And every few years a new message appears.Source:Supplied. The graffiti that appears (and it’s been seen in other places locally) always refers to the murdered woman as ‘Bella’ or occasionally ‘Luebella’. appeared on numerous surfaces across the west midlands area, most commonly on the Hagley Obelisk, which was near the original crime scene. "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm" is a piece of graffito painted onto the side of the Wychbury Obelisk on Wychbury Hill, Hagley, Worcestershire, England. Did someone in the locale know the identity of the dead woman? Still the police seemed no closer to answering that question and, over the next decades, the graffiti artist continued to taunt them. There is a folk belief that a “Hand of Glory” can give magical powers. Brian Haughton.com. The youngsters talked among themselves and decided that, since they were on the property illegally, they would keep the grisly find a secret. The graffiti rang with the implication that somebody knew the answer to the question. Therefore, someone had most likely put her into the elm while she was still alive or soon after her death. It is, however, possible that somebody with a heavy heart is still out there, posing the same question, hoping the secret will be solved before those who know the answer take it to their grave. Perhaps a spurned husband or lover put Bella in the wych elm. Initially, near the site of the body, someone had written, “Who put Luebbella down the wych-elm?” The police investigated the presence of a possible name for the skeleton. Around hristmas 1943, graffiti began to appear on the walls across the West Midlands “Who put Luebella down the wych–elm” which then became "Who put Bella down the wych–elm" but the police could not find out who wrote it. In 1943, four young boys, out poaching in Hagley Wood came across a large Wych Elm, a broad, spiderlike tree. So the question still remains – who put Bella in the Wych Elm? The skull of "Wych Elm Bella," as retrieved 18 April 1943. The article was called "Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?". Click Here for more information. Another popped up in Birmingham: “Hagley Wood Bella.” At the base of the crumbling obelisk atop Wychbury Hill, the ultimate version appeared: “Who put Bella in the wych elm?” Talk:Who put Bella in the Wych Elm? on Pinterest. In the hollow center of the tree, the boy saw what he thought to be an animal skull. This seemed an unlikely scenario, but it was a possible explanation. Police wondered about the name. One of the boys begun climbing the tree to look for birds eggs and upon reaching the topmost branches, looked down to find the tree was curiously hollow. The killer and the graffiti artists were both at large fifty years … Despite extensive detective work, and a public appeal, the police could not identify the body, nor zero in on the exact cause of death. Over time, the legend of Bella and the Wych elm became local lore. Madame LaLaurie: Sadistic Slave Owner of the French... Olmec Civilization: Their Rise, Culture and Decline. As it was copycat graffiti they eventually thought it was a hoax. To this day her identity is still unknown. Oddly, “wych” became “witch” in many cases, but eventually, the graffiti just stopped. In his free time he enjoys reading. This June, a cardboard sign again asking the question was attached to a fence near the woods, once more bumping this mystery into the news-cycle. Starting in December, graffiti was painted (or put there by chalk) throughout the area. Someone, it seemed, knew more than they were letting on. Eventually, they came across a large Wych elm. All rights reserved. One of the first pieces of graffiti appeared in 1943.Source:Supplied. | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | DMCA Notice, This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The name “Bella” or “Luebella” suggested the artist was aware of the identity of the victim, and led to reports of a Birmingham-based prostitute named Bella, who went missing in 1941. He sighed, carding a hand through his thick dark curls. Searches throughout the local area turned up no missing person report of someone with that name. After a … However, the authorities did their best to find a name to go with the skeleton and to develop theories of how she got there in the first place. By this time over fifty pieces of graffiti had been left with the words “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm”, all by the same author and without a single person having ever seen the artist at work. At that moment he found a skull nestled in the tree. READ: London's Ancient Outcast Graveyard Numerous attempts to locate the author behind the graffiti were unsuccessful. 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 … Additionally, the body would not have fit into the hollow of the tree once rigor mortis had set in. In December 1943, mysterious graffiti began to appear throughout the West Midlands, written on walls and eventually upon the stone obelisk at Hagley Hall. Graffiti on the Wychbury Obelisk, Hagley Oct 9, 2016 - Explore Elizabeth Ann Molloy's board "Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?" Soon it settled on “Who put Bella in the wych–elm?”