1 From www.hagleyhall.com. The first Lord Lyttleton was a poet who was secretary to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and briefly held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Advised by his friend Horace Walpole, Lyttleton’s designs were drawn up by local architect Sanderson Miller of Radway in Warwickshire. The temple is a replica of the 7th-century Temple of Hephæstus, the God of Masonry, in Athens.
2 In 1994, for local TV news item Crimestalker, Bob Farmer and Bob Hart returned to the woods to recall that day. Farmer said he had recovered the skull from the tree with a stick, which he claimed had pushed in the material that the pathologist said caused Bella’s death. Farmer’s story has changed over time, as has the location in the filmed reconstruction, which was clearly not the original tree. ( Crimestalker Case Book 14 Sep 1994, Central Broadcasting Birmingham)
3 The Home Office Forensic Science Laboratory had been set up at Birmingham University just prior to World War II.
4 Minutes of the No 9 Regional Conference, Birmingham, 3 May 1943. Coroner’s Report, James Webster, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Birmingham 23 April 1943
5 Police Reports no 85, 30 April 1943. 6 Ibid.
7 Minutes of the No 9 Regional Conference, Birmingham, 3 May 1943. Coroner’s Report, James Webster, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Birmingham, 23 April 1943
8 Birmingham Evening Dispatch, 30 Mar 1944; Birmingham Sunday Pictorial, 2 April 1944.
9 Birmingham Gazette, 7 Aug 1944.
10 For a contemporary assessment of Margaret Murray’s career, see Ruth Whitehouse’s article: www. ai-journal.com/articles/10.5334/ ai.1608/
11 Margaret Murray, My First Hundred Years (Oates & Wood, 1998; first published 1968).
12 Although referenced in all articles and books about the Bella case, the actual source article from which Prof Murray’s claims were first published remains a mystery. It is usually cited as being published ‘in a local paper’ and it seems to have been contemporaneous to the Charles Walton murder in 1946. During the course of researching this article I consulted Professor Ronald Hutton, the country’s leading expert on witchcraft, who said that despite his own exhaustive research in local newspaper archives he has never been able to trace the article.
13 A Hand of Glory is also claimed to protect its owner from evil spirits, put enemies under an enchantment and reveal where treasure is hidden. You can see an example of one, found in Castleton, North Yorkshire in 1935 by stonemason and local historian Joseph Ford, at Whitby Museum, Whitby, North Yorkshire, (see FT357:43).
14 brian-haughton.com/ancientmysteries-articles/bella_in_the_ wych-elm/2/
15 During the investigation, DS Alex Spooner of Warwickshire CID drew Fabian’s attention to the 1929 book Folklore, Old Customs and Superstitions in Shakespeareland, by J Harvey Bloom. In it, a striking passage noted a Charles Walton who died in 1885 – 60 years before this victim’s death – after seeing a ghost. The 1945 case remains the oldest unsolved murder on the Warwickshire force’s books.
16 A H Hodges, the warden at St Kenelm’s Church, close to the murder site, told Quasetor: “I don’t think the murder was done in the wood. I think she was a gypsy and was tried and condemned by her tribe for having the evil eye. I saw some real old types of gypsies out here about that time. They don’t ever go to the police if they have trouble but mete out their own justice.” This is not a theory the police ever had any truck with. The article ran with a picture of the witch hazel, which although terrifying in appearance, is not the same one recorded in the police files. “The hags of old days used the hazel twigs for divining rods”, says the accompanying caption. Express and Star, 19-20 Nov 1953.
17 Statement of Una Mossop to Coventry city police.
18 Quaestor, Express and Star, 16 Jan 1958.
19 Memo from Nottingham CID to Worcestershire constabulary, 6 Jan 1954.
20 See David Tremain’s Rough Justice: The True Story of Agent Dronkers, The Enemy Spy Caught by the British, (Amberley Publishing, 2017) for more on this.
21 British Military and Criminal History, www.stephen-stratford. com/josef_jakobs.htm and www. josefjakobs.info/p/blog-page.html
22 McCormick, via his alleged informant ‘Herr Franz Rathgreb’ describes Clara as a student of astrology who had perhaps disappeared in 1941 as a result of Aktion Hess, the purge of astrologers and occultists that was initiated in Germany after the capture of Herman Hess in Scotland on 10 May 1941.
23 There is a copy of this Death Certificate, plus translation, at www. josefjakobs.info/2016/09/clarabauerle-is-finally-laid-to-rest.html. This potential Bella’s death was not a pleasant one either.
Many thanks to Dr Mike Dash in the compilation of this research.