Victim of mass murders to be buried

November 9, 2009 1:53:55 PM PST
A burial service is planned for one of the last victims of area serial killers.According to Harris County officials, all but two of the 27 known victims of the 1973 mass slayings linked to Dean Corll, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Brooks have been identified and reunited with their families. Due to recent forensic advances two of the remains were identified decades after the crime. The first was Mark Scott in 1994.

In September 2007, computerized clay facial images of the three remaining victims were completed by the FACES Laboratory at Louisiana State University.

In May 2008, Dr. Sharon Derrick an anthropologist with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office collected DNA samples from two sisters of a suspected victim. Forensic advances and recent investigative work led to the identification of the victim as Randell Harvey. Harvey was released to his siblings for burial in November 2008.

DNA testing is advancing while the families associated with the crime are aging, creating a narrowing window of opportunity to bring closure to the families of the two remaining unidentified victims.

"We are running out of time to close this case," Dr. Derrick said. "The parents of these boys are elderly or deceased, but most of their siblings are still living and are wondering what happened."

While the burial of one of the two remaining victims is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Dr. Derrick says the case is not closed.

"We need to get the word out, because at some point before too awful long, there won't be anyone living that will have memories of them," she said.

The victim being buried is described as a white male, 15-20 years of age at the time of his death. He had dark brown hair about seven inches in length. Personal effects believed to be his are being included with the remains in burial. They include a brightly striped swimming suit, cowboy boots, corduroy slacks and a rope bracelet. This body was retrieved from the infamous boatshed in southeast Houston.

He will be buried at 10am on Thursday at Harris County Cemetery, located at 5434 Oates Road, Houston, Texas 77024 In case of rain, the ceremony will be relocated to Carnes Funeral Home, 1102 Indiana Street, South Houston 77587.

Further DNA testing is needed prior to burial of the final remaining unidentified victim. He is a white male, 15-19 years old, with dark brown hair, and is approximately 5'8" tall. He was discovered in San Augustine County. There were no fillings in his teeth.

At the time the murders were discovered, in 1973, it was the largest number of victims attributed to a serial killer in United States history. Most of his victims were boys or young men who lived in the Heights. His crimes came to light only when Corll was shot and killed. Henley confessed to the killing.

At the time, Henley was a teenage boy who had helped lure other boys to Corll's home. Henley and Brooks, convicted for participating in the murders are currently serving life sentences. The "Houston Mass Murders" received considerable national and international attention in the 1970's.

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