History is full of people who have vanished without a trace, and there are also numerous oddities often surrounding these people. At times is is difficult to make sense of some of the clues and strange leads, leaving us to ponder what is going on and leaving these cases to linger out in the realms of the unexplained. One such case comes to us from the 1930s, when a fairly well-known actress disappeared into thin air and than had bizarre activity occur, including an unexplained skeleton and other odd clues still left unexplained.
Back in the 1930s, the woman known as Ada Constance Kent, AKA Connie Kent, was a pretty big star. She was a British actress who had appeared in both stage and film productions, often under her stage name, Vera Verchayle. Although not a worldwide sensation, she was fairly popular, and after years of some amount of success she moved out to a quaint cottage in the countryside of the English village of Fingringhoe, Essex, to become a rather reclusive spinster, unmarried and alone. By all accounts, during these years she was fairly reclusive, rarely entertaining people or even going out at all, really, only making regular appearances at the local Whalebone pub, where she would show up for a drink and to get her favorite cigarettes. Then in 1939 she showed up at the pub right on schedule and just left to keep on walking off the face of the earth, starting the beginnings of a very weird unsolved mystery.
In the summer of 1939, Kent showed up for her usual drink and smokes, before leaving, and none of this was odd in the slightest at the time. However, she would stop showing up after that, and when she made no efforts to contact a close friend people began to worry. Kent had been so reclusive that it took three months for anyone to fully grasp the fact that she had apparently dropped off the grid, and when police were notified, they dutifully went over to Kent’s secluded cottage to check things out. When they arrived the cottage was unlocked, the door swinging open to reveal the gloom within. On the kitchen table was a tray with a meal laid out as if someone would come home at any moment, and there was even an open book next to a chair by the fireplace, Romeo and Juliet. Her coat and all of her belongings were still there as well, untouched and all in order. However, although the scene seemed totally normal there was no sign of Kent. There was no sign of a break in, no trace of a struggle or foul play, it was as if she had just gotten up and walked on out into oblivion.
In 1942, a friend of Ava’s by the name of George Winkal broke into the abandoned cottage in a quest for answers, but he found nothing either, and all of this time no one had heard from the missing former actress. The case would linger in a limbo of no information and no leads, until in April of 1949 there was an anomaly when someone suddenly deposited a large amount of money into Ada’s bank account, followed by several more such deposits, the last one being in September of that year, all of them for hefty sums. After all of those years of no word from Ada at all, this was enough to compel police to go back to the abandoned cottage, and things would get very strange from there.
Police entered the dank dwelling not expecting to see much, but they were surprised when they entered Ada’s bedroom to find a fully-clothed skeleton positioned next to the bed, with an empty bottle next to it marked “Poison.” An examination of the skeleton seemed to show that it had been propped up there for some time, but weirdest of all is that it could not be determined if they were Ada’s remains or not. So, who was it and why had this skeleton appeared at her house out of nowhere and who had made those deposits into her bank account? No one had a clue. Interestingly, nothing seems to have been stolen except the book that had been laid out by the chair, and there had been no break in, it was just that eerie skeleton sitting there staring out at nothing with its empty eye sockets. Police would later find out that kids had been sneaking into the cottage for years and knew all about the mysterious bones, but police were sure that it had never been there during any of their searches of the property.
A full investigation of the remains by Scotland Yard would further fuel the mystery when they were found to be too large to have possibly been those of Ava Kent, and were likely those of a man, so who was it and why were they in that cottage? To this day there have been no answers, the skeleton has never been conclusively identified and we are left to wonder. What happened to Ava Kent? Where did she go and who put those deposits into her bank account? What is the meaning of that skeleton being found in her home a full decade after the disappearance and where did her book go? There are no answers to these questions, and it remains a baffling little unsolved historical oddity.