The ‘Girl On the Torture Bed’ and The Killing of a Serial Killer
“Rhonda felt the air escape from her lungs and wanted to scream in agony, but her mouth was gagged so tightly that she could barely move her lips.” — The Candy Cards, author Robert Brown
This post contains graphic content. Mature audiences only.
Rhonda Williams is a name that is synonymous with one of the most heinous crimes in American history. She is a survivor of the infamous Dean Corll, also known as the Candy Man. The story of Rhonda Williams is one of tragedy and triumph, as she endured horrific abuse at the hands of one of the most notorious serial killers in history and went on to become a beacon of hope for other survivors.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1962, Williams was the second youngest of eight siblings and grew up in a large, impoverished family. Williams’ childhood was marred by poverty and dysfunction.
“My daddy didn’t want me. It wasn’t that I was bad. I wasn’t wanted.” — Rhonda Williams
Her father was an abusive alcoholic who frequently beat her and her siblings. Her mother was mentally ill and was often unable to care for her children. As a result, Williams and her siblings were forced to fend for themselves from a young age.
Growing up, Williams had a difficult time in school. She was often bullied and ostracized by her peers, which only exacerbated her feelings of isolation and insecurity. As a teenage girl, she struggled with depression and anxiety, and she often felt like she didn’t belong anywhere.
Rhonda’s bedroom wasn’t always a bedroom — back then, it had a gas-jet stove. She can’t recall where she got the idea, but she strapped a Styrofoam cup to her face with a rubber band and ran a hose from the cup to the stove. She had waited until she was alone in the house to do it, but her plan was foiled when she heard her dad pull into the driveway. She never tried it again. — Houston Press