Detective William L. Bell

Detective William L. Bell

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Sunday, August 14, 1966

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William L. Bell

Detective Bell and Detective Marlyn Bateson were killed when their unmarked patrol car was struck by a drunk driver at 10 p.m.

The detectives were en route to assist another unit on a man with a gun call. The officers were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Lafayette Street and Livernois Street. When the light turned green, they entered the intersection and were struck by a drunk driver at a speed of 80 mph. The suspect was never charged in connection with their deaths but was later convicted of murdering nine women.

Detective Bell was a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a radioman in the invasion of Okinawa and the Battle of Leyte. He had served with the Detroit Police Department for 17 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Never charged

drunk driver, officer assistance

Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

To My Father,
It feels like yesterday..but here we are 56 years later. I say your name everyday! You were robbed of your life and mine and my brothers lives. We try to make you proud. You have four grandchildren and five grandchildren and three great great children. They all know about how special you and mom are to us. I miss and love you. Until we meet again you will live in my heart.

Paula C Meinke

August 14, 2022

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