Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane –
First, the facts according to ex-Detective Gerry Feltus, author of The Unknown Man.
Feltus writes on p169 that the commonly accepted photograph of the Freeman Rubaiyat ‘could not be carried in the pocket of the clothing worn by The Somerton Man.’ In other words he would have had to carry it around in his hands. And if that’s not bad enough for the rusted on believers, Feltus goes on to say that the commonly accepted photograph of the torn page – that’s the one with a finger intruding in the shot – ‘was a copy produced in media depicting (the) actual copy of (the) rubaiyat.’
Images of both are below.
From this we can deduce that no photographs of the actual Rubaiyat and the torn page were taken and the newspapers were only informed of the finding then left to themselves to mock up their own images for newspaper publication, which seems to be an unlikely way to further the investigation, remembering the book was first bought to Leane’s attention on the 23rd of July, a month after the inquest was adjourned and his case no further forward.
A week later Leane sought the assistance of the Director of Naval Intelligence in Melbourne and sent them a photograph of the code and a copy of a similar Rubaiyat. The question being that if the accepted image of the Rubaiyat was of a publication too large to fit inside any of SM’s pockets, what was the sense of sending a similar one?
Not only that, it appears to be a no brainer that the Intelligence boffins would have appreciated having a look at the actual book just in case the code referred to something written somewhere inside the pages. That’s how clever spies work their trade.
There is no record of Detectives Brown, Gollan, Strangeways, Canney – in fact any member of the team seeing the Rubaiyat at any stage of the investigation. In fact Brown is on record as saying that DS Leane lost the book in his filing system when asked by the suave Stuart Littlemore if he knew of its whereabouts. Though we know Leane didn’t manage to lose the diminutive Tamam Shud slip.
So here’s our man Leane just one month after the inquest was adjourned while Coroner Cleland waited for further evidence to be made available and he had the Rubaiyat connected to the TS slip, a code written on the back cover, the telephone number of a woman living a couple of hundred yards away from where the body was found, the record of an interview with her and her dramatic reaction when she viewed the dead man’s cast.
But he never made the call to Coroner Cleland, who shut the whole thing down nine years later for lack of any further evidence.
Not only that, in the Cleland’s’ summary of findings after the initial inquest he submitted that he didn’t know where the Somerton Man had died. Nine years later Cleland had changed his mind and said he’d died on Somerton Beach.
But that’s for another day.