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The Man With The Candy: The Story of The Houston Mass Murders
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The Man With The Candy: The Story of The Houston Mass Murders

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  404 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The mass murder of almost thirty young boys in Houston may well have been the most heinous crime of the century. How could such a series of murders go undetected for almost three years before being exposed? The Man with the Candy is a brilliant investigative journalist's story of the crime and the answer to that question.
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Simon & Schuster
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Feb 02, 2010 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have read more than my share of true crime and this is by far the most horrifying and frustrating case of them all. Dean Corl," a "candy shop" owner, raped, tortured, castrated, mutilated and murdered TWENTY SEVEN boys from 1970-73 in a shitty Texas town near Houston. Some of the boys were tortured and abused for days before being murdered, by either strangulation, beating or shooting and then buried in Corl's shed. He took a teenage boy under his wing and somehow got him to assist him in the
Nick Almand
Dec 20, 2012 Nick Almand rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I have to say that the most terrifying thing about the Dean Corll case is the fact that it was in large part the attitudes of the Houston Police Department and the overall culture of Houston, TX from 1970-73 that allowed Corll to murder so many for so long, undetected.

To me, the most chilling line in the entire book was a quote from a Houston resident explaining one of the reasons Corll was never suspected as the culprit, despite so many of the disappearing boys having direct ties to him. Accord
Apr 01, 2008 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychologists
Shelves: crime
Oh, shit! I don't usually read these 'true crime' bks for a slew of reasons. &, now, here I am reviewing them. I'm severely disturbed by knowing about these people b/c I'm hyper-aware that they're really HERE, they're really w/ us, AND they're inside US too. I'm sickened by the people who vicariously get off on these things, who see such crimes as 'entertainment' safely viewed from a distance. There is no safe distance.

Being an introspective person, I study the psychopathology in myself - &
Jul 23, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Fascinating story. Olsen writes like a long-form journalist, exploring the facts while capturing emotion, both of which he does extremely well. My only quibble is that he comes across as condescending in his descriptions of his Texan subjects' lives and lifestyles. He frequently, but not always, phoenetically spells direct quotations in dialect, and it's tough to tell if he's doing so for character or his own bemusement. But that's a quibble. He solicted some extremely candid interviews from the ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Tyler rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who don't have enough nightmares
This is an unexpectedly well written account of the mass murders in Houston in the seventies, well done especially considering that the author wrote it so shortly after the event. The style reminds me of In Cold Blood. Olsen is especially effective at reconstructing the lives of the victims. The author does a great job laying out the backstory to the murders, with good segues and an effective overall narrative structure. His prose style is far beyond what a reader might expect in a true crime bo ...more
Theresa Turner
Sep 28, 2014 Theresa Turner rated it really liked it
Excellent book..a well written true crime story by the talented writer Jack Olsen.. i gave a four star rating for brilliant true crime reporting .. So many boys from the same area called ''The Heights'' went missing and were later killed by Dean Corll and his two teenaged accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley..Jack Olsen really did his research while writing this book as much background imformation is given to the victims families as well as killers themselves .. The Houston Police fo ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Jenna rated it really liked it
i read a couple of books and watched a movie or two on this serial killer. since it happened around the time i was born, and most likely when my parents were starting to go to mcfaddin beach area (close to where i grew up), it was interesting to me. the lazy attention paid to missing children for days that led into the fear we live in today is fascinating. also, this killer had numbers that blew other killers away and Gacy admired him so much. very much a must read if you are from SE texas or ar ...more
Veronica Thomas-lee
Sep 27, 2011 Veronica Thomas-lee rated it it was amazing
this book shows how in any neighbourhood anywhere how a killer could stike out against a community , and that things are not what they seem. It also states how the police department let down these families when their sons went missing in the 70's , and how easy it for them to believe that kids do not die, but only run away. It also shows how the community and the neighourhood stood together after the murders where discovered.
An interesting, not to mention disturbing, account from various perspectives. I think I enjoyed most of all that it was written in the language and style of the time and place ie. Houston in the 70's. I would have liked to have known more about what happened in the end regarding trials, but it was still interesting nevertheless.
Sep 15, 2012 Fishface rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Finally, finally, a book to answer my questions about Deal Corll and Elmer Wayne Henley. Revolting serial-killing case. Well-written and seems pretty complete, despite the many years that passed between the discovery of the bodies and the publication of the book. The victims' lives are conspicuously absent, I have to say.
susan lewandowski
Good book

This all happened during the time my husband was a teen in the Heights area, and Dean lived down the street from him. He asked my husband to go to a movie, my husband said no, and I'm sure glad he did, because my husband probably wouldn't be here today if things had gone another way.
Teresa Parker
Sep 24, 2016 Teresa Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Serial Killer Disguised

The choice of the boys he took reminds me of the missing children in Atlanta, lower middle class to low income homes where often children are bored and roam the streets. Our society needs to do better in adding recreation departments for children to play and I feel some of our larger churches could also set up after school and summer programs.
Dee brown
Feb 16, 2015 Dee brown rated it it was amazing
Out of all the ture crime books I've read, this one creeped me out the most.
Well written. It gives another view of the police force similar
to what's going on now with them.

If you're a true crime reader, definitely go and read this!
Eve Nolon
Mar 12, 2015 Eve Nolon rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-book, read-in-2015
The ineptitude of the Houston PD is epic even by 1970s standards. I think that had Olsen waited a bit, done more research, and wrote a more comprehensive story, the book could have been five stars. Alas.
Arturo Fuentes
Jul 16, 2011 Arturo Fuentes rated it really liked it
De los peores crimenes que se hayan cometido, pero el libro es muy bueno.
Heather Rhodes
Oct 28, 2015 Heather Rhodes rated it liked it
This was okay, but nowhere near as good as Olsen's "Misbegotten Son."
Renika Jacobs
Not good or bad

This book was ok. It didn't tell me much about Dean Corll. I was hoping it would give more information about him personally and what exactly went on in his homes.
Jacob Shelton
Apr 03, 2016 Jacob Shelton rated it really liked it
The recipes in this book call for a surprising amount of bones.
Mar 28, 2009 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Read this as a teen and it scared the bejezus out of me. What an awful tale of sadism and murder. Gave me nightmares for months.
Dara S.
I did not think this was as good as some of the other Olsen books.
Barrett Logan
Barrett Logan rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2016
Dan Carrie
Dan Carrie rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2012
Wendy rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2017
Danielle rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2012
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
ღ Carol jinx~☆~ rated it it was ok
Oct 29, 2008
CompesMentes rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2012
Donni rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2013
Yanet rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2013
Emily rated it really liked it
May 10, 2013
Bryan rated it really liked it
May 10, 2017
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