11 Contemporary evidence
Parentheses and italics are mine.
The (Adelaide) Mail 23 July 1949
Several numbers, trimmed scrap of paper.
(1) On the back of the book are several phone numbers and a series of capital letters, written in pencil ….
(2) As the scrap of paper had been trimmed, police were unable to identify the book merely by fitting it into the torn page.
The News (Adelaide) 23rd July 1949
Several numbers, capital letters written in pencil, neatly trimmed piece.
(1) A neatly trimmed piece of paper.
(2) On the back of the book are several telephone numbers and a series of capital letters written in pencil.
(3) The scrap of paper found on the dead man had been trimmed, police were unable to identify the (Francis) book (pic 1 green, below) merely by fitting it into the torn page.
The Advertiser 26 July 1949
Interviewed two suburban telephone subscribers whose numbers corresponded.
(1) Yesterday police interviewed two suburban telephone subscribers whose numbers corresponded with those on the back of the book, but they knew nothing of the matter.
The News (Adelaide) 26 July 1949
An Adelaide woman’s telephone number on the cover.
(1) The Somerton Body mystery deepened today with the discovery of an Adelaide woman’s telephone number on the cover of a book linked to the case.
Texture and colour
(2) DS Leane yesterday (25 July) obtained the opinion of an authority that the piece of paper bearing the words Tamam Shud was of the same texture (feel) and colour as that of the book (pic 1 green below) handed to the police on Saturday.
(3) The woman whose telephone number appears in pencil on the cover of the book … etc
(4) Police were able to read it (the code) by using ultra-violet light.
Code sent to Army HQ
(5) A copy (of the code) has been sent to decoding experts at Army Headquarters, Melbourne.
(6) Although the lettering was faint, police managed to read it by using ultra-violet light.
Texture and colour
The Argus (Melbourne) 27th July 1949
(1) Tests today showed that the paper found on the body was of the same texture and colour as that torn from the book.
Back leaf missing
27 November 1959
Quote from a report written by Detective EC Hopkins to the Officer in Charge No 3 (CIB) Division, Adelaide. Written in respect of a claim by the Wanganui Prisoner.
“A book Omar Khayyan, with THE BACK LEAF missing, was found in the rear seat of a car near to where the deceased was found. The piece of paper which was found in the deceased’s clothing bearing ‘Tamam Shud’ had been torn from this book.”
Leane soon noticed …
(1) Leane soon noticed what appeared to be a telephone number written in pencil on the rear cover of the book.
(2) Through a large magnifying glass he also saw capital letters written in faint pencil on the back of the book.
Other telephone numbers
(3) Although there has been mention of other telephone numbers I have seen no evidence of them.
(4) I had discussions with two reliable sources who viewed the original copy of the Rubaiyat found with Tamam Shud torn from the last page. I am now of the opinion that the photograph appearing in newspapers (pic below) was not that of the original but a similar copy with a portion torn out for distribution as an example.
(5) I was also advised that the area torn from the actual copy was smaller than that shown in the newspaper photographs (pic above), and that the piece of paper with the words Tamam Shud found on the Unknown Man fitted the torn area perfectly.
(6) I also established that the relevant copy of the Rubaiyat was either the same size or slightly larger than the photograph titles: (‘Copy purchased by author’ p169) (pic 2 orange). If this information is correct then that pocket edition could easily fit into the coat pocket of the Unknown Man.
Indents on the rear of the Rubaiyat – heresay
(7) Some sources have suggested that there were indents on the rear of the Rubaiyat and were possibly caused when the book was used as a support to write on another piece of paper. The letters were exposed when the police rubbed a lead pencil across the indents. The information is hearsay and cannot be confirmed.
A name on the back of the Rubaiyat
(8) Another reliable source has stated that there was a name on the rear of the Rubaiyat. Some evidence tends to support this.
Code sent to Navy Office
(9) After the letters were revealed on the rear cover of the Rubaiyat DS Leane sought the assistance of the Navy Office at Port Adelaide.
All numbered Quotes GF
The Collins edition
Detective Brown visited Beck’s bookshop on June 8 1949 and found a Collins Press copy of the Rubaiyat with Tamam Shud in the same font as the slip found in the deceased’s pocket. He held them both up to the light and they matched to his satisfaction.
Brown knew the specifications of the TS slip, but did not compare it to the Collins book.
Brown states: “If this is a Collins impression, the one which I saw today would be a different impression.”
Paraphrased from GF P166.
The Whitcombe & Tombes edition
Prior to publishing his book, GF was successful in purchasing two first edition copies of the RoK published by W&C. One copy was of no assistance as it was printed in a different font and missing the TS at the end. The other copy (pic 2 orange) was not an exact copy of the one published by the newspapers (pic 1 green)
” Considerable publicity was given to the subject and I can only presume that a photograph of the actual (Francis) Rubaiyat was made available to the media (pic 1 green) as a photograph with details appeared in numerous newspapers in the country.”
The scrap of paper found on the dead man had been trimmed, police were unable to identify the (Francis) book (pic 1 green) merely by fitting it into the torn page. The News (Adelaide) 23rd July 1949
“If the copy depicting the actual (Francis) Rubaiyat (pic 1 green) is correct, then it could not be carried in the pocket of the clothing worn by the Somerton Man.”
Thanks to GC for pic, links to NicP and Clive.