Australia’s ABC National Radio recently (23rd Feb 2014) broadcast an episode of the history documentary series “Hindsight” that you may well enjoy: entitled The Somerton Man: A mystery in four acts, it was written and produced by Ruth Balint, a senior lecturer at the UNSW School of Humanities and Languages. (A tip of the Somerton Man’s missing hat to Shane M and Furphy for emailing me about this, much appreciated!)

ruth-balint

Cipher Mysteries regulars may well remember Balint’s name from her piece on the Somerton Man that was published in Cultural Studies Review in 2010, though its mentions of Carlo Ginzburg (who I’ve blogged about many times) may well have gone over many readers’ heads… nobody (apart from a certain imaginative kind of hardcore historian) seems much taken by him, which is a bit odd. Ah well!

However, it has to be said that – as you’d broadly expect, extrapolating forward from Balint’s CSR article – the Hindsight episode didn’t really break any new ground. In fact, most of it is comprised of her mooching good-naturedly around Somerton Man-related sites with Gerry Feltus, pretty much everybody’s favourite retired Aussie cold case copper. But all the same, I think it’s more than entertaining enough to be worth a listen if you have 40-odd minutes to spare.

As for whether we will ever move this forward, I have to say that I really don’t know. While I was guardedly optimistic about the Somerton Man at the beginning of this year (2014), the whole “Jestyn” angle has now gone particularly cold: so unless someone has a splendidly good idea about how to find out if a Mr “Styn” or “Stijn” was admitted to RNSH in about 1943, I suspect my bucket of leads is currently pretty much empty.

I also had some information from a reliable historical source recently that “when Robin and Kate were born, both Prosper and Jessica put their details on the official birth certificates and signed it as mother and father”. Of course, any self-respecting conspiracy theorist will respond to this by saying “well they would, wouldn’t they?“, which would probably just go to show that Somerton Man theorists love facts so much that they can’t resist also believing the 180-degree opposite of any given fact. And in such a dialectically neutral-balanced world, what chance do we stand of making any real progress?

96 thoughts on “The Somerton Man – Australian radio documentary by Ruth Balint…

  1. Nick: Dr Balint mentioned in her cultural studies review: page 170 / volume 16 / number 2 / sept 2010 –
    I can quote “Trying on the dead man’s trousers for size, the forensic pathologist discovered a carefully folded scrap of paper in the fob pocket … etc”
    I’m doing a little forensic work on the inquest papers and cannot find any mention of Cleland trying on the trousers. He tried on both coats, Cowan tried on shoes and slippers.

  2. Pete: sounds like a typo on Balint’s part. But wouldn’t it be good if we could get access to all the original notes, rather than just the Coronial Inquest reports?

  3. Petebowes on March 13, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

    – which leads to another question, where we’re Cowan and Cleland when they were trying on the wardrobe?
    The morgue?
    – or did they have a private and unwitnessed session with the evidence?

  4. Petebowes on March 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm said:

    …. which leads to another question, who put the slip of paper into the fob pocket?

  5. Petebowes on March 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm said:

    additionally: Colonel van Rensberg, the station commander at the time of the current Pistorius incident in SA, resigned when it was learnt that the bathroom door was kept in his office and not in the evidence room.
    He was not accused of tampering with the evidence, but the evidence was available and could be handled and examined in his office without any official record being made. This standard of security existed in 1948, evidence was locked up and anybody who wished to examine it would have been booked in and out.
    Did Sir John Cleland and Mr Cowan take the evidence from the security of the Adelaide police station lock up, and try on the clothes elsewhere, or was it done in the station.
    Remembering that these men were highly respected and highly qualified, almost untouchable.
    Can anyone suggest an answer as to why they felt they had to do this, the body had been available for viewing for so long it had begun to decompose.
    ………..
    Incidentally, at age eighty, Sir John Cleland had to forego plans to travel to New Guinea because of ill health; he intended to enquire as to the nature of the recipes used by some of the Highland tribes used to cook and eat human flesh.

  6. Furphy on March 15, 2014 at 5:03 am said:

    Pete, the old school Holmes & Watson types always were a bit dotty, but we couldn’t make background like that up if we tried!

    Logically speaking, in a case like this, if (big if) anyone planted evidence in a fob pocket, it would have to be in small window of time around SM’s death — the later the “planter” left it, the greater the risk that the pocket had been searched and found empty? I’m inclined to think that the pocket just wasn’t noticed.

  7. Petebowes on March 15, 2014 at 10:52 am said:

    That’s why we are looking at the source Furph, if there was any manipulation of the truth, that is the only place it can be found.

  8. Qantessa on March 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm said:

    Everything I wrote about Jestyn was a lie, I have no evidence for any of those claims and I made them up in the QANTAS Club, hence my nom de plum. I am committed to destroying Jestyn’s reputation as I personally believe she was a murderess.

  9. misca on March 16, 2014 at 3:35 am said:

    Shame that the author refers to him as “Prof. Thomas Cleland”… Kind of puts things off.

  10. misca on March 16, 2014 at 3:40 am said:

    She also claims that the suitcase was found two weeks later (after the body was found). The suitcase, according to DA’s timeline, was found on January 14, 1949.

  11. Misca: the suitcase was found by railway staff on the 14th, and left at the luggage office until the 19th.
    The suitcase was given to Det Sgt Leane on the 19th.
    The suitcase remained, unsecured, in the luggage office for 6 days.

  12. Thanks Pete! It’s incredible, isn’t it? Coroner’s trying on clothes for size, stuff left out in the open, crime scenes unprotected and un-photographed, evidence that goes “poof”! the investigative files look like a grade three report! It’s a wonder they solved anything back then!

  13. Petebowes on March 17, 2014 at 11:08 am said:

    misca: we still have the coroner’s report, that’s where the gold is

  14. Petebowes on March 17, 2014 at 11:52 am said:

    Nick: the jestyn inscription, given that were many different fonts in 1948 – could that suspect ‘e’ be a G?

  15. CSI came latter, Police work at the time was to round up the usual suspects. There was still a distrust of science.

  16. misca on March 18, 2014 at 1:41 am said:

    Pete – Robert Cowan was the one who determined that poisons were not present in SM’s body. Everyone else seems to have relied on his findings. Could he have been wrong? He is referred to as a “Dr.” in the coroner’s report but seems to have been an “analyst”. (Maybe he had a PHD but it doesn’t seem so…) He’s in the Encyclopedia of Australian Science…
    Robert James Cowan was Director of Chemistry, Government Analyst, Chief Inspector of Explosives, and Chief Gas Examiner in South Australia. He was also Deputy Government Analyst from 1947 and Government Analyst from 1950 for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry. Cowan was educated University of Melbourne (BSc).

