Netflix crime drama Mindhunter profiled some of the nation's most notorious serial killers — including Charles Manson and David Berkowitz (aka the Son of Sam) — in Season 2. With perhaps lesser-known convicted murderers also featured, viewers have understandably had many questions. Among them: Is Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. still in jail?
Given that Henley received six life sentences in 1974, suffice it to say he'll likely never be released from prison. Per the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Henley is currently incarcerated in the Mark W. Michael Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX. Henley was most recently denied parole in 2015 and will be eligible for his next parole review in 2025.
In Mindhunter's fourth episode, FBI Behavioral Science Unit's Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) and Gregg Smith (Joe Tuttle) interviewed Henley (played by Game of Thrones' Robert Aramayo). As viewers learned, a teenage Henley allegedly helped Dean Corll (aka "The Candy Man") murder several fellow teenage boys in Houston between 1972 and 1973.
During what became known as the Houston Mass Murders, Corll allegedly raped, tortured, and killed at least 28 young men. Henley was ultimately convicted as an accomplice to six of the murders for his role in procuring the victims. As he explained in filmmaker Teana Schiefen Porras' 2002 documentary, Decisions and Visions (per the Houston Chronicle) it was allegedly easy to lure the boys to Corll's apartment. "'Do you want to party? Do you want to smoke dope?' ... At that time, it didn't take much," he said in the doc.
According to Texas Monthly, in his and fellow accomplice David Brooks' confessions, the men also admitted to helping Corll carry the bodies to his car or van and helped bury them in one of his private cemeteries. "I'm not a serial killer. I'm an accomplice to a serial killer," Henley added in Decisions and Visions, per the Houston Chronicle. "I was an ignorant, stupid child."
As Henley claimed in an interview with Texas Monthly, Corll allegedly promised him $200 for every boy he brought to him, as part of "a homosexual porn ring in California."
When he later learned that his friend was murdering the boys, however, he never called the police. "That's the part I can't forgive myself," Henley said in the doc. "I was a coward. I gave up."
The killing spree came to an end on Aug. 8, 1973, however, when a then-17-year-old Henley shot and killed Corll. He says that, after becoming angry that he'd brought a woman to his house that night, Corll had hog-tied him, the woman, and another friend. He was able to convince Corll to untie him, however, and ultimately shot Corll to death.
Since the tragic events of the '70s, Henley has had plenty of time to relive his crimes while in his Texas prison cell.
"My fourteen-year-old niece came to visit me the other day," he recounted to Texas Monthly. "She asked me if I really had done all the things she had been reading about on the Internet. I looked at her and said, ‘Honey, I wish I could explain it to you.'"
The senseless killings defy explanation, however, and, for that and many other reasons, Henley will likely pay the price for his crimes behind bars until the day he dies.