Dogging Prosper’s footsteps
One way of finding out how Prosper McTaggart Thomson reacted to the knowledge of the death of the Somerton Man is to follow the only trail he left – the classified ads he placed between early 1948 and 1950 / 51 and the newspaper articles that recorded his misfortunes.
Then overlay them onto that other trail, the one that began on November 30th 1948.
Between 26 February 1948 and 27 March 1948, Thomson X3239 bought a run of eight classifieds for hire cars in the Advertiser:
Then another for three seats for hire on a Mt Gambier trip on the 28th of May and 1st of June:
Then on 31 July and 7th of August 1948 an ad for a new gas taxi radio-equipped sedan available weddings. Phone X3239
On the 14th of August an ad for a NEW Olds, sedan taxi, radio-equipped etc .. X3239
On September 15th an ad for three seats for hire in a NEW sedan leaving for Broken Hill.
On the 25th of Sept 1948 a Vauxhall 12hp sedan, new, 1948 model, equipped radio and seat covers for exch suitable GM or Chrysler product. Phone Thomson, 90A Moseley St Glenelg X3239
Then a hire-car ad driven by a careful ex-AIF driver on the 6th 12th and 13th of November 1948. Phone Thomson X3239.
On the 13th of November an ad for a HOUSE, any district, suit couple, pay cash, can give maisonette with mod cons. Glenelg. Very low rental. Phone Thomson x3239
On the 27th of November 1948 a want ad for a BUNGALOW, pay cash £1500. Can give tenancy maisonette, rent 22/6, Glenelg. Phone Thomson X3239
1 December 1948.
The body of an unknown man was found on Somerton Beach a couple of hundred yards from the home of Thomson X3239.
A gap until the 19th of December then an ad for a lost gold Tudor watch – nearly new. Good reward. Phone Thomson X3239.
On the 1st of January 1949 an ad for a BUNGALOW, suit small family. Pay cash. Can give tenancy maisonette. Glenelg. Low rent. Thomson X3239.
Then six more ads placed for MV hire or sale between the 5th of January and the 5th of May 1949.
Another HOUSE ad on 11 June 1949 to suit a small family, eastern suburbs preferred, cash £1,500 to £2,000: can give tenancy of maisonette Glenelg, rental 25/- weekly if required. Thomson X3239
15th of June a hire car ad. Latest black sedan, radio equipped and air conditioned. Careful ex-AIF driver. Lowest rates. Thomson X3239
17th June 1949:
The Inquest into the death of a man found on Somerton Beach commenced.
… and this ad was placed by Prosper Thomson for the following day:
RIFLE, automatic Winchester, model 63 or similar, for cash. Thomson 90A Moseley St Glenelg. X3239
23rd July 1949
A Rubaiyat with the telephone number X3239 written on the back cover was handed in to the police.
Soon after the 23rd
Detective Errol Canney knocked on the door of 90A Moseley Street and had it opened by one Miss Jessica Harkness, a small boy hiding behind her skirts.
Prosper Thomson was never interviewed, despite the wealth of evidence shown here that he used the number X3239 regularly.
I can find no further activities until 14 July 1950, when ads resume for car hire and sales.
It’s noted that on the 7th of November and 2nd of December 1953 two ads were run for a single room required by young businessman. Preferably with garage, south east suburbs. X3239 week-end or evening.
I’m happy to make any alterations or additions ..
and dude .. there’s your coverup.