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  1. #1
    texasx Guest


    Heights teen was a victim of infamous serial killer

    By PEGGY O'HARE Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

    Oct. 22, 2008, 10:52PM


    1 2

    Darrell Davidson Chronicle

    Houston Police detectives escort Elmer Wayne Henley into a courtroom in August 1973, after he killed Dean Corll.

    More than three decades after his body was pulled from a shallow grave, forensic anthropologists at the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office have identified a teenager believed to be the victim of Houston's infamous serial killer Dean Corll.

    Randell Lee Harvey was just 15 when he disappeared on March 11, 1971, and his family has never known what happened to him. The boy's remains stored in a locker at the morgue for 35 years were officially identified recently after DNA comparison with family reference samples taken from two of his siblings.
    Harvey who lived in the Heights, like so many of Corll's victims had been shot in the head. His remains were found Aug. 8, 1973, along with the bodies of other Corll victims unearthed at a boat shed at 2500 Silver Bell in southwest Houston.
    Corll is believed to have killed at least 26 boys in a sexually sadistic spree that began in 1971. He, along with two teenage accomplices, lured victims ranging from 13 to 20 years old, to various locations where they were sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.
    Police learned of the crimes on Aug. 8, 1973, when one of the accomplices, 16-year-old Elmer Wayne Henley, shot and killed Corll at Corll's Pasadena home after hours of drinking and glue-sniffing. Henley then led police to the bodies buried in shallow graves at Corll's boat shed on Silver Bell and to others hidden on a Galveston beach and near Lake Sam Rayburn.
    Henley and the other accomplice, David Owen Brooks, then 18, each received 99-year prison sentences Henley for six of the deaths, Brooks for one.
    Harvey's skeletal remains are one of three sets kept in a cooler at the county morgue since that shocking day in 1973. Over the years, the three have been known only as No. 11, No. 16 and No. 22.

    Bones tested for DNA

    They are among the last of Corll's 26 known victims. Because of new technology, the morgue's forensic anthropologists submitted the boys' bone samples to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for mitochondrial DNA, or mDNA, testing. The Associated Press reported those tests were inconclusive, so Harvey was identified through circumstantial evidence. The remains were officially identified on Friday.
    Harvey's mother is now dead, but two sisters Donna Harvey Lovrek, 55, and Lenore Lovrek McNiel, 51 still live in the area. Neither could be reached for comment Wednesday night.
    They were 17 and 13 years old when their brother disappeared.
    Efforts to get comments from Harris County Medical Examiner's personnel who worked on the case and helped identify the boy's remains were unsuccessful Wednesday night.
    The other two boys whose bodies are still housed at the morgue remain unidentified

  2. #2
    perl Guest


    How a serial killer victim was finally identified

    Email this Story

    Oct 24, 6:15 AM (ET)


    (AP) Forensic pathologist Dr. Sharon Derrick talks about the still unidentified victims of serial...
    Full Image

    p {margin:12px 0px 0px 0px;} HOUSTON (AP) - At first, all forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick had to solve the mystery of ML73-3349 was the body of an unidentified boy, found dead more than 35 years ago, the voluminous police files from a decades-old serial killings and a desire to give a name to the nameless victim.
    Now, two years after she first began the search, ML73-3349 has a name: Randell Lee Harvey. And Harvey's family has the answer they've waited a generation to have.
    Derrick unraveled the mystery using a combination of high-tech science and old-fashioned detective work.
    When she started, she knew that ML73-3349 was one of three still-unidentified victims of notorious Houston serial killer Dean Corll and his two teenage accomplices, who had tortured and killed 27 young boys in the early 1970s.

    (AP) A moldy jacket, shoe soles, sock, belt and comb found with a body nearly 34 years ago are laid out...
    Full Image
    ML73-3349 was found on Aug. 8, 1973, in a makeshift grave in a Houston boat stall, where 17 of Corll's victims had been buried, the day that Corll was shot and killed by accomplice Elmer Wayne Henley.
    Ever since, three victims who couldn't be identified had been in a refrigerated storage unit at the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office. ML73-3349 had been shot in the head.
    Derrick also had a possible name: Harvey was a boy who had been reported missing in March 1971 and lived in the Houston neighborhood where the killers lurked. Harvey, a skinny boy with an unusual overbite, had been 15 when he vanished.
    "The name Randy Harvey kept popping up in missing persons reports. I knew it was a name we should follow," Derrick, a forensic anthropologist with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office, said Thursday.
    For two years, Derrick scoured through police records and case files, searching for more clues that could lead her to the boy's identity. The medical examiner's office created anthropological and biological profiles of the victim, detailed enough to form an image of who he might have been.

