A little while back, I became aware that “The Unknown Man” – which I consider to be the #1 factual account of the Somerton Man cold case / Tamam Shud mystery – was about to be republished in ebook format, and so I asked Gerry Feltus for some more details to share with you. What I thought Cipher Mysteries readers would be particularly interested in was whether he had made any changes to the original print version (which came out way back in 2010).

Incidentally, here’s a nice photo of Gerry in action, taken from this family website:

Gerry kindly emailed me back a few days ago, saying:

I didn’t make any great changes apart from identifying and providing details relative to the nurse and her husband. I am aware that their identities were continuously produced on web sites, but people who purchased my book don’t all follow web sites so it is only fair that they also have access to the details.

There’s a little more detail on his News page.

Simply The Best

Since “The Unknown Man” first appeared in print back in 2010, I have continuously recommended it to prospective Somerton Man researchers as their very best first port of call. The only possible objection international researchers could have was the (still shockingly high) cost of postage from Australia, a pox to which ebooks are thankfully immune. So the ridiculous situation where people write articles, posts or even papers about the Somerton Man that fail to cite “The Unknown Man” should now hopefully be a thing of the past: it remains the core of any good Somerton Man bibliography.

For me, what is so good about Gerry’s book is that he sensibly restricts it to the pure factuality of the case, for it should be obvious that reporting all the facts in a clear and well-structured way is an amply hard enough challenge on its own. Having said that, even though this approach leaves plenty of room for other books to explore the various hypotheses in more detail, these sadly remain unwritten. Maybe one day, who knows?

Frustratingly, there are still a few details of the case hidden under pseudonyms in “The Unknown Man” which have yet to become public, most notably the real identity of “Ronald Francis” (in the back of whose car the Rubaiyat with the torn-out “Tamam Shud” was found in late 1948) and even the real make of Francis’s car. But perhaps these will emerge into the light before too long… here’s hoping, anyway. 😉

PS: if you haven’t already read “The Unknown Man”, go away and read it now!

38 thoughts on “Gerry Feltus’s “The Unknown Man”, now available as an ebook…

  1. milongal on November 19, 2017 at 5:07 am said:

    I’ll admit I haven’t read it …. but I can certainly imagine how objectively a detective might write something. Any speculation is clearly labelled such, and any anomaly in detail isn’t omitted just because it’s inconvenient.

    And one day I’ll read it (but I’m a tightarse and don’t like paying for things – and recently realised I haven’t actually read a book for about 10 years, spending way too much time reading the interwebs instead…)

  2. That’s awesome 🙂 I was also dead chuffed when ordering and buying my copy a few years ago from Rundle Mall that Gerry Feltus had actually signed it. Totally unexpected and definitely pride of place on bookshelf, obviously a top guy 🙂

  3. In the 7 years since Mr Feltus wrote and self-published “The Unknown Man”, what have we learned? The “real” names of Jessica Harkness and Prosper Thomson. A little bit about Jessica. A little bit about her son Robin Thomson and daughter Kate. A little bit about Robin’s ex/widow Roma Egan and their daughter Rachel. The fact that Derek Abbott is married to Rachel. The fact that Abbott had/has an ulterior motive. In other words, not much. Has any of this gotten anyone any closer to ID-ing the Somerton Man? Nick, you know the answer, Don’t you?

  4. Bumpkin: the point of this post was to shame anyone who is interested in the Somerton Man but has not bought Gerry’s book (and there are a few such people) into buying the e-book.

    But you ask a good question, one I should answer in a post of its own.

  5. john sanders on November 20, 2017 at 9:35 am said:

    On the plus side, one might look at it as being an ongoing process of very effective SM elimination; which being the case, we must be closer to an ID mathematically speaking. Then again, with Mr. Feltus being confident enough to put his mystery book online, which will help keep the wolf from his door, we well may envisage a whole new generation of more up to scratch home sleuths taking up the challenge. Seems to point towards a win win for all the sports fans. Always try to look on the brighter side of life; sure beats talking about collective failure, I think, Don’t you?

  6. Bumpkin on November 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm said:

    JS et al; The only way to ID SM is to exhume his body. If this is ever done, he will probably be IDed. If not, than there is no chance. But I’m repeating myself, aren’t I?

