This is a four-part story... It's filled with some graphic detail on how a 72-year-old serial killer murdered 11 preteen and teen girls in the 1970s... I'll show you the first part of the article... If you want to read the rest, go to the link below...
He calls his victims the "Eleven that went to Heaven."
Edward Harold Bell, admitted sex offender, convicted murderer and self-described serial killer, has given multiple chilling confessions from his locked prison cell of abducting and slaying teenage and adolescent girls in the 1970s, describing crimes even now unsolved.
In disturbing letters sent to Harris and Galveston county prosecutors in 1998 - but kept secret for 13 years - Bell claimed to have killed seven girls, including two Galveston 15-year-olds shot as they stood tied up and half naked in the chilly waters of Turner Bayou, according to excerpts and descriptions of Bell's letters obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
In July and September, in exclusive interviews, Bell, now gaunt and pasty-faced at 72, told a Chronicle reporter the tally of lives was not just seven, but 11, the "Eleven that went to Heaven."
Bell claims a brainwashing "program" forced him to "be a flasher," to "rape girls" and ultimately to kill.
Several senior investigators familiar with Bell's letters of confessions told the Chronicle they have long believed he committed multiple murders and found evi-dence to corroborate his claims. But probes stalled.
Galveston prosecutors refused to present Bell's written confessions to a grand jury. Harris County prosecutors never investigated the claims and subsequently lost the letters. And Bell refused to cooperate with police. Several investigators said not enough effort was made in 1998 to re-investigate the cases.
One former Galveston DA, Kurt Sistrunk, told the Chronicle, "I didn't believe we had sufficient evidence that we could proceed to 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."
Saw her son die
Bell is serving 70 years for the 1978 murder of Larry Dickens, a Marine who confronted Bell after he exited his red and white GMC pickup naked from the waist down and began masturbating in front of a group of girls in Pasadena. Dickens' mother watched from her house as Bell shot her son four times, emptying his pistol, then retrieved a rifle to administer a coup de grace.
The "program" killings, as Bell calls them, began well before then. The victims were young girls from Houston, Galveston, Webster and Dickinson. The murders came in waves: five in 1971 and six more from about 1974 to 1977. Six teens, he adds, were murdered in pairs.
Bell named three victims from 1971: Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson, 15-year-old Galveston surfer girls and experienced water skiers who disappeared after hitchhiking, and Colette Anise Wilson, 13, who never arrived home near Alvin after attending a summer band camp.
All three cases remain unsolved, though Brazoria County Sheriff's officials long theorized Wilson and another girl were murdered by a convict killed in a 1972 jail escape. Wilson's bones were found in a reservoir mingled with those of a missing Houston girl, Gloria Ann Gonzales, 19.
In 1998, Bell described murdering Ackerman and Johnson in letters written from a maximum security cell in Huntsville 17 years after the crime: "I was 'Brainwashed' into killing Deby (sic) Ackerman and Maria Johnson in November 1971," Bell wrote. He detailed how he shot them and described the remote bridge where the bodies were recovered.
Ackerman and Johnson were last seen accepting a ride near an island ice cream shop from a man driving a white van. Their abductor tied them up, stripped them from the waist down and left their bodies in the bayou, records show.