Elmer Wayne Henley Up For Parole

03 Jul

You might not know the names Elmer Wayne Henley, David Brooks, or Dean Corll but this trio’s body count mimicked Gacy and Bundy. I first learned of them in 1973 when I moved to Houston to begin my Internal Medicine residency. Two months after my arrival, this story broke and consumed the local and national news media. It began when 17 year Henley shot and killed Dean Corll. But this was not just another murder. This was the end game for one of the most dangerous predators ever.


Elmer Wayne Henley

Henley met Corll when he was 15, introduced by another teen, David Brooks. What followed was the stuff of nightmares. Henley and Brooks became procurers for Corll. They would bring other teenage males to Corll’s home where they would be raped, tortured, and murdered. Corll had rigged up a “torture board,” to which his victims would be attached and assaulted, sometimes for several days. And I seem to remember that he had also rigged up some old bedsprings as an electrocution device. Regardless, before Henley killed him, Corll’s body count was around 30 victims, making him one of the most prolific serial killers ever.


Dean Corll

Now Elmer Wayne is up for parole.

Parole? I don’t think so. I mean he did end Dean Corll’s terror reign but I’m not sure all the “procurement” can be overlooked.


37 responses to “Elmer Wayne Henley Up For Parole

  1. Dianna

    July 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I’d never heard of these guys so I went on the internet and read several pieces about them. Parole?Good lord, are you kidding? I object strenuously to the fact that they are breathing air. The only single reason for keeping these two viable would be active and continous psychological study. To find out what made them the way they are in hopes of identifying others like them. Maybe heading off others like them. Reading about this made me feel icky, I’m going to have to go take a bath.

    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      July 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Exactly my reaction when this all came down.

  2. Louise Behiel

    July 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I hope you’re right – he should stay where he is.

  3. gkparker

    July 4, 2012 at 12:15 am

    How could any rational person listen to what this man did and even consider releasing him? It’s ridiculous — they send people away for twenty years or more for possession of marijuana but this guy, who got 6 life sentences might be out before the drug user.

    • D phillips

      July 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Make a panel of Mothers whose sons were murdered, let them decide if he should be paroled! I certainly think NOT NOW, NOT EVER!

      • buddy

        August 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        never should he be out.he should die in prison.

  4. Wil A. Emerson

    July 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Even the thought is incomprehensible. Parole? Why would anyone consider wasting resources fior a parole hearing on this individual is mindless. Is this another example of liberal ideology gone haywire? Like saving the spineless, flutter wing, dwarf knat in the Sahari Desert, it’s time to weigh the consequences of stupid decisons. Keep this madman in jail…if he assisted a maniac, he’s certainly certifiably nuts and dangerous.

  5. Emma

    July 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    My father was practicing psychiatry in Corpus Christi, down the Texas coast from where this all went down, in 1973. He reported that one of his gay male patients remarked, “This is going to give homosexuality a bad name!”

    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      July 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      And humans in general. Hard to share a species with folks like these three.

  6. chattykat

    July 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

    A few years ago Elmer Wayne Henley and I became pen pals. I had the bright idea of writing a book about him. I know there have been several published regarding the case throughout the years, but none have been “straight from the horse’s mouth.” I wondered if he was a hero because he killed the monster OR if he was just another monster in fear of his life.

    • judy

      August 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      what was he like ? do you still write to him?

    • Olddog

      September 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

      chattykat, Henley is no hero! Since you know him then you know Corll had him bound on the torture board, Henley was able to talk Corll into untieing him, he killed Corll because he knew Corll was going to kill him. Hero, no way, he was trying to save his own butt.

    • Chris Canfield

      September 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Hello, I have been interested in this case for al ong time. Do you still have his address? Did he ever go into details about the murders and does he have any remorse. My e-mail is Thank you. Chris Canfield

      • D.P. Lyle, MD

        September 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

        No I don’t know anything about what he thinks or where he is.

  7. Kati

    July 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    How can he even be up for parole????

    • Emma

      July 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Parole is a privilege, not a right. Lots of people become eligible for parole but will never achieve it, especially if their crimes are as notorious as this man’s.

  8. Virender Gahlyan

    August 9, 2012 at 3:05 am

    How can he even be up for parole….?

    • Mary O'Grady

      August 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Everybody sentenced to prison, except for those sentenced to life without parole, eventually becomes eligible for parole. That does not mean that parole will be granted. Various members of the Manson crime family have been eligible for parole for many years, including Charles Manson himself, but the California parole board will never vote parole for any of them, it’s safe to say. (Former Manson girl Susan Atkins recently died of cancer, still incarcerated.)
      Life without parole did not exist under Texas law at the time Elmer Wayne Henly was sentenced, so it was more or less inevitable that he would come up for parole.

      • Dena

        August 13, 2012 at 5:55 am

        He has been up for parole 20 times!

  9. Dena

    August 13, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Our petition has been extended until August 31. PLEASE take one moment to sign our petition…..YOU DON”T WANT THIS SERIAL MURDERER PAROLED!

    Elmer Wayne Henley’s parole: petition to keep this serial killer in a Texas prison

    This man killed and tortured 16 young boys while another man raped and abused them Elmer Wayne Henley also profited from bringing his childhood…

    Like · · Share.

    Georganne Martin Williams I signed it

    8 minutes ago · Like.

    Our petition has been extended until August 31. PLEASE take one moment to sign our petition…..YOU DON”T WANT THIS SERIAL MURDERER PAROLED!

    Elmer Wayne Henley’s parole: petition to keep this serial killer in a Texas prison

    This man killed and tortured 16 young boys while another man raped and abused them Elmer Wayne Henley also profited from bringing his childhood…

    Like · · Share.

