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  • Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?

    taking this from another thread. i had to google this case as ive never heard of it before. how bizzaro. does anyone have any insight to this mystery?

  • #2
    Hi Abby,

    Glad you picked it up. It's a proper mystery. No one's solving it any time soon.
    It's probably better remembered in Britain because of the graffiti it inspired in later decades.
    Thems the Vagaries.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
      Hi Abby,

      Glad you picked it up. It's a proper mystery. No one's solving it any time soon.
      It's probably better remembered in Britain because of the graffiti it inspired in later decades.
      thanks al
      just from reading the wiki entry it looks like Bella was a prostitute who had disapeared about 2-3 years earlier. the other stories are a bit far fetched.

      also, It seems the grafitti writers were different people because the first writer wrote it Wych and the subsequent ones were spelled witch.

      im not sure how far the tree was from a road, but id be looking at people who lived on the estate or very near it.

      Comment


      • #4

        In March 2018 I read an article by Cathi Unsworth, from Fortean Times, and was very intrigued. The article was called "Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?". There is something about those words.

        I believe the granddaughter of Joseph Jacobs (incidently, the last man to be executed in the Tower of London) was writing a book about her grandfather, and his claimed involvment in the life of "Bella".

        Comment


        • #5
          Would you believe it? I was going to start a thread on the same subject but Mr Normal has beaten me to it.

          I was reminded of this case by Al a few days ago and so while I’m waiting for a book on the Shark Arm case to arrive I ordered ‘Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm’ volume one by Alex Merrill who was 15 at the time of writing (helped by his father)

          Its only a slim volume (119 pages) and cost around 8 but well worth it in my opinion. It came today and I read it straight through. As this is volume one it mainly presents the facts of the case (although it touches on a theory or two) Police reports, medical reports, photographs and a facial reconstruction from the skull. Hats off to a 15 lad whose obviously fascinated by the case. I’ve just ordered volume 2 for around the same price. Volume 3 hasn’t appeared yet.

          There doesn't appear to be many books on the case. There’s one by a woman called Coley but I can’t see a copy for sale at the moment. Donald McCormick also wrote a book on the case with a suggested witchcraft connection but the only copy I can see is going for 99!

          Im looking forward to reading more. I might visit the location which isn’t to far from me.

          No theory is confirmed. Was she a prostitute? No one knows but one graffito said ‘Bella was no pross.’

          It appears to be believed that the first 2 or 3 graffito might have been written by the same person. It’s also interesting to me that some graffito called her Lubella.

          Theres a podcast or two I might track down. It’s the kind of case though where it’s difficult to see anyone getting near to the truth unless some new evidence shows up. Certainly interesting though.

          Regards

          Herlock




          “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
          “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
          “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
          “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
          “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
            Would you believe it? I was going to start a thread on the same subject but Mr Normal has beaten me to it.

            I was reminded of this case by Al a few days ago and so while I’m waiting for a book on the Shark Arm case to arrive I ordered ‘Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm’ volume one by Alex Merrill who was 15 at the time of writing (helped by his father)

            Its only a slim volume (119 pages) and cost around 8 but well worth it in my opinion. It came today and I read it straight through. As this is volume one it mainly presents the facts of the case (although it touches on a theory or two) Police reports, medical reports, photographs and a facial reconstruction from the skull. Hats off to a 15 lad whose obviously fascinated by the case. I’ve just ordered volume 2 for around the same price. Volume 3 hasn’t appeared yet.

            There doesn't appear to be many books on the case. There’s one by a woman called Coley but I can’t see a copy for sale at the moment. Donald McCormick also wrote a book on the case with a suggested witchcraft connection but the only copy I can see is going for 99!

            Im looking forward to reading more. I might visit the location which isn’t to far from me.

            No theory is confirmed. Was she a prostitute? No one knows but one graffito said ‘Bella was no pross.’

            It appears to be believed that the first 2 or 3 graffito might have been written by the same person. It’s also interesting to me that some graffito called her Lubella.

            Theres a podcast or two I might track down. It’s the kind of case though where it’s difficult to see anyone getting near to the truth unless some new evidence shows up. Certainly interesting though.
            yeah whata bizzarro case. i mean who would think of hiding a body in a tree? someone must have known about that tree beforehand, which is why i said i would be looking at people on or near tje estate.