    1923 – 1926 Career position – Biochemist at the Commonwealth Department of Health in Port Pirie (South Australia) and Rockhampton (Queensland)
    1927 – 1937 Career position – Biochemist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
    1937 – 1947 Career position – Biochemist at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science
    1947 – 1950 Career position – Deputy Government Analyst for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry
    View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  17. misca on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 am said:

    “I was astounded that he found nothing, as I thought he would.”

  18. Petebowes on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 pm said:

    misca: Cowan looked for common poisons in the stomach contents, blood and urine. Dwyer sent the stomach contents, blood and urine for testing.
    The inquest papers are not presented in chain of evidence order.
    This work I’m doing at the moment has a few more surprises as well.

  19. Pete – I’m looking forward to seeing the work that yore doing and the resulting surprises!

  20. B Deveson on March 19, 2014 at 4:30 am said:

    Pete, there is a cover-up of sorts, or at least obfuscation, involved with Deputy Government Analyst Cowan’s evidence. In the absence of his notes and other records we will never be sure about some of the details, but his evidence, and the slightly strange statements of support for Cowan’s finding by Sir Stanton Hicks and Dr. Dwyer, sound like “merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.” (W. S. Gilbert.)

    I will try to keep the following as brief and concise as possible, but the matter is very technical and would take a small book to fully describe, so I will have to side-step a lot of detail.

    First, and most importantly, the chemical analytical methods available to the South Australia Government Analyst (and everyone else) in 1948/49 were not capable of detecting many poisons, including digitalis, in autopsy samples. Yes, there are cases where it appears that chemical analysis was used to detect digitalis, but you will find that this was only possible where some undigested portions of tablets were recovered from the stomach contents.

    Second, it is by no means certain that Cowan had in fact performed any of the analyses that he reported to the coroner. I seem to remember that it was stated somewhere that Cowan was on holidays at the time. In any case, it is quite likely that the analyses were performed under Cowan’s (or his delegate’s) supervision. At the time the SOP was that analyses would have been carried out as soon as possible because of the potential degradation of some poisons in stored samples. SM was just another anonymous corpse at the time, and the Government Analysts were expecting an ordinary case and carried out the routine battery of tests for the common poisons. It was only later that the possibility of digitalis poisoning was raised. I note that Cowan did not mention testing for digitalis and seems to dance around the matter. In any case Cowan would have known that testing for digitalis in the autopsy samples was pointless because toxic levels were not high enough to be detected by the methods available (but why didn’t he say so?).

    Third, the chemical assay methods available at the time required large samples, and were destructive tests. That is, a significant portion of the original sample had to be used for each test, and each sub-sample was essentially destroyed during each test. So, this limited the number of tests that could be carried out. Today the various instrumental analytical methods such as mass spectrometry use very little of the sample.

    So, I think that the Government analysts had used up all the samples before digitalis was suggested, and before the case became “important”. I doubt if personages such as Sir Stanton Hicks or Professor Cleland appeared, or took an interest in, most coronial inquiries involving poisonings. For me, this indicates that the SM case was thought by the illustrious to involve more that a possible murder or suicide.

    The possibility of atropine poisoning was mentioned but it is significant that no test for atropine was made. At the time there was a sensitive biological test for atropine (using a frog’s heart). I suspect that this test was not performed because all of the samples had been used up in previous testing.

  21. BD: I’ve got two retired policeman and an acting Court Registrar as my table of knowledge – and the thought of having a witness asking additional questions of other witnesses ‘astounded ‘them.
    Prof Cleland was both.
    – and you will not have to look far for issues of ….. ambiguity, as the hearing goes on on tomsbytwo.
    Then we will put it all back together again in chain of event order, after including certain relevant events in both Lawson’s and Brown’s notes.
    I hope you are enjoying it, and thanks for the background on Mr Cowan.

  22. Smerdon on March 19, 2014 at 10:34 am said:

    My theory is that Somerton man was Jestyns biological father

  23. B Deveson: I asked the SA Coroner several months ago if all these secondary notes can be released, but have so far had no reply. I guess this is pretty far down everyone’s lists of things to be concerned with. 🙁

  24. Smerdon: great theory… errr, why?

  25. Nick: remember the “E” in J styn … could that be a “G”?
    font-wise,

  26. Pete: I don’t think so… but I’ll freely admit that I’ve yet to be convinced by any other account of the “Jestyn” signature I’ve heard.

  27. B Deveson on March 20, 2014 at 1:07 am said:

    Hi Misca,
    I think that Cowan’s evidence was very flimsy and very poorly presented. There was nothing solid at all; the evidence is all too vague to be useful. And yet Cowan got away with it, and this begs the question – just what was really going on?
    You queried if Cowan could have been wrong in his tests. I don’t think he would have been wrong in the sense of making errors in the testing, and in the interpretation of the tests that he did (or were done for him by underlings). But, he didn’t not tell the court of all the limitations of the tests and the limitations of the results. In particular, he should have known that it was not possible to detect lethal levels of digitalis in autopsy samples, unless some undigested table was recovered. This all begs a lot of questions.
    Lethal concentrations of digitalin in blood, urine etc are only in the range of 10 nanograms per millilitre. To put that in perspective, 10 nanograms per mL is 10 parts in a billions, or a distance of one millimetre in 100 kilometres. The analytical methods available in 1948/49 were not capable of detecting these very low levels. I can say this because I was once a Commonwealth Government Official Analyst (similar to a State Government Analyst) in the area of pharmaceutical materials. I have analysed digitalin tablets many times and I have given evidence as an expert witness in the area of pharmaceutical analysis.
    I would be more likely to doubt Cowan’s findings if he did have a PhD! The reasons why I say this are because to have a PhD in Australia at the time often meant that you were an idiot son from a wealthy family. Too dumb to be let loose in the family business. Australian Universities did not offer PhD courses until 1956 so it was open to the wealthy to send their sons overseas to gain a higher degree. There were next to no scholarships available, so the poor had to make do with technical diplomas from night school at Technical Colleges.
    Fabian socialists captured the Australian Universities in the early 1920s and one result was that applied sciences such as analytical chemistry were pushed out of the Universities into the Technical Colleges. Australian Universities did not have a single chair in analytical chemistry until the 1980s although many of the University chemistry graduates usually ended up in the area of analytical chemistry.
    I do note that Cowan’s career up until the time he became Deputy Government Analyst (1947) was in the area of biochemistry. Certainly, biochemistry at the time involved many of the techniques used in forensic analyses. But, having been a chemical analyst in the era before instrumental methods of analysis really started to dominate (from about 1970) I think there is a possibility that Cowan may not have been fully up to speed with all aspects of the analysis for poisons.
    My father started out as a chemical analyst in the 1920s in a State (Victoria) Government Department and he eventually changed careers because promotion was based on social standing, not ability. The idiot sons of the Bunyip aristocracy who were too dumb to be let loose in the family business tended to get the better Government jobs. In my case I once worked for such an idiot son of the Adelaide squatocracy, so I know from first hand.
    I think it would be worth while to establish the social standing of Robert Cowan to see if he might have been an “idiot son” promoted beyond his competence. Maybe, maybe not.
    I get the impression that Prof. Cleland and Dr Dwyer were falling over themselves to save Cowan from embarrassment (or was there something else involved?). Whether this was a reflection of Cowan’s social standing, or not, I don’t know, but we should be able to find out.
    If it turns out that Cowan did not have high social standing in Adelaide then that would raise even more questions.

