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The Tamam Shud Do It Yourself Test

“I searched the clothing. I did not find the slip of paper with the words Taman Shud.” PC Moss.

“In a fob pocket which was rather difficult to find, just on the right of the fly, I found a piece of paper. After I found it and put the paper back, it took me a good deal of time to find it the second time, as it was a pocket which could be easily missed.” John Burton Cleland.

“The Unknown Man was wearing brown faun trousers (Stamina Brand – Crusader Cloth)” Gerry Feltus.

“This style of (fob) pocket in the unknown man’s trousers was very common. I fact, my police uniform until 1970 had such a pocket. People in the clothing trade have advised that the pocket was normal in 1948 and is still available. Professor Sir John Cleland did not infer that he could not locate the (Tamam Shud) paper on the second occasion because it was a secret pocket. He was stating that he could not find the paper on the second occasion because it was so small.” Gerry Feltus.

Cleland didn’t mention he had any difficulty finding the Tamam Shud slip on the first occasion. There is the possibility he rolled it a little tighter than when he first found it.

The actual Tamam Shud slip.

However we could accept that Moss wasn’t able to feel the rolled up slip when he searched the fob pocket, or perhaps he did and disregarded it, thinking it was unimportant, some pocket scrap, detritus. But Moss was an experienced police officer, trained in all aspects of his work and here he was with a dead body that needed searching. Given those circumstances, nothing was unimportant.


Take a piece of paper and cut it so it’s the same size as the TS pic above. Remember to use a thicker paper than the usual A4 .. these 1940’s Rubaiyat pocket book pages were made of a rougher paper weave.

Roll it up. Slip it into your fob pocket then play the police constable and see if you can feel it in there with your forefinger.

Then ask yourself whether it’s worth taking out for a close look..

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive, a couple of questions. Do you think the missing luggage stub would have been about the same size as the TS slip? And if TSM didn’t have a wallet, where do you think might he have kept it?

    April 30, 2022
  2. Clive #

    Probably the missing luggage tag would have been about the same size as the TS slip, I would also think that the tag would have been thicker paper or card-like(?) than the TS slip of paper. As for the safe keep of the luggage tag, I suppose the fob pocket would have been too small? If so, back pocket of trousers? Silly thought, and there is nothing to go on, but what if he had sewn the tag somewhere in his clothes, so he wouldn’t have lost it?

    April 30, 2022
    • I’d go with the fob pocket .. safer, the stub not so likely to be popped out unnoticed when the hand is withdrawn from a trouser pocket. What else might a man put in his fob if he had no wallet, apart from small change, his paper money, folded up to fit?

      April 30, 2022
  3. Clive #

    Possibly a piece of paper with a certain address written on it>

    April 30, 2022
  4. The Sly Dog #

    I have done that test me-self, although the fob pocket in my skinny leg chino pants may not be a good analog for the crusader cloth slacks SM was wearing. My concern with the test is that I knew what was in the pocket, it’s size, the shape I rolled it, etc… because I put it there!! Plus I knew all about the mystical slip torn from an even more mystical book of poems. The true test would be to get some independent third party, who doesn’t know the details of the SM case, to search the pants while they are being worn by someone pretending to be dead. Even better: get a friendly modern day police person (off duty and in a social setting) with no a priori knowledge of your interest in this particular case and see if they find it!

    May 3, 2022
    • Man walks into a police station, waits for desk uniform to walk over. ‘Can I help you sir?’ He asks. ‘As a matter of fact you can,’ the man replies, ‘I want you to search the fob pocket in the trousers I’m wearing.’
      The uniform’s eyes go dead, his hand strays to the Glock 9 shot holstered on his belt.
      ‘Why would I do that?’
      ‘To see if you can find something.’
      ‘Like what?’
      ….. pause
      ‘I’m not supposed to tell you.’

      Sorry Slydog, I had to do it, but your suggestion is a good one.

      May 3, 2022
  5. The Sly Dog #

    I knew someone wouldn’t be able to resist… an off duty officer in a social setting, like a friend or someone you happen to know who’s also a cop. And I wouldn’t direct them to the fob pocket, that’s leading. Just a general search, with several key items in other pockets like chewing gum, a comb, that grey fluff…

    May 3, 2022

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