    (AP) Workers at a boat stall dig throughout searching for more bodies in the Houston Mass Murders case,...
    Full Image
    He would have been white, between 15 and 20, about 5-foot-8 to 6-foot-1 and thin. A belt found near his remains was buckled to fit a lean 30-inch-waist.
    Just like Randy Harvey.
    In the paperwork, Derrick found more trails leading her toward Harvey. His name also turned up on a list of boys police believed might have been victims of Corll, and in other leads in the serial killing investigation.
    Next, Derrick set out to find Randy Harvey's relatives. Not an easy task. Decades had passed. People who might have known the family in Houston had moved or passed away. His mother had remarried and changed her last name and that of Harvey's two sisters.
    Finally, Derrick spotted a newspaper article about a member of their family. She called that person, who led her to the two sisters, Donna Lovrek and Lenore McNiel.

    (AP) The cabin shown is owned by the family of Dean Corll, 33, the alleged central figure in the nations...
    Full Image
    Their mother, Frances Conley, died more than 10 years ago, never knowing what had happened to her son. His sisters never stopped searching for their brother, but had always feared the worst. This week, they were still in shock.
    "We are still going through our grieving stage. It's a little hard to describe how we're feeling right now," Lovrek said Wednesday night.
    In May, the sisters submitted DNA samples, which were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for comparison to samples taken from ML73-3349.
    The process was slowed when the remains of the unidentified victim failed to provide enough DNA loci - a fixed position on a chromosome markers - for a good comparison, Derrick said. New more advanced tests were then conducted.
    After several months, the results finally came back. Mathematically inconclusive.
    A full DNA profile could not be garnered from the bones of ML73-3349, Derrick said. The mitochondrial DNA was a match, but was also a common profile shared by about 1 in 13 whites.
    The victim and Harvey's sisters also shared a number of alleles - genetic markers- in their nuclear DNA. But again, they were common profiles.
    However, the findings did not rule out the possibility that the unidentified boy was Harvey, Derrick said.
    Instead, she explained, "they were weakly, gently supportive."
    Derrick and colleagues studied the findings: the DNA tests, the profiles, the circumstantial evidence.
    The first time she met McNiel, Derrick said she stopped in her tracks. McNiel's chin and that of ML73-3349 were strikingly similar.
    Harvey and the unidentified victim also shared that pronounced overbite.
    Harvey was known to carry a plastic pocket comb, and wear square-toed boots, similar to the items found with the victim. Harvey's sisters also seemed to recognize a blue jacket that belonged to the victim, and had known at least two of the identified victims.
    Harvey disappeared from his neighborhood around the time Corll and his accomplices first began to prey on boys from that area. ML73-3349's body had been buried alongside victims killed during that time frame.
    In addition, Derrick had spoken to David Owen Brooks, one of Corll's teenage accomplices, and shown him the drawing of a facial reconstruction of the unidentified victim. Brooks could not recall the boy's name, but described him as a "tall skinny kid" and drew a map leading to the house where Harvey and his family had lived.
    Brooks and Henley are serving life sentences for their roles in the murders.
    Using the DNA results and other evidence, the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office had also ruled out other possible candidates who fit the profile of Corll's victims, said Jennifer Love, director of the forensic anthropology division.
    That left Randy Harvey.
    Last week, authorities officially identified ML73-3349 as Randell Lee Harvey, ending his three decades in limbo.
    "It took a few months, but we wanted it to be right. For the family, it's good for them to know, but it's hard for them to have concrete evidence. So that makes me sad," said Derrick. "I'm just very glad to be able to return him to his family."
    Derrick is still working to determine the identities of the other two boys.

