Misidentified mass murder victim to be exhumed

September 15, 2010 4:50:56 PM PDT
The Harris County Medical Examiner is getting ready to dig up two graves of murder victims to finally reunite two brothers. The boys were victims of Houston serial killer Dean Corll in the 1970s, and decades ago one of them was misidentified. Dean Corll's been dead for 37 years. And yet from the grave Houston's worst serial killer can still haunt families.

Corll's accomplice Elmer Wayne Henley said, "He raped them, killed them and then buried them."

Corll's story unfolded for days on TV in 1973 after his accomplice Elmer Wayne Henley killed Corll and led police to 27 graves all over Houston.

According to Henley they'd been lured to parties at Corll's home, drugged, tied to torture boards sometimes for days, raped and eventually killed. Police were able to identify most of the decomposed bodies. They were all teenage boys - among them two brothers Michael and Billy Baulch.

The brothers were just two of Corll's more than two dozen victims. For 37 years, their family thought the brothers were here side by side in an unmarked grave at Woodlawn Cemetery. But as it turns out, one of those brothers was misidentified and has been in an unmarked pauper's grave at the Harris County cemetery.

Dr. Sharon Derrick with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office said, "It was quite a surprise because the IDs, even with what they had to work with, were very good. We had no idea there would be one that wasn't strong. ? It was an 'oh my gosh' moment."

For the last few years, the Harris County Medical Examiner's anthropology experts have been looking at the cases with the help of new DNA testing abilities. When they started comparing old case notes on the cases with old evidence they realized the mistake. They will now have to exhume bodies from two cemeteries to reunite a family and hopefully figure out who the unknown victim is.

"We don't know," said Dr. Derrick. "We have a few names we've been working on over time. But we haven't found family to tell us if those people are alive."

The medical examiner got help from a reporter Barbara Gibson to dig through the files. The ME hopes to exhume the bodies sometime in October.


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