. Perhaps a spurned husband or lover put Bella in the wych elm. She was estimated to be around 35 years old, and was wearing a gold ring, a shoe, and remnants of clothing. Forensics estimated the body had been in the trunk for 18 months. In April, 1943, four teenage boys discovered a skeleton in the hollowed-out body of a wych elm tree. Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Infamous Bella in the Wych Elm murder may be made into a film That crucial piece of evidence has been lost by police, Birmingham councillor Peter Douglas Osborn, an expert on the Bella … A forensic examination by a local professor revealed the fact that the skeleton was that of a female of about 35 years old. The number of missing women of that era was enormous. Over time, the legend of Bella and the Wych elm became local lore. Sources: Thus, his parents learned all about the skull, and they quickly contacted the local authorities. This was clearly a murder case, although police couldn’t identify the victim, and had no suspects. Wych Elms, and other elm trees, have long been associated with death and dissolution. Due to the war and a flurry of movement within England, the chances of identifying the skeleton were slim. This is not THE elm tree, but it’s easy to imagine how creepy it must have been.Source:istock, Then that Christmas a disturbing piece of graffiti written in chalk appeared on a wall in a nearby neighbourhood, asking “Who put Luebella down the wych-elm?”, This was the first time a name had been attached to the victim, and police were obviously interested. Who put Bella in the Wych Elm. The wood from the elm tree is the wood traditionally used to make coffins. And although reports of the murder referred to the body as being found in ‘a tree’ the graffiti specifically mentions a wych-elm. Accept Read More, Rodney Alcala: The Dating Game Killer 1968-1979, The Mystery of California’s Keddie Cabin Murders. Understandably freaked out, the boys put the skull back, and made a pact to keep their discovery to themselves, as they were trespassing on private land when they made the grizzly find. A more sinister theory surfaced. Nobody knew why. Similar messages kept popping up around town, seemingly written in the same hand, asking variants on the same question: “Who put Bella in the wych-elm?”. Unfortunately, this led nowhere. Interesting history topics are just a click away. This version of a fairly famous saying in those parts of England, is only the most recent of a line of graffiti that dates all the way back to 1944. The puzzle continued for several months and then got more mysterious. Had someone killed her for some reason because she was a spy? The very first graffiti that was seen said: “Who put Luebella down the wych-elm?”. On the other hand, she may have been someone passing through on the way to a different place. No one knows if the graffiti was the work of an anonymous tipster who knew the unidentified woman’s name or a prankster who wanted to create controversy. The graffiti continued all the way up to 1999. This led investigators down several new leads tracing who Bella could have been. Boys stumbled upon “Bella” in a wych elm, such as this one during WWII. Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm? About six months after Jane Doe’s bones were found, someone started painting the message, “Who put Bella down the Wych Elm?” around Birmingham and Hagley. Or had she been a loyal Brit who had stumbled upon spy activity at the wrong place and time? The missing right hand, the evil-looking wych-elm, and the mysterious messages led to locals spinning the murder into legend. This was a town in the area of the West Midlands. At the base of the crumbling obelisk atop Wychbury Hill, the ultimate version appeared: "Who put Bella in the wych elm?" The first read, in white chalk, “Who put Luebbella down the wych-elm?” They pulled it out with a stick, soon realising the horrible truth of what they’d found. "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm? If he had told his cousin this story, why did she wait 10 years to report it? But that isn't the end. The pair were reportedly drinking with an extremely drunk woman at a nearby pub and, after she passed out on the way home, put her in the trunk in the hopes she would see this as a wake-up call. Things like, “Who put Luebella down the wych–elm?”, “Hagley Wood Bella”, “Who put Bella down the Wych Elm – Hagley Wood”. Today, children still hear this story which ensures that the mystery of the unfortunate woman in the Wych elm will endure for many years to come. More than 70 years later it’s back. In 1943 a group of boys wondering the woodland of Hagley Hall discovered the remains of an unknown woman stuffed inside a hollowed-out Wych Elm tree. Directed by Thomas Lee Rutter. Was she someone named “Bella”? Since then it has not been spotted. “Who put Luebella down the wych elm?” read the hastily painted message on a wall in nearby Old Hill around Christmastime that year. