|Murder and Mystery at the Witch Elm (Any-NewsBD site)|
Any-NewsBD - Murder and Mystery at the Witch Elm
While containing many of the same inaccuracies as the original Allison Vale piece (Josef Jakob was a Czech Gestapo agent who was supposed to meet Clara Bauerle in the Midlands), this article does acknowledge the 1942 death date of Clara. In that way, it is an improvement over some of the other sites.
Other theories as to the mysterious murder also hinge on the spy idea. In 1941, a Czech [German, not Czech - Karel Richter was the Czech agent] agent of the Gestapo [Abwehr - not Gestapo. The Abwehr was the Military Intelligence arm of the Germany Armed Forces. The Gestapo was the Nazi State Secret Police. Two very different organizations.] named Josef Jakobs was arrested after covertly parachuting into Cambridgeshire, England. Authorities found on his person a photograph of a German cabaret singer and movie star named Clara Bauerle. Under questioning, Jakobs would point to Bauerle as being a Gestapo [Abwehr] secret agent as well, mostly recruited for her ability to speak with a Birmingham accent [Josef said not such thing.] and blend into the crowd [didn't say this either], and who was meant to parachute in and meet up with him later in the Midlands [Josef made no mention of the Midlands]. Although she was fairly well-known, Clara Bauerle sort of dropped from the radar at about that time, leading to speculation that it was her who had ended up in the Wych Elm. Yet, if this was the case, it has never been satisfactorily explained how she would have ended up out in that tree in the private woodland of Hagley Wood or who could have been the one to kill her or why. Bauerle is also thought to have been too tall to have been Bella, and she is often listed as having dying in 1942, which does not fit in with the Wych Elm murder. We will probably never know for sure and Jakobs was put to death by firing squad on August 15, 1941, holding the distinction of being the last person ever put to death in the Tower of London. His secrets would go to the grave with him.The article on this site was moderately accurate and gives a nice summary of the entire Bella in the Wych Elm saga.