Skip to content

Keane was a thief. No question.

He was a thief.

Thirteen items prove it. Count them.

Thirteen .. !

The initial police investigation and the subsequent cold-case work proved shallow and self-serving. The police were inattentive to detail, careless with exhibits and lacking in both curiosity and ordinary everyday investigative nous. Yet they glowed in the interviewers’ attentions, despite being unable to offer anything new.

The interviewers themselves lacked perception, not bothering to study the inquest papers, unable to approach the mystery using anything other than the well-trodden paths. The ones that led in the wrong directions. He was a spy. She spoke Russian.

The newspapers and magazines here and abroad indulged in repetitive reporting. They published mistakes of fact so often they have become accepted as truth. Crucial facts are ignored, or glossed over, or not noticed.

The Coronial Inquest followed a stolid, well-tested administrative routine whilst remaining unaware of sworn evidence that would have changed its course.

And as far as Professor Derek Abbott is concerned, it would appear that his arduous quest to prove his wife and children are related to The Somerton Man is destined for some disappointment.

He was a thief. His name was Keane, initial T.

The proof of his trade was in his suitcase.

And he was in town to meet Prosper Thomson.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. thedude747 #

    I remember reading about the last words from an American guy, mass murderer, sitting on death row, his fate sealed. He talked about how the police and the public all wanted to hear the big storys and find the big motive about why someone was murdered. Was it a crime of passion? was there a conspiracy.?
    Truth was as he revealed was that his victims were murdered over very mundane matters, one of his multiple victims was when he was a hitching and killed a guy who picked him up for the thirty dollars he had in his pocket. Thats it.
    It would be nice to think one was a spy or that it was a love that couldn’t be but I agree with peteb that DA and Rachel may be disappointed to hear that this was anything so grand.
    Just a guy who came to town under the radar not expecting to wind up dead

    February 23, 2020
    • Not just a guy, dude me old mate, this Keane guy had malformed feet being not bunions but could be dystonia, plus a pair of calves that showed he worked at walking like nothing was wrong with them. And built like a brick shithouse. Not a working man either, other than knocking off cars, hands too soft.
      So how does a bloke like Keane, who does what he does, look like someone with a member’s ticket to the Adelaide Club?

      Why doesn’t he look shifty?

      February 24, 2020
  2. thedude747 #

    Old school white collar smooth criminal Pete. Bugsey Siegel who was described as “handsome and charismatic” once took a Hollywood screen test. John Dilinger’s fancy handkerchiefs were bought by adoring female fans after his death.

    Keane was probably well educated and legit prior to the WW2. Probably a yank who overstayed and had to live by his wits after the war.

    Theres plenty of information about the marines who stayed behind in Paris after the war or deserted before it ended who drove the black market in Paris running various scams during the post war rationing period.

    February 24, 2020
    • Spreadsheets, dude, the answer to any amateur data-gatherer’s prayer … every ad prosper placed, the date, what he wanted to buy or sell or move into, his changes of address, changes in the types of cars he was dealing in. Prosper looking for a job one day and wanting to buy a workshop a few days later.

      The old lad left plenty of classified footprints .. I’m onto it.

      February 24, 2020
  3. Clive #

    Keane, as you mention, may well have been with the American forces in the Pacific in WW2, had leave in Australia. Deserted and, because of his action, needed to keep a low profile, a profile which suited him in the roles he undertook in order to survive.

    February 24, 2020
    • A low profile, but above water enough to be in the trade .. stealing cars is one thing, getting them to a bloke who can duff the paperwork and flog them on is another …

      Young George (PT) looked to be having an ordinary time in early ’47 – working out of Clinic Distributors in Hindley Street and looking to move in early March. Want ads for cheap cars and rifles (2 of them – so that kills the threat idea), then a want ad on Mar 15 for a partner with £500 to £1000 to spare, ‘good returns assured.’

      That mustn’t have worked because George was ‘wanting employment of any kind,’ in early May, ’47. Followed by a ‘wanted desperately’ any car, any type can pay cash £75 to £200.

      Followed soon after by a ‘wanted, building suit workshop – pay ingoing or buy land.

      The bloke’s all over the shop. But no big money. George isn’t earning, yet.

      February 24, 2020
  4. Clive #

    A dumb question I know, but I’ll ask! Is there such a thing as a register/listing of American servicemen who deserted in the Pacific during WW2?

    February 25, 2020
  5. thedude747 #

    Stands to reason to me that a guy like Keane looking for a few good, under the radar earners ,would be up for all kinds or work. Maybe as a reliable lookout for a sly two up game for some fast no questions cash. Such a gig would bring him into contact with various characters in the black market /underworld.

    I think its possible that followers of the SM case (not the least of which the professor ) have romanticised SM so much as an International man of mystery not to mention Jestyn as a sexy Russian speaking covert cold world operative caught in some kind of Casablanca scenario that the thought that he may haver been just a run of the mill car thief is just to deflating. Or that Jestyn was just Jessica Harkness nursing school dropout who just happened to answer the door to her boyfriends house when the cops showed up.

    His name was Keane. He came to Adelaide by passenger transport for a short stay . He carried with him the number of a local black marketeer , 13 hand crafted pocket size tools and no return ticket. Because he was driving home.

    If his visit was legit someone legit would have claimed him. I suggest that those who did know him weren’t keen on explaining their connection.

    Even a spy would have had a return ticket booked . A legit ex lover would have left some traces.

    February 25, 2020
  6. Clive #

    Perhaps he drove from Melbourne to Adelaide in a car, whose papers had been “updated”, what if he arrived in Adelaide on 29 November. The following day, his hopes of a trade fell down, fell foul of “associates”, his suitcase was taken to the railway station and duly stored. The ‘associates’ knew he would not be missed by anyone in Melbourne etc, nor would anyone report him missing. He was relieved of his papers, wallet, any i.d. he had with him and the rest is history.

    February 25, 2020
    • We know what connected Keane to Thomson, but who stuffed the Tamam Shud slip into his pocket?

      February 25, 2020
  7. thedude747 #

    Keane put it in there himself for mine.

    February 25, 2020
  8. thedude747 #

    The book and the slip are clearly part of a basic garden variety dead drop.
    A common method of passing information between two individuals or parties otherwise unknown to each other both as an identifier and to ensure the background players dont need to meet directly allowing them to remain anonymous to the other parties.
    Keane probably started with the slip when he arrived in Adelaide and kept it after obtaining the book with Georges number at the dead drop.

    February 25, 2020
    • How would he know where the dead drop was?

      February 25, 2020
  9. thedude747 #

    I wonder if we have any samples of Georges handwriting? Anyone? Would be interesting to match against the “code”

    February 25, 2020
  10. thedude747 #

    There are a multitude of possible ways it played out. A pre organised exchange at a train station , show the slip to the guy sitting on the bench with the red had scenario for one , the slip left in a locker would be another.
    I suspect the Keane and George never met prior to Keanes arrival.

    February 25, 2020
  11. thedude747 #

    Could have been any number of reasons but given Keane ended upon dead 3 minutes walk from Georges house suggests that it wasn’t to deliver a birthday card.

    February 26, 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s