Unsolved - Taman Shud Case | BigFooty

Unsolved Taman Shud Case

Discussion in 'Crime' started by chargers 09, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. chargers 09

    chargers 09 Premiership Player

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    Anyone know much about this or have any theories? I've done a bit of reading on wiki and stuff but it doesn't seem to give any reliable leads obviously.

    Anyone educated about this case, most interesting one I've heard of apart from the Zodiac Murders IMO. Should get more mainstream attention.
     
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  2. grizzlym

    grizzlym Premium Platinum

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  3. chargers 09

    chargers 09 Premiership Player

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  4. grizzlym

    grizzlym Premium Platinum

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    I've read a bit about it over the years. Good Weekend postulated a theory I hadn't really heard before about a woman and digitalis poisoning. No motive or anything like that though. I thought it sounded like 'spy games' at first. And judging by the avenues of investigation, I reckon that's what the police thought. But it seems to come back blank. You heard of the Bogle Chandler murders? Another seemingly baffling South Australian murder. 2 people found dead on a river bank. For years unsolved then someone put forward an extremely simple, well-reasoned and compelling theory. Kind of blew all the crazy theories out of the water, which over the years had got much oxygen. I wonder if Taman Shud is a little the same.

    I can't get over, though, some of the extremely weird details like the rare book.
     
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  5. CAS79

    CAS79 Brownlow Medallist

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    was going to post this one too... And like Griz I used to look at the spy angle, but Im not ruling out some strange cult either, particularly as he was the 2nd death in a few years in Australia holding onto that book.

    Whatever the result I'm pretty sure the Glenelg Woman and Alfred Boxell knew who he was despite their denials.
     
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  6. grizzlym

    grizzlym Premium Platinum

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    Haven't forgotten. Just been freakin' busy.
     
  7. CAS79

    CAS79 Brownlow Medallist

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    Chill Grizz, lol, Im not stalking you I'm genuinely interested in this one.
     
  8. chargers 09

    chargers 09 Premiership Player

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    What makes you think they knew who he was?
     
  9. grizzlym

    grizzlym Premium Platinum

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    I know. In the absence of time to be more discrete, I had to seize the opportunity presented to me!
     
  10. CAS79

    CAS79 Brownlow Medallist

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    who he was or if not a name where he was from
    Nothing concrete but her number was unlisted yet there it was in his book, what was he doing in Adelaide at all,

    The last case review detective on the case also has spoke of flaws in her testimony including telling police at the time she was married and the police of the time recorded this and appeared to take at face value. According to the review.. .she was lying and was not married until some time later

    Don't worry a judge would have my evidence declared heresay and they would be right... but Im sure they both knew who was.
     
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  11. chargers 09

    chargers 09 Premiership Player

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    Are you 100 % it was a murder? Certainly possible it was some weird cult or something?
     

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  12. CAS79

    CAS79 Brownlow Medallist

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    Not at all. Did i accidentally use that phrase, Give me to the weekend I'll add some thoughts on this than. My old man has a big interest in this case too I found out today.
     
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  13. chargers 09

    chargers 09 Premiership Player

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    Excellent, fill us in on what he knows. I'm trying to broaden my horizons on this topic as well, I find it fascinating.
     
  14. vast

    vast Brownlow Medallist

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    I was reading up on this case very recently, what was interesting was that there was a death of a man who just died sitting on a park bench with a copy of the same book in Sydney a few years earlier. The interesting part was that investigators found out later the Glenelg nurse (Jestyn or Mrs Thompson) worked in a hospital right across the road from the park at the time, if all true obviously too much of a coincidence and made me think that it may have all just been the work of a female serial killer. The method of killing being poisoning would also be consistent with it being a female killer.







    The man who did the cast of the body/head also thinks she was hiding something. The beginning of second video is with the cast maker, who looks a bit like John Noble/Walter Bishop (though he would have solved the case hehe), is very cagey. In this video made recently he explains why

     
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  15. CAS79

    CAS79 Brownlow Medallist

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    Just a question, was his woman working as a Nurse in South Australia. I do not belive she was.
     
