Skip to content

Who killed T. Keane ?

Keane was in the motor theft trade. George of Somerton was a shady operator in the motor vehicle re-sale business who dealt in cash.

Keane made it to Somerton, died and was carried to the beach late at night and left there, stripped of ID and possessions. The Tamam Shud slip folded and inserted into his fob pocket. The Rubaiyat it came from tossed into the open window of a car parked nearby.

It is finished ..

No luggage ticket or suitcase key was found in Keane’s pockets.

His suitcase was later found at the railway station luggage office, unlocked and suspected of being ransacked with some items removed.

It is not known who was home at George’s Moseley street address to greet Keane when he arrived on the 30th, but the Harkness woman who lived there with George knew him.

Keane ate only hours before dying. The poison suspected of killing him leaving no trace. George’s wartime medical condition* could be treated by taking digitalis, a poison that leaves no trace … no prescription was necessary to purchase it.

It is not known who owned the Rubaiyat … Keane or the party responsible for his death.
If it was Keane then the code and telephone number (George’s work number) found on the back cover may have been his own doing, if not it may have been owned or appropriated by those responsible for killing him.

It was also reported that a bank account number was written on the back of the Rubaiyat. If Keane was in partnership with George and supplying him with cars stolen interstate he may have been in town to collect his share of any proceeds.

That’s what we have. Building blocks. Any theory must include them all.

*Haemoptysis – the coughing up of blood


Blackmarketeers in New South Wales are helped by the fact that in that State car engine numbers are not required on registration papers.

Altogether, nearly 4,000 cars have been stolen in the eastern States in the last 12 months.

Technique of the highly organised gangs is to steal cars, preferably of the same make, and in well-fitted garages to change their appearance by interchanging parts, and even repainting them.

They bring high prices on the starved car blackmarket in New South Wales. As no engine number is required for registration there is little chance of the fraud being discovered.

(Brisbane Courier November 1947)


Ad placed in July 1948 – Vauxhall Wyvern 1940 excellent condition for sale or exchange for car suitable for swing caravan –  £225 – Moseley X3292. 


Using the Reserve Bank of Australia’s pre-decimal inflation calculator, George’s asking price for the Vauxhall would be $15,542 in 2019.

That’s more than enough money to kill a man for.

Header pic is a Vauxhall Wyvern 1948 model.
25 Comments Post a comment
  1. thedude747 #

    Had to be Thomson.

    February 26, 2020
  2. I wonder if it’s tge same 1940 Vauxhall Wyvern that Watkins was trying to exchange for a suitable car to tow a swing caravan for on page 9 of the 31 January 1948 Advertiser?

    February 26, 2020
  3. thedude747 #

    No but he’s in it up to his eye balls.

    February 28, 2020
  4. Пожалуйста #

    But what about the micro writing all over the code page? Surely everyone’s seen that by now?

    February 29, 2020
    • Gordon Cramer has been known to digitally manipulate images to suit his own purpose …

      February 29, 2020
      • Пожалуйста #

        Holy sh_t! When did this come to light? Have I missed something?

        February 29, 2020
        • Yes.

          February 29, 2020
          • Пожалуйста #

            Perhaps you can point me (& others) to what we may have missed, if that’s in the public domain?
            I can see that the micro-writing discussion has gone quiet and that focus is now elsewhere. I know also that there have been doubters and proponents of pareidolia in perceiving the supposedly concealed micro-writing. I’m among the latter, I admit. I’d have left it at that had the “micro-writing” been limited in scope. But there seemed to be more and more of it mushrooming all over the document. The revelation that the strongly drawn lettering of the code page was a trace felt like it should have killed the discussion. But perhaps people were too invested by that point?

            March 1, 2020
            • (edited)
              I was convinced by Cramer’s work in uncovering micro-writing in the code, despite that Nick Pelling was unable to get the same result using the same methods, however after Cramer digitally changed the appearance of Fedosimov’s “saddle nose” then passed it off as something closer to Keane’s, I lost all confidence in his earlier work.
              Cramer did not take this at all well and seized the opportunity to spread and repeat malicious rumours about me online … a cowardly act.
              Gordon Cramer’s work cannot be trusted.

              March 1, 2020
  5. thedude747 #

    Kind of Pete , been in Bali surfing. Think its either Thomson or a close associate of Thomson.

