Case Goes Unsolved For Four Decades, They've Finally Found Missing Piece

Cold Cases are unsolved police investigations which remain open and subject to the unearthing of new and relevant evidence. In 2017, an incredibly tenuous piece of new evidence surfaced in a Birmingham cold case. Fortuitously, the evidence was enough for authorities to arrest a man named Osmond Bell in relation to at 36-year-old murder investigation.

The missing pieces of the puzzle in this drawn out investigation happened to be a piece of chewing gum and an envelope. In 1981, Mr. Bell was implicated in the death of his former partner and mother of his (two) sons, Nova Welsh after she started dating someone else. It is believed that during a heated disagreement, Mr. Bell attacked and murdered Ms. Welsh, hiding her body at the back of an electric cupboard, securing the door with his chewing gum and writing an envelope framing someone else for his crime.

At the time, during a 4-day police investigation, Birmingham authorities were unable to definitively link Mr. Bell to the murder of his former partner, despite their suspicions considering a history of domestic assault. However, developments in DNA testing and other investigative technologies have brought cold cases back under the police’s spotlight.

In this particular case, the emergence of Mr. Bell’s chewing gum allowed positive DNA cross-referencing with DNA traces on the framing envelope; with motive, at the scene of the crime and hiding Ms. Welsh’s body. The Birmingham Police Department has been praised for the successful resolution to the cold case.

On 22 March, 2017, now 60 years old, Mr. Bell was convicted of manslaughter in the Birmingham Crown Court after a 6-week trial with Judge Patrick Thomas indicating that while the crime did not appear to be pre-mediated, Mr. Bell’s actions had still caused Ms. Welsh’s death, saying: “Your DNA was found on the chewing gum and on the seal of the envelope you’d put on the letter, pointing the finger of suspicion elsewhere. On that evidence, you were rightly prosecuted and you have rightly been convicted of this offense”. As a result of his criminal past, Mr. Bell will now spend 36 years in jail.

Source: New York Post
Photo: 123RF

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