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Who shut Jessica Harkness down?


Mrs. Thomson,” asked Detective Canney,I wonder whether you would mind answering a few questions with regard to your association with the serviceman you mentioned and the Rubaiyat you said you gave him about four years ago.”

This is how that went according to the details in Feltus’ book.

“His name was Alfred Boxall and we met through friends. He lived in Parer St. Maroubra and was attached to the Water Transport Company, Australian Army Service Corp. He used used to drink regularly at the Clifton Gardens Hotel after work, even when it was supposed to be closed. We had lunch one day before he was to be posted to the South West Pacific and that was when I gave him a personally inscribed Rubaiyat.”

Harkness didn’t divert from the topic. She wasn’t evasive and she didn’t mind talking about it.

The next day Jessica was questioned by the police once more but answered every question with a no.


“Mrs. Thomson,” asked Detective Gerry Feltus, “I wonder whether you would mind answering a few questions with regard to your association with Alfred Boxall and the Rubaiyat you said you gave him in 1945.”

Feltus writes:

(1) She continually diverted the topic from the subject in question.

(2) I formed the opinion she was evasive.

(3) I formed the opinion she did not wish to talk about it.

(4) She did not have a copy of the Rubaiyat.

(5) She said it was a book of love poems.

(6) She did not know why it was significant.

(7) She did not remember Alf Boxall.

(8) I mentioned that she gave police his name and address when they first spoke to her.

(9) At a later date I had a further discussion with her that produced nothing of any significance.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. MyName #

    Perhaps she was evasive and diverting because she thought she couldn’t talk about Alf’s military career. Thsi would be especially true if she was somehow involved in espionage – but doesn’t necessarily mean that SM was. That would sort of cover 1,2,3,7 without a necessary connection to SM.

    4,5,8,9 are roughly true and don’t suggest anything

    6 Might be true, might be a lie, might relate to SM, might relate Alf, might relate to nothing.

    June 9, 2021
  2. Thanks MyName, though you have to consider that Feltus probably interviewed hundreds if not thousands of lying villains over his years as a policeman. .. and that being the case I reckon he chose his words very carefully with regard to the results of his chat with Harkness.

    June 9, 2021
  3. misca #

    Maybe she shut herself down? I most definitely think she knew who he was.

    June 9, 2021
    • Yes indeed Misca, I think she did know him but was her near fainting spell a feminine ruse? What better way to avoid answering questions from three large detectives?

      June 9, 2021
  4. dude47 #

    The reason Ive never bought Jess as a spy is the ease in which she gave Boxal’s name up to the cops in the first place and her ongoing behavior such as the near fainting.

    The cops ask a well trained espionage agent about the ROK and she gives up a superior to the local SA plods just like that??? not even under interrogation , just gives them Boxal’s name.

    A spy , even a bad one , would have kept a poker face on viewing the bust and certainly wouldn’t named names so easily.

    Jess , Jessica , Jestyn Jo changed her own frekin name four times and they’re just the ones we know of !!!

    A well trained espionage agent folding and giving up superiors so easily doesn’t ring true.

    If Jess was a spy my name is Johnny English. Jess was either a flake or the worst spy since Maxwell Smart.

    June 9, 2021
    • Dude, who’s saying she was a spy? I’m not. Well, not anymore.

      June 9, 2021
  5. dude47 #

    Was responding to “My name” post including “if she was involved in espionage”

    June 9, 2021
    • Sorry about that mate, but I still don’t think Harkness was either in the spy game or connected to any of Prosper’s business associates. Women are fickle creatures and trying to figure out another reason for her relationship with SM has taken me over twelve years..

      June 9, 2021
  6. dude47 #

    Nether do I mate. I think her only connection with keane was possible opening the door for him when he came to see George.

    June 9, 2021
    • Dude, going by the number of ads PT was running between Jul 47 and Nov 48 that used X3239 – and I counted 22 of them – quite a few of his customers would have been knocking at the Moseley street front door.

      June 9, 2021
      • пожалуйста #

        So who was providing get out of jail free card for Mr. Prosper.

        Nurse J said “this goes higher than state level”. Assuming she is not being melodramatic woman, perhaps the “spy” is not nurse, not Boxall… but brother Prosper.

        Informant? Stooge? Stool-pigeon?

        June 9, 2021
        • Perhaps she’s an innocent party in another context entirely. And I’m using the words ‘context and entirely’ with muted optimism.

          June 9, 2021

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