UK UK - Worcestershire, Fem Skeletal 'Bella in the Wych Elm', Hagley Hall, Apr'43

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by iconoclast, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. iconoclast

    iconoclast Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    An intriguing and probably unsolvable case...my specialty!

    Once you take away the "supernatural" elements emphasized on so many websites, what we have here could be a case involving illegal immigration, espionage, or organized crime. "Bella" seems never to have officially existed in the UK, but during wartime that wasn't so unusual.

    The most complete treatment (albeit a little bit occultish) is at http://www.mysteriouspeople.com/Bella_in_the_wychelm.htm. I wonder what DNA would tell us...if "Bella's" location is even known today?
     
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  3. kline

    kline New Member

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    Wow,Seriously creepy,but interesting.
    What in the world could have happened in this womans life to lead to this?
    Goes to show our present times have no monopoly on bizzare events.
     
  4. pixies

    pixies Former Member

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    This was during the war, people died in many many ways.
    You would have to look at the owners of the property first and those who work for them...no way to know these things now.

    Very interesting !
     
  5. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    It appears that someone would have had to have known that this tree was hollow in the center. Do we even know if the tree was a Wych Hazel or a Wych Elm for sure? According to Wikipedia and other such websites neither Wych Hazel or Wych Elm are known to hollow out as they age. Therefore someone locally would have had to have known that this particular tree was hollow in order to have disposed of the body there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wych_Hazel

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wych_Elm
     
  6. Kiki

    Kiki New Member

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    Is there any way of finding out if there ever was a Clarabella Dronkers born in the Netherlands?
     
  7. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Don't know where my post went. Anyway, I read an article years ago about this fascinating story. It stated that her shoes were traced to a Dutch manufacturer because of the pattern of her crepe soles. Also the labels in her clothing had been removed. Lends credence to the Dutch spy theory. There was speculation that she had landed in the tree hollow as a result of a misguided parachute jump and either the fall had killed her or she suffocated in the parachute material. Can't figure out why authorities won't open the case files to the public unless it would tend to embarass someone "important".
     
  8. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    Not likely, I wouldn't think. WWII era parachutes were usually made of silk cloth (see the recent articles on D.B.Cooper and the silk parachute that was originally thought to have been his). She would not have suffocated under a silk parachute held up by the branches of the Wych-Elm or Wych-Hazel, whichever it was.

    And where was the parachute and it's rigging when the boys discovered her remains just 18 months later? The rigging would most certainly have been inside the tree trunk along with the bones.
     
  9. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

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    Agreed, Hurricane. Plus, it would have been noted had she been wearing pants, and no one parachutes in a skirt.

    The few accounts that mention a missing barmaid seem unlikely to me, simply because I think that LE would have latched on to that if you had a missing woman and a woman's body from roughly the same time frame. Unfortunately, due to the Blitz, there were many many people who got out of London and went to work out in the countryside (especially children), and there seems to be little accounting for them. Some were definitely placed through programs, but others were "friend of a friend" or distant relative arrangements. Also, remember that there was a thriving black market economy - if she was part of it, no one would 'fess up to knowing her, as being caught would certainly mean jail, and possibly whipping or even the death penalty. All for participating in black market activities.
     
  10. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    Who knows what has been printed in articles in the past but the articles available today all seem to indicate that what was found with the remains were a gold wedding ring, one crepe soled shoe, and some fragments of clothing. Apparently there was no inscription inside the wedding ring.
     
  11. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Romance! Mystery! Er...witchcraft?

    Shaking the Hand of Glory: Who Put Bella Down The Wych-Elm? (whofortedblog.com)
    much, much more at link above

    Who put Bella in the Wych Elm? (Wiki)

    The Body In The Tree – Hagley Wood (truecrimelibrary.com)

    Bella in the Wych Elm: A Midlands Murder Mystery (brian-haughton.com)
     
  12. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I haven't read about this in years but I seem to recall that it was believed that "Bella" was a Dutch spy. She was either executed quietly or died when her parachute failed to open. Very interesting case with some contradictory info out there.
     
  13. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Poor 'Bella.. I have wanted to write a short story based on this case for years, and already have some notes in place for it. The green bottle, the blue shoes, the buried hand.. it all speaks to a great mystery, doesn't it?

    Thank you for posting this!
     
  14. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Crazy. was anyone questioned at the estate?
     
  15. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    The best account I have of this case (3 pages) is in a 1995 book entitled Forces From Beyond by Brian Lane.

    I haven't seen, so I wonder what they thought the woman's weight was. They should have been able to make a pretty good estimate from her height and the size of her clothing.
     
  16. Robin Hood

    Robin Hood New Member

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  17. Robin Hood

    Robin Hood New Member

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  18. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  19. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    That's interesting but I don't see any logical motive for murder if this woman was spy. Who would murder her and why?
     
  20. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    It's common for spys to be murdered.
     
  21. redkatrampant

    redkatrampant New Member

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    Well I am not gonna get anything done today...:facepalm:
     

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