  7. john sanders on December 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm said:

    Just finished chapter one of the online book and starting the second; eagerly anticipating the pace to pick up fairly shortly. Nice to see that the Herbert boys, Dave & Xavier get an early mention, though ‘Poor Fellow’ would likely contest claims that he had joined up in Sydney. He was actually a most reluctant Victorian enlistee and assertions that he and the A Coy NCOU which included Alf Boxall did counter insurgency intellegence patrols in Jap infested Timor Sea, did not impress the AIF medal issuing people one iota.

  8. john sanders on December 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm said:

    Ahh… So it was Errol Canney that took the brief on the apparent suicide of Tibor Kuldor on Decenber 15th ’49 and who somehow could not later recall what had happened to the dead man’s belongings. It was also Errol who took a statement from a man named Keith Mangnoson on his confident identification of a man found dead on Somerton Beach two weeks earlier. Errol was once again to the fore when he interviewed a Sister Thomson at Genelg the following July in regards to the same possible identification. A few years later he teamed up with Detective ‘verbal’ Ray Kelly in the Dal Pozzo murder at Broken Hill where he had gone possibly to interview family of an old Somerton Beach witness who had died accidently. In 1966 his old associate Kelly came to Adelaide of his own accord to offer his services in the Beaumont missing children case but his services were politely declined. By that time Errol Canney was overseas heading up a UN peace keeping mission with the then Commonwealth Police contingent.

  9. john sanders on December 6, 2017 at 4:28 am said:

    A mere suggestion based on my reading of Gerry’s book: When the CID/Coroner’s gopher Pcc. Scam Sutherland asked J. Durham to attend the mortury to lift SM’s prints on 3rd Dec. ’48, he may have done so with that knowing look the old camaigner Jimmy knew so well, “smudge smudge, don’t spare the ink, special job, rinky dink; word from the top son”. Rather than belittle his own professional pride Jim would most likely have gotten ‘hoppy’ Knight, his less than expert offsider to do the botched job, being able achieve it without needing to know why his clumsy efforts were likely to go no further than the Super’s office. It’s probable that a good set of ‘known to be clean’ prints might thereupon have been circulated to all the so called English speaking countries, knowing that the results were sure to come back negative. In Gerry’s book, he gives us a little hint that all might not be as it should, with the subsequent personalised response from CIA Bill Donovan’s nemesis in the FBI john Edgar Hoover who was unable to assist with an identification. It might be noted with a snicker that J. E.(?) Hoover’s letter of 5/1/49 would have, if genuine,to have been signed during his routine Xmas/ Newyear break in Atlantic City or far off Florida Keys where he was known to holiday with his buddy Clyde Tolson. It can also be assumed that had any such transmissions been made, they were likely to have been to and from NSW Fingerprint Bureau, as S.A. didn’t have their own. So any replies, negative or otherwise would be expected to come back through the same channels which they obviously did not. We might wonder were the suitcase effects also dusted for prints in a similar cursory way, with those lifted belonging quite predictably to officers responsible for it’s packing, post SM’s discovery below the busted stairs at Somerton Beach……I enjoyed ‘Unknown Man’ ebook though was disappointed that it appears not to have been updated since 2010 and would like to see it revised to include all that has been learned or speculated upon in the interim.

  10. john sanders on December 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm said:

    Pages 56/57, where something seems to be amiss and I’m thinking it could merely be a simple typo. We have Gordon and Olive arriving on their motor bike (not a car as was noted by Leane or Brown), then they took up a position on a seat, whereby the man could be seen 9m below them and next to the seawall 2m north of the stairway. We of course are led to believe that where they sat was a seat set to the left of the damaged stairs on a raised ledge about 2m above. You will note that the book does not mention their descent but then talks of their later ascent and the confusion lies in the disclosure that other occupied bench seats were positioned along the esplinade. Perhaps Gerry could clear up the confusion, especially in that 9m seems a fair drop from the street to the beach where SM was positioned; he might also like to clarify the mosquito delema, ie. whether they go for dead meat or not.

  11. john sanders on December 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm said:

    ….And while we’re in the right place, old soldier and now jeweller John Lyons was most emphatic in his inquest deposition that the cigarette he saw that morning near SM’s right ear was unsmoked, yet Judah (John) Moss the constable went to great lengths to refute that claim; so who’s telling porkies and why. In my opinion Moss is the culprit and it either has something to do with an inconsistent timing agenda or that he was derelict in some important aspect if his assigned duty as first officer on the scene; we’re not to know what time Detective Harry Strangway arrived. Moss makes no mention of the unserviceable stairway or that the nearby beach scene must have been a mess from the early morning horse presence. To the contrary he talks of the stairs being in regular use and that the sand was undisturbed; so it’s no wonder he was transfered to Henley Beach…see page 58 tum.