  3. #3
    texasx Guest


    well have much more to post, i see several things absent from these articles though i will post regardless as it needs to be. absent are the names and photographs plus stories of the men and women who put the entire 20+ together and gave the names of who they were, there were 20+ identifications before this one. the manhours , mine included in that, are tremendous! incredible man hours by harris county, houston and pasadena police not to mention the harris county medical examiners of old. there was an entire room on the upper levels of the medical examiners office where the remains of these unidentified were kept along with forensic artists reconstructions, the records of the suspected missing, drafting boards, computers, reems of papers,.......and photometric imaging devices that said who these unidentified were, there was presumptive on this very case long long ago. but it was retracted by a jealous , mean incoming medical examiner who ridded the entire office of the memories and personnel of the previous FAMOUS and SUCCESSFUL regime.

    that redacted identification has now been supported by the work of the present personnel and they are to be applauded.

    the harris county medical examiners of now are some of the best in the world. i have heard stories of jennifer love Phd and her dedication to this office, i believe that. nothing i have said takes away not one iota of what she and the others have done.

    joseph jachimczyk, cecil wingo, pat banks, jay evans, john brite, et al...all , ALL are deserving of recorgnition not for the work in this matter but in the work they performed over many many years in service not just to harris county but to the entire society of this world.

    the current personnel will no doubt serve greatly but never will there be the expenditure of manhours and personal time involvement than there was during tghe jachimczk era..

    the current , they too may excell , passing the the excellence of that regime, until then, it remains to be as i said.

  4. #4
    perl Guest


    Excellent post, texasx.

  5. #5
    bettybrown1623 Guest


    Comments (0) | Recommend (0)
    Serial killer victim's family finally has answer

    Associated Press Writer
    Posted: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

    • Workers at a boat stall dig throughout searching for more bodies in the Houston Mass Murders case, in this Thursday, Aug. 9, 1973 file photo taken in Houston, Texas. The object lying in the wheelbarrow was identified as the skull of the tenth victim. For more than three decades, ever since his body was pulled from a makeshift grave in a boat stall, a 15-year-old has been in a refrigerated storage unit at the county morgue -- unclaimed and nameless. Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008, the teenager was identified as Randell Lee Harvey, who seemed to vanish from the streets of Houston on March 11, 1971. Harvey was the victim of serial killer Dean Corll.

    • Forensic pathologist Dr. Sharon Derrick talks about the still unidentified victims of serial killers Dean Corll and Elmer Wayne Henley, in this Monday, May 12, 2008 file photo taken in Houston. For more than three decades, ever since his body was pulled from a makeshift grave in a boat stall, a 15-year-old has been in a refrigerated storage unit at the county morgue -- unclaimed and nameless. Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008, the teenager was identified as Randell Lee Harvey, who seemed to vanish from the streets of Houston on March 11, 1971. Harvey was the victim of serial killer Dean Corll.

    • A moldy jacket, shoe soles, sock, belt and comb found with a body nearly 34 years ago are laid out at the medical examiner's office along with a digital image of what the victim may have looked like, in this Monday, May 12, 2008 file photo taken in Houston. For more than three decades, ever since his body was pulled from a makeshift grave in a boat stall, a 15-year-old has been in a refrigerated storage unit at the county morgue -- unclaimed and nameless. Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008, the teenager was identified as Randell Lee Harvey, who seemed to vanish from the streets of Houston on March 11, 1971. Harvey was the victim of serial killer Dean Corll.

