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‘The Eleven’ Presents Compelling Questions in Galveston Area Murders

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A&E Network premiered a six-part series last month, shining a light on the haunting murders of eleven teenage girls in southern Texas in the 1970s. Following the work of Houston Chronicle journalist Lise Olsen and retired Galveston detective Fred Paige, “The Eleven” centers on convicted murderer Edward Harold Bell, and his self-proclaimed involvement in the murders.

Bell is currently serving a 70-year sentence for the shooting death of Marine Larry Dickens in 1978. In a 2011 article in the Chronicle, Olsen presented new information on several cold cases, stemming from disturbing letters sent from Bell to county prosecutors in 1998. The letters were deemed insufficient evidence and filed away. However, Bell provided further information to Olsen in 2011 when she began researching several unsolved murders in the area. Dubbing his alleged victims “the eleven who went to heaven,” Bell gave Olsen eery details on the decades-old homicides.

“He gave me a list of names,” Olsen recalled.


Photo: Pixabay

When Olsen questioned Bell for the 2017 documentary, however, he was not so quick to discuss the details. Rather, the subsequent interviews show Bell blaming his prior run-ins with the law, and arrests for lewd acts involving minors, on a government brainwashing conspiracy he calls “The Program.” He blames Dickens’ death on the police, and at one point tells Olsen, “I’ve never killed anybody, okay” with an unsettling laugh.

Each episode of “The Eleven” focuses on the individual stories of the murdered young women and attempts to link them to Bell. Through exhaustive investigation and interviews, Olsen and Paige work to connect the dots.

“The family members we met were really desperate for answers,” Olsen told TexasHillCountry.com.

However, proving Bell’s guilt after 40-plus years proves daunting. In the latest hour-long episode, Olsen and Paige travel to Panama City in an attempt to piece together information about Bell’s time outside the U.S. While their work has thus far reopened two of the murder cases, the investigation is still ongoing.

“We are getting calls from additional people,” Olsen said, “we really do believe there are people across Texas who could still help the investigation.”

Photo: Pixabay

“The Eleven” is a riveting, true crime story that attempts to find closure for the horrendous cold-case murders of multiple teen girls in and around Galveston County. The documentary also offers a disturbing look into the mind of Edward Howard Bell and seeks to validate his connection to these brutal crimes.

If you have any information that may assist the ongoing investigation, please contact the tip line of the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office at 1-800-566-2209.

Catch up with the series at aetv.com or via the A&E app. Tune in on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Central for the remaining episodes. “The Eleven” is produced for A&E Network by Cineflix Inc.

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