After five decades since his dismembered body was found alongside 16 other victims in a mass grave, authorities have revealed a fresh facial reconstruction of the individual known as "Swimsuit Boy" as part of ongoing efforts to identify the last unnamed victim of the infamous "Candy Man" serial killer.
The remains of “Swimsuit Boy,” also known as “John Houston Doe” and by the reference number ML73-3356, were the last found in the boat shed at Lake Sam Rayburn and High Island Beach, Fox News reported.
In a statement, Carol Schweitzer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) said, "This young man’s friends and classmates would be in their late 60s to early 70s, and we hope that this new imagery reaches them and helps bring in that one single lead needed to resolve this case.”
According to NCMEC the boy is believed to have been between 15 and 18. He had long brown hair and stood between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall and was white or of possibly Hispanic heritage.
Authorities said he suffered from a slight case of spina bifida and his body was found in an advanced stage of decomposition, which made investigators suspect he was an earlier victim killed in 1971 or 1972.
THE CANDY MAN SERIAL KILLER
Candy Man killer Dean Corll had a penchant for teenage boys and sadistic sex.
The former U.S. Army recruit abducted, raped, tortured and slaughtered at least 28 youths before the towering Texan was killed by his terrified accomplice Elmer Wayne Henley, who says the Aug. 8, 1973, shooting was a matter of "him or me."
Like many other killers, Corll seemed a bit strange, but harmless. He got his nickname by passing out sweets made at his mother's candy factory to school kids in The Heights, a low-rent Houston neighborhood that became a favored hunting ground.
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Says Henley: "At first, I thought he was a geek. Later, I became scared."
Initially, Henley was one of Corll's targets. He'd been brought into The Candy Man's circle by his boyhood pal David Brooks, who was Corll's lover and partner in crime.
Using promises of booze and pot parties, Corll and Brooks would lure boys to a lair in the woods.The youngsters never left - at least when they were alive. Henley, a pimply-faced, hard-drinking junior high school dropout, was an exception — after he agreed to help recruit other victims at $200-a-head.
Once the kids were in his clutches, Corll's tactics were straight-forward. He doped them, tricked them into trying on handcuffs or simply overpowered them. Then he bound them to his plywood "torture board," rigged with handcuffs, ropes and cords.
The killer beat and raped the teens - sometimes for days on end - before he murdered them by strangulation or a .22-caliber bullet to the head. Then he wrapped the bodies in plastic sheeting and buried them in one of four locations.
In early 1972, Henley delivered His first boy into Corll's clutches, thinking the kid was going to be sold into a sex slave ring. But a few months later, Henley discovered the sick truth when his 18-year-old pal, Frank Aguirre, was abused and slaughtered before his eyes.
After that, Henley started taking a more active role in the torture and sexual assaults - and Brooks later revealed Henley "seems to enjoy causing pain."
Meanwhile, dozens of teenage boys from the Houston area had gone missing. Cops dismissed most cases as runaways. Corll re-enforced the theory by forcing a few of his victims to write notes to their parents, explaining that they'd left town for a job or some other reason. And sex and sadism went on unabated On a balmy night in the summer of 1973, when Henley brought his pal Tim Kerley and a girl he liked, Rhonda Williams, to Corll's place. The Candy Man was outraged about a girl being brought to his lair. But he seemed to get over it as they partied until the kids passed out after drinking moonshine.
Henley awakened to Corll handcuffing his wrists. Tim and Rhonda were already bound and gagged. Corll ranted about his intention to kill them all. But Henley tricked Corll into freeing him, then shot the 33-year-old man six times with his own gun. When Corll died, Henley called the cops.
Soon, the true horror of Corll's sick rampage came to light.
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"Hard-bitten investigators had all seen death," wrote author Jack Olsen, "but none had encountered the wholesale transfiguration of rollicking boys into reeking sacks of carrion" until they found the victims' bodies.
Henley and Brooks were eventually given life sentences for their part in the nightmare.
Chillingly, nearly four decades later, filmmaker Josh Vargas was researching the case and unearthed a box of Henley's possessions. Inside was a grainy Polaroid photo of an unidentified boy in handcuffs. The image matched crime scene photos from Corll's house - and authorities suspect the kid was his 29th victim.
Henley insists there are even more victims buried around Texas waiting to be discovered. But he says it's unlikely anyone will ever know the full extent of the carnage wrought by the Candy Man, who was a freak even by Hensley's twisted standards. Says Henley, Corll was "a madman."
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