The green bicycle mystery

A bright green bicycle figured prominently in one of the most sensational murder cases in early 20th-century England.
On the evening of July 5, 1919, a fetching young factory worker named Bella Wright set out on her bicycle for a ride on the country lanes around the East Midlands industrial city of Leicester. Her body was later found along the road. She had been shot in the head.
The evidence pointed to 34-year-old Ronald Light, a wealthy former Army officer who had returned from the Great War shell-shocked and in disgrace.

Bella Wright and Ronald Light

He acknowledged that he had ridden that evening with Bella Wright on his distinctive green bicycle. But he was acquitted at the end of a trial in which Britain’s rigid class system played no small role.
In February 2007, writer Bill Donahue of Portland, Ore., went to the East Midlands to find out what really happened on that languid summer evening nine decades ago. You can read his gripping account online on the Bicycling magazine site. It’s well worth the read.



Filed under History

3 responses to “The green bicycle mystery

  1. I don’t think the conclusion will be in the May issue. The article appeared back in 2007.

  2. Steve,
    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ve updated the blog post to take out the story’s likely appearance in the May issue of Bicycling magazine. I must have missed the story in 2007. I subscribe to the magazine and am a fan of it on Facebook. Bicycling posted it’s teaser to the story about the green bicycle mystery yesterday in its regular Facebook postings. The story is currently shown prominently on the Bicycling website. Puzzling. They must be recycling good material. In any case, it’s a good yarn and I read it last night. Thanks.

  3. It is a very interesting and worthwhile article, and I wish they had more such in that magazine instead of the plugs for carbon floor pumps and $1500 “entry level” bikes.

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