    March 1, 2020
  6. thedude747 #

    I think he was poisoned at Mosley st at the instance of Thomson because for reasons surrounding a deal that Thomson was unable to keep his end of put Thomson in a corner. And nobody puts Prosper in a corner. In Perth he threatened to top him self when the cops showed up. Harkness had her own suicide plan interrupted by George according to some. These were people known to go to desperate lengths when cornered.

    March 1, 2020
  7. Clive #

    thedude747, Going by Prosper’s history, I don’t think that it would take much for Prosper to throw a ‘wobbly’ and do something pretty drastic if he thought he and Jessie were in any trouble/danger. He knew too many men who lived in the shadows not to think otherwise, and with Jessie’s talents in the use of drugs etc what could be easier than to silence once and for all, a potential menace on his doorstep? And, as an afterthought, what if the ‘menace’ had local police connections, individuals in the ‘best positions’ to ensure that the police case would never get very far?

    March 1, 2020
  8. thedude747 #

    Clive thats been my hypothesis for some time now. Harkness owed her life to George. George and Jess were desperate at times and prone to go to extremes . Its on record.

    George talked Jess to the edge of a cliff LITERALLY. Would she do what she had to to protect George? I believe she would have.

    Keane died at Mosleys st. Theres no doubt in my mind and I dont believe that it was anything to do with being Robins father . If he was why kill the dude??

    If Harkness was a spy why would she give up Boxall in a New York minute? I dont buy it.

    As for Cramer I called him out on the micro writing years ago on this site and he tried to get me banned for my trouble.

    March 1, 2020
  9. thedude747 #

    PS Waves were pumping this morning at Echo beach today peteb. You would have loved it !

    March 1, 2020
    • You’re not kidding, I love the look of that wave.

      March 1, 2020
  10. отвлекающий маневр #

    Could the mooted transaction be the other way round? Keane is in town without a car. He has with him a suitcase, later found ransacked. Perhaps that suitcase contained money to BUY a car?

    Would provide some motive.

    March 2, 2020
    • Yes, it would. The next question would be, how did ‘they’ know?

      March 2, 2020
      • отвлекающий маневр #

        A simple “deal gone bad” scenario? It was all pre-arranged, torn slip to book match and all. Keano parks the cash at left luggage – he’s a suspicious sort. Hell, he’s even packed his TWOC’ing kit in case he needs to come back and take the jalopy off the forecourt by other means. At the RV, a difference of opinion over the goods, the price, etc. He plans to leave empty-handed, perhaps to return later.

        But he never makes it out of there.

        March 2, 2020
        • This ‘pre-arrangement’ how do see that happening?

          March 3, 2020
          • отвлекающий маневр #

            That’s where someone with a sense of the local and historical color would be better able to speculate.

            Is there anything in the evidence that points to a long distance relationship? Is there a specific benefit to trading cars across state borders in 40’s Oz? Did Prosper’s ads reach a wider audience, across state lines? We know he had a phone and wasn’t shy about handing out his number… so it could be as simple as that. Assuming the Ruby was Prosper’s (his Mrs. does seem to have a track record with them), he’d only have to get the Tamam slip to Keano to set up the recognition code. Post? Or a third party?

            Was Keano just the bag man… a delivery driver? In which case any pre-arrangement might have been with another party. Is there a Mr. Big missing from the picture?

            I’ve gone from “question everything” to “everything’s a question”. I guess that’s what our John Doe and his coterie do to you.

            March 3, 2020
            • Blackmarketeers in New South Wales are helped by the fact that in that State car engine numbers are not required on registration papers.

              Altogether, nearly 4,000 cars have been stolen in the eastern States in the last 12 months.

              Technique of the highly organised gangs is to steal cars, preferably of the same make, and in well-fitted garages to change their appearance by interchanging parts, and even repainting them.

              They bring high prices on the starved car blackmarket in New South Wales. As no engine number is required for registration there is little chance of the fraud being discovered.

              (Brisbane Courier November 1947)

              It’s noted that Thomson was advertising for a garage / workshop at the time ..

              ” WANTED. Building suit workshop – pay ingoing or buy plant. URGENT. Thomson” Advertiser – May 1947

              March 3, 2020
  11. thedude47 #

    Diito to all of the above and to the question “how far did Georges adds reach? as far as Brisbane any least from what we know George was advertising cameras for sale in 48 advising “please send bank cheque”

    March 3, 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