Unsolved Taman Shud Case

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GreyCrow

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I think that we should revisit Thomas Ambrose Keane.
We've all assumed that he's alive and well, after 1/12/1948, but that seems to be due to a couple of things that don't seem to stack up to scrutiny. I think we need to examine him again.
1. He s mentioned in the 1954 Royal Commission about being thrown out of the ALP, but his expulsion occurred in 1945. He didn't appear at the Royal Commission, nor was summoned to appear.
2. Newspapers articles mention a Thomas Keane in Cricket and Tennis club results from Williamstown / Newport, but there's more than one Thomas Keane living in that area. A different Thomas Keane once owned the Pub at Newport and I suspect that's the one being mentioned.
3. His death certificate issued in 1970. Although a death is listed for a Thomas Ambrose Keane in Victoria BDM website, we haven't actually stumped up the fee to see it. Death certificates can be issued for people that have been missing for many years, once they're deemed in all probability to be deceased. There is an advertisement in the Sydney newspapers from a Melbourne solicitor enquiring of the whereabouts of a Thomas Keane.
4. ASIO file on Thomas Ambrose Keane of South Brisbane was opened in 1945. No one else by that name has been found other than the one from Williamstown. Could it be that after Thomas Ambrose Keane's expulsion from the ALP for being a Communist that he threw it all in, job, marriage and simply buggered off to lead another life?
5. He was a member of the CPA. Same branch as Pile, Hill and others that came to prominence and had members of the Painters and Dockers Union involved. He was heavily involved in some notorious union campaigns at Newport Workshops all of which appeared to of ended by 1945.
6. The age of Somerton Man. The photo of the corpse appears to me to be about 10 years younger that the estimated age that the coroner gives him. Might be worth another look at the autopsy report to see how much accuracy can be attributed to the estimated age of the corpse.
7. He's not burried at Williamstown cemetery. Yet his wife is, and almost every other member of his family and his wife's family that lived in the area is.
8. He was an upholsterer at Newport Workshops. He would sewed and used stencils in his trade. This would fit with some of the items in the suitcase and the repairs to the clothing in the Somerton Man case
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Thomas Ambrose Keane 1911-1970


KEANE Thomas Ambrose <Unknown Family Name>, Bridget NOLAN <Unknown Family Name>, John TALLAROOK

1911
7289/1911


KEANE Thomas Ambrose

<Unknown Family Name>, Bridget NOLAN <Unknown Family Name>, KEANE John Tallarook Williamstown
<Unknown Family Name>
59 1970
6647/1970

Marriage

KEANE Thos Ambrose MCDONALD, Lily Maud
1937
16374/1937


MCDONALD Lily Maud KEANE, Thos Ambrose
1937
16374/1937


Buried Altona


Thomas Ambrose Keane
Date of birth

Cemetery

Altona Memorial Park
Service type
Interment
View details
View interactive map
Date of death
30 March 1970
Section
Robinson Lawn (A), Row 8, Grave 17
Service date
01 April 1970


3 people buried at Altona

Lily Maud Keane aged 86 - 1998
Thomas Ambrose
Thelma Haining buried 1999 aged 79

(Thelma McDonald married Trevor Haining 1940 - presumed sister of Lily)


HAINING Trevor Tom MCDONALD, Thelma May Peace
1940
13992/1940
 

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Thomas Ambrose Keane 1911-1970


KEANE Thomas Ambrose , Bridget NOLAN , John TALLAROOK

1911
7289/1911


KEANE Thomas Ambrose

, Bridget NOLAN , KEANE John Tallarook Williamstown

59 1970
6647/1970

Marriage

KEANE Thos Ambrose MCDONALD, Lily Maud
1937
16374/1937


MCDONALD Lily Maud KEANE, Thos Ambrose
1937
16374/1937


Buried Altona


Thomas Ambrose Keane
Date of birth

Cemetery

Altona Memorial Park
Service type
Interment
View details
View interactive map
Date of death
30 March 1970
Section
Robinson Lawn (A), Row 8, Grave 17
Service date
01 April 1970


3 people buried at Altona

Lily Maud Keane aged 86 - 1998
Thomas Ambrose
Thelma Haining buried 1999 aged 79

(Thelma McDonald married Trevor Haining 1940 - presumed sister of Lily)


HAINING Trevor Tom MCDONALD, Thelma May Peace
1940
13992/1940
Thanks. Altona. Just what I needed. Didn't think to go north.

