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Police investigation discredited: fake evidence distributed to the Press.

Some say the only thing you can believe in a newspaper is the date on its masthead. Others are more trusting of police utterances and it’s when the two become confused grave doubts concerning the facts arise.

Briefly ..

On Friday evening, 22 July Ronald Francis*, a businessman from Jetty Road, Glenelg read in The (Adelaide) News about the police trying to locate a copy of The Rubaiyat ……. “

The official story is that Francis immediately recalled his brother-in-law finding a copy of the Rubaiyat on the back floor of his car eight months earlier and leaving it in the glovebox. When Francis went to look for it after reading the newspaper it was still there.

The following morning Francis went to the Adelaide Detective Office and showed the book to Detective Sergeant Leane, who could not believe what he was seeing …. not only did the copy of The Rubaiyat have a portion torn from the last page where the words ‘Tamam Shud’ should be, but also it was located a short distance from where the body was found.”

Feltus P104 / 105

*His real name was Freeman, a secret kept for seventy years.


On July 23, the same day Freeman attended the Adelaide Detective Office with his Rubaiyat, The (Adelaide) News published a photo of a Rubaiyat’s torn last page. A photo that is widely accepted as being accurate.

The only possible explanation is that The News had a fake photo at the ready and the decision to supply it had to have been made well before Leane knew of the existence of Freeman’s Rubaiyat, given Saturday’s paper had to be ready for distribution well before mid-afternoon.

Which means somebody else knew the purpose of Freeman’s visit in advance, but the duffer at The News published the torn-page shot a day early. The other papers started running it from Sunday.

This totally undermines our understanding of the case and casts into doubt whether the police ever had the Freeman Rubaiyat in their hands, if there ever was a Freeman, which is also doubtful.

This is not fiction, not just another hypothesis. We are witnessing what might be Australia’s longest lived cover-up.

Tell your friends.


Note: according to Feltus, Freeman craved anonymity so was very unlikely to have been responsible for inviting the press to photograph his find before meeting Leane.

The lid is off

Note: there is no official photograph of the torn page and none of the Rubaiyat Freeman handed to Leane.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Possibly, but the individuals concerned are no longer with us and, if the police had been more transparent at that time and since,then there would not be the ongoing suspicions about what the police knew about the case.

    May 23, 2021
  2. gordon1552 #

    ‘The News’, was an afternoon paper, book delivered in the morning and the article published that afternoon.

    May 24, 2021
  3. Gordon .. If Leane wasn’t to know Freeman was on his way to see him, which he wasn’t, we wouldn’t expect him to have foreseen what Freeman was bringing and made some representations to The News to hold the front page of their afternoon (3pm?) edition. He would only have done so after Freeman departed and after examining the book.
    Gordon, how long do you think that may have taken?

    Then the reporter had to get back to his office, develop the shot, type his article, have it ticked off by his editor, run it downstairs to the litho-operators then to the printer to re-format the new front page and implement what has to go (this would be the editor’s job again) then the paper has to be re-collated with its new front page, bundled for delivery then everything goes into the trucks before being delivered to the statewide distributors. A fair effort for a paper with 99,887 daily net sales that particular week,

    And I doubt Leane would have allowed any careless handling of what was new and crucial evidence, particularly before having it tested for fingerprints. Unless you feel Leane may have undertaken that task soon after receiving the book, which would have meant a further delay before allowing the press near it, let alone touch it. After all, the book had lain untouched in Freeman’s glovebox since the day his brother in law found it so fingerprinting would have been a very high priority.
    Gordon, would you agree?

    Then there is Feltus’ account of Leane’s careful examination of (only) the back cover, that too would have taken time. This of course begs the question why wasn’t anything written (by Feltus) describing what details, publication or otherwise Leane found inside the book and nothing about Leane attempting to fit the TS slip into the hole during his initial examination.

    You’d think the reporter (not to mention his editor) who took the pic would be curious about such details as they too would be front page news.

    What must also be taken into account is that Leane’s relationship with the press was almost non-existent. He took 51 days to give them a glimpse of the TS slip.

    May 24, 2021
  4. gordon1552 #

    I think that the deadline for articles was around 11 am, they were pretty responsive, I can recall that paper coming out at around 5 pm not much earlier than that. I guess you could verify the deadline times and the capability of the press machinery.

    We can agree to differ 🙂

    May 24, 2021
    • No problem here, old veteran, this is the discussion I’ve been wanting to have since 2017.
      But not answering what are pertinent questions wins you no arguments.

      May 24, 2021
  5. Clive #

    I wonder if the date of the ‘finding” of the Rubaiyat in the car, per Freeman, is totally wrong? Perhaps, Freeman paid a visit to the newspaper before visiting the police. The editor wanted 24 hours which Freeman agreed to, then he handed the Rubaiyat over to the police, keeping quiet about the previous 24 hours?

    May 24, 2021
    • Freeman asked Leane to keep his name out of the records so I couldn’t imagine him giving it to the newspapers.

      May 24, 2021
  6. gordon1552 #

    Have checked with the State Library, There were three editions put out in a day, the paper showing the image of the book was the final edition which went out between 6pm and 7pm. It has to be the final edition because up until 1957, the library only microfilmed the last edition of the day. It sounds very possible that there was time to get it published on the day. But, it’s your story.

    Records state that the first edition went out at 11.45 am, there was then a FInal Home and a Final Extra edition, the last edition was produced in time for people travelling home from work between 6pm and 7pm.

    At that point, I will take my leave 🙂

    May 24, 2021
    • Fair enough. Though I would prefer it if you might assay an opinion about the apparent insensitive handling of sensitive evidence prior to it being fingerprinted.

      May 24, 2021

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