the cowan conundrum
(7) The analyst who couldn’t identify the black powder shaken from the brush found in the deceased’s suitcase.
Cowan the villain, again under delegated orders. ASIO didn’t plant the tools. They should have taken them. An oversight. The tools could have been used for several purposes but the black powder was a specific indicator.
taken from here:
Robert James Cowan was Director of Chemistry, Government Analyst, Chief Inspector of Explosives, and Chief Gas Examiner in South Australia. He was also Deputy Government Analyst from 1947 and Government Analyst from 1950 for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry. Cowan was educated University of Melbourne (BSc).
- Career position – Biochemist at the Commonwealth Department of Health in Port Pirie (South Australia) and Rockhampton (Queensland)
- Career position – Biochemist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital
- Career position – Biochemist at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science
- Career position – Deputy Government Analyst for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry
From the Australian Encyclopedia of Science.
Robert Cowan, in his professional life, would have examined and determined the origins and make-up of thousands of substances, black white and brindle.
Hundreds of thousands, either personally or by delegation, and everything noted and filed. No sense in doing anything twice.
Yet he was unable to identify the black powder shaken from the brush found in the deceased’s suitcase. A brush that appeared to be part of a crudely made set of cutting tools (kitchen knife and scissors) found in the same bag.
That would make the black powder one of the rarest substances Robert Cowan had come across in his long career.
Yet nothing came of it.