The Trail Went Cold – Episode 299 – Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?

April 18, 1943. Hagley, England. A group of teenage boys discover an unidentified female skeleton inside a hollow wych elm tree near Wychbury Hill. It is determined that the victim was killed at least 18 months before she was found and her likely cause of death was suffocation. Over the next several decades, mysterious graffiti messages pop in numerous locations which are variations of the phrase: “Who put Bella in the wych elm?” While there are several theories surrounding the victim’s death, including possible connections to espionage and witchcraft, she cannot be identified and the circumstances of how she was killed remain unknown. On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we explore one of the most famous mysteries from World War II and attempt to answer the question: “Who put Bella in the wych elm?”.

Join us on Saturday, October 22 at 8:00pm ET for an online streaming marathon where we will be watching classic Halloween-themed segments from “Unsolved Mysteries”. You can enter our screening room by clicking on this link.

Special thanks to our sponsor,!

Additional Reading:

“Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? – Volume 1: The Crime Scene Revisited” by Alex Merrill

“Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? – Volume 2: A Crime Shrouded in Mystery” by Alex Merrill

“The Trail Went Cold” is on Patreon. Visit to become a patron and gain access to our exclusive bonus content.

“The Trail Went Cold” is now doing a weekly livestream show on Vokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True  Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.