  28. BD: Mr Cowan was not able to tell what the substance was that came out of the brush that was found in the suitcase.
    Chalk? Powdered chemical colour? Powdered paint?
    How many substances would be on a brush like that?
    Would a pathologist use a brush like that … in an autopsy?

    – was Cowan disinclined to search too hard, again.

  29. misca on March 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm said:

    BD/Pete – It’s a little tricky to find information on him. He was born in Waaia, Victoria in 1900. Died in May of 1959. Appointed as a Bio-Chemist in 1938. Via Trove, he appears in a flurry of about 12 articles (starting with SM in 1949) until 1953. After that, nothing. The articles are generally cases of interest where he is “director of chemistry”, “chief inspector of explosives”, “Deputy Gov. Analyst”, etc…TE Cleland and Dwyer are also involved in some of these. (Not particularly unusual; but interesting.) In many of the articles he is listed as “Robert James Cowan of Kintore Ave” and once “of Fisher Street”. Rarely does his testimony appear to be key to a case. In one he is quoted as stating that the victim was “probably not intoxicated”…That’s about all I’ve found for now.

  30. Wally Clayton, the Sydney based communist party chieftain at the time, recruited people from all sorts of Govt Depts for their information – Gerry Feltus said there were ‘spies’ everywhere.
    Communist, Russian, American, Australian, the Cambridge 5.
    Was Cowan our mole?

  31. misca on March 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm said:

    Pete – Well, he took one trip in 1940. He travelled from Australia to the U.S. via British Columbia arriving in B.C. on 4 August, 1940. He listed his occupation as “Bio-Chemist” and he was travelling as a “Government Official”. I haven’t found when he returned as yet. There were two other Australians listed on the same manifest but I have no idea if they were travelling with him or not. They were Anna Marie Fitzgerald (home domestic) and Leander Edmund Fitzgerald (Journalist, University).

  32. misca – He was involved in explosives, they blew things up in woomera – that’s as raw as the link is – pretty desperate I know – but I have his photo, and wouldn’t you know, he’s wearing a hat.

  33. Petebowes on March 22, 2014 at 9:36 am said:

    misca: This is what an enquiring mind does at 2am. Cowan was not able to tell what the substance was that came out of the brush. A pretty basic exercise in determination for a chemist, don’t you think?
    Without the complexities of poison, yet he still came up with a negative. Leane asked him to carry out the test, maybe that was the problem, Raymond Leane saw it another way, he said that despite everything he knew, murder was not abolished.

  34. Furphy on March 22, 2014 at 9:40 am said:

    Pete, the subjects of espionage and counterintelligence in Australia the Cold War are a foggy and dimly lit byway, in which few facts stand out clearly, leading to a lot of supposition. If recent books, articles and documentaries (e.g. the SBS TV series _Persons of Interest_) are to be believed, the CPA was used by as a political football by all concerned. That included the Soviets, who – judging by evidence from other countries as well – generally used the western communist parties as decoys, and preferred to do their recruiting among people who had not already attracted the attention of organisations like the FBI, MI5 or ASIO. While the likes of Clayton have attracted the most attention, the really important Soviet agents in Australia are probably unknown, in part because they stayed under the radar: i.e. they were either recruited offshore, or from Australians acting out of other motives (e.g. financial gain). I don’t know if Cowan or anyone else was was in the second group, but I suspect that SM was in the first group. (For instance, there is some evidence that Czechoslovakian agents were the Soviets’ preferred surrogates in Australia during the ’50s, although SM could easily have originated from any other English speaking country or anywhere in eastern/northern Europe.)

  35. B Deveson on March 22, 2014 at 11:20 am said:

    A good find Misca! Cowan, travelling to B.C. and the USA on SA Government business. There is a very strong chance his business was all about organising supplies of uranium from Mt Painter.

  36. misca on March 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm said:

    The ship he was on was the Aorangi:

    “In October, 1940 with the war already raging in Europe the Aorangi still a passenger liner departed New Zealand filled with troops for Fiji. Then up to the end of May 1941 the ship was transporting troops and airmen from Australia to Canada. But in June 1941 she was requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport and the Aorangi sailed from Sydney to the United Kingdom in order to be converted for war duty.”

  37. misca on March 22, 2014 at 6:06 pm said:

    BD – It’s really difficult to read the manifest but under reason for his visit he states something to the effect that he is there to meet with a Professor “P.I” or “F.I” “Kirk” at the University of California at Berkeley. So…Could be!

  38. misca on March 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm said:

    I found a Paul L Kirk
    “Paul Kirk was a pharmacist, forensic scientist and participant in the Manhattan Project.” He was also a “professor of biochemistry at UC Berkeley”.

  39. MANHATTAN PROJECT ……. misca!
    That is the Holy Grail!

    thanks very much
    pete

  40. xplor on March 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm said:

    Dr. Paul Kirk was a forensic scientist.

  41. misca on March 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm said:

    Paul Leland Kirk (1902- 1970)
    From the University of California Memorial:

    “The death of Paul Leland Kirk, Emeritus Professor of Criminalistics, June 5, 1970, brought an end to the brilliant and innovative career of one of Berkeley’s most unusual and productive men of science. From a position of distinction and renown in biochemistry, his interest in applying scientific knowledge and techniques to the field of criminal investigation brought him ultimately to international recognition and made him the dominant figure in the emerging discipline of criminalistics.

    Dr. Kirk was associated with Berkeley from the conclusion of his graduate studies in 1927 to his death. The only exception was his involvement with the Manhattan Project during the war years. He first received recognition as a microchemist, bringing to this discipline a talent and artistry that soon made him a leader in the field.”