  12. milongal on December 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm said:

    @JS: A lot of the preliminary detail is messy because at the time the body was found this was a mundane death – not even necessarily suspicious. For the fuzz there’s a process that they need to follow, but given at the time they expect it to be just another boring body they probably don’t go to too much effort to dot t’s and cross i’s (and I suspect this is why some of the potential witnesses conveniently disappear (eg the horse riders)).

    I don’t know where the mozzie stuff comes from. I always heard it as ‘flies’ and have onluy heard everyone insist they were mosquitos this last year or so. Having grown up in Adelaide (further North – in Taperoo, closer to Mangnoson territory) and regularly gone to the beach in Summer I can’t ever remember being hassled by mozzies. I can definitely remember swarms of flies buzzing around from the second you get out the water to the time you leave the beach

    While Somerton is a narrow beach, Taperoo is considerably wider, and then has about 100m of walking paths back to the road (through plantation like the bushes Mangnoson was found in) – we used to Swim either near Strathfield Tce, or by the “House with the Boat” (ask anyone on the LeFevre Peninsula about the house with the rotting boat if you want an hour of speculation) near Paringa St) and you can see on googlemaps the distance between the Esplanade/Lddy Gowrie Dve and the beach (in fact, using streetview you can see down the paths toward the beach). Almost as soon as you get off the packed wet sand onto the finer dry sand you have flies swarming you – and they continue all the way off the beach. I remember similar experiences at other beaches – Largs, Semaphore, Grange, Henley. I remember flies always, but never mozzies.

    As a kid I do remember swimming South of Glenelg once (We called it Somerton, but it may have been closer Brighton – but it certainly had a narrow beach) I don’t specifically remember flies (or mozzies), so it’s possible that the flies don’t like it South of Glenelg (as I recall the beach is a little different there – because the packed sand is often all the way up to the seawall – which shows the tide occasionally goes that high) . Perhaps the flies have more interesting food elsewhere or something, but based on my recollection of other Adelaide Metro beaches I lean toward flies, not mozzies being the pests hanging around the man on the beach……

  13. john sanders on December 8, 2017 at 3:38 am said:

    Milongal: Ian Andrew Mangnoson/Hunter?/Peusker? has gone missing and ‘we don’t know where he are’, same same Isobel’s betrothed Keith Alexdr McAlpine, which can also be said of her crooked brother Cyril John Mang. aka Wilson. The relationship of the Mang. girls with the vice versa names might more accurately be described as half sisters or more precisely aunt and niece due probably to incest; So clever of old family chess queen Ida to mix the names that way and avoid idle chatter over the backyard fences at Largs and Alma in later years. If someone could assist with discovering the respective fates of our three wayward lads, we might go forward to what could prove to be a rewarding outcome indeed indeed. An old and juicy Mangost-ian surplus fund stash appears to have been invested by our ever considerate Federal unclaimed estate minders and I’m sure that they would offer reasonable compensation to those successful in tracking down the rightful heirs. NB: Isobel 5/4/17 and Violet 23/10/17 are represented by their individual add-on plaques over the headstone of Mervyn Wright Lehmann at Cheltenham, along with twice wed Violet’s billy lids Ross & Kaye; Isobel’s man Keith McAlpine dec’d also gets a small guernsey…Sand lice or beach ngats anyone.

  14. john sanders on December 8, 2017 at 3:45 am said:

    NB: Victor Eric Peisker married Florentina Marie Mangnoson nee Hunter, Cyril’s ex in ’41. He also appears to have wed Florie’s older sister Sylvia at some stage along life’s bountiful journey.

