ALLIGATOR SERIAL KILLER:
Joseph D. Ball, pictured above, (January 7, 1896 - September 23, 1938) was an serial killer, sometimes referred to as "The Alligator Man," the "Butcher of Elmendorf," and the "Bluebeard of South Texas."
He is said to have killed at least twenty women in the 1930s.
After serving on the front lines in Europe during World War I, Ball started his career as a bootlegger, providing illegal liquor to those who could pay. After the end of the Prohibition ban on alcohol, he opened a saloon called the "Sociable Inn," in Elmendorf, Texas.
He built a pond that contained five alligators and charged people to view them, especially during feeding time; the food consisting mostly of live cats and dogs.
After a while women in the area were reported missing, including barmaids, former girlfriends and his wife. When two Texas Rangers came to question him in 1938, Ball pulled a handgun from his cash register and killed himself with a bullet through the heart.
A handyman that conspired with Ball, named Clifford Wheeler, admitted to helping Ball get rid of the bodies of two of the women he had killed. Wheeler led them to the remains of Hazel Brown and Minnie Gotthard.
Wheeler told authorities that Ball murdered at least twenty other women, but the alligators had disposed of any evidence.
The film Eaten Alive by Tobe Hooper was inspired by Joe Ball.