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the things that bug me about this case

Everything about him was relatively expensive.

The clothes in his top-of-the-line leather suitcase were packed ‘neat and tidy’ and those he was wearing were good quality. His shoes were top of the range and beautifully maintained. His shirt was an unblemished white, his tie unstained, he was clean-shaven and had tidy hair.

He had big, clean and un-calloused hands, trimmed fingernails and thighs like Rudolf Nureyev.


He was a very presentable man, a ladies man you could say because only a ladies man carries two combs in his pockets.

But where was his hat? All men wore hats in 1948 just like all men carried handkerchiefs and he had a few of those.

That bugs me.

Another thing. Somebody took the trouble to loot his pockets. They took his wallet and anything else that could identify him, like a ration card or a couple of letters  – stuff like that – but they left his bus and train ticket. And why weren’t they with his luggage ticket?

Wherever that went. And for those who still think he ducked off out of the station that morning for a quick shower, shit and shave – where’s the ticket for that?

That too bugs me.

You want more?

What the four word letter word that rhymes with duck was he doing with a spare pair of underdaks and a singlet IN HIS POCKETS? Who does that? A guy who has a hot dinner date in a curryhouse is the only one I can think of and I don’t reckon stolid old Adelaide had many of those back in 1948.

And you have to say, it’s not a good look if he was meeting a lady and hoping for some private shenanigans later in the evening. Everybody knows that in those circumstances all the kit that comes off before goes back on after and I can’t see Handsome Harry here tucking a pair of used Y-fronts and an old singlet into his coat pockets just before he slips out of the hotel door.

Then there’s the weather. November 30th was warm and cloudy, about 72 degrees Fahrenheit – 22.2 Celsius; there were people on the beach strolling about watching the swimmers and here’s our man walking around wearing four layers of clothing on his upper body: a singlet, shirt, pullover and a double-breasted coat.

I know what the beach is like in those conditions and anybody walking around with that much clobber on to keep warm  comes from a very hot place a long way away.


That bugs me, big-time.

Teeth. He had eighteen missing and he was built like a wrestler. All the wrestlers I know eat raw steak fifteen meals a week minimum. For this they need plenty of teeth and I’m thinking that tender Wagyu steak was about as rare as Vindaloo Chicken in Adelaide in 1948.

Then there were the toff smokes in his workingman’s pack.

Somebody needs to write a book about all this and get it straightened out, give us all some peace and quiet.

I’ll get out of your way now, I’m getting itchy again.




14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Apart from his missing hat, if people were sat on the beach, strolling around etc surely somebody must have seen him? He must have stood out simply because of the type/amount of clothes he was wearing and yet, nobody came forward to say they had seen him. He couldn’t have materialised out of thin air, unless he was dropped off by a car on the Esplanade. Why wear so many clothes on a warm night, surely he had access to a suitcase or did he? Is that the reason he wore those clothes, simply because he didn’t have access to his suitcase anymore and didn’t want to be seen carrying clothes over his arm? Sounds silly, do you think?

    March 16, 2016
  2. Another thing that bugs me – nobody reported seeing him before 7:00 pm or after 7:30 pm on a night that PC Moss said plenty of people would have been using the steps opposite the Children’s Home.
    Sherlock Holmes come in please, your assistance is urgently required.

    March 16, 2016
  3. ellen #

    The presentation of the body was sending a message. He was also wearing a pullover sweater.

    March 16, 2016
  4. I think your comments about him coming from a warmer climate are valid. I notice it here in Queensland that if we have been getting consistent mid to high 30s and it drops to the low to mid-20s, people start wearing jackets and/or sweaters. So maybe worth getting temperatures for the previous week from the North of SA across from say Port Augusta to Bordertown?

    March 17, 2016
  5. GC, I still reckon he flew into Adelaide and dropped his case at the station before doing what he had to do. The clothes he was wearing didn’t look to be suitable for an all-night stint sitting up in a train carriage from Melbourne. He was dressed for a meeting. That was good clobber.
    And as far as you banana benders are concerned, anyone who reckons low to mid 20’s is cold needs to man up – down here in NSW we only wear pullovers if it’s snowing.

    March 17, 2016
  6. Yuri #

    What if there is no bath ticket because he didn’t use a bath. What if, covered in soot from a journey in a steamy he visits an old friend. Someone familiar enough to let him shower and change (even borrow old underpants) – and even wash his underpants (they’re the ones in his pocket – they wouldn’t have been dry by the time he’d showered). This could also explain some of the concern about him being TOO clean shaven to have shaved that morning.
    You forget Adelaide IS a hot place (and the rest of SA more so). This November past, Adelaide averaged 27.5 (with an average low of 19.5) and peaked at 40.1 [When I lived in Canberra I used to chuckle that the after a few days above about 33C the (Sydney-based) news would panic about heatwaves in Sydney – ignoring Adelaide in their 8th or 10th day above 38C]. By Adelaide’s standards, a 22C night (I assume you mean the evening was 22C, not the day) is relatively mild (compared to later in Summer when it’s uncommon for overnight minimums to drop below 25C and a few times a year don’t drop below 30C).
    The photo you posted of men with hats (admittedly in Sydney) is dated 25/1 – that’s later in the summer when you’d expect it to be hotter – and look at their get-up – waistcoats and all. The singlet is perhaps a touch odd, but I know people in Adelaide who will wear a singlet and think work clothes even through the most extreme summer conditions….For mine, the clobber is not that strange for someone who is either local, or from a more remote SA town where the weather gets a tad hotter….but it doesn’t particular stand out to me (and no one from the time (eg the witnesses who may have seen him the night before) seems to have thought his dress overly unusual) – the missing hat and lack of pocket contents are far more telling.

    March 17, 2016
  7. I could go with some of that Yuri. Thanks.
    One problem we’ve got is if he took the change in underwear out of his suitcase it almost certainly happened before he booked the case into the luggage office.
    I have a theory about that …

    March 17, 2016
  8. Pretty sure that March weather is similar to November weather in Adelaide from memory. Here’s a March 1948 image at Parafield airport. Maybe we should be thinking about an occasion when a man would wear ‘formal’ clothes. One of the leads followed up years ago was about Churches in the area, there were a couple of Russian Orthodox Churches close by, Henley Beach I think was one. The background to the lead surrounded the conflict between factions of Russian immigrant families. Maybe something in amongst that murky past.

    March 17, 2016
  9. This is probably a reasonable link, I found it a few years back and it’s a clip of Adelaide in October 1948, Flower Show. Lots of home and street images with fashions, around the 2min 50 sec mark a couple of blokes dressed for the many more shots further into the video of crowds and vehicles.

    March 17, 2016
  10. Clive #

    Good images on this video, I can’t believe it’s over 67 years old. It’s fascinating viewing people/places how they once were. If only one of those men in the crowd would put his hand up and say to the camera, I’m the man your looking for, I’ve only got weeks to live!

    March 18, 2016
  11. If you have the time, this video gets even closer to the date being November 19th 1948. It’s not viewable online so you have to visit one of the capital city viewing centres:;adv=;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Id%3A236308;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10

    March 19, 2016
  12. Thanks for sharing the video Gordon. Made me go back and research photos/videos from the same era. Lots of men with hats but also many without. It wouldn’t have been conspicuous either way.

    March 19, 2016
  13. Where do you reckon they grabbed him,Misca?

    March 19, 2016
  14. He’s dressed like that because for a start he had no sense of hot or cold at the time of dressing. He had already gone to gowings by then. I would not be surprised to hear that he also posed for pix and that these were sent on to HQ for filing perhaps to suggest his demise in a colder climes.

    May 27, 2016

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