Central Texan has connection to serial killer - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Central Texan has connection to serial killer

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In the past two weeks FOX 7 has heard from the convicted killer who played in a role in the Houston mass murders in the 1970's. After the story aired an Austin area man with an unbelievable connection to the murders contacted FOX 7.

Philip John Manning was once believed to be dead.

"If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't believe it either," Manning said.

Manning, who goes by PJ, said he grew up in an abusive household in Houston.

"People screaming and cursing, drunkenness all the time, everyday, I was afraid to come home," Manning recalled.

So when he was 13, he took off and later joined the army using the name of a family friend who had died as a baby.

"Seventeen years later I used his birth certificate," Manning said.

A few weeks after he ran away, remains were found outside Houston and believed to be his.

"I was unaware a body was found, didn't know I was presumed dead. I knew nothing about it, my mother, everybody, thought I was really dead."

While stationed in Louisiana, Manning said he ran into a family member.

"We ended up at a bus station in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I walked in and saw my uncle," Manning recalled.

That meeting led to the truth coming out.

"They called me to a black government car and wanted to interview me at headquarters," Manning said. "They said, do you know Philip Manning, and I started crying, yes."

He left the army and returned home. At that time, boys from Houston started disappearing. It was later discovered that serial killers Dean Corll and Wayne Henley were responsible for the deaths of at least 30 boys.

The remains that were once identified as Manning's were then believed to belong to one of Corll and Henley's victims.

"Just the fact that it had my name for a while makes me sad," Manning said. "One has to ask, who's remains are those? Whose bones are those?" asked Manning.

To this day, they have not been identified. Houston area police and the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office are still working to positively identify those remains found in the Taylor Bayou in Houston.

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