Dean Corll (“The Candyman”, “The Pied Piper”) was pretty horrible. He tortured, raped, and murdered at least 28 teenage boys between 1970 and 1973 in Houston, Texas. Even more horrifying, he had two young accomplices, David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley.
David Brooks was a kid who saw Corll as a father figure and ended up living with him, even though Corll sexually abused him. Elmer Wayne Henley may have been an intended victim. Both boys would lure victim’s to Dean Corll’s house, oftentimes their own friends. It all ended when Henley fatally shot Corll, and brought police to the places where bodies were buried. Henley and Brooks are both serving life in prison for their roles in the murders.
I don’t know why Dean Corll did those things. I’m in the middle of writing an answer to that exact question, and I’m drawing a blank. All I can say is that there was clearly something wrong with him. There has to have been.
Another particularly nasty one was Amelia Dyer, a.k.a. the “Ogress of Reading” (England), who is suspected of killing 200–400+ babies up until she was caught in 1896. It’s certain that she killed at least 12.
She was a “baby farmer”, which meant she adopted unwanted babies in exchange for money. At first, she actually cared for the babies, as well as her own kids, but eventually some of the babies died, and she was convicted of negligence. She did 6 months of hard labor for that crime, and then began murdering the babies she adopted by strangling them, then dumping their bodies.
She was caught after a baby’s body was found in the Thames and was linked back to her. She was convicted of the murder of Doris Marmon, for which she was hanged in 1897, but as I’ve said, she’s suspected of many, many more. There are some people who also believe that she was Jack the Ripper, but that’s mainly because any murderer in 1880′s London has been suspected of being the Ripper at some point.
Dyer’s reason is a little easier to figure out. She was in it for financial gain, and she also had a long history of psychiatric problems, although it’s possible that she was faking it in hopes of an insanity defense.
In case you thought the horror was over, it’s not. I have one more thing to talk about.
The Hillside Stranglers
Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono are two you might have actually heard of, because they’re called “The Hillside Stranglers”. Between 1977 and 1978, the two cousins raped, tortured and killed at least 10 young women and girls in Los Angeles, California. They got the name “Hillside Stranglers” because they would leave their victims on the sides of the Hollywood Hills. Their first three victims were sex workers, and as it seems to go far too often, people didn’t really care. Then they started attacking middle-class girls, and people were horrified.
One especially chilling detail is that Buono and Bianchi would often claim to be plainclothes police officers to lure the women into their car. There’s something much more believable about two men saying they’re cops, which is what scares me. In case you weren’t creeped out enough, the way they tortured their victims is horrifying. One woman was found with puncture marks on her arms, and the police realized that she’d been injected with Windex, which is a glass cleaner.
Kenneth Bianchi was apparently the stupid one, because he was the reason they were both caught. He’d wanted to be a police officer, so he went on a lot of ride-alongs with the LAPD. At some point they started questioning him about the murders. He moved to Bellingham, Washington in 1979, where he killed two women on his own and was promptly caught because of all the evidence he left behind. The police in Washington state did a background check on him and found out that he’d lived near two Strangler victims back in California.
During his trial, Bianchi tried to plead insanity. He claimed that he had multiple personalities. “Ken” was the nice one, and “Steve” was the evil murderer. When he was told that people usually have three personalities, he suddenly became “Billy”.
Meanwhile, Buono’s trial was the longest in U.S. history, if you can believe it. The prosecution’s key witness was Bianchi, who tried to get his cousin off by being uncooperative. It almost worked, because the prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Buono. Thankfully, Judge Ronald M. George denied the motion to dismiss. The trial lasted longer than the District Attorney whose prosecutors had filed the motion to dismiss, and the new D.A. won the case.
You probably thought that was the end of it, but while he was in prison, Kenneth Bianchi got a girlfriend— Veronica Compton— and convinced her to commit a murder and leave his semen behind so people would think the Hillside Strangler was still out there. She didn’t manage to actually kill the woman she intended to murder, but she came close. She went to prison, too, but has since been released.
I think Bianchi and Buono did it because they were both antisocial and had sick sexual fantasies. The fact that there were two of them helped things along, but both of them clearly had messed up attitudes towards women and sex long before their murders. If there’s a hell, Angelo Buono is in it, and Kenneth Bianchi is headed there.