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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Texas Serial Killer Victim’s Identity Sought After 50 Years


Experts were able to create a rough facial reconstruction and ascertain some details about the victim's ethnicity and build. | Image by PBS

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Fifty years after the body of the last known victim of Houston’s “Candy Man” was discovered, investigators are still working to identify the boy.

Now, authorities are asking the public for any potential information about who the victim could have been.

Investigators have connected the death to Dean Arnold Corll, who allegedly terrorized the Houston area in the 1970s with a string of 28 killings. Corll gained the nickname “Candy Man” after spending time working at his mother’s candy factory.

Corll allegedly groomed two teenage boys to become his accomplices during the killing spree, one of whom later killed Corll. The teens were paid to bring him other young boys, whom he would kidnap, sexually abuse, torture, and murder. The serial killings occurred over a period of three years, from 1970 to 1973.

On August 9, 1973, the unidentified skeletal remains of the last victim were discovered, and police have referred to the victim since then as “John Houston Doe.”

A few years ago, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences exhumed and examined Doe’s remains. Experts were able to create a rough facial reconstruction and ascertain some details about the victim’s ethnicity and build.

Experts said that he was possibly Caucasian and Hispanic, with brown hair. Although it is unknown whether he showed symptoms, Doe is believed to have suffered from spina bifida.

At the time of his death, Doe was wearing colorful swim trunks and a long sleeve t-shirt and was around 15-20 years old.

“Somebody out there knows who this child is; somebody does remember him,” said Carol Schweitzer with The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “Returning the name to this victim absolutely matters.”

A team of investigators is currently looking into possible leads to identify Doe. They urge anyone who thinks they have any idea who the boy might be to call the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences at 832-927-5000.   

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