    He was a bio-chemist, he worked on the Manhatten Project, and he later spent the last two decades (1950-1970) of his life specializing in his interest in “criminalistics”.

    He was all of these things…And he met with Robert James Cowan in August of 1940.

  42. Petebowes on March 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm said:

    (C)Leland Kirk… How is the irony .. and for the 1st time the Tamam Shud mystery can be linked to the Atomic Bomb, the Venona Project and Woomera / Maralinga.
    Marvellous!

  43. Pingback: Eureka! The Tamam Shud Mystery linked to the Atomic Bomb | the somerton man. the tamam shud mystery

  44. Just to confirm some other information that can be found on the manifest. In answering with name of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came, RJC listed:

    “Mrs. A G. Cowan, 128 Fisher Street, Fullarton, S.A.”

    (His wife was Alice Grace Reece – b.1895 – 1983 and they are buried together at Centennial Park Cemetery)

    In answering whether going to join a relative or friend, he stated:

    “Trip to USA 8 days ℅ Professor P.L. Kirk, University of California Berkeley (illegible word) return Aust.”

    Also listed on the manifest is that he purchased his ticket on 9 July, 1940. The Aorangi had a sister ship (the RMS Niagara). That ship was struck by a mine laid by auxiliary cruiser Orion and sank with no casualties on 19 June, 1940. The Niagara had a secret consignment of gold in it’s stronghold when it went down (595 gold bars; most of which was later recovered)…

    Lots of interesting stuff but, it must have been quite an important trip for him to take for him to leave so shortly after this event!

  45. Clive on March 24, 2014 at 8:56 am said:

    Wonder if Joy Denbigh-Russell was known to these men?

  46. Petebowes on March 24, 2014 at 9:07 am said:

    Dwyer was “confounded” Now we know how…. and who. You want to come over and watch Nick? ….. see the pieces all get slotted in.

  47. misca on March 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm said:

    Well…Something was definitely going on…It sounds like perhaps a request for examination of unusual/uncommon poisons had been made and that, for some reason, it wasn’t carried out. Why no submission of the analysis request in the files? (There was one in the Magnoson case and it’s in the files accordingly.) Why was Robert J Cowan addressed directly through Sutherland? Cowan seemingly only signs off the paperwork in other investigations and yet here, he’s personally involved? Perhaps Dwyer was “astounded” because he had asked for more sophisticated testing and it was not forthcoming?

    John B Cleland also requested a cast of the SM’s unusually large hands and of his skull. Lawson’s work on this was hurriedly interrupted and he was not able to carry it out.

    Clive – I’ve wondered the same and I’ll go back to have a look there again.

  48. xplor on March 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm said:

    The NSA released its information on Australia in 1995. The Russians some time latter. The only country still not forthcoming is Great Brittan. Somewhere in the files of the GC&CS , Eastcote and GCHQ lies the answer.

  49. Smerdon on March 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm said:

    I agree Clive. I wonder the same thing.

  50. Qantessa on March 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm said:

    [Swearword] [Swearword] JESTYN

  51. Smerdon on March 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm said:

    Qantessa.: seems like you have a few anger issues to work through.

  52. Smerdon on March 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm said:

    So much pent up anger and bitterness . You should let go of these feelings in order for yourself to heal. The truth is powerful 🙂

  53. misca on March 25, 2014 at 2:19 am said:

    Nick – Nothing from you on all of this? What do you think? You’re so graciously hosting our discussions; it would be nice to have your thoughts???

  54. misca on March 25, 2014 at 2:40 am said:

    Is it possible to find a list of passengers for the Niagara when it sunk? (Without casualties)? Can gold be used to Could RJCowan have been on that boat? Was there anything else in the Niagara’s stronghold other than gold? Is it possible that there was a shipment of Uranium on that boat? Is there any way to find this information? Can gold be used to store Uranium?

  55. Coincidence always has a friend handy with experience – ex Detc and Ex Court Constable John told me today that all evidence ‘movement’ is logged onto a Running Sheet. Always.

    A quick gander at that would prove at what date Cowan and Cleland took the case and clothing away, or perhaps didn’t.

    PCC Sutherland looks an experienced chap: court cops, my old mate told me, are usually picked for their interest in law, and lawful procedures.

  56. misca on March 27, 2014 at 1:53 am said:

    Pete – If all evidence “movement” was actually logged, then wouldn’t we know where the “tamam shud” paper was, and the book and countless other pieces of evidence that weren’t destroyed? What happened to everything? No “movement” logs seem to exist…

  57. misca on March 27, 2014 at 1:56 am said:

    Nick – Any luck with the SA Coroner and secondary reports???

  58. misca on March 27, 2014 at 2:25 am said:

    So, somebody sent Robert Cowan to the US on “Government” business in 1940. Who was his boss/superior/manager at that time? THAT would be very good to know.

  59. misca: the evidence ‘log’ for the suitcase (A) would have only commenced when Det. Leane took custody of it on January 19th, six days after it was found.
    The clothes found on the body (B) were in custody as soon as the morgue was finished with them, probably about the 2nd or 3rd of December.
    The day Cowan and Cleland tried on the shoes and coats they had both A and B in their possession. Only one of them would have been logged out – if the case had been taken from the luggage office.

  60. misca on March 29, 2014 at 4:01 am said:

    Pete – Unfortunately, your friend might be wrong. We have no logs. If there are logs, they’re not available. Everything seems to have gone lost/missing or was destroyed. No logs tell us this. Brown thought that Leane had the book. The fob pocket and it’s contents were discovered in April (just prior to the inquest)….That’s all we know.

    : (

  61. misca on March 29, 2014 at 4:07 am said:

    The entire investigation is a lesson on how to botch an investigation! Ridiculous. Laughable. What happened to the guy who was with Moss when the body was found? Did he disappear into the nether? Strangway or something like that? Why nothing from him? From beginning to end this whole case was mishandled. Maybe they should re-open the whole thing as an example of “what not to do when carrying out a criminal investigation” ….for University Students.

  62. Petebowes on March 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm said:

    misca: The case was handled well, the ruling was of suspected suicide, the evidence supported it, the witnesses were respected … The only person who remained unconvinced was Leane, he didn’t dismiss murder. The coroner’s ruling is final. The scheme worked, the conspiracy worked. There’s only the odd blog out there who proposes differently.

  63. misca on March 31, 2014 at 3:49 am said:

    I’m not sure but there are no more tha 12 or 15 listings that pop up on Trove for “Robert James Cowan”. The only one that appears before the SM case is one to state that he has been appointed a “Bio-Chemist”. His very first “write up” in the papers as an expert witness appears to be the SM case.