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Missing person - Presumed dead.
Never found. Last see by family early 1930's.

Thomas Frank Arkinstall, born Inverall NSW 18/7/1887

This would make Somerton Man 61 years old (if he's Arkinstall).


Should I mention that his ex wife and all his descendants have ASIO files? Every one of them.

I did post a photo, but I found out that it was someone else. Have yet to find a photo.

Here is Lt Thomas Frank Arkinstall's WW1 service record. There is a misfiled medical report in it that belongs to another Thomas Frank Arkinstall from Castlemaine Victoria.

The other one from Castlemaine was ten years younger and was getting married to someone named Doris, at the same time as Lt Thomas Frank Arkinstall from Inverall married to Gwendoline Ivy Thomas.

Maybe NSW police got them confused too, and mistakenly wrote off the missing persons case as bigamy?

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Redacted

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Missing person - Presumed dead.
Never found. Last see by family early 1930's.

Thomas Frank Arkinstall, born Inverall NSW 18/7/1887

This would make Somerton Man 61 years old (if he's Arkinstall).


Should I mention that his ex wife and all his descendants have ASIO files? Every one of them.

I did post a photo, but I found out that it was someone else. Have yet to find a photo.

Here is Lt Thomas Frank Arkinstall's WW1 service record. There is a misfiled medical report in it that belongs to another Thomas Frank Arkinstall from Castlemaine Victoria.

The other one from Castlemaine was ten years younger and was getting married to someone named Doris, at the same time as Lt Thomas Frank Arkinstall from Inverall married to Gwendoline Ivy Thomas.

Maybe NSW police got them confused too, and mistakenly wrote off the missing persons case as bigamy?

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What stood out for me with Lt Thomas Frank Arkinstall from Inverall is his description in his enlistment paperwork.

Ginger hair
5ft8
Blue eyes.

I really want to see a photo.

Too bad, Mark Aarons didn't put one in his book "Family File"


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fortunatecrow

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Interesting article on abc.net.au today (some photos deleted for space):




Canadian special effects artist Daniel Voshart devised the animation of the mystery man's face.

A cross-continental collaboration involving a virtual reality artist and two researchers has resulted in new images of the man whose body was found on Adelaide's Somerton beach.
His identity and cause of death have remained unsolved ever since he was spotted by passers-by propped against the seawall on December 1, 1948.
The case has baffled police and sparked theories about who he was, including speculation he was a Cold War spy or a jilted lover, and that he could have been poisoned.
Images of the mystery man are scarce, with unflattering black-and-white post-mortem photographs — and a death mask of his face and upper torso — all that remain.
The Somerton Man's face mould and a digital image of the man it was taken from

Images of the plaster bust of the Somerton Man were used to create the animation.(Supplied: Daniel Voshart)
But virtual reality specialist Daniel Voshart, whose credits include work on US television show Star Trek: Discovery, recently joined forces with University of Adelaide Somerton Man researcher Derek Abbott and US genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick to fix that problem.
The result is an animation, and several striking new images, showing what the Somerton Man could well have looked like when he was alive.

"I drew on all of Derek Abbott's research and list of things of what to pay attention to," Canada-based Voshart told ABC News.
"I was given a list of his hair colour, what his teeth were like, what his eye colour was, his skin tone."
Using artificial intelligence software, Voshart combined the physical descriptions of the Somerton Man with the autopsy photos and images of the plaster bust.
"It's sort of like being a DJ where you get a lot of different knobs and controls, and I'm making dozens if not hundreds of small decisions to tweak the image in the direction that I want it," he said.
"A large part of it was curiosity on my own end just to figure out what this man did look like.
"Another part of it was, 'Can it jog someone's memory?'"

Missing tags and cryptic words

The Somerton Man is believed to have been aged about 40, had an athletic build and was found neatly dressed.
But the suit he was wearing had its tags cut off, and it did not take long for the mystery to deepen.

