Friday, June 20, 2008

Coroner Trying To ID Unknown Boys Killed in 1970s

From ABC News comes a story about 3 remaining John Doe's found in 1973 around Houston, Texas.

Twenty-seven dead. Some as young as 13, none older than 21. All victims of one killer, Dean Corll, and his two teenage accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks.

The term serial killer had not yet been coined, so this unfolding horror was simply called the Houston Mass Murders — at the time, the worst in U.S. history. [...]

All over Houston, all over the country, parents of missing boys learned of the murders and feared the worst. In the working-class Houston neighborhood where Henley and Brooks lived, where Corll had once owned a candy shop across from an elementary school, where dozens of boys had seemed to vanish over the previous three years, the dread was almost unbearable. [...]

Three bodies remain — three young men, believed to have been 15 to 20 years old, their bodies chilled to 38 degrees in the long-term storage unit of the Harris County medical examiner's office.

Thankfully, advances in DNA analysis may help to finally identify these victims. I hope that happens soon. One of the unidentified boy's DNA is being tested against the DNA of a missing boy's sisters, but the coroner is publicizing this case because other relatives of these murdered boys may not know that DNA testing is now available.

This case highlights that even for horrific murders such as these, the danger to these boys' lives didn't come from the stereotypical stranger. The 2 accomplices, who were teenagers themselves, made friends with potential victims and were paid a bounty for delivering new victims to Corll.

To prevent future crimes like these it is critical that at the beginning steps of what could become a spree that "outrageous" claims be taken seriously and not be viewed as too outrageous to be true and therefore too outrageous to be investigated fully.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:25 AM   0 comments links to this post


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