Relatives of 'Houston Mass Murder' victims concerned accomplice may get parole

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

HOUSTON—It was a group connected by one of Houston’s most infamous crimes that gathered on Saturday to discuss the possible release from jail of one of the men responsible.

"It hurts," Cheryl Charles said. "Even today, it still hurts."

Charles is one of the surviving family members of the 28 boys who disappeared 40 years ago.

At the time, families were told the boys were runways. For years, police did not realize that they had really been abducted, raped and murdered.

Then in 1973, an electrician named Dean Corrl turned up dead. One of the two accomplices who had helped round up his victims had shot him to death.

The shooter, Elmer Henley, and accomplice David Brooks have been in prison ever since.

Their case became infamously known as the ‘Houston Mass Murders.’

Every few years, the men are up for parole and Henley is scheduled for a hearing next month. Now married, he has approximately 100 supporters who have signed an online petition to release him, saying he was manipulated as a kid but that he's since been rehabilitated as an adult.

It is an outcome Charles says she never hopes to see. She was 10 years old when she last saw her brother Jimmy.

"Would he be married? How many kids would he have? Would we vacation together?" she asks.

She flips through an album she brought with her and notices the empty pages which will never be filled. She says she will do whatever she can to keep Henley and Brooks locked up.

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