  15. john sanders on December 8, 2017 at 6:45 am said:

    whilst we’re still with Gerry’s great book, there are a couple of minor historical points that I picked up on and that might fairly be commented upon. The NAOU in which Alf Boxall served did not commence until mid 1942 and it was based at a Katherine which was well south of Port Darwin or Palmerston as it had once been known. The unit was mainly comprised of stockmen with bush experience or others with technical knowhow in order to make the unit self proficient. It did not during its existence serve in any theatre of war as defined by the Australian Military and indeed that was in consequence of the feared Japanese landings not eventuating. It did not take over from the Darwin Mobile Force which was based in the northern capital for peacetime garrison duties from late 1938 til its eventual disbanding in early 1940 when its members, mostly 2/3 Field Regiment were put aboard the Queen Mary at Sydney and sent off to Britain. Alf who went over to the NAOU thence WTSS in the north and later back to his home state of NSW, did not go to war in any known capacity though he did quite a deal of work in the old campaign areas after cessation of hostilities. I’m not sure why Gerry spent so much time on him as the only thing that makes him really stand out is that he and I share the same educational level at the same renowned learning institution as teenagers, albeit a few years apart. Where Gerry Feltus refers to the relative ease of writing a “flowery mystery novel encompassing the war years, spy themes and lost loves”, I guess he was speaking somewhat tongue in cheek about the Stephen King version of Somerton Man unless there was another similarly threaded piece of fiction.

  16. john sanders on December 10, 2017 at 4:38 am said:

    Absurd and incongruous that the cloakroom attendant Ralph Craig was neither called as a Coronial witness or was asked to make a statement concerning his most important involvement with SM’s? unlocked suitcase. Harold North, who had nothing to offer excepting to identify the receipt ticket and the uncertain time of lodgement was ludicrous and hints at Craig’s possible rejection of the police version of how things went down on 14/1/49 when they inspected contents of the case, and or how they took possession of it five days later. To say that he was on holidays is not a ligitimate excuse and how the coroner would have left his untimely leavetaking for such an important pesence go unquestioned is obviously unacceprable in the extreme

  17. john sanders on December 10, 2017 at 7:21 am said:

    I’d say that Ralph Craig must have stood his ground when Leane attempted to take charge of the suitcase without a warrant and that’s where some probable issues arose between the pair as to rightful custodianship and legal authority. I’m sure that pressure was put on the attendant and eventually he relented to the extent of allowing an inspection within the facility, pending a lawful warrant being issued to transfer title. That’s possibly why Craig was not considered as being a useful witness at the Coronial Inquest and it seems that his important part of the chain of events was thus effectively curtailed. It is noted that word got out to newspapers by 15th inst. and they broke their story about contents confirming SM’s apparent connection to the property. Of course the Barbour threads card was the clincher for ID and it was variously described as being brown cord, course thread and cotton of an unusual type. This information could only have come from Det. Leane and yet at the said inquest, he changed his mind and called it common thread. Apart from the darning needle, which was not described as such, we might assume that it was not considered important enough to display so as to confirm it’s role in the described masculine mending of the various items of apparel. Just like the harness nose ring, sometimes described as a loupe or broken scissors and the little electrical screwdriver, it was not subsequently heard from ever again which, to us is not very helpful. Mention of the slightly lightly soiled underwear, either in SM’s pockets or in the suitcase appears to be a complete misunderstanding of Gerry’s description and I read it as meaning that the items were those removed from the body at Adelaide morgue, then put in his coat pockets for convenience. Later on they would probably have found their way into the suitcase as one might expect to occur over the passage of time.

  18. bdid1dr on December 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm said:

    Flies or Mosquitos : You won’t find mosquitos near a dead body; they feed on

    Somewhere in one of Nick’s earlier posts, I read that some people exercised their horses on beaches where the tide has gone right to the bases of sandy cliffs. When my parents moved us to Lompoc and Santa Barbara we would see people galloping their horses on the wet packed sand.

  19. john sanders on December 11, 2017 at 9:34 am said:

    Are we agreed that Roma Mangnoson was behind the hoax calls in order to gain sympathy; this being evidenced by Detectives claimed to have interviewed a young woman of interest, which did not result in any charges being laid. The fund manager for a family benefit also chose to pull the plug on the same day and advised that money raised would be diverted instead to a war neurosis fund run by the RSL. Roma apparently then broke down as a likely consequence and had to be hospitalised. Gerry’s book talks about Keith’s positive ID on SM with Erol Canney, though Roma , in her testimony to the July 49 inquest refuted this, saying no such identification was affirmed. It might be noted that Keith’s voluntary ?attendance at the mortuary on 12th January, seems to correspond precisely with the time of his release from hospital following a breakdown the previous November, though it seems that the duty seriously affected his nerves….. I’m mulling over some ID difficulties of my own, concerning the Mangnoson family’s identity conundrum and whilst it may not seem to be that relevant, I think it’s important enough to warrant full clarity.