  64. Petebowes on March 31, 2014 at 9:14 am said:

    What would it prove if the inquests immediately before, and right after the SM inquest, had all the secondary records available?

  65. misca on April 1, 2014 at 3:44 am said:

    I don’t really know what it would prove Pete. The Magnoson case had all the secondary records and everything went toward barbiturate poisoning…The coroner ruled otherwise. It seems like a lot of “stuff” might have been handled “with respect” for those involved, for expediency, for incompetency. Maybe for something else? All I know is that the SM “investigative” files seem lacking and the coroner’s inquest even more so…

  66. Petebowes on April 1, 2014 at 9:07 am said:

    misca: I meant in calendar time, not relevance.

  67. Smerdon on April 1, 2014 at 11:43 am said:

    Jct can u contact jrl. Cheers. I have some gold.

  68. misca on April 2, 2014 at 3:14 am said:

    T.E. Cleland was interested enough in SM to ask Lawson to also make a replica of the man’s hands but there are no pictures of said hands? The photographer was not asked to take any pictures of the hands? Or, did those pictures, disappear along with everything else?

    Pete – Sorry, “calendar time”? I don’t follow.

  69. pete on April 2, 2014 at 6:08 am said:

    smerdon: cn u contakt brane, needs an oil change

  70. Petebowes on April 2, 2014 at 8:17 am said:

    misca: the inquest immediately before SM, and the one immediately after – regardless of the matter being ruled upon. Perhaps Cleland was coroner of all three.

  71. misca on April 3, 2014 at 1:24 am said:

    Pete – It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he was coroner of all three. What does that have to do with “calendar time”?

  72. misca on April 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm said:

    Raymond Lionel Laybourne Leane appears to be none other than Brigadere Gen. Sir Raymond Leane and Lady Leane’s son. Brigadere General Leane can be found on the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Quite a family!

    Oddly, the biography ends as follows:

    “The family was known during the war and for long afterwards as ‘the Fighting Leanes of Prospect’. Raymond’s wife Edith typified the devotion, courage and skill of the Leane womenfolk. His portrait by George Bell is in the Australian War Memorial. The Leane brothers and their sons provide a remarkable example of family enlistment—every male member of military age offered himself for active service and was accepted.”

    An article in the “News” Adelaide, dated Oct. 10, 1945 states:

    “…Detective Geoff Leane was discharged from the Army some months ago…Another brother, Ken, a lieutenant in the 20/10 is awaiting discharge. Brothers Alan and detective Lionel are both rejected volunteers.”

    For what reason would a volunteer be rejected?

    Has any of this already been discussed?

  73. misca on April 9, 2014 at 3:12 am said:

    Clive – I too thought it strange that Errol Canney went by the wayside but, it’s not so strange, if one considers that his interview with “Mrs. Thomson” seems to be the only part he played in the investigation. I can’t remember where I read it, (perhaps in the “Littlemore” notes), but I did read that the reason he was chosen to interview her is because he knew her!

    I highly doubt that he did a written report of his interview. If he did, it’s most likely long gone…just as most of the case files are..

  74. misca on April 9, 2014 at 4:01 am said:

    Saturday, May 7, 1949
    The Mail
    “In a lace frock made from the wedding gown of his maternal grandmother, the infant son of Det. and Mrs. Len Brown was christened Richard Dutton this afternoon at St. Aiden’s church of England, Payneham.

    Godparents were Mrs. F Higginson, from Port Augusta, Det. Sgt. Lionel Leane, and Mr. Reg Brown of Hawker.”

    Det. Lionel Leane was Godfather to Len Brown’s son.

    I’m not sure that it has anything to do with SM but it’s there … A little “google” away…

  75. pete on April 9, 2014 at 4:30 am said:

    Well, whatever Alan had, so did Lionel. Twins? Congenital disease? Protected trades?

  76. misca on April 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm said:

    Unless there are two people of the same age with the same name, it appears that Len’s first son, Richard Dutton, became a magistrate.

  77. misca, you are always the generous one with detail here. I was told by an impeccable source, two days ago, that the folder upon which the evidence was laid out and photographed, the one that looked like it may belong to a Freemason – did belong to a Freemason. He was the “owner / occupier” of the desk.
    It seems Adelaide was a city of deep and lasting connections.

  78. Hi Misca, Thanks for the info about Errol Canney. So, Errol was chosen to interview Jessie because he knew her? I wonder in what capacity he knew her, was it because of Prosper’s various court visits? Was Errol chosen because it was considered he might be able to “dig” further than anyone else given the job, or, was Errol given the job simply because he wouldn’t “dig” too far, just ask a couple of questions, not too awkward then say goodbye and thank you for your time? If the latter, then it seems an all too “cosy” result.

  79. B Deveson on April 10, 2014 at 9:26 pm said:

    Misca,
    I Googled as you suggested, and it emerged that magistrate Richard Dutton Brown, first son of Len Brown, was arrested on charges of paedophilia but the case never came to court. Adelaide always had, and still has, very good fire doors to protect the Establishment.

  80. Pete – I don’t know about the whole fm angle…I know they’re in the mix because they almost always are. If you’re thinking of throwing them into the book, think twice as they’re already a bit “done”. I find freemasonry fascinating but as with all organized groups, there seems to be plenty for the “few” and lots of little guys who just want to belong (and love to have their book at their desk).
    Clive – I don’t know if he was explicitly chosen to interview her because he knew her but, it certainly seems so. They definitely didn’t “dig” at all or would probably at least have a little more to work with today.
    BD – That’s the sense I get with many of the key players in this case…Lots of protection. Have you managed to find out anything about Len’s father?

  81. Freemasons… mmm… always surprisingly tasty as low-hanging fruit goes. 😉

  82. BD-Adelaide still has it’s own fire doors in place-the recent Eugene McGhee an example.

  83. B Deveson on April 16, 2014 at 3:28 am said:

    I have found a marvellous exposition of the reasons why Adelaide is like it is. The following extracts come from Sean Fewester’s book “City of Evil”, a very well written book describing bizarre goings on in Adelaide. A note to those readers not overly familiar with Australia; Adelaide is widely known in Australia as the “City of Churches”. In typical Australian fashion, this name is not meant to evoke favourable connotations.

    “According to the state’s top judge, he and his peers are not personally accountable to the public. In 2007 , Supreme Court Chief Justice John Doyle said those behind the bench are above such concerns. “A lack of personal accountability is the price you pay for a fair and impartial judicial system.” he said. “We must be independent of the community’s views. If you want a system where judges are personally accountable, you might say: “go to China”.”