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. Then the graffiti started appearing, ‘ Who Put Bella Down the Wych Elm? The identity of Bella was never discovered, and no suspects have ever been charged. She became known as "Bella" and after the discovery, graffiti asking "Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?" Georgia Guidestones: Who Paid for It and Why. One of the boys decided to climb the tree and see if it contained any nests. He estimated that she had been dead for approximately 18 months. However, one of the boys apparently couldn’t keep the secret. One evening, Van Ralt— accompanied by a woman Mossop believed to be “Bella”—had picked up Mossop in his car. Usually, the occultists would take the hand of an executed criminal and then dry it to use for occult purposes. Then the mysterious graffiti began appearing around town, asking the ominous question: “Who put Bella in the wych-elm?” And every few years it comes back. It was also private property, belonging to one Lord Cobham, and a great place for illegal poaching. It’s the murder mystery that has stumped a small village for more than 70 years. That message is still being scrawled seven decades later. A Net Inceptions project. Other authorities believed the much more plausible explanation that wild animals had moved the hand away from its original location with the body. It was complete with teeth and patches of hair. Not long after a skeleton was found in a wych elm tree, this graffiti started turning up. Hagley Wood is located within Worchestershire, a county in the West Midlands in England. At the base of the crumbling obelisk atop Wychbury Hill, the ultimate version appeared: “Who put Bella in the wych elm?” Numerous attempts to locate the author behind the graffiti were unsuccessful. Doug MacGowan lives on the San Francisco peninsula with his wife, a dog, and far too many cats. A ritualistic killing? In 1944 a graffiti message, related to the mystery, appeared on a wall in Upper Dean Street, Birmingham, reading Who put Bella down the Wych Elm - Hagley Wood. When someone wrote “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?” around the area, the graffiti gave birth to crime mystery that has endured nearly 80 years. Because one of the woman’s hands were in a different location from the rest of the body, some people theorized that the woman had died in some sort of human sacrifice. “WHO put Bella in the wych elm?” The graffiti started appearing after teens found a body in the woods. He reached down to pick it up and discovered to his horror that the object was actually a human skull. Historic Mysteries provides captivating articles on archaeology, history, and unexplained mysteries. The first message, which appeared in Upper Dean Street, Birmingham, stated “Who put Bella in the wych elm – Hagley Wood”, but other messages have appeared throughout the area, with perhaps the most famous one on the Wychbury obelisk, still visible today (in 2014) on a hill about half a mile away from where the body was discovered. If you can believe it, the story takes one last peculiar turn. Image: Flickr/mjeshenton via CC by 2.0. Well, it was only graffiti, but he had a good feeling about this. She was — however — missing a right hand, bones from which were later found scattered nearby. Then, the graffiti appeared. See more ideas about elm, bella, unsolved mysteries. In 1944 however, mysterious graffiti began to adorn the walls of the Midlands: Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm. War-time espionage? The probing slogan spread throughout England and Europe – … The mystery is now 73-years-old, so it is unlikely the 2016 sign is anything more than copycat graffiti. She could have been someone from the local area. Figure 1 Graffiti found in late 1943 The graffiti simply read — “ Who put Bella down the Wych Elm — Hagley Wood.” No evidence of any ritualistic murder was found, however, leaving … This article is within the scope of WikiProject Graffiti, an ongoing effort to improve the quality of, expand upon and create new articles relating to graffiti art, graffiti artists and all aspects of graffiti culture. If you can believe it, the story takes one last peculiar turn. It became a rage and the graffiti started appearing on walls throughout the West Midlands, seemed to be done by the same hands. There is something about those words. The decades rolled by, and the mystery deepened. The skull the boys found in the woods.Source:Supplied. The famous Who Put Bella in the Witch Elm graffiti, which has been on the Wychbury Hill obelisk for decades, now reads Hers Put Bella in the Witch Elm. Nationwide News Pty Limited Copyright © 2020. began to appear throughout the town. From then on, the woman found in the old elm at … In December 1943, mysterious graffiti began to appear throughout the West Midlands, written on walls and eventually upon the stone obelisk at Hagley Hall. All times AEDT (GMT +11). The boys only found the human skull, with tufts of hair and missing teeth, however police quickly recovered an entire female body from within the tree. He quickly dropped his dark discovery back into the tree’s hollow. Teacher loses job in COVID, becomes Instagram model, makes $... COVID-19 UK strain enters Australia through returned travell... Coronavirus NSW: 15 new COVID cases, outbreak spreads to CBD... How to turn Woolworths mud cake into cute fishing cake with ... Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Very soon another graffiti spotted that had it more specific, it said: “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?”. 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