Beware the Real Candyman

Piper St. JamesTrue CrimeLeave a Comment

** Explicit images contained in this article

Dean Arnold Corll deemed ‘The Candyman’ abducted, raped, tortured, and killed at least 28 young men and teenage boys during the years 1970-1973. These murders were called the Houston Mass Murders.

Corll’s Childhood

Initially the candy operation was operated out of the family’s garage and called ‘Pecan Prince.’ From a young age Corll was expected to run the candy machines and package the product in correlation of attending school.

In 1960 the family moved to northern outskirts of Houston where they officially opened a candy shop under the same name. The business was short lived as Corll’s mother divorced her husband and moved to Houston Heights. This is where she opened Corll’s Candy Company.

Corll earned the named “Candyman” because his family owned a candy and operated a candy factory in Houston Heights. It has also been reported he gave candy to the neighborhood children.

It was during this time Corll was appointed vice president of the Candy Company. However, this role was short lived when one of the male employees reported to Mary West Corll that her son made unwanted sexual advances towards him. Dean was then stripped of his title and fired.  Corll then enlisted in the army.

After spending a stint in the Army Corll returned to the family company where he redeemed his role of the vice president. However, he was still flirting with the male employees. This is when both Corll as well as others began to come to the conclusion that he may have been a homosexual. His crimes were shortly to follow.

The Candyman’s Crimes

Corll’s male victims were young, between the ages of 13-20 years old. Two were even former employee’s of his family’s business. Other victims were friends and acquaintances of The Candyman.

The Candyman did not act alone. He had two teenage accomplices, David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. They would help lure potential victims with the promise of partying at Corll’s residence.

David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley.

At his home Corll had made a torture board. The plywood board stood upright hanging from a wall in his bedroom. On this board the victims would be displayed naked, cuffed wrist and ankle, and then sexually assaulted, beaten and tortured. After several days they were then killed and disposed of.

After death by strangulation or shooting the bodies were disposed of in one of many different locations. The most used location for discarding the bodies was in a rented boat shed. Here 17 bodies were discovered. The men also buried bodies in local woods, or on the beach at Bolivar Peninsula.

Upon their trials David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley were sentenced to life in prison. Dean Arnold Corll escaped judgement by the courts because his accomplice Henley fatally shot him when Corll turned on him one night.

Death to The Candyman

Henley claims he awoke one night bound and gagged by Corll. He explained he was going to kill his former accomplice because he had brought a girl home. The only way he was able to get back into Corll’s good graces was to bargain with him. Henley made the deal he would help torture the woman he brought home while Corll tortured the man he lured to his home who he intended to be his next victim.

Agreeing, Corll untied his former accomplice and the two brought their victims into the bedroom. Each were bound to the bed, Rhonda Louise Williams face up and Timothy Cordell Kerley face down. It was after being tied to a torture board that the two began to wake up from being passed out after a night of booze, marijuana, and huffing paint fumes.

The board Corll used to torture his victims.

After beginning sexually assaulting the two victims it appeared Henley had a change of heart. He burst out “You’ve gone far enough Dean! I can’t go on any longer! I can’t have you kill all of my friends!”

This is when he turned the gun on Corll who did not believe he would use the .22 pistol against him. Henley then proceeded to fire six shots into his former friend before he finally fell to the ground, lifeless.

Corll’s lifeless body after being shot six times.

When asked about the way he took out his former friend, Henley claimed he believes Corll would have been proud of the way Henley acted. Corll taught his former accomplice to react “fast and greatly” which is exactly what he believed he did.

Under the suggestion of Kerley, Henley called the police to report the murder. He later confessed to the crime and is currently serving life at Mark W. Michael Unit in Anderson County Texas.

Searching for victims in the boat shed.


Now that you’ve learned about the real Candyman, watch the trailer for Jordan Peele’s 2020 movie Candyman in theaters June 12, 2020!

With a love for all things horror and true crime, Piper will always be writing about it. Add a flair for make up, fashion, and alternative lifestyles and you have this author pegged. You can find her articles on about horror and the new True Crime section she has been chosen to lead,.