    “Cliches persist because they contain some truth: evil will flourish whenever good men do nothing. When no one asks questions, or when those in power do not listen, shadows form in the City of Churches. Within those shadows breeds more perversions, more monstrous thought. Adelaide is stripped of its progressive, welcoming veneer and revealed for what it is – a City of Evil. The vicious cycle that started with Edward Gibbon Wakefield spins around again.”

    “The evidence is clear: Adelaide is far worse than a mere ”murder town” could ever be. …..What is it about Adelaide that creates such monsters? When considering the history of the place, it becomes apparent South Australia has always been a fertile breeding ground for disordered minds. One of the driving forces behind the creation of Adelaide was British politician Edward Gibbon Wakefield. His revolutionary idea was to settle the colony not with convicts, but with free men. His much-publicised belief was that Britain’s social problems had been caused by overcrowding, making emigration an essential “safety valve” for Mother England. By 1831, Wakefield had fine-tuned his colonisation plan and was the toast of London. To this day, his influence is remembered in Adelaide through the streets, statues and institutions that bear his name.

    Wakefield was a visionary – a man who had clearly given a great deal of thought to devising the best method of colonisation. What history forgets is that he was afforded this time not in smoking rooms, university lectures or libraries, but in the depths of London’s prisons. Months before grabbing the headlines with his colonisation ideas, Wakefield finished a three-year sentence for kidnapping a 15-year old girl. In 1826, he had conspired with his brother to abduct Ellen Turner, a rich manufacturer’s daughter who caught his eye. Wakefield lured the girl into his trap by way of a false letter, warning Miss Turner her mother was gravely ill. Once the teenager was in his clutches, Wakefield took her to Scotland and demanded she marry him, saying it was the only way to spare her family financial ruin.

    Obsessed with power and influence, an utterly shameless Wakefield wrote to his new father-in-law demanding his financial support. He was sure the man would acquiesce to his demands rather than risk a public scandal. Imagine his surprise when constables caught up to the newly-weds at Calais and clapped him in irons. His trial – the biggest sensation of 1827 – ended with Wakefield and his brother jailed and the marriage annulled by a special act of Parliament.

    A driving force behind the creation of Adelaide, then was a duplicitous, power hungry, greedy kidnapper. With a guiding hand like that, it’s not hard to see where the darker side of Adelaide sprung. Wakefield’s choice of free settlers only worsened matters. He tirelessly hawked his new colony to two groups: religious dissenters and social progressives. The first, burned by their dealings with the Catholic and Protestant faiths, wanted a place to pursue their beliefs in privacy and without persecution. They brought with them a natural inclination towards secrecy, and the unwillingness to judge others. The progressives, meanwhile, believed that the basic concepts of human nature and morality were not fixed and should be reviewed on scientific advances. In other words, they carried a certain permissiveness and willingness to experiment with them to the new shores.

    Once combined, these vastly disparate values did great good in South Australia. It became a land of tolerance, the first place in the world to grant women the right to vote, and a bastion o religious thought. But every light cast by the City of Churches created a shadow – within which darker, more pervasive thoughts festered. In a land where experimentation was encouraged, where secrets were to be kept, where judgement was slow to pass, deviant mindsets developed unhindered and spread without condemnation.

    Over time, this underbelly became attractive to more people with monstrous thoughts, and a new group of emigres arrived. …….

    Secrecy is a defining aspect of South Australia. Those who resist the flow are smacked down harshly ……”

  84. Can we derive from that BD, that Professor Abbott is not amongst the ones smacked down, so harshly?
    Otherwise, how would he be allowed to persist ..

  85. B Deveson on April 17, 2014 at 3:14 am said:

    I very much doubt that Derek has any traction with the Adelaide establishment beyond the fact that that he is a great asset for Adelaide University. If Derek had any traction then SM would have been quietly exhumed fifteen years ago. The Establishment need him, but that does not mean they will offer him any help. That’s how Establishments work; that’s their mind set.
    You only have to look at Derek’s CV, and his list of books and publications to realise that he is a very highly regarded scientist. Sir Roger Penrose wrote the foreword to one of Derek’s books:
    Derek Abbott, Paul C. W. Davies, and Arun K. Pati (Eds.), with Foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, Quantum Aspects of Life, Imperial College Press, 2008.
    The name Roger Penrose may be familiar to some of you in relation to Steven Hawking’s black hole cosmology and other things. And the other co-authors are no scientific lightweights either.

  86. B Deveson on May 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm said:

    I find the following statement by Professor Cleland at the 1949 Inquest extremely odd. (see Inquest page 15).

    “If a man had access to diphtheria toxin, that certainly could be a possible explanation, but it would be very unusual. He would have to have access to a place where a diphtheria toxin were being manufactured. A very small amount of that would cause the haemorrhages.”
    It seems that Cleland was entertaining the possibility that SM, or somebody else, had access to diphtheria toxin (DT). The LD50 (the amount that will cause death in 50% of human subjects) is 100 nanograms per kilogram of body weight when administered by injection or by inhalation. DT is inactivated by acidic conditions and is said to have no effect if taken orally. Accidental needle sticks can be fatal and it is recommended to avoid working with dried DT because of the inhalation risk. Diphtheria toxin has been investigated as a possible chemical warfare agent and a murder case involving DT occurred as early as 1911 (in Russia).
    Another of Cleland’s statements,“I do not think there was any injection of curare or tubariu, which cause death from asphyxia” (page 15) is similarly odd, and I think it is relevant that in 1947 Archbishop Theodore Romzha of the Ukrainian Catholic Church was murdered by a NKGB agent with an injection of curare. I think Cleland must have been entertaining the idea that SM’s may have been murdered by the NKGB. Similarly, Cleland’s remark about the abrasions on SM’s right hand is consistent with a suspicion that a poison might have been administered through a slight wound.
    I can’t remember SM’s weight, but I would guess – about 90 Kg? So, 9 micrograms of DT could have killed him. 9 micrograms is 0.009 milligrams (a barely visible speck), or nine millionths of a gram. Put another way, one gram of DT contains about 110,000 SM size lethal doses.
    So, where might Diphtheria Toxin have been manufactured in Australia in 1948? DT had been made by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories at Royal Park in Melbourne since at least 1920 (see Kalgoorlie Miner (W.A.) 17th February 1920 Page 3). And I would expect that during WW2 the resources for producing DT would have been duplicated at several other scientific institutions for safety reasons. Maybe the Adelaide Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science was one of these institutions?
    Mr Robert James Cowan was essentially a biochemist and he was at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science at the time, August 1940, when he was sent on official Government business to meet Paul Leland Kirk.
    •1923 – 1926 Career position – Biochemist at the Commonwealth Department of Health in Port Pirie (South Australia) and Rockhampton (Queensland)
    •1927 – 1937 Career position – Biochemist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
    •1937 – 1947 Career position – Biochemist at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science
    •1947 – 1950 Career position – Deputy Government Analyst for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry
    So, Cowan could have been involved in defensive biochemical and biological research during WW2. The Australian Government would have been fully aware of the use of biochemical and biological weapons in China by the Japanese and would have been taking precautions as war with Japan became even more certain.
    In March 1940 Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls calculated that an atomic bomb might only require as little as 0.45 Kg of of enriched uranium. This information was given to Mark Oliphant, who in turn handed it over to Sir Henry Tizard, and this lead ultimately to the Manhattan Project. Note that Mark (later Sir Mark) Oliphant was a South Australian, and he would have been fully aware that two of the few uranium deposits known at the time were in South Australia (Radium Hill and Mt Painter). Radium had been produced from the uranium ore from both these mines, and radium was required for the early work on the atomic bomb.
    Cowan was still a relatively junior Government officer at the time of his visit to the USA, and I suspect he was a courier, probably carrying uranium samples and possibly radium from South Australia to the USA, and carrying biological agents and perhaps scientific information back to Australia on the return trip. This would explain his relatively junior status, and the short time he spent in the USA.

