Our Own Monster: Texas Serial Killer Dean ‘Candyman’ Corll Predates Jeffery Dahmer
My plans this weekend are simple: light some fall-scented candles, bust open a box of wine and buckle up for Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix. Cozy!
Knowing what I already do about Dahmer, it's going to be a wincing, likely revolting watch, but I know that Evan Peters and Niecy Nash are going make this story of death and destruction a compelling and fascinating work of art. Honestly, Evan Peters could play a tardigrade and I'd be the first to watch it.
And, well, I really like stories about serial killers. I'm not sure what the psychology of that says about me, nor do I particularly care. True Crime is a popular genre for a reason. It was in the course of exploring this interest that I became familiar with Texas' own Dahmer, our proto-Dahmer, Dean "Candyman" Corll. The similarities are, at times, striking.
Dean Corll murdered 28 men and boys between the years 1970 to 1973 with the help of two young male accomplices, or victims, depending on your point of view. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Corll "sexually mutilated" his victims, as did Dahmer. Both took advantage of the taboo against homosexuality to lure young and disadvantaged victims into incredibly dangerous situations.
That last part makes me feel very, very sad. It didn't have to happen this way. They would have never been so prolific if the world had just been a better, more accepting place. These killers were symptoms of the malignant disease of hatred and intolerance.
Finally, both of these men met their maker with violence. So maybe there is a little justice in this world. Corll was shot to death by one of his accomplices. Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by a fellow inmate who claimed that God told him to do it.
Dean Corll should have been a Nightstalker, a Son of Sam, a Zodiac. Instead, he's all but forgotten amongst serial killer aficionados. Is that the way it should be? Probably. None of these people deserve any fame or recognition, but the fascination with them isn't about them; it's about us. These are cautionary tales. These are who-done-its that activate our investigative minds. These are thrilling peaks into the darkest spaces humanity occupies.
If you find yourself hungry for more (I'm sorry) after watching Monster, here's more information about The Candyman, Dean Corll.
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