Saturday, November 5, 2011
[NYPD] 1955: Officer Bell's accidental shootings of 2 wives, Margaret and Rose Mary
SECOND WIFE SHOT WITH POLICE PISTOL
The New York Times
Apr 19, 1955; pg. 2
Traffic Patrolman Chester Bell told detectives that his 32 year old wife, Margaret, had placed the revolver at her temple and it had gone off as he tried to retrieve it. The shooting occurred after the couple had argued, it was said. Ten years ago Patroman Bell's first wife, Rose Mary, 24, was killed as he was loading his revolver. At that time he was reprimanded for failing to take the proper safeguards and was sent back to duty... Mrs. [Margaret] Bell was struck in the right temple... The investigation is continuing. Mrs. Margaret Bell is in a coma.
POLICEMAN SHOOTS WIFE IN STRUGGLE
Kingston Daily Freeman
April 18th, 1955
...Police Department records disclosed that [Margaret's] husband, Chester Bell, a traffic patrolman, was reprimanded after his first wife Rosemary, mother of three of his children, was accidentally killed while he was loading his service revolver 10 years ago. The reprimand was for failing to take proper safeguards while loading the weapon. The present Mrs. Bell is the mother of two...
FROM RENEE' HARRINGTON of Michigan Officer-Involved Domestic Violence:
"Did the newspaper not check its previous account of these shootings? The 1945 and 1955 accounts of the shootings are completely different from the accounts in the 1973 newspaper articles. What the hell?"
Officer Chester Hamilton Bell:
- Bell's first wife was killed in 1944, when his service revolver went off by accident while he was donning his holster.
- In 1955, his second wife was seriously wounded in a similar incident.
- Sentenced March 30, 1964 to serve one to three years sentence for extortion and oppression.
- In April 1973, [at the time his son NY Officer Richard Bell, was charged with robbery, conspiracy, and possession of dangerous drugs], Chester Bell was working in Representative Mario Biaggi's mayoral campaign. The charges against Richard Bell stem from Officers Bell and Officer Francis Reilly attempting to steal cocaine from three men they believed were dealers, but who were in fact undercover policement.
- At the time of Richard Bell's arrest, it was disclosed that Richard was the driver for Representative Biaggi. Biaggi also was a patrol officer and worked with Officer Chester Bell during the 1940's.
These articles are written word for word, because the accounts differ from 1945, 1955, and 1973.
Second Wife Shot With Police Pistol
New York Times
April 19, 1955
A patrolman's wife was seriously wounded Sunday night while struggling with her husband for possession of his service revolver. She had threatened to kill herself, the police reported.
Traffic patrolman Chester Bell told detectives that his 32 year old wife, Margaret, had placed the revolver at her temple and it had gone off as he tried to retrieve it. The shooting occurred after the couple had argued, it was said.
Ten years ago, Patrolman Bell's first wife, Rose Mary, 24, was killed as he was loading his revolver. At that time he was reprimanded for failing to take proper safeguards and was sent back to duty.
Patrolman Bell, who is now 34, told detectives investigating the current shooting that he was about to retire for the night and had placed his revolver on top of the refrigerator in the couple's apartment at 343 East Ninety-second Street. His wife grabbed it, the patrolman said,and she threatened to shoot herself.
He attempted to wrest the wrest the weapon from her and a shot was fired, Patrolman Bell said. Mrs. Bell was struck in the right temple. The patrolman took her to Beth David Hospital, where doctors performed an operation.
Also questioned by the police was Mrs. Bell's sister, Joan Rogers, 18 who lives with the couple. She witnessed the shooting and verified the patrolman's story, the detectives reported.
Patrolman Bell and Miss Rogers were questioned yesterday for several hours by Assistant District Attorney William Laguen in the office of District Attorney Frank S. Hogan.
After the patrolman and his sister-in-law had left Mr. Hogan's office, Mr. Loguen said, “The investigation is continuing.”
Mrs. Bell was in a coma.
Two Police Held in Cocaine Theft
[This article is in regards to Chester's son Richard]
April 7, 1973
New York Times
“...According to two law enforcement sources, his father is Chester Hamilton Bell, a former New York policeman who on March 30, 1964 surrendered to state officials to serve a one to three-year sentence after he had been convicted of extortion and oppression... Bell's first wife was killed in 1944, when his service revolver reportedly went off by accident while he was donning his holster. In 1955, his second wife was seriously wounded in a similar accident”...
A Holdup Suspect Was Biaggi Driver
Policeman in Cocaine Case Had Access to Candidate
April 11, 1973
New York Times
2 Gun Accidents
...[Chester] Bell was sentenced to one to three years in prison in 1964 after having been convicted of extortion. His first wife was killed in 1944 when his service revolver reportedly went off by accident while he was putting on his holster. In 1955, his second wife was seriously wounded in a similar accident....
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities accidental accidetally alleged murder suicide suicidal new york state politics nyc department teflon]