beside Henley, securely bound with nylon rope, gagged with adhesive tape and lying face down on the floor. Kerley had also been stripped naked.

[Again, at this point I’m going to redact the details, as I will most of the specifics in this series. My purpose is to demonstrate the homosexuality has been rightly condemned and considered a wholly negative phenomenon down through the ages, not to make people lose their breakfasts. Basically, the Henley kid was able to talk his way off the torture board by promising to assist Corll to kill the boy and girl, he got to a gun, and shot Corll in self-defense, which doesn’t excuse the other boys he helped Corll abduct and murder.]

At 8:24 a.m. on August 8, 1973, Henley placed a call to the Pasadena Police. In his call, Henley blurted to the operator: "Y'all better come here right now! I just killed a man!" Henley gave the address to the operator as 2020 Lamar Drive, Pasadena. As Kerley, Williams and Henley waited upon Corll's porch for the police to arrive, Henley mentioned to Kerley that he had "done that (killed by shooting) four or five times."

In custody, Henley explained that, for almost three years, he and David Brooks had helped procure teenage boys (some of whom had been their own friends) for Corll, who had buggered and murdered them. Corll had paid $200 for each victim he or Brooks were able to lure to his apartment. Henley gave a statement admitting he had assisted Corll in several abductions and murders of teenage boys, informing police that Corll had buried most of his victims in a boat shed in Southwest Houston, and others at Lake Sam Rayburn and High Island Beach.

Okay, to wrap up a long and nauseating story, both Henley and Brooks are still in prison, although in almost any other state besides Texas they’d probably be out by now. At the trial there was massive public outrage not only because of the murders per se, but because of their homosexual nature. Nowadays the defense would be able to use “homophobic prejudice” on the part of the jury pool as a basis of appeal, probably successfully.

Next time you see a “gay pride” march on TV or down the street of your home town, remember who these creatures are and what they do. These are the people that Obama’s Amurrica regards as not only equal to you but better than you. Plywood torture boards and all.