    Georganne Martin Williams I signed it

    8 minutes ago · Like.

    Our petition has been extended until August 31. PLEASE take one moment to sign our petition…..YOU DON”T WANT THIS SERIAL MURDERER PAROLED!

  10. David Weiss

    August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    i grew up with henley and brooks. all of these event happened right around me, i had friends go missing and even one time was in the pressence of brooks and henley fortunately for me they new me and didn’t take me.. I lost lots of friends as a result of these haienous crimes… i hope he never walks the streets of ANYTOWN USA… may he rot in hell!

  11. judy

    August 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Dont you think David and Elmer were also kids and scared of Corll ?

    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      August 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Probably. He was definitely their pied piper.

    • Olddog

      September 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

      They had many oppertunities to stay away from Corll and even turn him into the police, but as Henley admitted they enjoyed the power over life. Were they scared of Corll sure which is why Henley killed him.

    • c williams

      May 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      I feel the same way. What Dean Corll did was horrible. But I do feel that these boys, because that is what they were, boys, actions, should be considered from a psychological standpoint as well. Should he be paroled? I don’t feel that anyone can honestly or fairly presume that answer either way. Only God knows the workings of his heart and mind, then and now. Remember though, in the end, he saved two lives. He didn’t have to do that, he could have ignored them and left after Dean untied him. He administered death to Dean Corll before he let him do more harm to these two.
      And also, he immediately called the police after the shooting, and he immediately confessed and cooperated when they became involved. He could have tried to hide everything and possibly never gotten caught. They probably didn’t have any actual physical evidence that he was involved, but he told them that he did. I feel that he maybe had a sense of relief that it was all over, even if it meant he would have to pay for it.

  12. Jamie

    September 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Wayne Henley and David Brooks were willing accomplices. Dean Corll did not force them to do anything. Henley’s killing of Corll was a fluke; they got into an argument and Henley shot him. Henley did NOT kill him in order to stop the murders! Henley is trying to make it seem like he was a poor, confused kid who was dominated by Corll, but that is just garbage. He just wants to get out of prison. But he should be incarcerated for the rest of his life. He took part in the murders of over two dozen people, several of them children. He should die in prison!

  13. peach

    September 3, 2012 at 1:55 am

    The first book I read as a teen in the 70s regarding serial killings was about this group. I had forgotten about it until I saw a story on tv tonight. It haunted me when I read about it all those years ago…and sadly I am sure that it will haunt me now again…how sick and sad this is…let them rot in jail…blessings.

  14. Ken Garwick

    September 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I lived in Houston when this heinous crime spree was happening. I will never forget the Reporter Jack Cato at the boat shed site where they found 17 of the bodies. It was live and he was so shocked he could barely talk. 6 life sentences should keep Henley behind bars for the rest of his life. Hes been up for parole twenty times and it has not been granted. I do not not think he will ever be released.

  15. Anonymous

    April 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I worked at a unit where Henley was house in 2006-2008, Henley was our clerk. I despised my job knowing that someone like him was responsible for so much of it. He believes hes a celebrity, a hero, and someone that youth of today look up to as a role model. If he is let out, I garauntee someone will end up in jail over it. There was always such an air of entitlement that he put off. Montel, and Maury both visited him to conduct interviews with him while housed there.

  16. Olddog53

    April 30, 2013 at 2:50 am

    To Anonymous, that is very interesting. I would like to hear more if your willing to discuss. Please join the discussion on EW Henley on Face Book @ Dean Corll Houston Mass Murders.

  17. Doit Lee

    September 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I grew up in the same neighborhood where this happened. Many of the victims were my age. It could have easily been me. I heard about the torture when all this happened. These people are animals and should not be alive. Absolutely NOT. NO PAROLE EVER!

    • Mary O'Grady

      September 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

      You can write to the parole board to oppose the parole. Describing the long-lasting impact of these crimes would be most effective. The Texas parole board takes input from citizens very seriously, from all I have been able to find out.

  18. ronnie

    October 31, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I believe that Henley did not kill Corill to save anyone but himself , otherwise he would of killed him after he seen Corill first murder or rape anyone . I understand that Henley was a kid , but murder and rape and the other things that they did to these young boys is just to horrifying to understand . I believe Henley should never ever be allowed out into society , my reason for this is if he could do these things to his own friends what would or could he do to others he does not even know .

  19. madeline murdoch

    December 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    yes. i was 18 in 1973 and thought to myself what a horrible crime. there is no way he should be getting out. why is he still alive? why not ask the victims families what should happen to him. im shocked by this miscarriage of justice.

  20. Frances

    December 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I had worked at TDCJ Board of Pardons & Paroles and have seen the boxed files of this case. A couple years later I became friends with an older woman whom I met at college named Mary Henley, ha ha, we lived in the same part of the world Don Henley was from – I kept thinking she was related to him. Didn’t put 2 and 2 together until she finally mentioned her son was in prison and that he had been involved with some murders. When she finally called him Elmer Wayne I about fainted. She said that Dean had threatened to kill her other 3 boys if Wayne didn’t do what he was told. She also said that her son told her that he had killed someone in a “mercy” killing – someone who begged him to kill him rather than let Dean continue to torture him. Mary was a good woman from what I could tell and loved all her 4 boys very much and said she prayed all the time that Wayne would be paroled someday. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that probably wasn’t going to happen.

    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      December 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Frances—thanks for sharing this story. It was a sad and crazy series of events that shook up Houston for years.

  21. Bob Jones

    July 19, 2015 at 5:41 am

    He should never be paroled. He needs a red hot poker rammed up his butt once a week, and have the fire beat out of his no good ass every day!


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