‘I simply think it is making something of nothing.’ Barry Traish.
Sometimes a man has to go searching for a reaction to a proposition he puts here rather than wait for something from a regular contributor like English Boris, whose last comment on the likelihood that the death of SM was part of an attempted entrapment of the Australian MI5 representative Robert Hembleys-Scales was ‘maybe’.
Last night I contacted someone who has been researching this case for more years than most, and being an obliging fellow he answered the few questions I put to him straight away, but as far as an entrapment plot was concerned, he thought I was simply making something of nothing.
Now there’s a challenge!
The issue might be that over the years Paul Lawson’s memories might have faded and the relevant details become hazy. And although this was not suggested I perceived the inference was there. Fair enough, memories fail in old men, falter, and sometimes a diary is the best way of keeping things clear, like the good wife’s birthday.
With this in mind, we take another look at Paul Lawson’s work diary (transcribed below).
Paul Lawson told Clive Turner the police knew about the Boxall / Harkness relationship weeks before Detective Canney learnt it when he interviewed Harkness on June 24th, which was the day after DS Leane received the Rubaiyat from an anonymous man. The day after he saw a phone number written on the back cover that led to her..
One way Lawson could have become party to such information was for him to have overheard something said by the detectives while he was working on the bust at the morgue.
|02-Jun-49||Visiting Somerton Mystery body at West Terrace with detectives||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|03-Jun-49||Preparing for police job||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|06-Jun-49||Final preparations for police job||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|07-Jun-49||Working at morgue with police on the molding of bust of Somerton Mystery man||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|08-Jun-49||Leane gives slip to Brown||SAPOL HQ||Gerry Feltus|
|08-Jun-49||Brown ‘interviews’ Lawson at morgue||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|08-Jun-49||Brown visits Beck’s Bookshop||Adelaide||Gerry Feltus|
|08-Jun-49||Casting of ears, piecing together mold||Morgue||Paul Lawson’s diary|
|08-Jun-49||Detective Brown and another police officer discussed the case as Lawson completed a suitable mold for each ear||Morgue||Gerry Feltus (p84)|
Without over-thinking it, I’d say June 8th looks like the day in question as Feltus confirmed it as the day the police discussed the case at the morgue.
Accepting that, one could take it a step further and conclude that whatever the police knew about the Boxall / Harkness relationship on June 8th was learnt from another source.