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Jessica Harkness – a formidable recruit

Reinterpreted takeouts from a 60 Minutes interview with her daughter, Kate Thomson.

Jessica told her daughter Kate that the fuller details of the Tamam Shud mystery were known to government individuals employed at a higher level than the top echelon of the South Australian Police.

Kate believes her mother had an Allied role in espionage activities involving the Soviet Union.

Kate said her mother was a strong, secretive woman at home but was able to mix easily in Adelaide’s social circles.

Kate believes her mother would have been angry if she knew her daughter was answering questions about her clandestine life.


In 1949 Jessica Thomson was escorted by three senior detectives to see the bust of a man found dead only a couple of hundred yards from her home.

The police had interviewed her earlier and told her that they’d found her phone number on the back of a book connected to the dead man.

When confronted with the bust and under further and more detailed interrogation by the three senior detectives she remained silent about any involvement, giving them No for an answer to all their questions.

Jessica gave nothing away.

She took everything with her to the grave.

I’d put that down to her signature on a document that swore her to secrecy and a lifelong allegiance to King George the Sixth and / or his successors.

george 6

Not only that, she had the indomitable Alfred Boxall watching her back.

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