  87. Misca on April 23, 2016 at 1:42 pm said:

    J B Cleland and J M Dwyer had several disagreements (some of it very public) shortly after the SM inquiry. Of note – A 1951 inquiry into the death of a man, John Gregory Neill, who drowned in the Torrens River. Regarding J B Cleland’s findings on the case, Dwyer states “I find that rather embarassing sir. I do not agree with that view.” Given the times and the public interest in the case, this was quite a bold statement. Case details can be found on trove. It is sometimes referred to as the “Ducking Rag Trial.”

  88. john sanders on November 13, 2017 at 7:06 am said:

    Old John B. Cleland was a pheasant plucker as was Paul F. Lawson ie. both were very much into ornowhatsit and stuffing of our feathered friends, in Adelaide zoo and for much of the same time frame; so it was likely no accident, their coming together as expert witnesses for SM’s day in court. It seems that Paul, now in his centenary year, is still clear headed enough to recount most details of the Police investigation and all other aspects of the case according to Clive Turner’s recent interviews with the grand old chap. I guess at the end of the day, all of our own accumulated information, would not add up to a proverbial hill of Casablanca beans compared to a snippet of his own. If he knows so damned much, why hasn’t the old bastard come clean on everything that he has stored away; we can only hope he remains healthy wealthy and uncommonly wise in the interim.

  89. john sanders on November 13, 2017 at 2:11 pm said:

    …..; and of course for ‘proper’ interloper bastards like Flash, we should clarify that old Aussie terms of endearment are jake between us native born blokes and sheilas, whether we be crow eaters like Paul or the rest of us shackle marked denizens from sister sovereign settlements; black, white or brindle…Speaking of sheilas, it seems that the one on this threadline more or less asserts that Sister Thomson worked at Alvington polio afflicted kids home, which has only been theorised so far as I’m aware. Further more, concerning related comments of Chief Porter Harry North, it seems that his evidence of the suitcase check-in time between eleven and midday doesn’t fit with either the 10.45am Henley Beach train, and/or, in all probability, the 11.15am St. Leonards bus times that witness Holderness attested to for that matter. There was an additional unclaimed item that North said was lodged on 30/11/48, but with no furher elaboration; though we might be allowed to contemplate the possible involvement with another unidentified connected party.

  90. john sanders on November 14, 2017 at 1:31 am said:

    Kate: …And he dreamt on the night that mosquitos cannot bite if the heart doesn’t pump good and strong; so he rolled on his side and that’s when he died. Does that sound fair to you?; I could be wrong!…….Perhaps it is all to do with capillary skin pore openings or some such, anyway whilst the buzzing little bloodsuckers might still be drawn towards attractant moisture or fumes and residual body warmth from a corps, they are not able to gain physical entry to said pores for extraction. Whether he was alive or not when young Olive or Gordon made the mosquito comment is really the key to your interesting query. Our old friend Mr. Wiki can provide any further information you might seek in the subject.

  91. john sanders on November 15, 2017 at 7:50 am said:

    I can recall asking once if SM had one or two pairs of shoes, excluding the pair of size seven slippers, and unsurprisingly not drawing any interest; so we’ll have another crack a little further along the track. All good folk deserve to be dressed in their Sunday best for special occasions, one being their last day above sea level, and one might assume that a nice shiney pair of shoes would be included in the marching out attire. This should have comprised the Stamina trousers, Pelaco shirt, knitted sweater & socks, tailored jacket, Jockey briefs (slightly soiled), singlet plus Tootal tie & hanky, which subject was wearing when found. So where did the brown six eyelet Oxfords spring from, the ones in the TV show (which I’ve yet to see); don’t tell me!, there must have been another pair, the ones that Len Brown described in his own typed notes as being ‘stockmans shoes’ and which I don’t believe we have discussed to date. Perhaps we might consider high heeled dress riding boots which folks of yesteryear termed shoes rather than boots which were a heavier duty type. I do recall one of our old posters making inquiries with some bespoke makers and being told that; yes, the personal customer number 204 was known to them, but alas it must not have been one of their orders, for their own records referred to a boot and not a dress shoe. Perhaps we should get back to the maker and see what old records they have and we might not be so surprised that many old family high quality concerns go back generations e.g. Blocks ballet shoes, Sydney who’s customer records go back to when Pavlova last toured in ’29.

  92. john sanders on November 16, 2017 at 8:05 am said:

    Seems that our man didn’t get a send off in his Sunday best afterall, so just maybe he went to the otherside wearing hand-me-downs from Elliotts the undertakers. As for the ‘stockmans boots’ as described by Gerry or ‘stockmans shoes’ as alluded to by Len Brown, we can only assume that someone, put them to good use. Of course it seems that his second pair of Oxfords may also have found a good home, along with things like the little Turner insulated screw driver and perhaps even the halter lead and other little goodies that were’nt with the kit in ’77/78 for Stuart.

