07 August 2019

Bella in the Wych Elm - Solved?

Came across this news article the other day in the Birmingham Mail...

According to the article, an author named Keith K. Swallow claims that, after years of research, he knows the identity of Bella in the Wych Elm. Not a spy. Not Clara Bauerle. Not a prostitute. Not a "Dutch piece" stuffed into a tree by Van Raalt and Jack Mossop. Keith believes that Bella was a traveler/gypsy who died after a domestic altercation.

Keith is looking for a publisher for his book so I guess we'll have to wait a bit to find out the evidence that he uses to support his theories... And knowing how long it takes to get a book through the publishing stream... this could be a while!

As an aside... I know that newspaper reports tend to distort things but... this statement struck me:
He [Keith] has discovered that Clara Baurele was still performing in Germany in 1942 and died in Berlin a year later.
Well... no... I discovered Clara's death registration and posted it online. And Clara Bauerle died 16 December 1942 (not 1943). I hope that this was just a journalistic muddle and not the information Keith has in his book...

P.S.
I reached out to Keith via email and had a prompt reply. The journalist took a few liberties with the facts and Keith kindly sent me one of the chapters in his book. He does acknowledge my research in uncovering the demise of Clara Bauerle. And Keith would not claim to have "solved" the mystery of Bella... just dispensed with some of the more outrageous theories!

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