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All Carl Webb’s Earthly Goods ..


A record of what was found in the suitcase classified by presumed use and showing what had the labels and tags removed as well as the articles marked with the name Kean(e)



For the Bedroom

1 dressing gown and cord.*

1 pair of slippers* – size 8

1 pair of pyjamas.*

For the Bathroom

1 razor strop*.

1 razor.*

1 shaving brush.

1 toothbrush and paste.

1 soap dish.

1 bath towel.

Underwear etc

4 singlets – one with name removed, one bearing the name Kean.

4 underpants – two jockey type, two ordinary type.

6 handkerchiefs.


2 ties – one bearing T Keane.

1 pair Marco Brand Crusader Cloth trousers with dry cleaning or laundry marks.

1 sportscoat.*

1 yellow Pelaco coat shirt.

1 business shirt with name tag gone.*

1 scarf.*

1 front and 1 back stud.

1 brown button.


1 tin of tan boot polish (Kiwi Brand)

Miscellaneous items.

1 laundry bag – name Keane written on it.

1 piece of light cord.

2 coat hangers.

1 glass dish.

1 teaspoon.

1 hairpin.

3 safety pins.

1 card of tan thread.

For writing and correspondence.

8 large envelopes.

1 small envelope.

6 (drafting) pencils (could be reclassified as working items).

2 airmail stickers.

1 rubber.

Working items.

1 pair scissors in scabbard and bound with sticking plaster.

1 knife in in scabbard and bound with sticking plaster.

1 stencil brush containing an unidentified black powder within bristles.

1 small screwdriver.

1 pair broken scissors.

Personal items.

1 cigarette lighter.

6d in cash found in trousers pocket.

Items presumed missing.

Spare socks.

Polishing cloth for shoes.

Application brush for shoe polish.


Cigarette lighter flints.

Writing paper.

Working clothes (if employed as an instrument maker.)

*Items not originally indentified by the maker’s brand.


A record of what was found on the body.


Webb was wearing brown faun trousers being Stamina brand – Crusader cloth. (disputed by witness Gordon Strapps who swore on deposition Webb was wearing brown ‘striped’ trousers.)

.. a white shirt with collar.

.. a red, white and blue tie.

.. a brown knitted pullover. (disputed by Derek Abbott who is on record as saying Webb was wearing a cardigan)

.. a grey-brown matching double breasted coat.

.. clean brown lace-up shoes.

.. heavy knitted socks.

.. a handkerchief.

.. a pair of underpants (Jockey type).

.. a singlet.

.. a train ticket.

.. a bus ticket.

.. a part pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

.. two combs,

.. a quarter-full box of Bryant& May matches (disputed by Constable Moss who said he was surprised to find there were no matches on the body despite evidence that Webb was a heavy smoker).

.. an Army Club Cigarette packet containing 7 ‘Kensitas’ Cigarettes.

.. a part smoked cigarette found wedged under his chin which was not retained. (disputed by witness Mr Lyons who insisted the cigarette had not been lit.)

.. a small piece of paper printed with the two words Tamam Shud and torn from a copy of The Rubaiyat. (disputed by Gordon Cramer who is on record as saying the slip was found in a ‘secret pocket’.)

The slip was not hidden in a secret pocket but in a normal fob pocket as found in most mens’ trousers in 1948. Professor Cleland did not infer he could not locate the paper on the second occasion because it was in a secret pocket, as was widely reported, he was stating that he could not find the paper on the second occasion because it was so small. (Feltus).

Items presumed missing.

.. a hat.

.. money.

.. wallet.

.. ration card.

.. identification.

.. deposit section of Cloak Room ticket.

.. a wristwatch.

Note: the ad below was placed by Prosper Thomson on December 18th, 1948 – less than three weeks after Webb’s body was found.

Note : As well as attaching a numbered toe-tag to the body, a further precaution against false identification* was the requirement that the registered number be written on the upper arm with an indelible pencil. Inexperienced police were sometimes known to lick the end of the pencil as it required moisture to be written properly and were consequently made the butt of station humour when they returned with a purple tongue. *Gordon Cramer please note.

Note: Webb’s lower torso was suntanned to the crotch though it was not considered to be from recent exposure to the sun, his upper body not so. His fingers were heavily stained with nicotine. Otherwise his hands were clean and showing no signs of manual labour. His fingernails were trimmed and clean.

All information taken from The Unknown Man written by Gerry Feltus.


6 Comments Post a comment
  1. misca #

    Interesting to revisit all this in the new light. Thanks for revisiting and reposting Pete. It’s like a “refresh” on old info that might offer up some new clues given that the suitcase might have been Carl Webb’s.

    It’s the stuff that’s missing that seems most telling. Then as it is now.

    October 18, 2022
    • A bloke doesn’t pack a case like that if he’s got a home to go back to.

      October 18, 2022
  2. thedude747 #

    Why do you say that PB? To me it looks much like a bog standard 2 day work trip suitcase looks.

    October 19, 2022
    • Including what he was wearing and carrying in his pockets, Webb was packing 5 singlets, 5 pairs of underdacks and 7 handkerchiefs.

      October 19, 2022
  3. misca #

    My dad always had handkerchiefs with him when he travelled. My mother used to iron them for him. I had completely forgotten until you posted this.

    Do people even know what handkerchiefs are for now?

    October 19, 2022
  4. Here, on the one hand we have a bloke who pinches one nostril with his finger and ejects foreign matter from the other onto the footpath, whilst the gentleman uses a handkerchief to collect such effluvia before returning it to his pocket where it slowly distills the waste until it shows as a damp patch on whatever pocket he stuffed it into.

    October 19, 2022

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