The twisted acts that serial killers carry out are unthinkable. But sometimes they don’t act alone; sometimes they’re actually assisted by accomplices that are just as twisted as they are. Here are four serial killers — and their collaborators that made killing easier:
1. Dean Arnold Corll
Responsible for torturing and killing at least 29 boys from the Houston Heights, Dean Arnold Corll’s rampage was made possible in part by two teens who were willing to attract the victims. Also called the “Candy Man,” David Owen Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley Jr. were responsible for luring the boys to Corll’s home, according to Chron. So what stopped the manipulative killer? ABC 13 reports that after Henley abducted Rhonda Williams and Tim Kerley and took them to Corll’s home, the teen told him he was fed up with all the killing. “He stood at my feet, and just all of a sudden told Dean this couldn’t keep going on, he couldn’t let him keep killing his friends and that it had to stop,” Williams said. “Dean looked up and he was surprised. So he started getting up and he was like, ‘You’re not going to do anything to me.’ And then Wayne, he had the gun raised already, and he just started shooting it.” Corll died from his injuries and both Henley and Brooks are serving life sentences for their roles.
2. Alton Coleman
For eight weeks in 1984, Alton Coleman went on a rampage in six states and killed eight people — four of whom were children. With murders occurring in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, Coleman was sentenced to death in four states, according to the Enquirer. Though he was executed by lethal injection in Ohio in 2002, his right-hand woman narrowly escaped a death sentence of her own. UPI reported that in 1985 Debra Brown was convicted for her role in the beating death of 15-year-old Tonnie Storey during the duo’s robbery spree. Though she was noted as being “,” Ohio planned to execute her for her crimes. However, Governor Richard Celeste commuted her sentence to life imprisonment in early 1991, according to The New York Times.
3. Joanne Dennehy
A female serial killer is rare to hear about, but Joanne Dennehy is especially unique in that she manipulated and dominated her male accomplices. According to Mirror, Dennehy murdered three men over the course of ten days in 2014. But she didn’t do it all by herself. Though she is believed to be the ringleader, she was assisted by Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton who helped hide the bodies of Lukasz Slaboszewski, John Chapman, and Kevin Lee. According to the Guardian, Dennehy said her “sadistic lust” to kill led to her charming these three men before brutally stabbing them to death. However, two men she stabbed at random survived the attack. The judge, who called her “a cruel, calculating, selfish and manipulative serial killer,” sentenced her to life in February 2014. Layton was sentenced to 14 years for her involvement.
4. William Bonin
Often called “The Freeway Killer,” William Bonin is believed to be behind the torture, rape, and murder of at least 21 boys throughout California between 1979 and 1980. Executed for the murders in 1996, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times claimed James M. Munro and Gregory M. Miley participated in three of the murders. A homeless teen, Munro met Bonin while on the road and was given a place to stay. From there he became ingratiated into the truck driver’s murderous plots. Munro claimed he watched television while Bonin strangled the victim in his mother’s room. After helping to dump the body, the teen stole Bonin’s car and fled to Michigan. Miley was also picked up on the road and later went onto help Bonin rape and then strangle two teens — one of whom was 12 — with their T-shirt. The pair testified against Bonin in exchange for a life sentence.