David Attenborough will never look at the gardens around his home the same way again.
The 85-year-old naturalist and celebrated BBC narrator ("Planet Earth," "LIFE") found his property in London tied up in a 132-year-old murder mystery after workers last October unearthed a human skull.
Police at the time theorized that the head might be related to the death of Julia Martha Thomas, a widow in her 50s who was chopped up with an axe by her deranged maid back in 1879. From the U.K.'s Daily Mail:
"Webster, [the maid] a convicted thief and fraudster, dismembered the body, threw parts of it in the Thames and disposed of the rest in various places around London. The case attracted great publicity. Webster was tried and executed for the murder – but Mrs Thomas’s severed head was never found."
According to an update by Scotland Yard, that theory was spot on — with police solving the riddle through historical records and radiocarbon testing. Detectives were finally able to close the case after a coroner formally recognized the skull and delivered a verdict of unlawful killing.
Attenborough, 85, has never publicly commented on the discovery. His next (and rumored final) nature documentary, "Frozen Planet," is slated for release on the BBC this fall and on the Discovery Channel in spring 2012.
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