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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

130 YEAR OLD MURDER MYSTERY

The fact that this discovery took place in David Attenborough's garden makes it of mildly fortean-zoological interest.

A 131-year-old murder mystery solved after skull found in Sir David Attenborough's back garden
2:01pm Monday 25th October 2010
By Christine Fleming

A murder mystery dating back to the 1800s may yet be solved - thanks to wildlife enthusiast David Attenborough. The skull of a woman, believed to be Julia Martha Thomas, was discovered in the presenter's garden, in Park Road, Richmond, on Friday. Local historians now believe a murder mystery dating from 1879 could finally have been solved.

Neighbours in the street were intrigued by the grisly find and 40-year-old Marina Solin said it had peaked her interest. She said: "It would be interesting to learn a bit more about it all."

Workmen at the 84-year-old wildlife presenter's home found the skull while excavating part of the garden ready for a new extension. The land, where the extension was intended to go, was on the site of the old Hole in the Wall pub which Sir David bought last year. Police believe the human remains belong to Mrs Thomas, a former Park Road resident who was killed by her maid 131 years ago.

Katherine Webster was found guilty of killing her mistress and mutilating the body when she was sentenced in July of 1879. On the day of her execution, Webster reportedly told her priest: "I alone committed the murder of Mrs Thomas. I pushed her down stairs and strangled her." Despite her confession and the recovered mutilated remains the head of murdered Julia Thomas was never found. Now years later the mystery of where the murdered Mrs Thomas' head disappeared to may well have been solved with the skull being found just metres from her former home.

Neighbour David Porter, 64, tried to keep upbeat about the gruesome find, and joked: "It was nothing to do with me." He added: "What can you say really - it's interesting but it shows they never looked very far for the head." The spot where the discovery was made has been cordoned off and police were today still guarding the sealed site.

Police said specialists would be removing and examining the skull.

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