  16. vast

    vast Brownlow Medallist

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  17. grizzlym

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  18. Silent Alarm

    Silent Alarm people believe they're gonna get away for summer

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    Bbbbbbump.

    Just re-reading this case because a mate in Adelaide had never heard of it. I think it's glaringly obvious that Jestyn knew him, and knew him relatively well. She was piss poor at hiding it and the police were probably unable to really think of a link, let alone find one.

    I think there's a bit of romance in there as well. The narrative I conjured was some guy meeting up with a girl he'd met somewhere else, or that unrequited love thesis, and him asking the neighbour and being shattered when he'd found she was married. Or something. I guess I'm idealistic like that, though.

    I didn't know a Sydney case had occurred a couple of years earlier. The fact he died in a relatively sedate setting, with the obscure book as well, just makes Jestyn way more suss. Maybe she was a murderer, but it seems an odd MO and a pretty risky one – dragging men out after they'd died into public places?

    Seriously interesting, though.
     
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  19. Total_Juddshanks

    Total_Juddshanks Premiership Player

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    I first read a relatively short article about this case on Cracked, but the full background and information is a complete mind****. One of those truly rare mysteries where Occam's razor is no help whatsoever, because every satisfactory explanation is equally bizarre.

    If it was just an unrequited love type suicide, why the link with the code and no labels on any of his clothes?

    If he was a foreign spy, why did Jestyn fairly obviously know who he was?

    Is there any link at all to the previous death involving the book...?

    I think somewhere in this, there has to be a coincidence of some kind at play, if you assume all the details work together, it gets utterly perplexing.

    I think there are two very broad possibilities which probably are the most likely

    1.) Bloke was a foreign spy (hence the clothes), who had previously had a relationship with Jestyn. He had been provided with coded information to proceed to Adelaide for whatever reason (hence the book code). Once he was there he missed his bus and bumped into Jestyn, who he hadn't seen for many years, or intentionally went to look her up. He's ecstatic to see her, but devastated to find out she's married. He tops himself (presumably he'd be carrying something similar to a L pill), or does something so undisciplined that he is topped by his superiors. The subsequent death is just a big fat coincidence,given the subject matter of the poem its not extraordinary a suicidal person would fixate on it, or alternatively, that's another agent also using the book as a code and also offside with his boss. She keeps mum because she knows his background and doesn't want to be investigated by ASIO or what have you.

    2. Bloke is mentally unstable, previously had a relationship with Jestyn. He's sufficiently paranoid to make the code up, or believe she left a code in the book for him, and do wacky things with his clothing labels. He is basically stalking her, when he catches up, she tells him to get lost and that sends him over the edge and he tops himself. She feels dreadful about it but doesn't want to say anything, because of what might come out about her past relationship.

    I don't know, its very very odd.
     
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  20. Silent Alarm

    Silent Alarm people believe they're gonna get away for summer

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    Yeah, I tend to agree Total_Juddshanks. Those scenarios aren't that far fetched. And I think the truth is pretty straight forward; he's mentally ill, he's a killed spy, he's suicidal... the actual motivation might even be as simple as, like you said, unrequited love or a US-powered killing.

    But you chuck it all together and it's these items of oddity that are so removed from each other, it just creates this entirely unlikely situation. What does this book have to do with an anonymous nurse who lives in the lower-middle class Glenelg (as my mate reckons that place still is)? It might just be a set of weird little occurrences that have simple explanations but no explanation at all when you put them side by side. But then you think about this code and the Taman Shud piece of paper... is his mental? Is she mental? Is this some kind of cult? Or did he want to try and purvey something to Australia or Jestyn because he knew he was a) going to die b) going to kill himself?

