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March 30, 2023

Larry Gene Bell | The Murders of Shari Smith and Debra Helmick | Feat. Bobbie Holmes

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In this off-season episode, I'm joined by Bobbie Holmes of Killer Stories, who tells me (and you) the story of American double murderer Larry Gene Bell.


Larry Gene Bell kidnapped 17-year-old Shari Smith on May 31, 1985, and murdered her shortly after. He then taunted Shari's family by making several phone calls and forcing Shari to write them a letter before she was killed.


A couple of weeks later, Larry kidnapped 9-year-old Debra Helmick and murdered her in a similar fashion. Once more, he taunted Shari's family after doing so.


After his arrest on June 27, 1985, Larry Gene Bell was given the death penalty. He chose the electric chair over lethal injection and was finally executed on October 4, 1996.


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Intro music:

David John Brady - 'Throw Down the Gauntlet'


Bobbie's References:

Blanco, J. I. (n.d.). Larry Gene Bell. Murderpedia. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

DeGroot, N. (2020, December 27). Larry Gene Bell: The Murders of Shari Smith and Debra Helmick. Talk Murder With Me. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Jin, L. (2020, November 11). Kidnapper Forces Victim to Write Last Will and Testament Before Killing Her. Medium. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Mitra, S. (2022, March 29). Shari Faye Smith and Debra Helmick Murder: Is Larry Bell Dead or Alive?The Cinemaholic. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

State v. Bell. (1990, February 26). Justia Law. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Bobbie HolmesProfile Photo

Bobbie Holmes

Podcast Host

Bobbie hosts 'Killer Stories', an independent true crime podcast.