    HOUSTON The minute Lenore McNiel saw the lock of brown hair in the medical examiner's office, she knew she finally found the brother who had been missing for nearly four decades.
    "That's his hair!" McNiel recalls saying, upon recognizing the curly, frizzy strands that had once frustrated her big brother, Randy.
    As a child, McNiel would watch Randy stand in front of his mirror, pulling a comb through the unruly mop and muttering: "I hate my hair. I hate my hair."
    McNiel's recognition earlier this year would lead not to a happy reunion but to a bittersweet homecoming.
    The hair belonged to ML73-3349, a teenage victim of Houston serial killer Dean Corll, who tortured and murdered 27 boys in the early 1970s. The body, along with those of two other Corll victims, had been unidentified since being found 35 years ago in a shallow grave in a Houston boat stall.
    This month, after a two-year investigation by forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick, the Harris County medical examiner officially identified ML73-3349 as Randell Lee Harvey, a 15-year-old Houston boy who disappeared on March 9, 1971.
    It was the answer McNiel and sister Donna Lovrek had both sought and dreaded for so long.
    "At least we know. We can put him to rest," McNiel told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. "I would just lay on my bed crying, praying to God that we could put my brother to rest before we die, and sure enough, we can."
    McNiel was 13 when Randy vanished. At the time, Lovrek had moved away and their mother was juggling two or three jobs, so the two younger children clung to each other.
    Randy was a tall, skinny teen who loved bell-bottom jeans, square-toed boots and rock 'n' roll: Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly and Janis Joplin. He wore peace signs and fringed boots.
    "He was my big brother, my idol, my friend, everything," said McNiel, now 51.
    One night, Randy jumped on his bicycle, headed for his job at a neighborhood gas station and never came home. McNiel watched him pedal away, then inexplicably burst into tears - as if somehow knowing she would never see him again.
    McNiel and Lovrek, who moved out of Houston's Heights neighborhood more than 20 years ago, had long suspected Corll killed Randy. Corll and his two teenage accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks, also lived in the Heights and many victims were from there.
    The murders were discovered on Aug. 8, 1973, when Henley shot and killed Corll, then led investigators to makeshift graves where Corll had buried his victims. Henley and Brooks are both serving life sentences for their roles in the killings.
    McNiel knew many of Corll's victims, including her boyfriend, Malley Winkle, and Randy's disappearance coincided with the time of the killings. The sisters also knew Brooks had argued with Randy over a stolen stereo.
    Over the years, the sisters tried repeatedly to contact the medical examiner's office about their suspicions, but they say they could never get past the front desk. In the early 1990s, they begged their mother, Frances Conley, to go in for DNA tests to determine if she was a match for one of the unidentified victims.
    But she refused, already convinced that her son would never come home, the sisters said.
    "She said, 'I know he's dead, I don't want to know anything else,'" Lovrek said. "She asked, 'What if we go through this and it's not him, then what will we do?'"
    Randy's mother died in 1994.
    For 37 years, the sisters did not know Randy's fate. In May, Derrick, trying to track down possible relatives of the three unidentified victims, contacted them.
    "We said, 'Finally!' I told her she was a doll and a godsend," McNiel said. "We had just about given up."
    Lovrek and McNiel submitted DNA samples for comparison to ML73-3349. Although the test results were mathematically inconclusive, they backed up the findings of forensic profiles and circumstantial evidence.
    On Oct. 16, the sisters learned Randy had been identified. He had been shot in the head with a .22-caliber firearm, but unlike Corll's other victims, he had not been sexually abused.
    "We were so glad we finally found him and so grateful to Dr. Derrick for working the case, that there was somebody there who cared enough to try to find us," said Lovrek, now 55. "It gave us peace, too, to finally find out that one of those bodies was his. I just hope and pray that the other two boys get identified and their families can rest too."
    The sister would now like to have the remains of their brother cremated, then scatter the ashes on the lake where their mother's ashes were scattered.
    "He needs to be fishing with mama," said McNiel. "He's had a hard enough life."
    Each sister has a memento of their brother. McNiel will keep the lock of hair, and Lovrek has a peace sign patch found with his clothes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Thanx texasx!!

  7. #7
    Texaskowgirl Guest


    Family can't afford the cremation... Victim's Fund doesn't apply due to age of crime.

    I hope someone read this in the chronicle and stepped up and volunteered to cremate the boy..

    They finally know how he died now they just want to put him to rest
    Victim's fund is no help to kin of teen slain decades ago by serial killer

    By JENNIFER LATSON Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
    Nov. 2, 2008, 11:43PM

    Randell Lee Harvey was murdered, buried and then forgotten by police who labeled him a runaway while his body languished anonymously in a cooler for more than three decades. His sisters, whose search for answers ended when Harvey's body was finally identified last month, want to give their teenage brother the memorial he was denied 37 years ago.

    But the sisters Donna Lovrek and Lenore McNiel, now in their 50s were dealt a new blow last week when they learned the state Crime Victims' Compensation Fund, which defrays funeral costs and other expenses for Texas crime victims, would not help them.

    The fund doesn't apply to crimes committed before 1980, officials said.

    The financially strapped family McNiel lost her Willis mobile home in Hurricane Ike and is staying in Trinity with Lovrek, who works the sales floor at a small electronics store can't afford a fitting tribute for the murdered teen.

    "My sister doesn't have a job at the moment, and I'm living paycheck to paycheck," Lovrek said. "We don't have the funds for anything like this. We were counting on this to help."

