Monday, September 23, 2013

Reputed Prostitute Renee Bell Died At The Hands Of Mark Anthony Profit, The Wirth Park Serial Killer, In 1996...

Stock photo, Theo Wirth Park, blog post
by John Hoff

Normally this blog doesn't feel a need to go back and cover old North Minneapolis stories. There are enough stories in the present, and too little time to cover them. But the surname "Bell" came up recently, and somebody pointed me in the direction of another person named Bell, a reputed North Minneapolis prostitute who died at the hands of a serial killer.

Good heavens. I never knew North Minneapolis ever HAD a serial killer...

But we did, if by "serial" one means "four." Not very impressive by serial killer standards, but that's certainly a good thing.

Mark Anthony Profit killed three women and one man, but the man was a 21-year-old transsexual. Click here for some, not all, of an old newspaper article. Due to being a bona fide serial killer, Profit receives a special engraved beer mug (I'm kidding) and his own entry in Murderpedia. (That last part is real, click here) 

As for the part about Renee Bell, for that's who I'm focused upon, here's the graphic facts about her death as outlined in an appeal Profit filed in the Minnesota court system.


On May 23, 1996, the nude body of Renee Bell, a 30-year-old African-American woman, was found floating in Basset Creek in Theodore Wirth Park in Golden Valley, Minnesota. What appeared to be an elastic waistband from an article of clothing had been wrapped around Bell's neck and was secured in a knot. One end of this ligature was also looped through Bell's mouth and under her tongue in a gag-like manner.

Dr. Mitchell Morey, an Assistant Hennepin County Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on Bell and concluded that Bell had been strangled with the ligature and that her death was a homicide. Dr. Morey concluded that Bell had been dead from one day to one week.

According to police, Bell was a reputed prostitute who frequented the Broadway Avenue area of Minneapolis. The autopsy revealed that Bell had ingested cocaine within a few hours before her death. Police investigators also observed that Bell's upper torso and vaginal areas were covered with mud. Police Sergeant Robert Krebs testified that the mud “appear[ed] to be packed, not just a matter of something [sic] had flowed over the body.”

Dr. Morey discovered mud inside Bell's vaginal vault as well, but found no other evidence of vaginal injury nor any indication of sperm or seminal fluid inside Bell's vaginal vault. Dr. Morey declined to rule out the possibility of sexual assault, however, stating that the decomposition of Bell's body and her submersion in water could have masked evidence of such an assault.

On July 13, 1996, Officer David Born of the Golden Valley Police Department found a wallet laying on the bank of Basset Creek a few feet from where Bell's body had been discovered. The water level of the creek had subsided since the discovery of Bell's body in May, causing the waterline to recede approximately eight feet. The wallet was found about one foot from the creek's edge and appeared to have been underwater. The wallet contained Profit's driver's license, as well as several papers subsequently linked to him.

Bell's body was just the first of several bodies to be found in or near Theodore Wirth Park during the summer of 1996. On June 3, 1996, the body of Deborah Lavoie was found approximately one and one-half blocks from where Bell's body had been discovered. On June 19, 1996, the body of Avis Warfield was found approximately one-half mile from Theodore Wirth Park. Both bodies had been burned with gasoline.

On July 20, 1996, the body of Keooudorn Phothisane, a male transvestite, was discovered in Theodore Wirth Park within one and one-half blocks of where Bell's body had been found. Although Phothisane's body was also burned, police determined that he had been bludgeoned to death. Several juveniles claimed to have seen an African-American man running from the scene where Phothisane's body was found. The juvenile witnesses provided a composite sketch of the man to police. Profit is an African-American.

Each of these deaths, along with the Bell killing, was investigated by a multijurisdictional police task force under the premise that the deaths might be the work of a serial killer.


As for Mark Anthony Profit, he died in prison. From what I can find online, it appears there are no photographs of him on the internet. If anybody possesses a photo of Mark Anthony Profit, preferably an old mug shot that's clearly identifiable, I'd like to publish that image to help fill in the blanks of public knowledge. For that matter, I do not have any photo of Profit's victim, Renee Bell, nor any of the other victims. The murders happened prior to the rise of the internet, and therefore are not documented too well in the digital age. Again, if anybody has a photo...

As for the connection that brought me here, this blog has no solid proof Renee Bell is related to anybody else connected to North Minneapolis and named "Bell." If I get proof like that, I'll be revisting the topic and linking to this blog posting. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ya know what? If you were really a Minneapolis native who had roots here and pride in this city you might have known about our "serial killer". But you are just some wanna be who came here 6 years ago and decided to stick his nose in our business. Fact is most northsiders think you're an ass and wish you would go away. You are nothing but racist scum who only lives here a few days a month while renting out your dilapidated shit box.

Anonymous said...

http://www.intelius.com/Find-Phone-Address/Minneapolis-MN/Barbara-Bell.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.intelius.com/Find-Phone-Address/Minneapolis-MN/Renee-Bell.html

Anonymous said...

Johnny is a HERO. He says it like it is!

Anonymous said...

If you are able to access previous Star Tribune articles there is an interview with and a picture of Alonzo Bell and his mother Barbara Bell at the trial of his sister , Reneee.

Johnny Northside! said...

I'll try searching for the old Star Tribune article you mention but if you could provide a link that would be helpful. And I don't see how an article so old would be online, at least not the complete article with a picture. In my experience, Star Tribune articles that old are not online, though the first few paragraphs and the rest of the article is for sale on some site that sells old articles.

Anyway, link to the article if you would, please.

Anonymous said...

There was also a victim that survived an attack ran away & was saved by some people driving thru the parkway. She testified against him at the trial.

Bob L said...

Debbie Lavoie was my sister