Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Edward Harold Bell

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. His 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 summer 1978, he went to stay with his mother, Dorothy, and sister, Dawna, in Pasadena, Texas.
On August 24, 1978, Larry was cutting the lawn while Dorothy was washing dishes in the kitchen. She watched as a red pickup truck pulled up and parked in front of their house. She then saw Bell get out, naked 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 Bell. In order to prevent him from escaping, Larry took the keys out of his truck. When he refused to give them back, Bell shot him several times with a pistol.

Larry Dickens

Larry managed to run into the garage where he collapsed into Dorothy's arms, but Bell came in demanding his keys. When Larry gave them to him from his pocket, Bell put the gun to his forehead and shot him while he was still being held in Dorothy'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 collapsing on the driveway.
Bell eventually came back with a high-powered rifle and shot Larry several more times. At that same moment, Dawna returned home from school and saw Bell with it. She positioned her car in front of his truck to prevent him from escaping. However, he backed down the street and drove away.
Bell tried to escape but he 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 Larry. 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 did not show up for his hearing, and has remained at large ever since.
Bell has been reportedly seen only once since then. He broke into a Bryan, Texas home on September 6, 1984 and threatened a young mother whom we will call "Sue" with a knife as she put makeup on in her bathroom. After being stabbed, she began to fight back, fearing for her children's safety. Forcing him out of the bathroom, she 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 her attacker. This is believed to have been his last known sighting.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 2, 1992 episode. Matthew McConaughey, in his first TV acting role, portrayed Larry in the reenactment. A&E made a short documentary series called The Eleven, about the eleven young women Bell claimed to have murdered.

Bell after he was extradited to the United States

Results: Captured. Thanks to tips from two viewers, Bell was arrested in Panama City, Panama on February 14, 1993. At the time, he was prospecting for gold on land that he owned. According to one of the viewers, he had lived there for about ten years. He 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. On April 20, 2019, he died in prison from undisclosed causes at age 82.
Bell is currently considered a suspect in several murders in the 1970s, including those of Rhonda Johnson and Sharon Shaw. He has given multiple chilling confessions from prison, eventually claiming in 2011 that he was actually responsible for eleven murders, calling the victims were the "eleven that went to heaven." He claims a brainwashing "program" forced him to "be a flasher" to "rape girls" and ultimately to kill them. After his death, many of the victims' relatives stated that they believed he was responsible for their deaths. However, no charges were ever filed against him in those cases.
Sadly, Dorothy passed away in 2012.