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Four people who have seen the Freeman Rubaiyat.

  1. The Chemist Freeman.
  2. His sister.
  3. His brother-in-law
  4. Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane.


And those who haven’t:

  1. Detective Gerry Feltus, cold case investigator and author of The Unknown Man.
  2. Chief Inspector Len Brown: succeeded Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane in the Somerton Body Case management.
  3. Professor Derek Abbott: widely acknowledged as the Somerton Body Case expert.
  4. The newspapers of the day.
  5. Jessica Harkness.
  6. Professor Cleland.
  7. Coroner Cleland.
  8. Alf Boxall.
  9. Detective Strangeway.
  10. Stuart Littlemore.
  11. His 60 Minutes cameraman.
  12. Detective Constable Horsnell.
  13. Detective Constable Canney.
  14. Police photographer James Durham.
  15. Constable Sutherland.
  16. Detective Gollan.
  17. The police constable in charge of the evidence room.
  18. The Naval Intelligence Office.

The following is a transcription of part of the 60 Minutes interview Brown had with Littlemore in 1978. It concerns the missing Freeman Rubaiyat.

Stuart. “Alright. Let’s go on to the book itself. Have you got it?”

Supt. Brown. “No. – er. I looked for this some five or six years ago and er, er I couldn’t find it, ah I believe Lionel – er – may have it, but of course, er, Lionel was well respected (?) for his loose leaf system of filing things and ah-if he can’t find it, well er you know – I wouldn’t be surprised about that.” *

Brown laughs.

Reading on.

Supt. Brown. “I don’t think there is any great significance** er – in the level that er -having possession of the book at this moment.”

** It would have held great significance for Gerry Feltus.

*I read this as Brown saying if Leane couldn’t find it he wouldn’t be surprised. Meaning it never existed in the first place.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alan H #

    Can you eliminate Jessica as not having seen the book? I don’t feel so.
    Is the second number W9048 as per Jerry’s book? I can’t find who it belonged to.

    May 27, 2021
    • Alan, I don’t understand your post re: Jessica. And that phone number on the back of GF’s was apparently created by the cover designer.

      May 27, 2021
      • Alan H #

        Thanks Peter, in the lists above Jessica is listed in the “People who haven’t seen the Omar”. I believe Jessica can’t be included in this part of the list.
        The W9048 was also printed in the slippers and newspaper adverts. I guess I’m asking if anyone anywhere knows the second phone number from Omar.

        May 28, 2021
        • Alan, under what circumstances do you believe Harkness handled the Rubaiyat?

          May 28, 2021
  2. MyName #

    Not convinced Brown hadn’t seen it. Also wasn’t there some mention about someone’s kids (presumably Freeman’s) playing with it in the back of the car?
    Also, I’m not sure a lot of the ones on the “didn’t” list definitively didn’t (how do we know none of the other Detectives, Police and Government Officials didn’t see it?)

    May 28, 2021
    • Myname .. Looking at the comprehensive list of SAPOL officers in the index of Feltus’ book, I’d reckon he spent some time talking to some of them, possibly looking at any surviving notebooks. And given the number of investigating and interested police (Canney, Horsnell, Sutherland, Leane, Brown, Strangeways, not to mention a salivating Jimmy Durham), I cannot imagine them not wanting to see the book knowing Leane had it in his office.

      May 28, 2021
  3. misca #

    Pete – Can you please remind of where the sister is referenced?

    May 29, 2021
    • Misca – Feltus P105. The conversation between Freeman and his brother-in-law where Freeman says ‘You were sitting in the back with your wife ..’
      (Freeman was called Francis by Feltus ….. )

      May 29, 2021
  4. misca #

    Of course. Thank you. But that could also be his wife’s sister?

    May 29, 2021
  5. misca #

    John (Jack) Freeman’s wife was Effie Collyer. She had two sisters. Joan Collyer (married to Stewart Stevenson Burgher) and Mary Collyer (married to Walter Percy Colyer). Yes, same name with only one “L”. So…Stewart and Walter were also brother’s-in-law?

    May 29, 2021

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