33 DS Leane: did he obstruct the investigation?
DS Leane didn’t take on nearly all his team’s footwork because he needed to get out of the office. There was a purpose to his street-level involvement that commenced the day he was placed in charge of the case.
DS Leane would have been absent on a regular basis, nevertheless the Somerton Body case was his responsibility and as items came to hand, particularly those that were qualified as ‘might have belonged’ to the deceased, they would have been fully processed through the standard investigative procedures, and given there was initial doubt as to whether the suitcase and contents belonged to the deceased, fingerprints would give the definitive answer. Jimmy Durham would have been called.
He wasn’t, and the suitcase and its contents were not tested for fingerprints.
When Durham took fingerprints off the body he left the official record unsigned and undated. This would not have passed scrutiny without comment.
Without the fingerprints it became necessary to make a fuller examination of the suitcase contents, a task undertaken by Professor Cleland and James Cowan.
DS Leane handed Cleland the case containing the deceased’s trousers.
When Cleland looked into a fob pocket of these trousers he found the Tamam Shud slip and read its message: