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‘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.

In here

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.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Barry Traish #

    There is still no evidence which supports Lawson’s statement about police knowing about the Boxall/Harkness relationship early. The evidence at the time is that in June, police were “completely baffled”, that they first spoke to Harkness late July and subsequently asked Sydney police to trace Boxall, which they did. No evidence from the time gives any indication whatsoever of prior knowledge, and in fact points to an unfolding discovery.

    Evidence from the time is stronger than an account much later (oodles of research supports this), and the order of events is particularly prone to being misremembered. Occam’s Razor says the later account is incorrect.

    July 22, 2020
    • Why do you think Lawson was reluctant to answer Littlemore’s questions? He was so disturbed by them he asked for the recording to be switched off.

      July 22, 2020
      • Barry Traish #

        Who knows. A man can have a million reasons.

        July 23, 2020
        • That’s a strange way to read his behaviour, Barry. One minute Lawson is an urbane professional, almost caressing the bust as he answers questions, then he breaks out into a sweat when Litttlemore presses him before asking that the interview and filming be terminated.
          A million reasons you say. Hardly. Littlemore knew exactly what buttons to press and although he failed to get a positive response, he got the negative reaction he wanted. Lawyers are skilled in that regard, especially one who is destined to become a Queen’s Counsel. The only individual missing was a judge, or coroner, who would have ordered Lawson to respond, and I doubt he would have given a million answers.

          July 23, 2020
  2. dude47 #

    Agreed “a million reasons” is a cop out. Give us a single logical one.

    August 4, 2020
    • He (Lawson) was told to keep schtum about what he overheard being said by the detectives as he worked the bust.
      Why else would Detective Brown ‘interview’ Lawson on the same day he finally got his hands on the Tamam Shud slip?

      Your turn dude. Give us a logical answer to that.

      August 4, 2020
  3. dude47 #

    Lawson was told to stay”schtum” without a doubt. Its as simple as that.

    August 5, 2020
    • Geez, dude, talk about copping out … keep schtum (meaning keep your mouth shut) about WHAT? The weather?

      August 5, 2020
  4. dude47 #

    Apologies Pete , about the Thomson connection. Lawson was fully aware that Jessica Thomson was directly connected to Keane.

    He saw her reaction with his own eyes having made the bust and as a result was privy to the discussions had with the incompetent plods who botched this case from day one and whom didn’t have either the balls nor the brains to deal with what was the only genuine lead in the death of Keane.

    At the time of the Littlmore interview Jess was still up and about in her 40s living in Adelaide’s Eastern suburbs. Lawson was fully aware of this and kept his mouth shut..

    August 6, 2020
    • Dude, Lawson could only have been fully aware that Jessica Thomson was directly connected to Keane on June 8th through overhearing the detectives’ discussions at the morgue while he was working on the bust ..

      but ..

      Harkness was only officially connected to the case on July 26/27, six weeks later.

      August 6, 2020
  5. dude47 #

    Good point! I need to ponder that ..

    August 6, 2020

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