  20. john sanders on December 12, 2017 at 7:58 am said:

    NB: Back some years ago Debra made some comments regarding one Neil McRea, who found Keith, along with dead Clive in bushes near his home at Largs North, the spot apparently being fortold in a dream the night before. The men were workmates on the same night shift and had previously been neighboors in McGarrey Terrace. Truth being known they were probably related through Roma’s family, the dreaded MacIntyres, at which point my bow string is starting to tense up somewhat. If Roma did the masked avenger business, then she was probably behind the other threats to those worthies holding local office and the young woman who had recently ‘lost’ her husband (one wonders when & where the loss occurred). Note also that three days of extensive search in the vicinity had not met with success and yet Keith was found to be in possession of a newspaper dated 4th June which was two days into the operation; so how does that fit in. When his hide was located it was found to be not so secluded and it was lined with dry superphosphate bags, which to my suspicious mind would have come from Ida’s old place in rural Alma and used to transfer farm provisions back to the family’s other address at 12 McGarrey Tce. Largs Nth. (non rural so no need for fertiliser). This was right nextdoor to No. 10 which was occupied by the not so loving couple, also old Mrs. MacIntyre and their poor infant son, who Roma said was the spitting image of his allegedly habitually cruel father. Conveniently found alongside the toddlers body was,of course the old girl’s bottle of Pb tabs which Keith must have cunningly procurred, even in his demented state and with which he intended to … do God knows what. The business about leaving home at 9.30 am on the day of disappearance to fetch a cwt. of firewood from a local vender, then being missed by his sweet teenaged wife at 10.00am has knobs on it. For starters the distributer in Military Rd. was a good fifteen minute walk which doesn’t leave much time to be home at a time, so not as to create alarm. For that matter Keith had purchased a heap of firewood from the place only two days beforehand which should have sufficed to keep the pot boiling at home for a week you would think. It all reeks of something I’m not quite prepared to put a name to, but I think I’ve made my point; don’t lose your head whatever and never get hitched to a teenaged bride, you might just be in for a rough old ride.

  21. john sanders on December 12, 2017 at 9:12 am said:

    12 Magarey street o.k. John & Ida’s old address sold in April last for a miserly $785D.

  22. milongal on December 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm said:

    I always assumed ‘went to get wood’ was about gathering rather than buying. And I assumed this was why the search seemed to focus nearer the beach (where the Norfolk Island Pines line the streets – although I don’t know that that’s necessarily a good wood for burning??).

    If he were going to the shop, I would imagine (based on recent geography) there would have been 3 places within easy walking distance that might have had wood.
    1) Group of shops at corner Military Rd and Kowarra Tce (last time I was there it was the Regent Deli (in SA a Deli is a Milk Bar/Corner store rather than a Continental Shop), Saints with Scissors (the wife of the butcher at Saint’s Meats at North Haven and Semaphore) and Chickens with Attitude (which is my second favorite ever name for a chicken shop – after Taperooster which used to be on Victoria Rd, Taperoo)
    2) Group of shops at the corner of Carnarvon Tce and Fletcher Road. These days there’s a Post Office on Carnarvon and a group of old shops on the other side of Fletcher (not sure what else is in there)
    3) Corner of Strathfield Tce and Victoria Rd. As well as the Deli, Pizza Bar (disused) and junk shop on the corner, there’s a group of (I think older) shops further back along Strathfield (there was a vet and a hairdresser there – but that was a loooong time ago, and they may well be empty now), as well as a couple on the other side of Vic Rd (actually, I think now it’s just a Vinnies on Vic Rd, but I remember a group of shoips there that included a LawnMower store and a Drapery (*which I always assumed was the reason the railway station between Taperoo and Largs North is called ‘Draper’).
    In any event, you’re right 30min is a very fast time to declare someone missing with those sort of distances. If he were going toward the Regent Deli he would likely have passed Wee Willie’s Tavern – and perhaps Mrs Mang was concerned he may have gotten lost there (although 10AM is probably early to head out to there)?

    Interesting, too, that he was buying wood 9:30AM on a Thursday. Presumably out of work – and this might be why he was struggling to get his burnt house fixed up….but somehow he’s managed to buy a block of land in all of that.

