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The man wearing striped trousers







As per Gerry’s book, John Lyons and his wife had a daily evening stroll along the beach, north from Whyte St towards Broadway, Glenelg when they would retrace their footprints – says Clive.

whyte street to broadway.png

If John and his wife walked to the beach end of Whyte St and, started their walk north at that point, they would have passed by the steps where the body was laying at Bickford Terrace – says Clive.

Curious that it’s only when John and his wife were returning along the same route that they noticed a body near the steps, and that was about 7.00pm.  So, in the time it took John and his wife to pass the steps, reach Broadway and return, did a body appear?

whyte to bickford terreace.png

Asks Clive ….

And there’s more.


Nobody reported seeing a body by the steps before 7:00 pm.

Nobody reported seeing a body by the steps after 8:00 pm.

PC Moss said in his deposition: Anybody lying there (by the steps) might expect that they would be easily seen by anyone going up the steps to the esplanade to the beach. Those steps are used a lot, particularly on a summer evening.

Now we have the Lyons on their summer’s evening stroll north to Broadway and back. They didn’t see a body on the way up about 7:00 pm, but they did see one coming back. He was moving.

Then we have the witness account of a well-dressed man carrying the body of a man along the foreshore at about 10:00 pm the same night.

Not forgetting the lividity pattern on the dead man’s upper body was in contradiction to the position he was found.

..  and not forgetting that the Bryant and May matches listed with the dead man’s belongings weren’t listed by PC Moss as being on the body or the list of items taken from the suitcase.

He had nothing to light the part-smoked cigarette found tucked under his chin. The cigarette that left no burn marks either on his skin or on his collar.

Whoever he was – the man seen in striped trousers the evening before –  got up and walked away.

Whoever he was – the dead man found wearing brown trousers the next morning –  is yet to be determined.

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. gordon1552 #

    A good reason perhaps for no one seeing him after 8 pm is that Sunset occurs around 8.24 pm and it would be growing darker from around 8. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, it just means he was less able to be seen.

    November 15, 2018
  2. That shouldn’t be too hard to prove if somebody rolls up to the esplanade across from Bickford Terrace in two weeks, providing it’s fine, and takes a few snaps of the beach from where Strapps was sitting at about 8:30 pm.

    November 15, 2018
  3. gordon1552 #

    Remember that there was no daylight saving in SA in 1948.

    November 16, 2018
    • Lifted from Cipher Mysteries …. comments by Milongal and Sanders

      We must not forget that Gordon and Olive went down to the terrace level to take up that single bench seat, not at the street level as portrayed in the docos. They got there between 7.20-30pm in the early twighlight period and when they ascended the stairway at eight, Olive asserts that the street lighting had come on by then. (no evidence of lamp poles in the pics.) Needless to say they would have had a clear view of the body profile, perhaps even good enough for her man to pickup small detail like grey pin stripes on brown attire. Anyhow whatever you do, don’t send old eagle eye Clive down to Somerton at 8.30pm, because in 1948 time it’ll be 9.30pm by my reckoning, unless they still had wartime daylight saving going (or have I got it arse about).

      If they didn’t have DLS in 1948 (and my recollection is that they didn’t) then 8:30 in today’s DLS time would be 7:30 in standard time.
      If they did have DLS, then there’s no way 8PM in Adelaide in late November would be anything but bright sunlight….halfway through November, and Adelaide’s dusk is 8:28PM (that means without DLS it would be dark by 8PM in mid-November – but the days are fast getting longer, so by Nov 30 that’s another story)

      on November 15, 2018 at 8:59 pm said:
      According to the interwebs:

      7:42 pm
      Tuesday, 30 November 1948 (GMT+9:30)
      Dusk in Adelaide SA

      Not certain what dusk is – because there’s multiple classifications (as I think we’ve flagged before). If we’re talking ‘civil dusk’ then I’d imagine visibility is not that significantly impaired:


      I’d say that’s it, sorted.

      November 16, 2018
  4. Clive #

    The ‘problem’ is that we don’t know what time John Lyons and his wife started their walk up the beach.

    November 16, 2018
    • Doesn’t matter, stripes wasn’t in position. He appeared after they walked past.

      November 16, 2018
  5. gordon1552 #

    Sunset on the 30th November 1948 was at 7.14 pm. Twilight lasts around 20 minutes or so before it becomes dusk, a good shade or two darker. So being generous, let’s say dusk started at 26 minutes later being 7.40 pm. That would seem to be a reasonable time for street lighting to come on?

    I’m sure that most would really recall the state of street lighting in the 50’s, pretty sure they wouldn’t have been any better in the late 40s. They tended to throw a circular relatively bright light with a deal of shadow in between one light and the next. Not sure what they call the effect but when within the radius of the relatively bright light, seeing any detail outside of that area was not easy.

    Sent you a pic for reference.

    November 17, 2018
  6. gordon1552 #

    Worth a thought or three, the man seen near the steps early in the evening, must have arrived there in broad daylight, certainly before twilight. Passing strange that, being in daylight, no one saw him arrive nor just how he got there as in on his own-some or with help.

    November 18, 2018
    • Ms Neill watched him for five minutes, she said. He was wearing a hat and just standing there, looking down at the body.

      November 18, 2018
  7. Dzons Hauvards #

    Anyone actually been to Adelaide? About the right time of year to get an idea (roughly – last week would’ve been better) of how Adelaide light or dark Adelaide evenings are, no?
    Keep in mind:
    1) unlike this year, Adelaide in late November would generally have clear skies
    2) Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches are at the Western extreme of the metropolis – so light would linger longer at the beach than, say, in the city centre where the sun disappears behind the houses

    And I should think that someone laying by the stairs would be noticeable by people ascending or descending the stair – even after dark to some extent. If you’re eyesight is good enough to find the stairs it should surely notice someone beside it too…

    December 5, 2018
  8. Couldn’t agree more, Dzons …..

    December 5, 2018
  9. Clive #

    On Page 37 in GF’s book, John Lyons states that the man was “within a metre of the steps”, sighted about 7.00pm. On Page 38 Olive Neill & Gordon Strapps state the man was “about 2 metres North of the steps”, sighted about 7.30pm. Then on Page 39 John Lyons states that “saw the body of the man in the same position that he had seen 12 hours earlier”, about 6.35am. Interesting that Olive & Gordon mentioned that the man must “be dead to the world” regarding the mosquitoes, yet they sat there for 30 mins or so,

    December 9, 2018
  10. gordon1552 #

    How’s your eyesight? Able to see a mossie at say 4 metres and in failing light?

    December 10, 2018
    • No, but I’ve got one of the little f.ckers in the bedroom at night, only inches away and buzzing my ear.

      December 10, 2018
  11. gordon1552 #

    Aha! I have it on reliable authority that f you apply spit to a mossie bite it stops itching. Not sure what the solution is to stopping them harassing you in the first instance is though.

    A point worth considering is that mossies are less likely to be found on the beach than biting midges, a small difference but it might be worth pursuing, different feeding habits although in both cases it’s normally the female that bites and devours blood. Didn’t see a mention of any mossie bite marks in the docs.

    December 11, 2018

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