In January 1949, a suitcase believed to belong to the mystery man was found at Adelaide Railway Station.
It contained an odd assortment of items including clothes which also had their tags removed.
Tamam Shud

A scrap of paper marked "Tamam Shud" was found in the man's pocket.(Supplied: Professor Derek Abbott)
Several months later, a tiny rolled-up piece of paper inscribed with the words "Tamam Shud" was found hidden deep in the fob pocket of the man's trousers.
The torn paper was later traced back to a book of ancient Persian poetry, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which had been left in the back seat of a car near where the body was found.
The words roughly translate as "the end" or "the finish", and the poems touch on themes including the need to live life to the fullest, and having no regrets when it ends.

Pandemic sparks new opportunity

When Star Trek: Discovery stopped filming during the coronavirus pandemic, the pause gave Voshart a chance to dabble in other projects, including the facial reconstruction of the Somerton Man.
A restored and colourised image of the Somerton Man.

The Somerton Man was found wearing a striped tie.(Supplied: Daniel Voshart)
"I had a lot of spare time and I learned a new software — you can mix faces and introduce human-like characteristics," he said.
"One of the things I've been doing while I had this time off during this lay-off was to test this software, and I was testing it for forensic uses.
"Can you accurately de-age someone? Can you accurately take two parents, mix them together, de-age that and try to come up with what their child might look like?"
Another of his projects involved creating life-like images of Roman emperors, using the same software he would later employ on his Somerton Man images.
"[It's] a bit of a circular process, but essentially the software allows you to introduce features from other images," he said.
"Where I come in, and my interpretation comes in, is using my intuition on how features might look from a different angle — what might happen when sunken eyes are opened."
Using AI to 'bring him to life'

Professor Abbott, who grew up a fan of Star Trek in the 1960s, said working with Voshart was "very cool" and was delighted with the results.
"This photograph is amazing — it just smacks you in the face because it looks so real and so engaging," he said.
"[He] has taken the image of the autopsy photo of the dead Somerton Man and used artificial intelligence to bring him to life."
Professor Abbott, who is a specialist in biomedical engineering at the University of Adelaide, was put in touch with Voshart by Dr Colleen Fitzpatrick, a pioneer in forensic genealogy in the United States.

Dr Fitzpatrick first became involved in the Somerton Man case after reading about it online, before coming to Australia and meeting Professor Abbott in 2012.
"It's one of these mysteries you have to solve and I think it's amazing that so much has been done and we still don't know who he is," she said.
"There's no internet, there's no credit cards, there's no bank statements that you can follow in 1948."
She said the key to solving the mystery was DNA and would involve exhuming his body, which has the support of Attorney-General Vickie Chapman on the condition it is privately funded.
As for the speculation surrounding his bizarre death, Dr Fitzpatrick said she suspects the Somerton Man was neither a spy nor poisoned, but a normal man who suffered a burst blood vessel.
"It's going to be an ordinary story with an extraordinary end," she said.
But Voshart is still clinging to the spy theory, and hopes his work could trigger new discoveries in unexpected places.
"If the Cold War [theory] is true that means there's a file somewhere, maybe in Russia, with an image of the actual guy."
 

Gordon1552

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Interesting article on abc.net.au today (some photos deleted for space):




Canadian special effects artist Daniel Voshart devised the animation of the mystery man's face.

A cross-continental collaboration involving a virtual reality artist and two researchers has resulted in new images of the man whose body was found on Adelaide's Somerton beach.
His identity and cause of death have remained unsolved ever since he was spotted by passers-by propped against the seawall on December 1, 1948.
The case has baffled police and sparked theories about who he was, including speculation he was a Cold War spy or a jilted lover, and that he could have been poisoned.
Images of the mystery man are scarce, with unflattering black-and-white post-mortem photographs — and a death mask of his face and upper torso — all that remain.
The Somerton Man's face mould and a digital image of the man it was taken from's face mould and a digital image of the man it was taken from

Images of the plaster bust of the Somerton Man were used to create the animation.(Supplied: Daniel Voshart)
But virtual reality specialist Daniel Voshart, whose credits include work on US television show Star Trek: Discovery, recently joined forces with University of Adelaide Somerton Man researcher Derek Abbott and US genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick to fix that problem.
The result is an animation, and several striking new images, showing what the Somerton Man could well have looked like when he was alive.

