Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dean Corll


The next day, with eight bodies on their hands, police wanted to talk to Wayne Henley again. Wayne said that he had not participated in the torture or the murders, but he was a witness to the atrocities that Corll committed. When he heard that David Brooks had made a statement, it encouraged Wayne to confess his complete involvement.

Between the confessions of David Brooks and Wayne Henley, a terrible tale unfolded of treachery, torture, mutilation and murder. Wayne finally admitted that he had taken part in the sadism and murder, as well as the procurement of new victims.

Prospective victims had to be young and good looking. Corll, Henley and Brooks would recruit them individually or as a trio. They planned regular parties with alcohol and marijuana. What was so astonishing was that Henley and Brooks recruited their friends, childhood friends of many years, knowing full well that these friends would be tortured and murdered. Some of the boys had been castrated; another's penis had been chewed; some had been beaten or kicked to death.

By the end of the second day of the investigation, the body count had risen to 17. Both Henley and Brooks were told to make a list of every boy that they remembered as a victim. Henley, who never stopped talking, told police that several boys were buried near Lake Sam Rayburn and on the High Island beach. A trip was planned immediately to those sites. Several bodies were discovered fairly soon, but since it was late in the day, further digging had to wait until the following day.

Over the coming days, 17 bodies were found in the boat shed and before the investigation was completed, the bodies of 27 boys had been unearthed making the serial murder case the largest in U.S. history, beating the existing record of Juan Corona's 25 victims.

As the digging and discovery of bodies wound down, the evidence against Henley and Brooks increased. The future of the two young men did not appear bright.

Brooks (seated left) and Henley (seated right) rest during the search for bodies.
Brooks (seated left) and Henley (seated right) rest during the search for bodies.


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