“Bella in the Wych-Elm”

Image: Wikipedia

In April 1943, four young boys were exploring the woods near England’s Wychbury Hill when one climbed a large wych hazel in search of birds’ nests.

To his horror, inside the hollow trunk he found a human skull, hair and teeth. Investigation showed that the tree contained a nearly complete human skeleton, a shoe and some fragments of clothing. A human hand was found buried nearby.

The war effort prevented the English authorities from making a full investigation, but a pathologist estimated that the woman had been asphyxiated 18 months earlier and that her body was still warm when it was entombed in the tree.

But that’s as far as they got. The woman’s identity — and that of her killer — remain unknown.