  23. john sanders on December 12, 2017 at 11:42 pm said:

    Unfortunately, and apart from having him declared as being permanently unfit for military service due to nervous instability; as assessed on his April ’40 attestation form, there is no description of Keith, except his having brown hair, eyes and no upper teeth. We do have scaled height army photos that show our man as being 5′ 11″ on subsequent enlistment a year later; so then we move along to June ’49 where he goes missing at Largs and the searchers are looking for slim man 5′ 7″ in height and of dark complexion, none of which fits the image we have of Keith as we know him. One might be excused for wondering whether keith the lost wood cutter, Keith the AIF mortarman and Keith the missing husband were one and the same fellow.

  24. john sanders on December 13, 2017 at 12:21 am said:

    We might also wonder, during the ’49 search and tragic aftermath, which was covered extensively by the news media with input by local police abd government officials; where in the world were Keith’s loving mum, dad and siblings who were living right next door to him. Not a word from any of them in that long period of quite dramatic newspaper coverage, perhaps there had been a family falling out; we can certainly sense that Ida and John had not on been on the best of terms for quite some time with the old man mostly working away from home. Actually Keith was known to have been timber cutting with dad when he got lost at Maggea in 1940 and we didn’t hear a peep out if the old man during or in the aftermath if that search either; weird ain’t it?.

  25. john sanders on December 13, 2017 at 5:18 am said:

    It appears baby Clive’s cortege left from Ida’s house at No 12 Magarey which is interesting in itself. But other even more intereresting things and not so easy to figure, are in the offing. On 20/6/49 The Progressive Times local newspaper ackowledged donation in the sum of 21 shillings (not an insubstantial amount) from K.W. Mangnoson who we might reasonably assume to be our very own Keith Waldemar; no other K. W. Mangnoson with those initials comes to mind. The date being two weeks after he was admitted to Parkside asylum needs some further explanitary musings. While we’re about that, let’s also consider his 1 pound donation to the state RSL war graves appeal on 8/9/53, three months following his divorce with Roma, while still in custody at Parkside. I can also recall seeing that at some stage earlier Keith had sought a position on the board of the Largs North Progress Àssociation though I did not make note of the reference. Are we talking about the same certified nut case or might we have been dealing with a substute, going back to September 1940, when our boy got lost in the bush at Maggea.

  26. john sanders on December 13, 2017 at 8:32 am said:

    When Keith’s sister Isabel announced her engagement to Keith McAlpine in early 1940, for the one and only time in the many similar Mangnoson family ads for coming events between 1924 and 1953, it only mentions Mrs I. Mangnoson as the proposer for the soon to be bride. Its also the only time that there is no follow up nuptual notice which have always followed in the past. Keith McAlpine for all intents and purposes does not appear to have been the child of Lieut. JE & AM McAlpine decd., as nominated, nor the brother of Grace Olga, who as Grace Wilson was said to have been hitched to Cyril Mangnoson using his mother’s maiden name. What we do know is that the alleged father John, a was a staunch member of his church and a most active free masoneer before his matredom in the trenches of France. I have an uneasy feeling about that and many other strange aspects of this case and would ask anyone who might be in the know, is it possible that this whole investigation was infiltrated for some clan related reason by such a fraternity. Perhaps even right from the very get go in 1948 or earlier and continuing til, well right to the present. Forget about Soviets or other clandestine involvement, grand theft auto SA , ex-internees or disenchanted ballet troupers. This might just prove too tough to crack with trick handshakes on the inside thwarting our every move and an undeciperable Saracen codex. eg. Some crappy geni mob called Ancient Feces tells us that our gal Isabel died in 1940 and that her big bro Cyril did something similar in 1930 (except for MM’s Sqalm 75). So possibly a diversion path has been laid at some point in time and we, unwitting dupes that we are, might well be inclined to not proceed as a consequence.

  27. milongal on December 13, 2017 at 10:43 pm said:

    There’s a lot of strange stuff about Mangnoson – as per your speculation. However, I’m not convinced that any of it necessarily related him to SM (other than the Riverland connexion).
    “Keep your nose out the Mangnoson affair” (sounds very Sherlock Holmes)
    “Stay away from the police or else…”

    It all sounds like there’s something up with Mangnoson – but that could be totally independent of SM.

    KWM had disappeared before to ‘hang around near Outer Harbor’ (or something). Is this just a mentally broken mind, or is there more to this? It seems strange that at least twice he would disappear to the beach North of his home, and the whole hideout in the bushes is sort of interesting.

    Where did his income come from (the numbers you posted above and being off work of a Thurs morning, and buying property etc)?
    What business did he have at Taperoo and at Outer Harbor?
    Did he like sleeping out in the wild at the beach (like the railway clerk behind Government house)?
    What were the barbiturates he took from the house?