"I drew on all of Derek Abbott's research and list of things of what to pay attention to," Canada-based Voshart told ABC News.
"I was given a list of his hair colour, what his teeth were like, what his eye colour was, his skin tone."
Using artificial intelligence software, Voshart combined the physical descriptions of the Somerton Man with the autopsy photos and images of the plaster bust.

"A large part of it was curiosity on my own end just to figure out what this man did look like.
"Another part of it was, 'Can it jog someone's memory?'"

Missing tags and cryptic words

The Somerton Man is believed to have been aged about 40, had an athletic build and was found neatly dressed.
But the suit he was wearing had its tags cut off, and it did not take long for the mystery to deepen.

In January 1949, a suitcase believed to belong to the mystery man was found at Adelaide Railway Station.
It contained an odd assortment of items including clothes which also had their tags removed.
Tamam Shud

A scrap of paper marked "Tamam Shud" was found in the man's pocket.(Supplied: Professor Derek Abbott)
Several months later, a tiny rolled-up piece of paper inscribed with the words "Tamam Shud" was found hidden deep in the fob pocket of the man's trousers.
The torn paper was later traced back to a book of ancient Persian poetry, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which had been left in the back seat of a car near where the body was found.
The words roughly translate as "the end" or "the finish", and the poems touch on themes including the need to live life to the fullest, and having no regrets when it ends.

Pandemic sparks new opportunity

When Star Trek: Discovery stopped filming during the coronavirus pandemic, the pause gave Voshart a chance to dabble in other projects, including the facial reconstruction of the Somerton Man.
A restored and colourised image of the Somerton Man.

The Somerton Man was found wearing a striped tie.(Supplied: Daniel Voshart)
"I had a lot of spare time and I learned a new software — you can mix faces and introduce human-like characteristics," he said.
"One of the things I've been doing while I had this time off during this lay-off was to test this software, and I was testing it for forensic uses.
"Can you accurately de-age someone? Can you accurately take two parents, mix them together, de-age that and try to come up with what their child might look like?"
Another of his projects involved creating life-like images of Roman emperors, using the same software he would later employ on his Somerton Man images.
"[It's] a bit of a circular process, but essentially the software allows you to introduce features from other images," he said.

Using AI to 'bring him to life'

Professor Abbott, who grew up a fan of Star Trek in the 1960s, said working with Voshart was "very cool" and was delighted with the results.
"This photograph is amazing — it just smacks you in the face because it looks so real and so engaging," he said.


Professor Abbott, who is a specialist in biomedical engineering at the University of Adelaide, was put in touch with Voshart by Dr Colleen Fitzpatrick, a pioneer in forensic genealogy in the United States.

Dr Fitzpatrick first became involved in the Somerton Man case after reading about it online, before coming to Australia and meeting Professor Abbott in 2012.
"It's one of these mysteries you have to solve and I think it's amazing that so much has been done and we still don't know who he is," she said.


She said the key to solving the mystery was DNA and would involve exhuming his body, which has the support of Attorney-General Vickie Chapman on the condition it is privately funded.
As for the speculation surrounding his bizarre death, Dr Fitzpatrick said she suspects the Somerton Man was neither a spy nor poisoned, but a normal man who suffered a burst blood vessel.

But Voshart is still clinging to the spy theory, and hopes his work could trigger new discoveries in unexpected places.
"If the Cold War [theory] is true that means there's a file somewhere, maybe in Russia, with an image of the actual guy."
Credit where credit is due, a fantastic job, congratulations to Professor Abbott and especially to Daniel Voshart the creator of the renders, super job!
 

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I have an issue with the teeth, in the inquest documents the lateral incisors were missing, I see that some of the followers of the FB page say the same thing, they include a reference to the model that was made showing that the teeth were missing:


Alan Mayer

'Derek Abbott
should there be a gap between the teeth.
I've only seen a clay / plastic model of the missing lateral incisors suggesting that there should be a gap.
But if I'm reading it correctly your suggesting that the teeth are next to each other with no gap?'
 

