Elsie Schevchenko, better known as Ella Waldek, is a former female professional wrestler.
She has been recognized as a pioneer in women's wrestling.
Ella was born as Elsie Schevchenko in Custard, Washington in 1930 or 1929.
She grew up as a self-described "farm girl".
Ella started out as a roller derby performer, and her professional wrestling career began in 1952 after a male friend took her to a professional wrestling event.
Despite her limited knowledge of professional wrestling at the time, she went on to have a successful career as a female pro wrestler.
Ella began her career in Chicago, Illinois.
She adopted the name "Ella Ella" because, in her words, “who could stand in a ring and autograph an eleven letter last name?”
Ella earned the nickname "The Policeman" and also worked under the names "Jackie Lee" and "Charming Carmen".
She adopted the short arm scissor lift as one her signature wrestling maneuvers.
Over the course of her career, Ella worked matches with other notable female wrestlers including Mae Young.
It was during a match involving Young that the most infamous moment in her career occurred.
Janet Boyer Wolfe was injured by and subsequently died after a kick she had received from Ella during a tag team match.
Wolfe, who was apparently being pushed to be a major wrestling star, had been complaining about her head hurting before the match.
However, despite Ella's reported pleas to Wolfe that she see a doctor, Wolfe worked the match nonetheless.
Though Wolfe's death was eventually ruled to be an accident, police initially arrested Ella and the other participants in the match, Mae Young and Eva Lee.
The police reportedly considered charging the three with manslaughter, but all three women were eventually released.
Ironically, as a result of the incident, people attended wrestling events to see Ella and she had to endure crowd chants of "Murderer" directed at her.
To this day, the event remains an emotional topic for her.
After almost twenty years of wrestling, Ella ended her career in 1971.
She then became a private investigator and subsequently founded her own security firm, before taking up gardening part-time.
Her professional career had apparently taken its toll though, as she had been rendered unable to have children due to a kick she had taken to the solar plexus.
Ella recounted her experiences as a professional wrestler for the documentary film Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling, reuniting with some of her fellow female wrestlers in the process.
Through her involvement in the film, Ella found out that singer songwriter Neko Case, who had been working on music for the film, is her great-niece
During her career, Ella held the NWA Florida Women's Championship, the NWA Southern Women's Championship twice and the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship once with Mae Young.