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.