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The question of lividity (and a final twist).

“I do not remember if there was any post-mortem evidence of lividity of the neck and shoulders.”

“The post mortem rigidity was intense, and there was deep lividity behind, particularly above the ears and neck.”

“The lividity around the ears and neck was perhaps surprising in view of his position, but it was explainable. It would depend on how much the head was supported, it may have been slight, perhaps no more than one’s head supported on a pillow.”

” I proceeded to the beach at Somerton, where I saw lying near a sea wall opposite the Somerton Crippled Children’s Home the body of the deceased which was fully clothed, lying on its back with feet towards the west, with the head resting against the sea wall, slightly inclined to the right.”

somerton body

“The question of ‘lividity’ was an issue with the experts, in particular the observations of blood that had gravitated behind the ears of the deceased. This observation in some way suggested the possibility that the deceased had died lying on his back. Did he die elsewhere?”

” …. If it (the poison) had not been self-administered, and the body brought there (Somerton Beach), that would remove any doubts as to the time at which death took place, as well as any other difficulties.”


Remarks by both Clelands, Feltus, Moss and Hicks.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Doesn’t PC Moss contradict himself? States the body he was lying near the sea wall, but his head was resting against the sea wall-which version is correct?

    April 3, 2018
  2. The representation of the body shows that his head is elevated much more than if slightly supported by a pillow.

    April 3, 2018
  3. Where might Cleland”s pillow have been found do you think, NickP?

    July 25, 2021
    • It was no more than a pillow’s height of support, not necessarily an actual pillow. My own prediction was that he died lying on a small bed with his head just on the edge, but feel free to have your own ideas.

      July 25, 2021
  4. Andy Baader #

    Someone smarter than me has apparently repeatedly asked if anyone knows where the “dugouts” are (well, were). Apparently no one seems to know. Does Feltus?

    July 25, 2021
    • I think north of Bickford Terrace … possibly in some dunes on the other side of the road.

      July 27, 2021

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