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jessica harkness: the pawn

Say there were two forces at play in Adelaide 1948: the South Australian Police and an agency with higher authority.

We go back to the timeline.

January 1949 – SM is embalmed.

April 1949 – Cleland finds the Tamam Shud slip.

June  1949 – Lawson commences work on the bust.

June  1949 – The bust is completed.

June 1949 – The Somerton Man is buried.

June 1949 – The inquest commences.

June 1949 – The inquest is adjourned.

July 1949The Rubaiyat is handed to the police.

July 1949 – The police visit Jessica at home.

July 1949 – DS Leane escorts Jessica to the museum to view the bust.

That’s how it ended.


Is this how it was played?

December 1948 – The Somerton Man found dead.

December 1948 – Tibor Kaldor found dead.

December 1948 – The police find a coded Rubaiyat.

December  1948 – The Rubaiyat is handed to a higher authority.

February 1949 – Tibor Kaldor buried.

April 1949 – Cleland finds the Somerton Man’s Tamam Shud.

June 1949 – The Somerton Man is buried.

June 1949 – The inquest commences.

June 1949 – The inquest is adjourned.

July 1949 – The Rubaiyat is given back to the police with the underlying coding obscured.

July 1949 – The police visit Jessica at home.

July 1949 – DS Leane escorts Jessica to the museum to view the bust.

Game over.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. ellen #

    I think Tibor’s suicide note contained a dead man’s switch. It is so weird. Here he is going into the vast beyond and he sounds like a generous host giving away party favors. Perhaps he thought that he could scrub his personal info like SM and alert part of the spy cabal but he was surprised before that happened. At any rate, it doesn’t seem like Jessica got the message until July, ’49 and was upset enough to faint. She must have thought up to that time that Tibor had performed his mission successfully. Her telephone number on the Rubaiyat makes her a pivotal member of the cabal rather than a pawn. Why would she finger Boxall? She did that before she knew Tabor was dead….seems like she was a double agent.

    November 1, 2016
    • Nobody knows who wrote her phone number on the back of the Rubaiyat, or why.

      November 1, 2016
  2. ellen #

    True, but her telephone number on the book brought her in from the cold. One wonders where she would have directed the search if “a higher agency” showed up at her door instead of the local coppers. I doubt she would have pointed at Boxall, even though he did his best to protect her. Where would she have pointed?

    November 3, 2016
    • Perhaps the higher agency was the one responsible for the telephone number.

      November 3, 2016
  3. ellen #

    There was another phone number. Could that one have been connected to Tibor? I believe it led to a bank. Tibor seems to have been an accountant, lawyer detail-type man on top of being a language teacher. The Rubaiyat that Boxall provided was three years older than the one found in the car.

    Also, that phone number could have been for Prosper or Hellmut. Why did she own up to it? By fessing to the earlier Rubaiyat, was she throwing them off the trail of the more recent one or outing Boxall?

    All these things must have been going through her mind on her way to identify the real pawn…SM. She was a major player. The higher agency employed her. They didn’t have to play games with her.

    If I were a novelist, I would have the chambermaid who discovered Tibor walk off inadvertently with one of his personal effects which held the key to whatever it was they were smuggling.

    November 4, 2016
    • No, there was no other phone number. Feltus said as much.

      November 4, 2016
  4. A note to the poster who would like me to put up photos of Jessica and her family. There is nothing to gain from any further intrusion into the lives of the Thomson family.

    November 11, 2016
    • Pat #

      Your absolutely right about that Pete.

      November 13, 2016
  5. ellen #

    A lot of non-fiction writers are sued. It is a very legally dangerous profession. Jessica Harkness is a person of interest in an unsolved murder investigation. You would think her own family would be working to clear her name but the mystery goes on for over sixty-eight years. Time to take off the kid gloves. Somebody is still protecting her.

    November 12, 2016
  6. Robert Nowak #

    Must be Gerry Feltus. Stands to reason any good third rate crime story would have that. Am I right Pete, or do I have to buy the book?

    November 12, 2016
  7. GF knows who Mr Francis was. I’m going to deliver a copy of the book to him personally, buy him dinner and a few drinks and winnow the truth out of him.
    So help me.

    November 12, 2016

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