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The Genealogical project for Somerton Man is coming along. Contains candidates, Jessica and Prosper, and most people mentioned as possibly being associated with the investigation or with similar events and people that could have anything to do with the case.


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So do you think it was unusual for Prosper to have 1500 pounds cash in hand, enough to buy a bungalow on the 27th November 1948, a date when SM was possibly staying in Adelaide?

1. Interesting. Did Clive Turner show Mr Lawson the two entries from his notes that mention respectively the second body and the other body, and ask if there was a second body? Do you have audio or a transcript of this interview?

If it wasn't for Paul Lawson making the plaster bust there wouldn't be an accurate image of what SM looked like IMO. He also captured real hair showing the actual colour of SM's hair. His physical description in the Inquest was surprisingly the most detailed that was included in the Inquest. The police reports of 22nd December 1948 and 22nd November 1959 had significantly more physical description, including a dental map which although was regarded as the only accurate means of ID at eh time was also not included in the Inquest documents.

He shows himself to be honourable in withholding Jo Harkness's name and description of her reaction to the SM's bust under Stuart Littlemore's dogged questioning even in 1978, as it was under suppression at the time.

Dr John Cleland says it would be rare not to detect barbiturates especially in the large dose that would need to be taken for death to occur. In fact Dr John Cleland said barbiturates would have been readily detected.

Dr Dwyer thought it was barbiturate or a soluble hypnotic, but was astounded when the chemist Mr Cowan found no trace. .

Sir Stanton Hicks summarised the Dr's and chemists findings saying "First of all I accept the findings of Mr. Cowan, who is a very competent and conscientious chemist, and then acting on the possibility of there still being an undiscovered barbiturate, I would expect to find death from respiratory failure and an enlarged left ventricle of the heart, which was not the case. The post mortem findings exclude the possibility of barbiturates being the cause of death, in my opinion."

He goes on to say that in some cases where barbiturates may be the cause of death but not detected couldn't happen in this case because of the condition of the man's heart and vicera. In his opinion the dose needed to cause death would have been easily detectable in the 7 hours or so from when the est time of death was until tissue samples were taken. In his detailed summary Sir Stanton Hicks gives the most likely poison to be used which was suppressed in the Inquest. He gives two likely poisons with one later revealed to be digitalis.

I wonder if Coroner Eskine Cleland was thinking about the other Inquest of Clive Mangonoson he was in charge of where Dr Dwyer suggested barbiturates were the cause of death and Coroner Eskine Cleland made the finding he died from exposure?

It's interesting that Paul Lawson seems very agreeable to whoever seems to be interviewing him and he easily changed his accurate description of the feet in his Inquest (wedge shape with the big toe and little toes almost meeting) affidavit to match Derek Abbott's idea of what the feet of the SM looked like (normal), when Lawson was interviewed by Prof Abbott.

4. P.C. John Moss says "I made it my business to make an accurate record of what I found ..."

I have no reason to doubt P.C. Moss's affidavit and while Mr Lyons may have been influenced by Corner Cleland to change his affidavit w.r.t. to adding an unsmoked cigarette above SM's ear, P.C. Moss doesn't change.

Moss says "I searched the clothing, found a railway ticket to Henley Beach, also a bus ticket, a tramway bus ticket." ... "The bus ticket produced and the railway ticket are similar to the tickets found on the body" Not the same or he would have identified them as the same. He also never found any coin or piece of paper with Tamam Shud.
Reading Mr Lawson's description of how he made the plaster cast and because the body had been frozen as well as embalmed which meant sweating of the skin made it difficult for him, I have no doubt he used the actual body to make the cast. And the actual hairs from the head of SM were caught in the plaster.
Anything he says that is different now like suggesting he made it from photographs I think shows his dedication to keeping secrets if he was told to. "Loose lips sinks ships" was real during the war and after for many years. He would not be a person to question if he was told not to give information or access to the bust.

