This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the shooting that ripped the curtain away from the worst serial murders in Houston's history.
By the time the plot came to light in 1973, about 30 teenage boys – mostly from the Heights – had been tortured, killed and buried in mass graves.
The murders were largely the work of a sexual sadist named Dean Corll. He enlisted the help of Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. and David Brooks, two teens who helped procure victims.
Henley describes himself as a different person around Dean Corll, whom he says influenced him to commit killings. The bloodshed only stopped when Corll himself was shot dead by Henley.
"When I finally killed Dean Corll," explained Henley from behind bars, "when he was no more, when I was able to tell the truth, then I was back. Then I was who I was comfortable with being. I was who my mother raised me to be."
Henley puts part of the blame on substance abuse, which he says helped quell his conscience during the killing spree.
"I think if I hadn't had the drugs – and alcohol in particular – that my morals would have come to the fore sooner than the 17 months it took."
Today, David Brooks remains locked up and Elmer Wayne Henley is serving six life sentences for his role in the crimes. Henley has been up for parole more than a dozen times. He's been denied every time.
At this point, Henley isn't sure he'll ever get out of prison. But he firmly believes he should be released.
"There's no doubt in my mind that I am of no danger to anyone, there's no doubt in my mind that I can contribute," Henley said. "I live every day of my life proving that."