  93. milongal on November 16, 2017 at 9:21 pm said:

    Nothing wrong with us crow-eaters 🙂

    I take some of the stuff from the old man interviews with a pinch of salt. While I don’t think there’s any deliberate effort to befuddle or mislead, ultimately most of the ‘information’ is at best opinion and speculation, and while it is from someone very closely related to the case I’m sure everyone who worked on the case had different interpretations and ideas of what different aspects of the evidence meant. Additionally, the mind does funny things as we age, and something we read or thought about can start to manifest itself as absolute accurate recollection as we age. I also think (sort of related to confirmation bias) we have a tendancy to try to tell people things in ways they want to hear them, so you tend to tell stories from the angles that people are asking from and things can easily get confused. It’s also worth remembering that it is not the interviewee who posts on line – nor even the interviewer, but rather a third party who is subsequently fed the interview. Again, I don’t mean to imply any deliberate or malicious attempt to bend the truth, but anyone who’s played Chinese Whispers would know how quickly ideas can get garbled (Purple Monkey Dishwasher). (Incidentally, there’s an interesting show on ‘Netflix’ called ‘Brain Games’ or something similar that has an episode about communication…)

    I think there’s plenty time for the suitcase to have happened between 11 and 11:15 (when the bus left) – it would take less than 2 minutes to get from the luggage clerk to the other side of North Tce – but as you’d be well aware I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the whole Railway Station scenarios (nor, for that matter, the ‘certainty’ of times related to evidence, because from what I’ve seen of the public service, when somebody is pushing for an answer then you give them an answer (even if you have to make it up), justify it, and stick to your guns even if you realise a mistake has been made (fabricating/fudging as you go). In these sort of situations where Government analysts and pen pushers are being asked to find certain evidence I see a massive potential for confirmation bias – essentially creating a story and then finding facts to support the story, rather than viewing hte facts and considering the story. Not sure if it were here or elsewhere that somebody recently talked about the luggage tag not showing a time, for instance). I think we also have to remember that evidence wasn’t necessarily collected (or assessed) immediately after the body was found – and the longer a time between the event and the recollection, the more you rely on assumption based on your habits rather than actual memory,…
    While ranting about the railway station, things like the suitcase are linked to SM (‘definitively’) based on thread that ‘looks like it was uncommon at the time’, and we simply trust people who say “it is so improbable that this thread could appear in two different places” (oh the irony). In fact, a lot of what we ‘know’ seems to be founded on “it is so unlikely that this is a coincidence that we can dismiss it” – but to me statements like that suggest we haven’t bothered to look into it rather than we’ve actually demonstrated that this is the only – or even most likely – scenario.

    Regarding his Sunday dud’s (and still tying in with the rant above) I think the assumption that the railway station happened pretty close to the way Wiki has it means that we don’t look at every possibility. The shiny shoes etc suggest he wasn’t walking around Glenelg all day (And so we speculate may have been put on post-mortem) but what if we wasn’t walking around Glenelg at all? What if he was staying somewhere locally (the carnival is an interesting speculation in that vein – although I think it was a semi-permanent fixture) and only left the house at 5PM? What if he had shaved (hence no stubble) and put on nice clothes in the afternoon/evening to meet someone for a movie, or dinner, or some other appointment? Granted, this opens a can of worms because somebody must’ve realised he was missing – but any theory on SM opens worm cans.

  94. john sanders on November 17, 2017 at 1:52 am said:

    Milonga: Thanks Christ we do have a can of worms to open, for if not for that and our own initiative to speculate on the possibilities, we don’t have too many tools left at our disposal. Even if the worms, at the end of the day seem to be nothing more than a a wriggling mass without obvious purpose, it only needs one to break away from the pack and the rest may be inclined to go forward in a determined, more orderly fashion torwards a wormly goal. I know that it’s not a proper analogy to make but when things seem not to be panning out in an investigation and when facts are wanting; I always liked the B.K. adage about ‘dreaming (up) things that never were and inquiring as to why not?’….Between 11.00 and 11.15 is fine if we can put aside the 10.45 train to Henley and also consider that the cloak room ticket was more likely to have been issued after 11.15 than before which fact is quite unarguable it seems. I’ve had a little experience with preparing dead mates for burial and so can appreciate that presentation of the departing is one thing that always seems to have been an essential consideration, even to the extent of having to dislocate frozen joints to fit shoes and other troublesome apparell. So I’m sure that SM’s funeral attire would have been tastefully adequate, despite the likekihood that he had on some other person’s clobber, which is initself seems more than a little unusual to me. Perhaps we can still make inquiries with the undertaker Elliot’s successors; or even old Paul Lawson who Clive Turner seems to be communicating with re other aspects of the case quite regularly.

  95. john sanders on November 17, 2017 at 3:47 am said:

    Certainly there’s no shame in being labelled a ‘Crow Eater’, just put it down luck of the draw, and beyond your means to intervene for a better life in NSW for instance. Just be satisfied with your occasional Balfours pasty, Amscol hi-octane ice cream and Coopers; of course you’ll be consolled by the knowledge that into each life some rain must fall… For that matter, does anyone know for absolute certain where that ‘murderous’ derived; of course not and although many of you quaint folk have your own particular theories, none appear to be worth anymore than a cup full of ‘cool water’ (S.A. col.). Something similar could well be said for who was it said that the TS slip was found in SM’s trouser fob pocket? It most certainly was not the man who claims to have found it, nor the Detective who was witness to said discovery; and yet it’s veracity is more or less undisputed by all abd sundry it seems. My contention is that a three inch by one inch piece of flimsy paper, would fit much more secretively and protectedly in an inside fob jacket pocket. More so than being rolled up into a cylinder form, then folded and stuffed into a tiny, though visible two by two inch pants fob with it’s quite obvious limited usefulness. Leon Leane may have been getting to be a little ancient by 1987 when he made his outragious disclosure about discovery of the slip, though he need not have worried, as no body but me seemingly paid the slightest attention. Well he was considered worth the drive to Port Elliott for his reflective input, and so being a little on the ancient side myself, I’d rather trust the old detective’s memory than that of Mr. Nobody. And by the by; who was it that also insisted that SM had been seen sitting in the park seat to the left of the ‘under repair’ stairway during the afternoon? once again, just a wiley old crow eating detective, not Mr. Nobody that’s for sure!…

  96. john sanders on November 17, 2017 at 4:47 am said:

    Corrections: Milongal..Murderous (pertaining to crows) expression..down to luck… Are you aware that apart from Brighton and Glenelg, sometime before 1940 there used to be a Jetty Road at Henley Beach; what’s more there was also a Jetty Road railway station which, I guess to a cornstalk impostor from the east, might have created some cause for disorientation when contemplating Adelaide suburban travel plans, not to mention ticket purchases for a pre-arranged beachside suburb liason…I think I have an Hypothesis coming on, though it can wait Mr. moderator.

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