This is where it gets interesting with SA police. On one hand they say they need to keep the DNA samples from the hair found in the plaster because this is an open case. His DNA is only to be used to establish his identity, so why haven't SA police proceeded with the analysis or if they have why haven't they released their results? DNA will solve his identity in weeks.

Then on the other the AG says you can dig up the body but you have to go and raise the money for that yourself. It's still an open case so why don't SA police pay for the exhumation as permission is now given? Maybe it's not him buried there or the coffin is full or rocks??

There are about 20 pages of analysis from Dr's, pathologist, chemist, and an excellent summary from Sir Stanton Hicks on what killed the SM. Prf icks is in no doubt is wasn't barbiturates and gives reasons for this and also taking into account if there was a dose taken that didn't show in the toxicology it would still be impossible for the poison to be barbiturates and he lists the reasons why.

Prof Hicks is certain the poison that killed SM could have only been one of two types. These are both suppressed in the Inquest because both are from common plants and it was thought by naming them it could cause people to use them. From what I've read since the poisons were digitalis (foxgove) and oleander.

He names (Edit: He gives them numbers) these poisons despite knowing that both cause copious vomiting and sometimes soling of trousers. But it is the poison that explains the effects on the man's organs. I believe that's why Coroner Cleland says he can't say where the man died.

No matches meant someone else lit the cigarette and whether that person smoked it or SM, doesn't really matter but at lease one other person was there.
Warfarin was known to the KGB in 1948, who were experimenting with it as a substance for use in assassination


"There appears to be no consistency in the use of poisons by Soviet intelligence to cause disability or death, or in the repetitious use of any one drug. Chemicals which have been used in cases known or suspected to be Soviet-instigated include arsenic, potassium cyanide, scopolamine, and thallium. Other likely substances are atropine, barbiturates, chloral hydrate, paraldehyde and Warfarin. Combinations of two or more substances may also be used, which further complicates diagnosis and tracing." CIA Warren Commission submission 1964

Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks probably should've known about Warfarin, but that's debatable, since it wasn't registered as a theraputic drug until 1953

'.

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This is amazing, also a bit creepy seeing him come back to life from corpse. He's actually quite handsome, I was startled.
If the reanimation is close to reality, it does change, in my opinion, what we have been perceiving about his depiction from photographs.

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This is amazing, also a bit creepy seeing him come back to life from corpse. He's actually quite handsome, I was startled.
The image is good, must say though that there is no evidence that the Somerton Mn had Anodontia, the teeth were missing not crowded. Professor Abbot made an assumption.
 

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Whoever thought that such a thing as this exists?



About a 6th of the regimental ties listed on this website have the diagonal stripes going the other way (like SM's tie)

The closest match was the RAF tie.




But it's quite possible that the manufacture of regimental ties has changed over the years, and a match for Somerton Man's tie might just be an old version of such a tie.

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Open suggestion to Professor Abbott,

This is an excerpt of an email I just sent to someone who's the cousin of someone who'd you know, that wrote a book about her own family's Genealogy which includes a chapter upon the connection of her father to the Somerton Man case. Take this as you will, but I'd counsel you the same advice as below.

Personally, I'd counsel against allowing it to the media, as I think they'll be even more shocked by how much media interest there is and how intrusive and salacious the media will be. To me this just puts a bit of a jigsaw together, but doesn't create the picture. I just hope that we can find out who this bloke is who was found dead in 1948 so that his remains can be repatriated to his family, or whoever might of missed him will finally be able to reconcile with knowledge of where and when he died.




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Open suggestion to South Australian Police.

You need to finish this cold case investigation. Exhume the corpse, extract the DNA, do whatever forensic tests are available and rebury him.
There are people alive today, that live with salacious gossip and innuendo of what their parents or grandparents did or didn't do, or who's fathered whatever child, simply because you have not provided closure of this case by identifying the man found deceased upon the beach at Somerton on 1/12/1948. Its in the public interest to put this matter to rest so that innocent people can live their lives in peace without interference, and that either his remains are repatriated to his family or whoever is left alive who's living in angst of whatever happened to their loved one, friend or colleague can gain some closure in knowledge of his passing.

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