Photos of David"
Monahans News (TX) - Feb. 27, 1969
David from Hobbs High School in New Mexico.
David was the son of Darrell Leland & Margaret E. (Scovell) Bell. He had a younger brother, John Carl, who also became a physician.
David Lloyd Bell graduated from high school in Hobbs, NM. He attended the University of Iowa where he graduated from pre-med in 1964 & completed his medical education at University of Iowa Medical School. From there he went to Dallas where he served his residency in orthopedic surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital. After his residency he joined the Air Force & served a two year tour as "Captain David Bell" in the hospital at Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas. After getting out of the Air Force, he pursued specialized training in surgery of the hand & arm & became certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Newspapers over the years have helped provide a brief glimpse into his life:
Monahans News (TX)
August 1, 1966
"DAVID BELL NAMED TOP MEDICAL STUDENT
David L. Bell, son of Dr. D.L. Bell of Hobbs and formerly of Monahans, was recently voted the outstanding student in the University of Iowa School of Medicine for the year 1965. Young Bell holds an A.B. degree from the University of Iowa and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his sophomore year."
Hobbs Flare (NM)
August 3, 1967
"HOSPITALS IN RED
... Dr. William F. Stone and Dr. David L. Bell were admitted as staff members at the Hobbs hospital. .... "
Monahans News (TX)
Feb. 27, 1969
"YOUNG DR. BELL AUTHORS MEDICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE
Dr. David L. Bell, son of Dr. Darrell L. Bell of Monahans, will have a prep published in the forth-coming edition of The American Journal of bone and Joint diseases explaining an observation or discovery he made in the field of orthopedic surgery.
The son of the Monahans physician is a resident intern at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He attended Monahans schools during the first eight years of his elementary schooling. Later he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Iowa and then from the Medical School of that university where he was honor graduate of his med class.
The magazine article will explain a finding made by him which will be of particular value to doctors in diagnosing injuries to the knee ligaments. A specialist in the field of orthopedic surgery, the young doctor will train during his next intern year at Childrens Hospital at Dallas, at Baylor Hospital for his third year where he will be in charge of all broken hip and back operations and during his fourth year, he will be at parkland as Chief Orthopedic Resident. He plans to be in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Orthopedic Surgery during his fifth year.
Dr. John C. Bell, a brother of David, is a junior at the Medical School of Washington University in St. Louis and has been selected to do special studies in medicine in London, England this summer."
Blytheville Courier News (AR)
March 21, 1974
"BELL TO BE AT SYMPOSIUM
Dr. David L. Bell, orthopedic surgeon at Blytheville Air Force Base, will attend a symposium this month at the University of Louisville covering 'Recent Advances in Micro-Vascular Surgery.' The symposium, sponsored by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, will examine techniques developed by Australian doctors involving replacement of small amputated parts of the body by using the operating microscope and suture (thread) finer than a cob web, base officials said."
David married Barbara Lynn Easterly in Dallas, TX, on June 10, 1970.
Naples Daily News
July 19, 1970
"NUPTIALS IN TEXAS
Miss Barbara Easterly, daughter of Mrs. Jean Easterly, 680 12thAve. S., became the bride of Dr. David Lloyd Bell, son of Dr. Darrell Bell, Monahans, Texas, on June 10 in a ceremony in Dallas, Texas.
The bride is a graduate of Naples High School and the University of Florida. She was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. Presently she is employed as buyer for the Army Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas. Dr. Bell is an orthopedic surgeon at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. he received his medical degree from the University of Iowa Medial School and is a member of Phi Delta Theta, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Kappa, Phi Alpha Mu and Phi Eta Sigma fraternities. Dr.and Mrs. Bell will make their home in Dallas."
They had two children, Carter & Erin. Like his father, he was murdered, not by strangers, but by his wife. At the time of his death David, age 51, & Barbara were living in Tulsa. He was at the peak of his career & was highly admired by co-workers, acquaintances, & relatives.
In 1993, David and Barbara, & their two children lived at 3407 E. 66th St. in Tulsa. From all appearances, they had a model life & were well respected in the community. David was enjoying a successful career after many years of work. He & Barbara were active socially & were involved in the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. They participated in many fund raisers in the community, two of which were the Tulsa Opera & the Tulsa Mental Health Association.
They were entertaining company on the fatal evening, Friday, January 22, 1993, when David answered a page & told Barbara that he had to go to the hospital. Later that evening she tried to contact him, checking the two hospitals where he worked, & the pager company. Unable to locate him, she was convinced he had lied about where he had gone. It was never clear where he had actually gone. Rumors were circulating at the hospital that he was involved with one of the nurses working with him.
David arrived home shortly before 10:30 p.m. & found Barbara waiting for him with their 9mm handgun. They argued, & she shot him in the forehead from a distance of five feet. He collapsed on the garage steps leading into the utility room, & she called the paramedics, telling them that she had shot her husband. He was still breathing when they arrived, & he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, where he worked. Dr. Harry Livingston, who had hired him in 1974, was called to his bedside, arriving shortly before he died at 12:25 a.m. Barbara was booked into the Tulsa jail about 3:30 a.m. and was charged with second-degree murder. She was released on bail about nine hours later.
During 1993 Newspaper articles, published in The Tulsa World have provided a bird's-eye view into his career, murder, and the ensuing trial.
Barbara was tried & convicted of second-degree murder by a jury and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She served two years in prison before the State Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction in 1995. They ordered a new trial based on a "presumed guilty" instruction routinely offered by the trial judge. The State sought a retrial of the matter, & a law firm was retained to defend her at the second trial. Before the trial was to begin, the State offered a plea, which Barbara accepted & entered an Alford plea. She plead to first-degree manslaughter & was sentenced by the Judge to an 18-year prison term, giving her credit for 4½ years of time already served. The Judge ordered the remainder of the sentence, 13½ years, to be served as unsupervised probation.
David's obituary was published in The Tulsa World on Tuesday, January 26, 1993:
"Bell - David Lloyd, M.D., 51, Tulsa, died January 23, 1993. A partner with Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa. He was reared in Hobbs, NM, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of Iowa in 1964. Completed his medical education at University of Iowa Medial School and orthopedic residency, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, TX.
He served 2 years in the U.S. Air Force, Blytheville, AR. He acquired special training in surgery of the hand and upper extremity; was certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery with additional qualifications in Surgery of the Hand. He joined Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa in 1974. He practiced at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and Broken Arrow Medical Center. He was a Clinical Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma Tulsa Medical College. He was active in Tulsa County Medical Society, American Medical Association for Surgery of the Hand and the faculty of the American College of Surgeons, Advanced Trauma Life Support.
Barbara and David Bell were married in 1970 in Dallas, TX. Survived by wife, Barbara; son, Carter; daughter, Erin, all of Tulsa; brother, Dr. John Bell, Bend, OR. Memorial service 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 26, 1993, St. John Episcopal Church. Private grave side service Calvary Cemetery. Friends may contribute to Parent-Child Center of Tulsa . . . in his memory. The Fitzgerald Funeral Service."
The above information has been edited from my book, "The Family of James and Caroline Bell." James & Caroline were David's ggg-grandparents.
Barbara Lynn Easterly Spiller
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