    He does look really eastern European. So I kind of lean towards the idea of him being a Soviet spy and being caught up in his business, with the name tags being irrelevant (something he just did, through comfort or something innocuous) and the book being relatively small in the picture. And then Jestyn was nothing more than a woman he had a fling with, and a woman he loved who might have very well loved him back.

    But, like where most of the world's greatest thoughts were thought, this morning in the shower I realised this is 1948 Australia – who cares if he looks really European? This is the first, massive wave of post-WWII Baltic migration to Australia. People looking really European isn't that weird or rare. It might also explain the lack of family, either through their death or ignorance (y'know, being in Europe).

    I think there's plenty of Occam's Razor scenarios and for every detail. But stringing them together just makes it an intriguing case, rather than this ominous and sordid one. I dunno, probably never will, but it's still hard to logically put all those simple answers together. It'd be exhausting. And then you'd still be left with about 15 logical and likely answers, and you'd have nothing but personal preference to sort them.
     
  21. DrVanNostrand

    DrVanNostrand Premiership Player

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    Just read up on this for the first time: equal parts fascinating and bizarre.

    I'm surprised no one in this thread has mentioned two huge pieces of information on the case's Wikipedia page. Firstly, both the Somerton Man and Jestyn's son (who died in 2009) share very rare ear and dental traits.

    That's pretty conclusive if you ask me. So Jestyn knew him, no doubt in the world, and her kid was his. Did she know this? You'd have to think so, because of her profound eagerness to find a husband not long after Boxall/leaving Sydney/possible related murder. She rushes off to Melbourne from Sydney already pregnant to marry, and even changes her name to adopt her husband's name before they get married in Adelaide.

    Although I don't think Boxall has anything to to with this at all: my reaction is that Jestyn had an intense fascination with this book and probably had a copy on her wherever she was and routinely gave them out to people she met/blokes she did. Boxall's only connection with this is that he just happen to be given a different copy of the same book that the Taman Shud tear-out came from. She gave Boxall a copy, a fairly recent edition, published in Australia.

    The Taman Shud tear-out copy the Somerton Man (I believe) had in his possession (before tossing it in some guy's car, complete with phone number and code after an unsatisfactory meeting/confrontation with Jestyn) was a very old and rare edition, probably a gift he had brought for Jestyn after he'd finally tracked her down in Adelaide. Where/when was the first meeting of the Somerton Man and Jestyn? With her obsession with the book, she surely told him all about it. How long did it take for him to find her address and unlisted phone number? The mind boggles.

    I'm not buying the whole spy angle. But the fact his clothes were expensive and foreign, with all the labels removes except for the 'Keane' logos on the clothes in the suitcase certainly implies he was of at least mild importance or status wherever he came from.

    And then there's this:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case

    I assume you Adelaide guys know all about it. How reliable is this testimony considered? Possibly a fake name used to get into the army? (Seeing as the age is 18, he may have lied his way into the army re age as well as name?)

    So here's how I see it:
    Jestyn has crazy obsession with The Rubaiyat and everybody she ever meets knows this
    Meets Somerton Man in Sydney in late 1946 (in similar circumstances to Boxall) and gets pregnant to him
    Jestyn moves to Melbourne soon after, seeking husband, has baby in 1947
    She deliberately cuts contact with Somerton Man
    Two years later, Somerton Man tracks her down to her Adelaide address and unlisted phone number (who gave these to him? Government connections with this information? This would fit into the spy theory)
    He arrives in Adelaide on 30 Nov 1948 with a very rare edition of The Rubaiyat as a gift for her, leaves most of his stuff in the clockroom at the train station
    He goes straight to her address and she rejects him
    He tears "Taman Shud" out of the book (knowing exactly what it means) and dumps the book in an unlocked car
    Sews the "Taman Shud" tear-out into his pants for some insane reason
    Goes down to the beach only 400m from her door and commits suicide under the cover of darkness

    Don't ask me to explain the code or his (or Jestyn's - did she poison him during their meeting earlier in the day?) access to an unidentifiable poison, just mystifying. Exhume the body already you lousy SA government!
     
