“Legend of the alligator killer”

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


“The Alligator killer” 
 
This is a real story that happened in Texas. “Joseph ball” Born in 1896 Joseph he was one of eight children in a well family. He grew up in the small town of elmemdorf Texas just a few miles south of San Antonio. Joe was expected to join the family business with his father cotton, but he got away from that when he returned home in 1919 after fighting in Europe during WW1. He plunged into a growth industry the jazz age. 
When prohibition ended in 1933 bell continued in his field opening the “sociable inn” where people could come in and drink,Gamble and dance for hours. It was a lively saloon. 
With pretty waitresses and whiskey things however really perked up when the barkeep dug a pool out back and stocked it with five live alligators....
 
This roadside zoo drew a lot of customers especially on Saturday nights when everyone was very drunk. Ball provided the entertainment. This consisted of bell catching stray puppies and stray kittens along with other small creatures and would place them inside the alligator pit. 
Business was booming so was bells love life. Big Minnie gotthardt a tough talking barmaid. He knew her for a couple years. Along with a couple of models Dolores Goodwin age 26 and Hazel brown age 22. Big Minnie vanished the summer of 1937. Bell married Goodwin that year in September. 
Four months later she lost her arm in a bad car accident and by April of 1938 she too had disappeared. Bell spent little time being lonely as he turned his attention to brown while his wife was around then the new girlfriend disappeared as well. About a year later two sheriffs visited “the sociable inn” to ask about a reported barrel that was found behind a neighbors barn that smelled of rotten flesh. The neighbor had complained. That night the barrel disappeared. 
The deputies tried to take bell in for questing but instead of going with him bell went to the cash register hit the “No sell” button and grabbed a .45 he had under the counter and shot himself in the heart and died on the spot. Witch left bells partner Clifton wheeler in a position that he had a lot of explains to do. Wheeler was bells long time partner. Police were horrified when Wheeler confessed to what he and bell had done to 2 of the bodies that disappeared. 
He led police to the body of brown who’s dismembered course was along side the bank of the San Antonio river in a barrel. It was her body police were called about originally from the complaint from the neighbor. Wheeler told police that bell had shot her because she was planning to leave bell. She said she was going to let authorities know about the death of “Gotthardt” wheeler said he was forced to help bell put her body in the barrel and brought her to a secluded area where they took her out and cut her up with an axe. And buried her remains. 
Wheeler confessed to a second murder big Minnie she was pregnant he was eager to end the affair and in June of 1937 he invited her and wheeler to a swimming party. Witch min ie graciously accepted. She was shot in the back of the head by wheeler. Police found her buried in the sand. However bills one armed ex had turned up safe and remarried another person in San Diego. Rumors had it that bell had many more victims that he turned into alligator chow. 
The notion first emerged years later saying that there was no accident and that bell took an axe and cut his ex’s arm off and fed it to the alligators. No other bodies were ever found and wheeler spent two years in jail for his role as an accessory and had many more tales to tell. 
There was enough solid evidence to support the two murders but nothing else. But nothing More to support he fed bodies to alligators but nobody really knows if he did or not because he shot his self before police could ever speak with Joseph bell.


Submitted: June 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Nick meraglio. All rights reserved.

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