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Follow the suitcase

Nobody remembered if it was a man or woman who arrived with the suitcase at the railway station luggage counter on November 30, 1948. Which could mean the owner arrived in Adelaide by other means and on another day. You didn’t need to show a train ticket to rent a 24 hour slot in one of their racks.

And he had packed for more than an overnight stay, a couple of days perhaps, enough time to change his underwear: he looked to be the fastidious type about his outer appearance so it would have been a quirk of his nature not to apply the same standards to his underwear when packing for the trip. His fingernails were clean and trimmed, his clothing neatly packed.

He stayed in an Adelaide hotel perhaps, but in this case we only have Ina Harvey’s long-term memories to sustain the proposal. Feltus would have none of it.

His suitcase was re-packed together with the soiled underwear and the three articles that bore the name Keane, then taken to the railway station before lunch on November 30. Storage for one day only.

We’ve been looking for a man named Keane ever since but the problem is that before Smith and Jones became the most commonly used names Keane lead the field. The man is still a phantom.

So the notion that comes to mind is whoever lodged the (repacked) suitcase knew Keane wasn’t the name of the man who owned it, therefore cared little. Leaving us with a question not widely discussed.

Why would somebody lodge a man’s suitcase at the railway station when they knew he would never collect it?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Perhaps the local police had a hand in the lodging of the suitcase at the railway station? They knew it would never be collected by a ‘Kean(e)’ or anyone else for that matter. And, from the date of lodgement until the suitcase was ‘found’, it gave a breathing space for the authorities to map out the path they were to take. The reason for such a lodgement was also, to physically have some ‘evidence’, so the authorities could focus ‘Joe Public’ down a certain track, and with local newspapers cooperating, it was a pretty case of mission accomplished.

    April 14, 2021
  2. Clive #

    Good question! In a sense it seems a bit too ‘easy’ for the police to announce the suitcase belonged to the SM. The contents were a jumble of clothes, tools etc. Why would anyone leave their toothbrush/paste in a suitcase? Did he only have one pair of socks?

    April 16, 2021
    • How are you going to keep a strong man captive all day without marking him?

      April 16, 2021
  3. Forgotten Alias #

    How you keep someone captive all day? in the cells

    How many unclaimed suitcases would Adelaide Railway Station get in 1948? 1 a week, 1 a month?

    What are some of the reasons people don’t pick up their suitcase? ‘Cause they’re dead. We know other people who died around that time – and in close proximity to the station.
    Are we good with how concrete the link to the suitcase is….I thought it was just hanging by a thread.

    April 19, 2021
    • Spools of Barbour could be bought. And if there were no repairs made to his clothing a button may have removed itself from his coat in place of them.

      April 19, 2021

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