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  • Who killed Bella Wright?

    With echoes of The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist, this is the real-life mystery that could have been taken from the memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

    Leicester, July 1919. A 21-year-old girl is found dead by her bicycle in a lonely country lane. The death is thought to be an accident, but the autopsy reveals that she was shot in the head. The only clues are that she was last seen with a man on a green bicycle, who seemingly vanishes into thin air, and bloodied bird tracks on a nearby wooden gate. Nearly a year later, the police find the suspect, and he is sent for trial but acquitted. The case remains unsolved to this day.

    This quintessential English murder is the subject of my latest book The Green Bicycle Mystery. Three main theories have been adduced to account for Bella's death, including one that involves crows and those bird tracks! In researching my book, I was given access to dramatic evidence that has been hidden in a police safe for nearly a century. I am publishing it in full for the first time. Never seen by the original trial jury, it may affect the whole complexion of the case. What do you make of it? How will it affect your verdict? Please let me know.

    But to the main question: how do you think Bella Wright died? Was it misadventure, manslaughter or murder? I am interested in hearing your thoughts.
    Attached Files
    Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

  • #2
    It was obviously Ronald Vivian Light who killed her. That was some barrister who got him acquitted.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Harry D View Post
      It was obviously Ronald Vivian Light who killed her. That was some barrister who got him acquitted.
      Manslaughter or murder?
      Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

      Comment


      • #4
        This looks like an interesting case. I'll be buying this.

        When I saw the title of the thread I thought this was going to be about another Bella - one who was found inside a tree trunk. The Hagley Wood Mystery. Another unsolved murder.
        This is simply my opinion

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by louisa View Post
          This looks like an interesting case. I'll be buying this.

          When I saw the title of the thread I thought this was going to be about another Bella - one who was found inside a tree trunk. The Hagley Wood Mystery. Another unsolved murder.
          Hi Louisa - many thanks. By the way, the Hagley Wood mystery is a real mystery - I'm not sure even the victim has been identified.
          Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

          Comment


          • #6
            I must admit I don't know anything about this mystery. Just downloaded the book, which I'm sure will be an excellent read, and will comment after I've read it.
            Last edited by John G; 10-15-2016, 02:02 PM.

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            • #7
              I think Light probably did it although I have read a pretty compelling account that posits that her death was actually an accidental shooting. The first I heard of the case was in 1981 when Colin Wilson mentioned it in The Book of List #2.
              This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

              Stan Reid

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              • #8
                Originally posted by louisa View Post
                When I saw the title of the thread I thought this was going to be about another Bella - one who was found inside a tree trunk. The Hagley Wood Mystery. Another unsolved murder.
                Same. I've always heard it called "The Green Bicycle Case".

                For what it's worth, I think it was an unlikely accident. She was shot from the front while racing down the hill at speed. It's possible that Light raced ahead of her via the shortcut, and shot her to keep her from revealing information, but, if there had been an incident, why didn't she retreat to her uncle's house? Why, also, if she was fleeing Light, did she not take the shorter route?

                I think the boys shooting at birds were her unwitting killers.
                - Ginger

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ginger View Post
                  Same. I've always heard it called "The Green Bicycle Case".

                  For what it's worth, I think it was an unlikely accident. She was shot from the front while racing down the hill at speed. It's possible that Light raced ahead of her via the shortcut, and shot her to keep her from revealing information, but, if there had been an incident, why didn't she retreat to her uncle's house? Why, also, if she was fleeing Light, did she not take the shorter route?

                  I think the boys shooting at birds were her unwitting killers.
                  I added "mystery" to the title because the case is technically unsolved and there are some mysterious aspects to this case.

                  I'd love to know more about your views! A few questions to get us started!

                  First, if the boys were in front of her, the unwitting killers would have seen her, surely?

                  Second, if she was killed while racing down the hill, how come her body was found so close to her bicycle with her feet and legs on the grass verge?

                  Third, in your view, was she killed by the .455 bullet found in the road? This is a large calibre bullet (found in service revolvers and elephant rifles, at the time) - and likely to inflict massive wounds.

                  Fourth, what do you make of the Bowley Statement, the evidence kept in the police safe for nearly a century?
                  Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                    I think Light probably did it although I have read a pretty compelling account that posits that her death was actually an accidental shooting. The first I heard of the case was in 1981 when Colin Wilson mentioned it in The Book of List #2.
                    Love to know more! Who was the accidental shooter? What gun was used? In particular, was it connected to the .455 calibre bullet found in the road?
                    Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John G View Post
                      I must admit I don't know anything about this mystery. Just downloaded the book, which I'm sure will be an excellent read, and will comment after I've read it.
                      Many thanks. I look forward to your views, and particularly which verdict you opt for. This case does not have the wealth of ambiguous evidence or clues like the Wallace Case - few do! But in my view, this is one of the most absorbing cold case stories ever. I guess you could say, Wallace is an Agatha Christie, Green Bicycle more Sherlock Holmes. Again, love to hear your views on this.
                      Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ColdCaseJury View Post
                        Love to know more! Who was the accidental shooter? What gun was used? In particular, was it connected to the .455 calibre bullet found in the road?
                        I don't think they claimed to know who the shooter just that he was taking a shot at the crow and didn't notice Bella was approaching.
                        This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                        Stan Reid

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                          I don't think they claimed to know who the shooter just that he was taking a shot at the crow and didn't notice Bella was approaching.
                          Hi, the 'shooting crows' theory, as I call it, is covered in my book. Is it a compelling account? Many people seem drawn to it, but what of the evidence for it?

                          His one tit-bit for you - a teaser, if you like. Based on the facts presented by the originator of theory (Trueman Humphries, 1922), the bullet's trajectory must been at a slight angle - I calculate 2.7 degrees (see The Geometry of an Accident in my book). The angle of the bullet's path (between the entrance and exit wounds) through Bella's head were far steeper. This does not rule out the theory, but it needs explaining.

                          Or put another way, when it comes to evaluating the theories in this case, the devil is in the detail.
                          Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good to see you here Cold Case.

                            The Green Bicycle case has always interested me, being a native of Leicester I suppose.

                            For me, Lights confession to Bowley is the key.

                            Cheers
                            Monty. (Better known to you as Neil)
                            🙂
                            Monty

                            https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

                            Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                            http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Monty View Post
                              Good to see you here Cold Case.

                              The Green Bicycle case has always interested me, being a native of Leicester I suppose.

                              For me, Lights confession to Bowley is the key.

                              Cheers
                              Monty. (Better known to you as Neil)
                              🙂
                              Monty/Neil

                              I'm reading your book at the moment, by the way.

                              But is the Bowley Statement genuine? And if it is, does Light's account stack up under close scrutiny? Both questions are examined in Chapter Nine of my book, particularly the latter.

                              What's your view?
                              Author of Cold Case Jury books: The Shark Arm Mystery (2020), Poisoned at the Priory (2020), Move to Murder (2018), Death of an Actress (2018), The Green Bicycle Mystery (2017) - "Armchair detectives will be delighted" - Publishers Weekly. And for something completely different - I'm the co-founder of Wow-Vinyl - celebrating the Golden Years of the British Single (1977-85)

                              Comment

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