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 been with the Detroit Police Department for 17 years and 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 16 Reflections

Dad, It has been 55 years today. Life is good but missing a big part of our hearts. You should have been able to watch you kids grow and enjoy your grandchildren. But I know you watch over us. Thank you for watching out for my husband. He did 34 years at DPD. Now continue to watch Jeremy in Ferndale I know you will.
Love you and miss you every day.

Paula Bell Meinkr

August 14, 2021

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