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  22. Silent Alarm

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    Good post. I had no idea about Jestyn's son sharing the same, really unique, ear deformities. Pretty much eradicates any ounce of doubt that Somerton and Jestyn knew each other. I'm pretty sure some senior cop over in Adelaide said he was almost certain that Jestyn and Somerton knew one another – she apparently had this face of shock when she had to ID his body.

    The other point that really sticks this together is the culture of the time. This is the 1940s. Even if he's some affluent Aussie, not wedding (let alone having a baby before wedlock) but having a kid was just looked down on. I reckon he was probably a British bloke involved in the military or government somehow (the optimist in me wants that to be true – that he used intelligence to track her down). So could you imagine Jestyn's life, the stigma and bickering, for having the kid of some sailor? Far out, even in modern Australian culture, a girl sleeping with a sailor is pretty much looked down on.

    Jestyn would have wanted to cut off ties to save face. Maybe she'd moved on, I can't remember if she had a new husband or not, or maybe she just feel ashamed. But I'm with ya, that's just logical on all fronts.

    I think he was a massive romantic. Obviously he was pretty invested in this woman, and just wanted to see his young bloke again. But I think the 'Taman Shud' thing is just preposterously sentimental. She no doubt raved about the book, bought him a copy, who even knows – but the fact he cut those words out, which so aptly meant "the end." That's something that blunt spies wouldn't do. When they're putting a hit on someone, they do it bluntly and coldly and do not have room for clues and sentiment. Sentiment is the work of someone.

    I feel sorry for the bloke. Maybe he was a complete mental case who drove Jestyn away. But he obviously loved the woman and her/his kid. Poor prick.

    As for your comment about exhumation, I realise it was pretty tongue in cheek but I don't think it should ever be done. There's natural curiosity. A lot in SA I'd imagine and a fair bit around the world. But the conclusion we'd arrive at, if any, wouldn't be worth the desecration of some poor bloke who died 65 years ago.
     
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  23. lemon chicken

    lemon chicken Cancelled

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    Some fairly decent, well connected planning involved with the page of the book being sewn into his pants, deliberately putting the rest of the book in a randoms car to be found with a cryptic note inside. I think he has certainly killed himself with the way the body has been found and the poison in his cigarettes theory seems logical. The note contains AB a lot of times and the theory that the last line was telling somebody to move to the address that the woman moved to suggests that it was for her, almost like a will or a last request or something. Does it say anywhere when she moved from Melbourne to Glenelg?
     
  24. Lockyer24

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    This one is fantastic! First time I've heard of it.

    I strongly believe he committed suicide - which is why his final resting place was the beach facing the sea. I believe he was seen at 7.15pm during light so I highly doubt he was placed there.

    As for his reasons, rejection seems likely. I think he grew to hate whatever it was he was doing previously but it was a big leap for him to move on.

    Reading the Wiki I found the "code" he had written in his book (below) - I believe this is just 4 lines of 4 different thoughts that he wrote down to spur him on to do something, I reckon I have done this myself before, it's not in full as it's personal and he didn't want anyone else to read it, it was also written on something that meant something to him which he would keep which ties in the with the woman.

    1st line I'd guess has something to do with his situation at the time. He then adds more to it when he crosses out the next line.

    3rd line and 4th line relate to what he is going to do going forward to make himself happier.

    WRGOABABD MLIAOIWTBIMPANETPMLIABOAIAQC - "My life is a___ b_____ o_____ and I am quite clear"ITTMTSAMSTGAB "it's time to move to South Australia m___ s___ g____ a___ b____"
     
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  25. Bunk Moreland

    Bunk Moreland Brownlow Medallist

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    Suicide for mine.

    Just very strange nobody ever claimed to know him.
     
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