Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

TEAM KILLERS: MALE

Tit-for-tat

Elmer Wayne Henley
Elmer Wayne Henley

In some cases, teamwork involves one or more accomplices supplying a primary person with whatever he wants, for which they receive something in return. Dean Corll, "the candy man," got sexually involved in Texas with another boy named David Brooks, and together they participated in petty crimes. Then Elmer Wayne Henley, 17, came into the picture, and his testimony later was the best picture investigators could get about what had happened to both the perpetrator and the victims.

For $200 or more per pick-up, Henley and Brooks procured young males for the older Corll to abuse. Eventually he began to kill the boys, most of whom were hitch-hikers and transients. After handcuffing them to a board and torturing them with large implements, he'd shoot or strangle them. Sometimes he even chewed off their genitals or castrated them, said Henley. A few times he killed two together, and the youngest victim was only nine.

Dean Corll, military photo
Dean Corll, military
photo

The end came on August 8, 1973, when Corll decided to kill Henley and some of his friends. Henley, bound, persuaded him not to, and when freed, he shot his former employer five times. After he called the police, they came and found seventeen bodies of white males hidden under a boathouse, along with containers of genitalia. At two other sites, ten more bodies were found.

Fritz Haarmann
Fritz Haarmann

This case is similar to one from Hanover, Germany during the early 1900s. Fritz Haarmann, a homeless vagrant who'd once been institutionalized, learned to butcher meat, which allowed him enough income to buy a home. Having a protected space, he began to find wandering waifs at the train station and take them home. Since he was somewhat homely, he teamed up with a good-looking male prostitute named Hans Graf who was better at getting boys to come with him. He'd take them to Haarman's home, where Haarman would feed them and then force them to have sex. Often those victims would simply vanish.

Together they trapped and killed an estimated 50 young men over a period of five years. They were finally stopped when someone found a sack of skulls and bones in the Leine Canal and turned them into the police. Since Haarmann lived near the canal and had been arrested before for sexual assault, investigators searched his home. They found clothing from missing boys and bloodstains on the walls. Again, they arrested Haarmann and he confessed.

He called his victims "game" and described how he would grab them, sleepy from a large meal, and while sodomizing them would chew through their throat until the head was practically severed from the body. As he tasted their blood, he achieved orgasm. He would then cut the flesh from their bodies, consume some of it, and sell some on the open market as butchered meat. The rest of the parts he dumped into the canal.

Not all of the team killers have serial crimes in mind. The next pair had a simple plan for a single evening, but ended up with nine victims.

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