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You’re in the squadroom sitting on a hard chair down the back, Hec Gollan on one side; he’s got garlic breath today, on the other is Errol Canney, he’s reading the tip sheets.

DS Leane’s up front playing Colombo.


Colombo wants to know so many things he’s written them on a blackboard in shorthand.

In the middle of the board, inside a circle,  he’s written the word why?

  • wasn’t Jessica formally interviewed?

wasn’t her house searched?

does it still hurt to have Mr Francis revealed?

did the police obliterate the indents on the back cover of the Francis Rubaiyat?

didn’t they photograph the entire back cover of the Francis Rubaiyat?

didn’t they photograph the telephone number on the back cover of the Francis Rubaiyat ?

didn’t they photograph the other number on the back cover of the Francis Rubaiyat ?

wasn’t the book fingerprinted?

wasn’t James Cowan able to identify the black powder?

wasn’t Prosper Thomson formally interviewed?

wasn’t Det. Don O Doherty’s report followed up?

didn’t the police show Boxall a photo of the corpse?

why wasn’t the Public Baths ticket in his pocket with the others?

did they keep his corpse for six months?

sine die


Why is the case still open?

What will it take to close it?




15 Comments Post a comment
  1. ellen #

    The secret surrounding Tamam Shud would affect certain WW2 reputations, if it were revealed. It has that feel about it…..spies working both sides. There is also an air of petty scamming (Prosper’s stock in trade) interfering with major intrigue. That’s what my crystal ball says.

    May 11, 2016
  2. “Spies working both sides.”

    There were plenty of sides, Ellen, like a pack of cards. NKGB (Russia). CIS (Australia). FBI (America). SSA (America). AFSA (America). OSS (America). MI5 (Great Britain. MI6 (Great Britain) … lots of agendas amongst that lot, do you reckon?

    May 12, 2016
  3. ellen #

    In 1948 collaboration between the Americans and the Aussies was being discouraged. Why do you suppose? There were many successful discoveries shared by the allied scientists during the war but in ’48 there were controls put in place.
    I always felt that there was something unusual about the timing of the dropping of the first A bombs. The war was over. Japan was in the process of surrendering. I know all the arguments about saving soldiers’ lives etc.
    Oppenheimer was a very philosophical scientist. He believed that creating these bombs would be a point of no return for humanity. During war, all the scientist were forced to work for goals that they perhaps did not subscribe to. For scientists like Teller, there was no moral problem. Oppenheimer was hounded. His girlfriend was suicided, much like Dorothy Graham in a bath tub, wrists slashed. (Pash’s trademark) He had to appear before many committees to defend himself from the charge of Communism.
    I think, the actuality of the bomb resulted from German collaboration. Paperclip solved the problem. The Germans were defeated and their research delivered the solution to what Oppenheimer was unwilling to impart.
    At the end of the war in 1948, the genie had to be put back on the bottle.

    May 13, 2016
  4. Someone popped our man poison, Ellen, and stood back to make sure it worked.

    May 14, 2016
  5. ellen #

    It wasn’t an accident. That’s for sure. (except maybe the victim) The poison was too exotic.

    May 15, 2016
  6. No it wasn’t exotic, you could get the stuff everywhere.

    May 15, 2016
  7. Clive #

    Ellen, Perhaps the USA didn’t want Australia to get it’s hands on A-Bombs, I don’t think there was any chance of that. The USA didn’t want the Russians to get ahead in the nuclear race but, the genie was certainly out of the bottle. The various spies/agencies were like a crowd of chefs looking into a cauldron of the world after 6 years of misery, each selecting a piece of the world for their own agenda. Individuals like the SM were expendable, of no consequence in the post war “peace”

    May 17, 2016
  8. ellen #

    But today, what countries have atomic bombs? Who was guiding that?

    May 18, 2016
  9. Clive #

    I suppose various countries favoured the USA or Russia after WW2 and each, in due course, gained information on nuclear bombs, either by spying or research. Unfortunately, too many countries have nuclear bombs today, even though the “cold War” thawed a while ago, many countries don’t see the “protection” offered to them by their former allies, USA & Russia as of use anymore, hence, their own development into nuclear devices..

    May 18, 2016
  10. ellen #

    Why does a fledgling country such as Israel, born in 1948 have the bomb?

    May 18, 2016
  11. Clive #

    I think the simple answer is since Israel was established, it’s been surrounded by Arab countries and this is seen as a threat by Israel. Probably, this threat has been “ramped” up by Israel over the years hence the excuse to have nuclear weapons in the Negev. Judging by the leaders of Arab counties over the last 60 years or so, and the internal bickerings/tribal disputes within Arab countries themselves, the Arab threat was and has been overrated. You will never get Israel to admit it has nuclear weapons, but it must be the worse kept secret in the world. Strange that the USA and other countries went to war over the ‘WMD’ (Weapons of Mass Destruction) supposedly held by Arab countries but, it’s ok for Israel to have them.

    May 31, 2016
  12. ellen #

    My point is that this didn’t happen by accident, but by policy.

    June 1, 2016
  13. Xlamb #

    Ellen…While asking ‘Why!’ I continue to wonder ‘why’ anyone would want to go back and occupy a shitty little piece of land, knowing they’d battle to safeguard every border ever day after settlement. America (& Australia) made them welcome and both countries had so much more to offer. They could have expanded to make their own nation, taken over a whole state if they wanted (though they’d have to mix with and accept other nationalities & religions).
    After that War, there were easier places to live and prosper on offer, is all I’m saying.
    And other than some chest beating over the unfairness that history had handed them, making a silk purse from a pig’s ear was entirely possible, done elsewhere.
    It is remarkable how they managed to make something pretty ordinary, into something quite nice in a short space of time though.
    But even in a Biblical sense, maybe the land of milk and honey lay in another continent.

    I don’t see there’ll ever be peace for Israel and creating fear and a threat by having a bomb, serves to make enemies, rather than forge friendship between neighbours. Going back to 1948 it does make sense if you’re moving back in and expect hostility, you might come prepared with an arsenal of weapons / a bomb. Even the rumor of such a bomb would be enough to hold the enemy at bay, allowing time to build your stronghold and your cities meanwhile. It would give others the necessary confidence to migrate back as well.
    No people… No party as the saying goes, and guess it’s the same when building a Nation.
    The psychology of bluff…’we have a bomb’ and ‘America has our back’ seems to have worked OK so far.

    June 1, 2016
  14. ellen #

    In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    June 1, 2016
  15. One more thing, what were the Adelaide police driving in 1945?
    And another.
    The delightfully named Shirley de Cock, who is commenting on Cipher, has a Linkedin colleague named Chloe Geers.
    That’s worth a lottery ticket, eh Clive?

    July 5, 2016

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