Real Name: Edward Harold Bell
Aliases: Cecil Bodt, Wally
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: October 1978
Details: Edward Harold Bell is wanted for the brutal 1978 murder of twenty-six-year-old Larry Dickens. Bell's criminal record stretched back to 1969. Charges against him included aggravated rape and indecent exposure to children. Larry was a youth counselor who had been in the Marines, was married and had a young daughter. In the summer of 1978, he went to stay with his mother and sister in Pasadena, Texas.
On August 24, 1978, Larry was cutting the lawn while his mother, Dorothy, was washing dishes in the kitchen. She watched as a red pickup truck pulled up and parked in front of their home. She then saw Bell get out of the car, nude from the waist down. She immediately called the police as he walked up to a group of children playing in the street. When Larry came inside, she told him about the naked man outside. In order to prevent Bell from escaping, Larry took the keys out of his truck. When Larry refused to give him the keys back, Bell shot him several times with a pistol.
Larry managed to run into the garage where he collapsed into his mother's arms, but Bell came in demanding his keys. When Larry gave him the keys from his pocket, Bell put the gun to his forehead and pulled the trigger while he was still being held in his mother's arms. Bell went back out to his truck as Dorothy went back to the kitchen to call an ambulance. Larry struggled to his feet and walked a short distance before falling on the driveway.
Bell eventually came back with a high-powered rifle and shot Larry several more times. At that same moment, Larry's seventeen-year-old sister Dawna returned home from school and saw Bell with a gun. She positioned her car in front of Bell's truck to prevent his escape. However, Bell backed down the street and drove away.
He tried to escape but was noticed by police trying to leave the scene. After a high-speed chase, he was cornered in a cul-de-sac. He tried to fire at one of the officers, but fortunately his rifle jammed. He was caught within twenty minutes. He was brought back to the scene and was identified as the shooter by Dawna, who then tried to attack him for killing her brother. The extreme brutality of this case has never been explained.
Despite the violent nature of the crime, Bell was released two months later on bail. He didn't show up for his hearing, and has remained at large for over fourteen years.
Some years later, he broke into a Bryant, Texas home in September 1984 and threatened a young mother, "Sue", with a knife as she put makeup on in the bathroom. After being stabbed, Sue began to fight back, fearing for her children's safety. Forcing him out of the bathroom, Sue grabbed a gun that she had in her nightstand and chased him out of the house. She fired at him several times as he entered his truck; however, he was able to get away.
Fortunately, Sue was not seriously injured. Four months later, while looking through a newspaper, she saw an article about Bell and realized that he was the man that had attacked her. This is believed to have been the last known sighting of Bell.
Extra Notes: This segment ran on Unsolved Mysteries on December 2, 1992. Actor Matthew McConaughey in his first TV acting role portrayed Larry Dickens in the recreation.
Results: Captured. Thanks to tips from two viewers, Bell was arrested in Panama City, Panama in February 1993. At the time, he was prospecting for gold on land that he owned. According to one of the tipsters, he had lived there for about ten years. Bell was extradited back to the United States to face first-degree murder charges. He was convicted and sentenced to seventy years in prison. He was eligible for parole in January 2013 but was denied. He is serving his sentence in Stiles prison. He is currently being investigated as being responsible for several murders in the 1970s, including Rhonda Johnson and Sharon Shaw.
Bell has given multiple chilling confessions from prison, eventually claiming in 2011 that he was actually responsible for eleven murders, calling the victims the "eleven that went to heaven." Bell claims a brainwashing "program" forced him to "be a flasher" to "rape girls" and ultimately to kill them. Sadly, Larry Dickens's mother, Dorothy, died in 2012.
- Bell v. Texas
- (2011 Houston Chronicle Article) Confessions of a Cold-Blooded Killer
- Texas Killer Edward Bell Admits 11 Girl Victims in 70s
- Edward Bell Inmate Information