    Certainly squillions of puzzles about him and his family – but none of that necessarily means anything about SM….

  28. john sanders on December 14, 2017 at 12:19 am said:

    Milongal: 542 Military Rd. (Harnsdorf) is not so far from 12 Magarey, about a 15 minute turn about, but certainly nothing for Roma to have gotten her nickers in a knot about. Her mums Phenobarbital medication was used to prevent siezures brought upon by bradycardia syndrome which slows the heart and causes dizzy spells. It is a rather mild safe medication when used correctly and overdose in adults would likely be limited to some disorientation and drowsiness. These days they put it into dogs food prior to road travel which keeps them mildly sedated during long trips away from home. Keith was said, at Clive’s inquest, to be a fitter by trade, which in those days would have entailed a four or five year indentured apprenticship. Ida said in her testimony that he left home at aged fourteen and spent the following twenty two years working in various agricultural vocations prior to his being found in the horse trough at Maggea, so we can assume that the tag fitter, may have more likely related to his having a screw loose. But as you mention though, he didn’t seem to be short of a quid when it came to support worthy causes. On 12/1/49 when Keith told police about Carl or Karl,a fellow farm worker from a cold climate, he was just coming off a long period of treatment for a mental breakdown and was most likely still on a drug resume. It’s certainly within the realms of possibility that he was refering to someone such as the mysterious Keith McAlpine in his demented state, or else the copper got the cold climate mixed up with alpine (sic). As for the ‘Thompsen’, well there were and are still, lots of Thompsens (sic) living on the land around the Renmark, Riverland invirons so he might have meant the owner of a property they had worked at together.

  29. john sanders on December 14, 2017 at 4:36 am said:

    Actually I’m having difficulty in establishing whence the mysterious fellow Carl Thompsen came; Gerry does not mention him by name, nor Keith Mangnoson for that matter and I don’t recall Roma bringing up that name. We know from the book, that Erol Canney spoke to a male informant from Largs on 7/1/49 and we also know that Errol was not the kind of detective who habitually relied on his official police notebook. There are two major points of contention between what Gerry tells us and what Roma said at Clive’s inquest, these being that a Constable Horsnell, Errols offsider, reported that a positive ID was affirmed by his witness, this as opposed to a negative assertation which was Roma’s take; then we have Gerry’s man enlisting in 1940 which we know to be quite at odds with what we know from Keith’s own service record which has him signed up in May of 1941. I’ve got a feeling that on the date mentioned, that Roma’s man may have been otherwise indisposed by confinement and so for all we know, the identification might have come from some other Largs denizen.

  30. john sanders on December 14, 2017 at 7:56 am said:

    Dr. John’s cautionary advice for treating seizures brought about by bradycardia would not recommend the use of phenobarbital, especially for those having a resting heart rate of under 55. Great as part of a cocktail for putting an end to one’s mortal woes or for assisting with legal executions. I was wondering whether such common old medication would have been detected in SM’s system if at all present.

  31. Angor Remi on December 14, 2017 at 8:14 am said:

    I’ve been told Abbots ‘s had anotber go in the media tonight..

  32. Angor Remi: I’m already on it. 😉

  33. john sanders on December 14, 2017 at 10:06 am said:

    I can see KMs ID for Carl Thompsen, Adel/news 7/1/49. Same day also talks of IDs re Bob Morgan aka Robert Walsh and Nugget of Morgan by Salotti and Ma Thompson also of Morgan; must have been somewhat confusing for poor addled Keith if they all had been brought together at the morgue for the SMs viewing. Same column also talks of the Henley Beach rail ticket having had a platform punch so how does that go with all other most definate contrary opinions; in particular by Gerry Feltus no less.

  34. john sanders on December 14, 2017 at 11:56 pm said:

    Three roots and three lovely babes, all thanks to DA’s family links through Jessie, Roma and SM no doubt. Hey what about Gerry stashing the TS fragment; he didn’t say anything like that in his book and what about his own family links with the other Roma nee McIntyre. Such a shame, she never got to tell her ‘flowery’ piece of fiction in the publication, nor any mention at all of the other related mystery which is equally intriguing.

