Classic True Crime from a Classic Author
Review by Kim Cantrell
It began in 1970. A country still wrapped in conflict in Vietnam. Hippies promoting free love. Drugs are the great pasttime for America’s youth.
The Heights, a poorer section of booming Houston, Texas, is not immune to consequences of the times; if anything, they are more susceptible.
When young boys begin disappearing from their Heights homes, the police reassure their troubled parents they are just another of young runaways of the era. They claim they simply do not have the time to try and track their free-spirited boys.
The disappearances would continue for almost three more years before the murder of 33-year-old Dean Corll unveiled a horrendous spree of adbudction, rape, torture, and murder that would come to be known as The Houston Mass Murders.
It would shock and outrage a community when they learned that Corll was paying his teenage cohorts, Elmer Wayne Hensley, Jr. and David Brooks a finder’s fee for victims; one of many factors that keeps this case as on the list of some of Texas’ worst crimes.
As can be expected from a leading true crime author, Jack Olsen provides a thorough account from the beginning of this case until the very end. Capturing the personalities of those involved and their unique dialogue, The Man With The Candy is fascinating from the very first page to the epilogue.
Each time I finish his spectacular books, I’m reminded that true crime readers will never again get to enjoy his wonderful talent. If you’ve never read any of his books, I not only strongly recommend The Man With The Candy but also his other of awesome true crime books.
Don’t miss a single book from the limited works of the very talented Jack Olsen.
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UPDATES FROM THIS BOOK:
I don’t care what Elmer Wayne Hensley, Jr. says, his actions were his own and he is as culpable for those boys’ deaths as Dean Corll himself. And that’s why I am appalled and disgusted that he was allowed to maintain a Facebook page presence through the assistance of a “killer groupie.” Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one; Cindy Yates, brother of victim Danny Yates was as well and caused quite a stir until it was removed. Kudos Cindy! On another note….although Hensley has been eligible for parole since 1973, he remains behind bars at the Texas State Prison, Michael Unit, in Tennessee Colony, Texas.
David Owen Brooks was given a life sentence for his role in what became known as “The Houston Mass Murders.” Although he has been eligible for parole since 1979, he remains imprisoned with the Texas Department of Corrections, Ramsey Unit, in Rosharon, Texas.
On September 10, 2010, DNA was able to confirm the identity of victim ML73-3378 as Michael Baulch.
In October 2008, victim ML73-3349 was identified as Randall Lee Harvey, who had been reported missing from The Heights in 1971.
There is an ongoing discussion at the Websleuths website about Corll’s victims and those who remaine unidentified.
Timothy Kerley committed suicide on March 20, 2009. He was 55 years old at the time of his death.
Rhonda Williams has revealed she is writing a book which she claims will tell the truth about everything that occured the evening of Corll’s murder.
Dean’s mother, Mary R. West died at the age of 94 on May 31, 2010. Her obituary makes no mention of having been preceeded in death by son Dean. Arnold Corll passed away on April 5, 2001, at the age of 85.
Fred Hilligiest died on March 25, 1993. His wife, Dorothy Hilligiest passed away in September 2010.
Selma Geraldine “Gerry” Winkle passed away on March 6, 1993.
Gerald Oncale died on December 22, 2004. Johnny Delome‘s mother, Eunice Oncale, followed less than 4 years later in February 2008.
Christeen Weed, Wayne Henley’s grandmother, passed away on March 7, 1996.
Horace James “Jimmy” Lawrence died in January 1983, at the age of 55.
Billy Gene Baulch, who lost 2 sons to Dean Corll, joined his sons again on January 17, 2010. His wife, Margaret Jane Baulch is also deceased but her date of death could not be located.
Vern Cobble, father of Charles Cobble and the man who stayed in constant contact with police in an effort to get them to investigate the missing boys’ cases, died in January 1992. Charles’ mother, Betty Cobble passed away on March 29, 2009, at the age of 82.
True crime author Ron Franscell featured several of Corll’s victims grave sites and a history of Corll’s crimes, as well as a modern day photo of the boat storage shed where some victims were buried, in his 2010 book The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Texas.
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