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His name was KEANE.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has yet to provide a believable explanation as to how someone with three articles in his suitcase – all with the name Keane written on them – could be called The Unknown Man.

Article 1: his tie.

Article 2: his laundry bag.

Article 3: his singlet.

All marked as Keane Keane and Kean(e)

And before someone says he may have come by these articles in a second-hand post-war clothing shop  .. I’d suggest the odds of someone finding three items with the same name written on them in such an establishment as a million to one. Two million. A hundred million.

For instance, when you walk into a second-hand clothing shop the first thing you will notice is that the women’s gear is separated from the men’s, then the mens’ shirts are separated from the socks, the socks from the shoes, the shoes from the trousers, the trousers from the singlets, the singlets from the ties, the ties from the jocks, the jocks from the belts, the belts from the braces, the braces from the coats, the coats from the hats, the hats from the waistcoats, the waistcoats from the pullovers, the pullovers from the cardigans   … then in a bin of odds and ends you might find a laundry bag.

Picture someone rooting through that lot looking for three items marked with the same name.

Argue me that, just for starters.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. пожалуйста #

    I tend to agree. I guess the reason people might doubt a “Keane” (or variant) is the sense that, with a name, he would have been found, either at the time, or in successive waves of interest as the case warmed up intermittently. For example, in the 50s with the second inquest, in the 70s with Littlemore or recently with your good self and others.

    November 22, 2020
    • Given the number of Australian Keanes in the NAA archives, you could imagine the number of Keanes in the country from England, Ireland, the US, New Zealand … tracing through that lot would be an impossible task, especially in the US where they have nothing like our archives.

      Alf Boxall was one key, October 1946 the other and Keane the third.

      November 23, 2020
  2. пожалуйста #

    Plus: what DNA evidence we supposedly have would back up “Keane”? Places his origins as Irish.

    November 22, 2020
    • Byron Deveson #

      The mitochondrial DNA extracted from the hair (recovered from the plaster bust) is plausibly of Irish derivation.

      November 25, 2020
  3. Clive #

    Irish-Reddish hair-Celtic? For what it’s worth, Vorshart’s impression of the SM reminds me somewhat of the Irish actor, Stephen Millar better known as Stephen Boyd.

    November 23, 2020
    • Were laundry bags commonly used in the forties outside of the services?

      November 23, 2020
  4. Clive #

    Just something I came across on Wikitree site. A Hilda Mary Keane, born 1905 at St Kilda, married a Terence Patrick McMahon in 1934.

    November 23, 2020
    • McMahon .. ? What is that bell ringing in my ear Clive?

      November 23, 2020
  5. Clive #

    Robin’s middle name

    November 23, 2020
  6. пожалуйста #

    That’s an interesting variant. Is there any more on that particular T. Keane (McMahon)?

    Are there any known precedents for men taking wives’ surnames? Even if only informally?

    November 23, 2020
    • Byron Deveson #

      Yes, I know of one such example, but it is rare to my knowledge.

      November 25, 2020
  7. Clive #

    Apparently, a Hilda Mary Keane died in May 1940 in Babina, Qld, Husband’s name was a Thomas Keane-same couple?

    November 24, 2020
  8. MyName #

    But even if we accept your calculation of the statistical unlikeliness of finding the same name thrice, the alternative is that he couldn’t spell his own name – or he didn’t write it on all those items himself.
    That said, there seems to have been a good number (read: more than 1) of Kean/Keane in Adelaide at the time – and there seems to be some evolution of the name where some relatives might have used Kean and some Keane.
    But assuming that Kean and Keane are one and the same, the shelves/racks in an op-shop in the post-war period might have been quite empty. This would considerably increase the chances that a trip to kit yourself out might result in 3 items of clothing from the same donor. But that’s got a problem too…We’re not talking just clothing – why would you buy a laundry bag from the Salvos? Would this even have been a done thing? And would you buy a singlet from an opshop? I know singlet usage is probably significantly less than it used to be (and in warm climates like Adelaide they seem a bit illogical unless your a bogan without a druggie shirt), but wouldn’t buying a used singlet be a bit like buying used jocks?

    I think I prefer the idea that he was Keane or Kean or something similar, but at least one of his possessions had been marked by someone else (a nurse at a convalescent home, perhaps). Not sure on the ‘T’ either – feels to me it could be a ‘7’. But I don’t quite know how to explain that. Perhaps aforementioned home marked it for “Keane in bed/room 7”

    November 25, 2020
    • I think the police missed an opportunity by not having a closer look at the laundry bag, it may have been an army or navy issue .. on top of that, it was a real pity they didn’t take a pic of all three Keane labels, which seems at odds considering the careful arrangement they made for the press release pic of the tools, Barbour thread and tie.

      November 25, 2020
      • пожалуйста #

        Agree about the labels. How long would we expect a written label to remain legible? Especially on a frequently laundered item like a singlet?

        November 26, 2020

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