5 THE LOST BOYS
DEAN CORLL & WAYNE HENLEY
Men who kill as a duo are often heterosexual friends or relatives – Bittaker & Norris, Bianchi & Buono, Lake & Ng. But in the following profile the men were lovers who went on to repeatedly torture and kill at least twenty-seven boys.
Dean Arnold Corll
Dean was born on 24th December 1939 to Mary and Arnold Corll in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The couple’s relationship had been stormy even when they were dating, and it worsened after the marriage. But they still brought a second child, Stanley, into the world. Arnold Corll was a strict disciplinarian who would make Dean and his brother sit for hours on a chair without moving as a punishment for being boisterous. He also refused to let them play outside. He told Mary that they should be whipped but she recognised their supposed bad behaviour was just childish curiosity.
When Dean was five his parents’ marriage ended. Mary Corll now had to support the family alone and took a job, leaving her sons in the nursery or with various babysitters. Stanley coped with the frequent changes of minder and went off to play with his friends but Dean stayed home and worried about everything, feeling responsible for his nuclear family. He took on a pseudo-parental role incredibly early and would fret if Mary or Stanley were a few minutes late in coming home.
He developed rheumatic fever at age six and was sent home from school for a prolonged rest. For the next few months he stayed home with his mother. She took him to a school friend’s party but when he appeared to get upset she decided that he wasn’t enjoying himself and that she wouldn’t take him to further social events.
Her overprotectivity heightened when he was diagnosed as having a heart condition and she rarely let him out of her sight. Admittedly this suited little Dean as he was still worrying about her and Stanley, even exhorting her not to drive too fast.
Some time after World War II ended, Mary remarried Arnold Corll and he subjected the children to increasingly harsh punishments. By now the family had moved to Houston, Texas, and were living in a trailer. All four Corlls co-existed in cramped misery. The second marriage soon went the way of the first with verbal fights and recriminations, though Arnold Corll always kept his family well provided for. He would go on to marry a third time and this marriage would be a successful one.
Alternately ignored, shouted at or punished by his father and emotionally overwhelmed by his mother, Dean retreated into himself. He was punctual, did what he could with an average intelligence but made virtually no impression on his teachers. Outwardly benign, he was probably on the cusp of developing an active fantasy life where he was masterful and cruel.
Meanwhile, he was at the mercy of adult whims. At nine he and his little brother witnessed other neighbourhood kids committing a petty act of vandalism. When the Sheriff questioned them, they described what they’d seen and were justifiably proud of having helped the local law enforcement. But their mother’s response was to demand her sons be given police protection – and when this was refused she sent them away to live with relatives for the entire summer so that they wouldn’t be picked on by the vandalistic boys.
When Dean was twelve his mother married for the third time so he gained a stepfather, a travelling salesman who moved the family to Vidor in Texas. The town was the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan and was fronted by a sign which said ‘Nigger, get your ass out of town by sundown.’ Needless to say, the school’s remit centred around sports rather than civil rights.
Dean tried to fit in with the other boys, going swimming with them in the nude and combing the woods for nuts to take home to his hard-working mother. But he fainted in church one day and his heart murmur was blamed. The doctors warned that he mustn’t over-exert himself so from that day onwards he stayed home whilst the others went to the outdoor pool. He joined the school band and took great pleasure in playing the trombone, but the band leader would later be unable to remember him. The quiet boy who never gave his family any trouble was virtually invisible – but he saw and heard the constant bickering between his mother and her new husband. Casual visitors to