Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joe Ball, the Butcher of Elmendorf

Delaine Mathieu at WOAI-TV recounts the tale of a killer who lived just south of San Antonio early in the 20th Century. And, yes, it is a little strange.
Joe[ Ball]'s story goes like this -- Back in the mid 1930's, after prohibition ended, Joe opened a bar called "The Sociable Inn" on Farm to Market Road 327 in Elmendorf, about 17 miles south of San Antonio. Back behind the bar, Joe kept a pond full of gators and fed them live animals to entertain the crowds. But then, women began to disappear. First, it was his long time girlfriend Minnie Gotthardt. Then, another girlfriend and barmaid at the inn, Hazel Brown.

On September 24th, 1938, when two Texas rangers [sic] went to the bar to question Joe, he put a gun to his chest and pulled the trigger. It was the day Joe Ball's life ended, and the day the legend of Joe Ball began.
The legend? That he fed parts of his victims to his alligators. And the really strange part? After Ball died, his alligators were donated to the San Antonio Zoo.

I bet the zookeepers were real careful around them.

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