The Somerton Man Investigation – what went wrong.
…. beginning with the discovery of the body on the morning of December 1st, 1948.
(1) PC Moss, the first attending officer, failed to find the Tamam Shud slip later discovered in TSM’s fob pocket.
(2) PC Moss failed to examine the part-smoked cigarette found on the body to ascertain if it was the same type as those in the cigarette pack found on the body.
(3) PC Moss failed to secure the part-smoked cigarette as evidence.
(4) PC Moss failed to find the box of matches that was later established* to be with the body.
(5) Detective Sergeant Leane failed to immediately alert the press when told by Prof Cleland in April 1949 that he had found the TS slip, thereby delaying any public participation in determining its origin.
(6) DS Leane then failed to remember he had the TS slip for fifty-one days before finally alerting the press to its existence in June 1949, just prior to the inquest.
(7) DS Leane failed to have any of the items in the suitcase fingerprinted despite that many of them would have yielded clear results.
(8) DS Leane failed to have the Rubaiyat fingerprinted, despite that it had laid undisturbed in Freeman’s car glovebox for six months and was presumably only handled by his brother-in-law before being retrieved and handed over to the investigation.
(9) DS Leane failed to have photographs published of the actual Freeman Rubaiyat, thereby delaying any public participation in determining its origin and / or ownership..
(10) DS Leane failed to have photographs published of the actual torn page.
(11) DS Leane failed to keep the Freeman Rubaiyat secure as it was presumed lost under his care according to then Detective Inspector Len Brown.
(12) DS Leane failed to establish if chemist Freeman or any other local chemists sold the poisons Professor Hicks thought were responsible for the death of the Somerton Man.
(13) DS Leane failed to establish if any of the local bakeries sold a pasty to a well-dressed, broad-shouldered man wearing faun trousers, a jacket, brown pullover and striped tie on the night of November 30th.
(14) Senior Government Analyst James Cowan failed to identify the black powder shaken from the bristles of the particle brush found in TSM’s suitcase.