Three human feet found. Subtitle: What’s afoot in Bath?
Yes, I have to report even more bizarre news from the UK, this time concerning severed feet. That’s right. Well, it’s not because the first two were left. Oh I’m confusing myself already so let’s start at the beginning.
Foot number one
In February 2016, a couple of blokes were out dog-walking in the rather gorgeous southern English town of Bath. They found – quite how I’m not too sure – a severed left foot. It had been neatly severed from its previous owner just above the ankle. Police called it ‘the mystery foot’.
Police investigations showed, they said, that the foot had probably been used for medical, teaching or demonstration purposes and because there wasn’t enough DNA present to test, they could not determine whether this was a male or female foot.
Another foot showed up
Just a few months later, in July, another foot was discovered nearby. Was this from the same body? Had there been a murder? Well no, because the second foot, which was found near a public park, was also a left foot.
Of course, we’ve all read about mobsters who chop the hands off their murder victims so that they can’t be identified by their fingerprints but feet don’t work that way.
The only reasonable explanation was that someone with two left feet had been murdered and because it was well known that he (or she) had two left feet, the dismemberment had taken place to avoid identification. Well, that was my first thought but evidently, as I am reliably informed, people don’t really have two left feet.
Furthermore, these feet had been found in public places and not been buried or thrown into rivers or any of the usual disposal methods preferred by the concrete-overcoat brigade.
Foot number three
The following month, yet another foot was found. And it was close by to the other two foot-sites. At time of writing, both the second and the third foot are being analysed but I think we’re pretty safe in saying that although two of them might be from the same body, all three can’t be. We also don’t know at this stage is whether foot number three is a left or a right.
No-one had reported any missing feet
In fact. I’d be surprised if ever, anywhere in the world in the history of mankind, any authorities have ever received a report about missing feet. But they had to come from somewhere. Any place that had an ‘official’ use for severed feet (which is a mind-boggling enough thought anyway) would have surely noticed if three feet had gone missing from the inventory.
The Royal United Hospital
This facility is in the area in which the feet were discovered. One newspaper report read:
There was speculation after the first foot was found that it had been mislaid by the hospital following an amputation.
OK but how do you ‘mislay’ a foot? Or indeed, three feet?
But the hospital is certain that the feet did not come from their premises. A spokesperson said:
We have never kept body parts anywhere at the hospital.
Temporary Detective Inspector Paul Catton, from Avon and Somerset Police, said the foot was no longer thought to be linked to any recent missing person cases.
It seems it wasn’t linked to any person, missing or not. But….
Dr John Troyer, who runs the Centre for Death and Society at Bath University, suggested the foot might have come from a private collection and the owner might not have known how to dispose of it properly.
Don’t you love that? Do people really have private collections of feet? And then dispose of them by bunging them into bushes? This is making me think about The Collector. Does the genteel and delightful city of Bath have a foot fetishist who is collecting disembodied feet?
The case, as they say, continues…….
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