We add to DS Leane’s slow motion investigative record.
Early December 1948.
Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane is sitting at his desk sifting through the various articles found in the Somerton Man’s pockets. Leane is scratching his head, hoping to find some sort of lead amongst them. Anything.
Mid December 1948 .. Two weeks later. Leane is still sifting, still scratching.
End December 1948 .. Four weeks later. Still sifting, still scratching.
13th January 1949 .. Six weeks later. Still scratching. Looking for anything!
At this stage it occurred to DS Leane, seeing as how he had just been put in charge of the investigation*, that it might be in order to have his investigative team canvass the several hundred hotels and boarding houses throughout Adelaide and its suburbs in the hope that TSM may have abandoned or deposited some personal possessions prior to his death.
Then, a lightbulb moment on January 14th when Leane enquired with the staff at the cloak room at the Adelaide Railway Station to ascertain if there was any unclaimed luggage that might correlate with TSM. The rest we know.
What we don’t know is why it took Leane so long to ring a railway station when he knew the train ticket he’d been looking at for six weeks proved the Somerton Man had bought it at one.
A reiteration of DS Leane’s sorry record with regard to his management of the Somerton Body Case.
He had no pictures taken of the Freeman Rubaiyat.
No pictures taken of the torn page.
He lost the Rubaiyat early in the investigation.
He sat on the Taman Shud slip for 51 days.
He didn’t fingerprint any articles in the suitcase, or the Rubaiyat or the case itself.
He offered no explanation for the appearance of a box of matches with the evidence, despite PC Moss saying there was none found with the body.
He didn’t send the Freeman Rubaiyat to Naval Intelligence to assist them in deciphering the code, despite that the code may have been linked to some content within the book.
He failed to report whether the Somerton Man’s brown pullover and dressing gown had their labels intact or removed. And his pyjamas.
And now we can add the six week delay in contacting the railway office, as above.
*nod of head to John Sanders.