  35. john sanders on December 15, 2017 at 4:25 am said:

    When Errol Canney went to see Jess, it might have saved a lot of bother, had he shown her the little W&T pocket Rubaiyat and got the good oil fom her ie.; that she had given Alf her personally endorsed hard cover dual language edition which would not only have let him off the hook as an SM suspect, but would also have obviated all the related media speculation of the day and resulted in a much condenced version of Unknown Man. Gerry would also not have had to call his nurse Tess and likewise could have avoided the rift with Derick. Oops I forgot about Det. Leane’s promise of anonymity to Sister Thomson, not yet nee Harkness.

  36. john sanders on December 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm said:

    Keith Mangnoson left home on one of his war caused neurotic meanderings on 7/11/48 and didn’t resurface until 4 days later, at which time his doctor saw fit to book him in to Parkside mental hospital for a treatment period of seven weeks. In my reconning that would have taken him through to a release date of around about 7/1/49, which is the day that he gave his Carl Thompsen account to Errol Canney. Now Keith was not under any formal schedule order, so we can assume that he was not likely confined in any particular manner and had probably been able to visit with his family or socialize to some degree. Here’s a man that had served in some of the most horrific battles of the war such as El Alemain and Tubruk, so no doubt he saw death amongst his mates at the hands of Erwin Von Romel’s loathed Africa Corps. He would have in all likelihood feared and hated both the hun and dago belligerants alike whilst he was in process of quietly going around the twist, which his homefolk might not have quite come to terms with. Should he have met up with some pro fascist nut case during his Parkside semi confinement, one could well imagine what might be the likely outcome. Having been under a constant treatment regime for a number of years for his neurosis, we can be assured that he was familiar with all sorts of up to date medications, potentially lethal yet maskable in knowing hands. Being a quiet man by nature, as we are led to believe, had he the desire for refenge, then we might expect him to be fairly subdued in the manner he would choose to take out a perceived threat. Keith was well familiar with the Adelaide coastal environs and the man was no fool. I’m sure we can all do the math and think of how he might have planned then put into effect such a job, had he have been of a mind. Proof of the pudding being in that he may well have gotten away with the most mysterious murder of all time, that is until his dastedly deed ultimately got too much for him to cope with on a sad cold Adelaide Thursday in early June 1949 and we know the rest.

  37. john sanders on December 17, 2017 at 1:18 am said:

    On another Adelaide Tuesday, this one being 21/3/1950, clothing belonging to escaped lunatic Keith Mangnoson was found on Henley Beach. In the clothing was found a symbolic photograph of a grave and two letters, one of which suggested his intention to suicide. Of course it all turned out to be a ruse, for our man had no such intentions and was eventually found in the Adelaide hills, not too far distant from where his young brother (alleged) Ian was living. As we know so well by now, Somerton Man was also believed to be a possible suicide and amongst his beach attire was later found an item of symbolic nature suggesting that very intention. It may all mean very little in the overall scheme of things, but at least we might like to dwell a little on the fact that our Keith was capable of cunning deception and was certainly not the dithering fool that our records might portray him as. Amongst the contents of the Kean suitcase were several items that may well have been planted with subterfugal intent by a crafty mind. Such as the barbour thread card, which incidently was known to be included in the useful ittle army sewing repair kit that all ex infanteers like private Mangnoson would have retained from his time in the service. Also there were writing utensils which included lead pencils and an eraser, both such items having also been coincidently in the possession of Keith when he was once located in Fort Largs beachside dunes after having gone missing with his infant son. He turned out not to be so dumb afterall and went on to lead quite a normal life it would seem and its more the pity that we are deficient in more detail about his post institutional life, in order to get a better fix on the fellow.

  38. john sanders on December 17, 2017 at 3:23 am said:

    I might take this liberty to mention that on this day just fifty years ago, another healthy middle aged man went down to yet another popular Australian beach for a swim and tragically never returned, in arguably the greatest mystery of our time. Also on this day fifty years ago, though not so well remembered, the old troopship HMAS Sydney left Adelaide’s Outer Harbor with a thousand servicemen aboard, en route to an uncertain fate on a distant battlefield. Thirty at least of that number were likewise never to return to their homeland alive, neither surprising nor mysterious, whilst many of their more fortunate? pals were never given the opportunity to reach their potential in later life. The person ultimately responsible for the latter tragedy was none other than the man that went to the beach for a swim; then Australia’s Prime Minister Harold Holt, who for all we know is knocking down a few commemorative cold ones with the lads he unintentionally sent to their early graves, just fifty years ago this day.

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