    The sisters always suspected that Harvey, who was 15 when he disappeared from their Heights neighborhood in 1971, had fallen prey to serial killer Dean Corll and his two teenage accomplices.

    Corll's killing spree claimed as many as 27 victims, many of them teenage boys from the same Heights neighborhood.

    Harvey went to school with Corll's two young accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley and David Brooks. Shortly before Harvey disappeared, he had a falling-out with Brooks, said McNiel, who was 13 at the time.

    "I never liked David Brooks, even before all of this," she said. "He just had a cold, cold look in his face."

    When her brother went missing, she secretly suspected Brooks. When Brooks and Henley were implicated in one of the most massive killing sprees in U.S. history, she pieced together her brother's fate.

    A new injustice
    A forensic anthropologist confirmed the family's suspicions two weeks ago by identifying Harvey's remains. The sisters, Harvey's closest surviving relatives, felt gratitude and closure but little relief from decades of grieving. At least, they thought, they could finally lay their brother to rest.

    "All we want to do is give him a proper burial," Donna Lovrek said.

    After 37 years of searching for answers, Lovrek felt that the loophole in the victims' fund presented a new injustice.

    "It just dumbfounded me," she said. "We keep getting kicked around."

    Houston crime victims advocate Andy Kahan has promised to lobby the Legislature to authorize exceptions to the 1980 rule. "Unfortunately, it's going to be too late to help this family," Kahan said, "but this case will be a catalyst for change."

    The family doesn't want much: enough to have Harvey's ashes scattered with his mother's in Lake Livingston and a small memorial service for the remaining relatives.

    "There's not much left of us. An aunt, an uncle and three cousins," Lovrek said. "All we want is just enough to take care of our brother."

    Tumultuous domestic life
    The sisters chased after answers for years after Harvey's disappearance.

    McNiel, who was friends with the Henley family, persuaded Henley's mother to visit him in jail and ask whether he had killed Harvey. He said he hadn't, and McNiel believed him. But she was sure Brooks had. The sisters clamored for police to revisit their brother's case, but made no headway.

    "They would take our names and number, and we'd never hear anything," Lovrek said.

    They said they faced the same roadblocks from the medical examiner's office, where their calls went unanswered.

    "I even snuck down to the morgue and tried to get into where the remains were, to identify what there was," McNiel said. "I got stopped at the door."

    The years before Brooks and Henley went to jail were a chilling time for McNiel. More and more of her classmates disappeared, including her boyfriend, all of them later identified as the murderous trio's victims. But the police seemed largely dismissive of the mounting numbers of missing boys.

    Houston police officials declined to comment last week on how they handled a case more than three decades old. At the time, Police Chief Herman Short called criticism of the department a "disgusting attempt at scapegoating." Being a runaway was not a crime, he said. Police would investigate only if there were evidence of something more.

    After Harvey disappeared, the rest of his family scattered, driven down different paths by a tragedy that further churned their tumultuous domestic life.

    Lovrek already had left home to escape an abusive father, and their mother, Frances Conley, left him a few years later.

    McNiel became pregnant at 17; Conley, who by then had moved to Trinity and remarried, raised her daughter's son.

    Joe Randell Lovrek, now 33, grew into the spitting image of his namesake uncle.

    He is tall, like his uncle, who was 6 feet 2 inches by age 15. And Lovrek inherited his uncle's attitude: fearless, and unlikely to walk away from a fight.

    While Harvey's sisters searched for answers, his mother resigned herself to quiet grief. She knew her son was dead; she didn't need to know how or why.

    "I remember her telling me that he would've contacted her. He would've found the family if it hadn't been this," Lovrek said. "She told me she loved him and she missed him. The way she'd say it sounded like it hurt."

    'Like her son that she lost'
    Conley died of lung cancer in 1994, shortly after she saw Joe Lovrek graduate from high school the first in his family to do so.

    "She was proud of me. She raised me, and I guess I was like her son that she lost," he said. "All my life they told me I looked like him. He had brown hair, wavy like mine, freckles: you could just tell."

    McNiel finally got her chance, earlier this year, to view the unidentified remains at the morgue. It was the sight of her brother's wavy hair that stripped away any doubts.

    When Harvey's identity was confirmed, the doctor gave McNiel a lock of hair to take with her a memento of the brother she searched for all her life.

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