HISTORY OF THE DAY
According to Oleg Loginov
ALLIGATOR LOVER JOE BALL
Joseph Douglas Ball was born on January 7, 1896 in Texas. He loved adventures. During World War I, he served in the American Army in Europe. In 1919, he returned to the United States, where he sold real estate for a while, and also owned a grocery store. But it seemed boring to him. And with the adoption of the «Prohibition Law», he took up bootlegging. When it became legal to sell alcohol, Joe opened a salon outside the city, where he arranged cockfights.
But the roosters did not bring much money, and then Ball dug a large pool behind his bar, into which he launched five alligators. The show with feeding reptiles, to which Joe threw live cats, dogs and other animals, was liked by people and his customers in the institution noticeably increased. But on the other hand, there were also problems on the personal front — Ball started making love with three waitresses from his bar at once. At first, the love quadrangle entertained him, then it began to strain him. He solved the problem in a cardinal way. One by one, he killed all three mistresses and fed them to alligators. As time went on, the people who worked at Joe’s bar kept disappearing.
Joe Ball’s Bar
The police visited Ball several times, but each time they left with nothing. But one of the residents of the neighborhood told the cops that he saw Ball feeding sliced human meat to his alligators. And then two Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies went to see him again on September 24, 1938. When they arrived at Joe’s place, he immediately realized that «it smells like kerosene» and asked for permission to lock the cash register and close the bar. He was allowed. Approaching the cash register, he suddenly pulled out a .45-caliber revolver hidden there, scared the cops with it, and then put the barrel to his chest and fired. After Joe Ball’s suicide, the police checked him out a pool with alligators and found a lot of human remains and matted hair at the bottom.
A handyman named Clifford Wheeler testified that his owner Joseph Ball fed about 20 of his victims to crocodiles. Clifford helped him dispose of the bodies of two women. He did this not out of love for animals. The African-American Wheeler was terribly afraid of Ball, and he fueled his fear by shooting the guy under his feet in a drunken state to make him dance the jitterbug. However, helping the investigation did not save Wheeler from punishment. He spent two years in prison for feeding crocodiles with human meat and failing to report it.
The alligators were donated to the zoo in San Antonio, where they became the main attractions. And Joe Ball gained posthumous fame. Many legends have arisen in which he appears under the nicknames «The Butcher from Elmendorf», «Bluebeard from South Texas» and «The Alligator Man». Based on his crimes in 1976, director Tobe Hooper made a feature film «Eaten Alive» («Eaten Alive»).
*Texts from Wikipedia and other Internet resources were used.
*Translated using an electronic dictionary. The original text in Russian and much more on the criminal topic can be selected on the main page of the site — http://crimerecords.info/