Suspect killed his pregnant sister and dismembered her body because she was ‘no longer innocent’

Jack Joseph Ball was charged with two counts of second-degree murder on Thursday for the killings of 30-year-old Bethany Ann Israel and her unborn child

Martha McHardy
Wednesday 29 May 2024 14:13 BST
The rise of true crime and its connection to women

A 23-year-old man from Minnesota has been accused of killing his pregnant sister and dismembering her body because she was “no longer innocent.”

Jack Joseph Ball was charged Thursday with two counts of second-degree murder for the killings of 30-year-old Bethany Ann Israel of Bloomington and her unborn child, who was four months along, according to Lakeville police.

Ball was arrested late Thursday in Rosemount, about five miles northeast of the homicide scene, and had a self-inflicted knife wound across his throat. He has been in hospital since, and was only charged on Tuesday. He was arraigned and bail was set at $2 million.

According to a criminal complaint, Ball was arrested after police arrived at a house near 172nd Street and Encina Path at around 11 pm where they found a large pool of blood on the kitchen floor under the sink and sink cabinet.

Officers said they found a bloody saw, hatchet and large bloody knives in the home. As they moved through the house, officers said they saw a knife on the living room floor near the staircase. As they searched, police found several dismembered body parts they believed were Israel’s.

Officers later found Ball covered in blood with a slash wound to his throat in the backyard of a neighboring home, where his car was also parked. He was found by officers after they recieved a 911 call from a Rosemount resident reporting they saw a man through their security camera who appeared to place a body part on their front step.

An undated photo of Bethany Ann Israel and her husband, Josh Israel. Beth Ann Israel was found murdered and dismembered in a Minnesota home last week and her brother has been arrested in connection to her killing.
An undated photo of Bethany Ann Israel and her husband, Josh Israel. Beth Ann Israel was found murdered and dismembered in a Minnesota home last week and her brother has been arrested in connection to her killing. (GoFundMe)

The complaint noted that, despite his injury, “(Ball) was able to communicate with officers and accurately told them the date, time and name of the current president.”

Police then searched the area and found several dismembered body parts believed to be those of Israel.

After finding Ball and taking him into custody, officers later found journals and other papers belonging to him where he wrote that he was angry Israel was pregnant and “no longer innocent,” according to court documents.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Israel’s cause of death as complex homicidal violence. She was between 17 and 18 weeks pregnant, officials said.

“The allegations in this case are deeply disturbing and horrific — words can’t describe what our law enforcement partners encountered during the investigation,” said Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena. “My office will work hard to ensure the victims receive justice and will provide the necessary support for the victims’ family.”

Assistant Dakota County Attorney Stacy St. George added that journal entries indicate the killing “may have been premediated.”

“This is a disturbing murder of the defendant’s sister and her unborn child,” he told the court on Tuesday while asking for the high bail amount. “Journal entries indicate that this may have been premediated. As the complaint describes, the defendant murdered, then dismembered the body and placed various body parts in different locations in Dakota County.”

Ball does not have a criminal history, court records show, and the complaint did not note any mental illness issues in his past. However, Rosemount Police Chief Mikael Dahlstrom said Ball used to live in Rosemount, and his department has had previous interactions with him.

Most recently, Rosemount Police responded to a mental health call for Ball in 2022, local outlet TwinCities reported, citing comments made by Dahlstrom.

Following her death, Israel was remembered as a “cherished wife, daughter, sister, and an expectant mother” who was also a “beloved figure” in the volleyball community. “Her love for life, her family, and the friendships she nurtured are the legacies she leaves behind,” a GoFundMe page reads. “As a beacon of warmth and generosity, Bethany’s absence leaves a void that cannot be filled.”

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