Skip to content


The Tamam Shud slip

It was while Professor Cleland was examining the trousers removed from the dead body that he found a small, tightly rolled cylinder of paper measuring about 35mm by 10mm tucked deep into the fob pocket. He stated in his deposition at the inquest: ‘In examining the clothes, in a fob pocket which was rather difficult to find, just to the right of the fly, I found a piece of paper.’

He extracted it with a pair of tweezers, unrolled it and saw it bore the printed words ‘Tamam Shud’.

On 19 April 1949, Professor Cleland informed Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane about his discovery of the ‘Tamam Shud’ slip of paper. Once Leane had possession of the slip he delegated the task of finding the meaning of the two words to Detective Len Brown. However, it was not until two months later that Brown met with success when a Mr C.T. Whiting of the Adelaide Public Library showed him a Persian-English dictionary compiled by Arthur Walleston. Brown immediately reported back to Leane that the two words meant The End’.

Cleland believed that the unidentified man had killed himself, stating in his deposition: ‘I have come to the opinion, taking all the circumstances into account, that death was almost certainly not natural, and in all probability that some poison had been taken with suicidal intent. I came to that conclusion before I found the piece of paper bearing the words Tamam Shud. Bearing in mind that those words mean something like the end that supports my opinion considerably. I think the words were put there deliberately and indicated the intention that he was fed up with things.’




12 Comments Post a comment
  1. ellen #

    The lividity points to the body being moved after death.

    July 4, 2016
  2. Cleland said the lividity was ‘explainable’ …. without providing an explanation.

    July 4, 2016
  3. ellen #

    As a scientist, he is supposed to let the facts explain themselves. Collusion, anyone?

    July 6, 2016
  4. Ed Gordon #

    Do suicides go to lengths to hide such a note ?

    July 8, 2016
  5. You have to ask yourself, Ed, why didn’t he write it?

    July 9, 2016
  6. Left his pencils in Tom Keane’s port at the station

    July 11, 2016
  7. There was a Thomas Keane employed by the Post Office in Port Pirie, that’s the place that had and still has a massive lead smelting industry as well as processing of yellow cake, in 1948 that latter aspect was in its infancy and very probably at the experimental project stage.

    The Mr.Keane concerned was transferred out I think in 1948, he was a married man and a cyclist I believe?

    I don’t think that he was SM, but it would be interesting to know whether his wife, getting things organised for the move, may have disposed of some of Mr.Keane’s clothing. Who knows?

    July 12, 2016
  8. John Sanders does ….

    July 12, 2016
  9. I know nothing Pete and its a bit to late to ask vera

    July 13, 2016
  10. I’ve been reading abroad. You seem to have an insight denied others.

    July 13, 2016
  11. Ed Gordon #

    Pete, sorry for delay again – life intervening. Agree completely, just another indication of conspiracy. Also, by the way, re your brutal assessment for Dave, as I don’t have as much of the Australian turn of phrase here, I laughed ’til I cried.

    July 17, 2016
  12. Disappearing Dave … and another half-baked hoax hits the Somerton sand. The pygmies must be running out of ideas.

    July 17, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s