David Brooks, a convicted murderer and one of the teen accomplices of Heights serial killer Dean Corll, died in a Galveston hospital last week, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Brooks was 65.
TDCJ spokesperson Jeremy Desel said in an email that Brooks died last Thursday from natural causes, although the death remains under investigation because it occurred while Brooks was in custody. Desel said Brooks had been serving a life sentence at a prison in Navasota before being transferred to the TDCJ’s hospital unit in Galveston on May 12.
In 1975, when he was still a teenager, Brooks was convicted of the 1973 abduction and murder of 15-year-old William Ray Lawrence. Elmer Wayne Henley, also a teenager at the time, was convicted of six murders and is serving a life sentence at a prison in East Texas.
Brooks and Henley both were accomplices of Corll, who abducted, tortured, raped and eventually murdered nearly 30 boys and young men, many from the Heights area, between 1970-73. The killings came to light after Henley shot and killed Corll on Aug. 8, 1973, with Brooks and Henley subsequently leading police to the victims’ bodies, which had been buried in either a boat shed in southwest Houston, a wooded area near Lake Sam Rayburn or beaches on the Gulf Coast.
The case was dubbed the “Houston Mass Murders” and is considered one of the most heinous examples of serial murder in United States history.