Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dean Corll

The Story

Around 8:30 a.m. that Wednesday morning, the Pasadena, TX, police department got a telephone call from a hysterical Wayne Henley. Patrolman A.B. Jamison raced over to the address, 2020 Lamar Drive, a green and white frame house. Three teenagers, two boys and a girl stood in front of the house.

Dean Corll's home
Dean Corll's home

One of the boys, a timid, slender young man with light brown hair and a skimpy goatee came forward and identified himself as Wayne Henley. He motioned the cop inside where Corll's body lay on the floor.

Corll had been a large muscular man over six feet tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. His dark brown hair, graying at the temples, was styled in little waves. His identification showed his name as Dean Arnold Corll, a 33-year-old electrician for Houston Power and Light. Corll had been shot six times with bullets lodging in the chest, shoulder and head. His body was taken to the morgue, while the three teenagers were taken to the police station for questioning.

At this point, detectives had arrived to examine the sparsely furnished crime scene one of the more interesting ones they had witnessed in some time. Of particular scrutiny was the bedroom, which appeared to have been rigged up for a special purpose.

Plastic sheeting covered the carpet to protect it from dripping blood. The bedding on the one single bed was all tangled and disarrayed. Most sinister was the large thick plywood board with several sets of handcuffs, ropes and cords attached to it. On the floor was a bayonet-like knife, a huge dildo, binding tape, glass tubes and petroleum jelly.

In a shed in the backyard was a plywood box with air holes cut into it and some strands of human hair inside.

Neighbors said that the house had belonged to Dean Corll's father Arnold, also an electrician, who had let his son take over the house when he had moved away. Son Dean had taken care of the house and had done nothing to arouse the suspicions of his neighbors in the quiet middle-class neighborhood.

At police headquarters, detectives got quite an earful from the two teenage boys. Earlier Tim Kerley said that Henley told him, "If you weren't a friend of mine, I could have gotten fifteen hundred dollars for you."

Henley told police that Corll was a homosexual and pedophile that paid him to procure victims, which Corll later murdered and buried in a boat shed.

Detectives took this "revelation" cautiously, as they would from any youth who claimed that the man he killed was really a criminal. When Dean Corll's father and stepmother talked to the police, a different story emerged. They said that the story the teenagers had told police was a lie and that Dean had never been a homosexual or a violent person. In fact, Dean loved kids and had always been generous to young people. These teenagers, had taken advantage of their son's hospitality and then, crazed by drugs, had murdered him in his own home.

Had the police not found the implements of sexual torture in Corll's home, they would have been more likely to assume that the parents' version of events was the correct one. As it was, the police were more interested in hearing the confession of Elmer Wayne Hensley and just who this Dean Corll really was sexual psychopath or the victim of vicious, drugged-up youths.

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