Edward Harold Bell has served the majority of his 70-year sentence for the murder of former U.S. Marine, Larry Dickens. Larry confronted Edward who was exposing himself to a group of children. Bell shot Dickens with a 22 caliber gun wounding the man and knocking him to the ground. A second shot ended the life of the Marine.
Edward Bell, prior to the murder that took place in the 1970s, was arrested multiple times for child molestation, rape, and pedophilia. He was released every time with a slap on the wrist.
Bell, who is up for parole this fall, originally confessed to 11 murders when he was booked for the fatal shooting of Dickens. His confession must have fallen on deaf ears because it was never pursued by law enforcement. Edward wouldn’t give up trying to claim his title as a ‘serial killer’, which he proudly thought of himself as, but sent two confession letters some 30-years later to prosecutors.
It would be another 13-years before the letters saw the light of day, as they were kept secret for some unknown reason. That is until detectives and the Houston Chronicles received them.
In an interview, Bell proudly spoke about the murders but refused to mention names, to avoid implicating himself any further. While Edward did seem to enjoy telling his story to reporters he would not talk to law enforcement without an agreement of total impunity.
Bell has since mailed several letters and poems to one reporter, in particular, Lisa Olsen. One poem he titled ’11 who went to heaven’- referring to the alleged rape and then the murder of the 11 young women and adolescents, he claims to have slain.
The television network A&E is releasing a series entitled ‘The Eleven’, which releases later this month.
Bell reportedly said in his confession that he killed several of the victims in pairs. His letter was not shared with a grand jury.
Former prosecutor Kurt Sistrunk told the Chronicle, “I didn’t believe we had sufficient evidence that we could proceed to a grand jury with, and without getting into specifics, that’s the decision that had to be made, no matter the temptations to proceed otherwise … It wasn’t for a lack of effort.”
Since the Chronicle story about Bell’s confession, relatives of the victims have expressed confusion and some doubt.
“It makes it hard that we don’t know if this Bell guy is a nut or if he’s telling the truth,” said Dotti Walker, the aunt of one victim, Sharon Shaw. “As bad and as mean as he is, he could be telling the truth because of his conscience … Not knowing is heartbreaking.”
The series is scheduled to air on A&E beginning Thursday at 8 p.m., with back-to-back hour-long episodes. The next four parts are planned for 9 p.m. on subsequent Thursdays, starting Oct. 26.