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            • #7
              Where's Wycherman when we need him?
              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DJA View Post
                Where's Wycherman when we need him?
                Regards

                Herlock




                “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                  yeah whata bizzarro case. i mean who would think of hiding a body in a tree? someone must have known about that tree beforehand, which is why i said i would be looking at people on or near tje estate.
                  There’s one theory that a woman got a bit drunk and rowdy and was dumped unconscious in the tree. There’s a theory involving spying and also the black magic angle. Add to the mix that there were some gypsies camped locally (shades of The Speckled Band)

                  Professor Webster’s descriptor of Bella was - age 25-40 probably nearer 35. Around 5 feet tall. Irregular lower teeth. Her clothes appear to have been not very high quality. Mousy hair ( though on a tv programme years later he said ‘ginger’ which no one seems able to explain except in that apparently hair can go that colour after death.)

                  He felt that she was placed there before rigor set in or after it had gone due to the tight space in the tree. Although if it was after rigor putrefaction would have begun. She also had a tooth missing which had come out post mortem. It wasn’t found in or around the tree so she could have been killed elsewhere.

                  It seems that the witchcraft theory at least partially came from the belief that one of her hands was found a certain exact distance away (something connected to witchcraft) This doesn’t appear to have been the case as there’s no mention of this in any records so it sounds like a legend. Plus Donald McCormick wrote a book on the witchcraft angle so the hugest pinch of salt might be required

                  Ive just noticed something that must be an error. Webster mentions an irregularity in her teeth on the lower jaw but when you see the skull photos (confirmed by the facial reconstruction) the irregularities were in the teeth of the upper jaw? Don’t understand how he could have gotten that wrong and no one picked up on it. I think I’ll give the book a re-read tomorrow.
                  Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 10-24-2020, 11:10 PM.
                  Regards

                  Herlock




                  “ Herlock is the cleverest man that I’ve ever met.” - Stephen Hawking.
                  “ I wish that I could have achieved half as much as Herlock.”- Neil Armstrong.
                  “ What a voice Herlock has.” - Luciano Pavarotti.
                  “ I wish that I could dump Harry for Herlock.” - Meghan Markle.
                  “ I know that it’s not good to be jealous but I just can’t help it.” - John Holmes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Click image for larger version  Name:	bella2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	175.7 KB ID:	744474
                    Police handout. Should read upper jaw.

                    I doubt she was a local.

                    Had borne a child.

                    Fake wedding ring does remind me of "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" plot.
                    Last edited by DJA; 10-24-2020, 11:47 PM.
                    My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The big clue might be the blue crepe soled shoes.
                      Screams America early World War 2.
                      Wonder if her name was Lulu Belle.
                      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                      • #12
                        Long shot ..... however ......

                        Suspect her husband was an American pilot involved with Spitfire production,testing and defense during the Birmingham Blitz.
                        He has moved her out of the main danger zone.
                        Her ring was originally described as gold.

                        Fun fact ..... Carl Perkin's song,Blue Suede Shoes was originally based on military regulation airman's shoes.

                        Crepe rubber soled suede boots were popular with soldiers in North Africa at the start of the War.
                        Even then latex rubber was in short supply.
                        When Japan entered the War,supply dried up and the race for synthetics escalated.
                        That was pretty much the end of crepe soled shoes for several years.

                        Similar story with hemp and nylon.
                        Ironically the use of colchicine in the hope of producing stronger rope resulted in the polygenetic strains we encounter today.
                        Last edited by DJA; 10-25-2020, 02:32 AM.
                        My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                        • #13
                          Haven't turned up much on Squadron Leader William Douglas Osborn who guarded the murder scene on April 18,1943,apart from his son ..... yet!
                          My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                          • #14
                            John Lyttelton, 9th Viscount Cobham - Wikipedia

                            Owner of the property.

                            Son,Governor General of New Zealand.

                            One daughter married 5th Duke of Westminster,the richest person in the world during 1970s.


                            My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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                            • #15
                              Woe betide anyone trying to cut off a lady's arm on his property.

                              Click image for larger version

Name:	Viscount_Cobham.jpg
Views:	124
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ID:	744482
                              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

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