New Mission: Carl Charles Webb.
There’s a scene in Sicario: Day of The Solodado where Josh Brolin realises a young girl he’s transporting has gone missing and he calls out his team of mercenaries to say that they have a new mission.
Same here with Carl Charles Webb, once known as The Somerton Man.
Webb was thought to have arrived in Adelaide in November 1948 carrying various tools in his suitcase that were perfectly suited for gaining entry to motor vehicles and starting them without using a key (see previous post).
He was later found to have had two tickets in his pocket that indicated that he had two destinations in mind after arriving, settling for Glenelg rather than Henley Beach.
At the time Prosper Thomson was using a Moseley Street Glenelg phone number in his business of buying and selling used cars and his girlfriend Jessica Harkness was living there with her young son, Robin, his father unknown. She had arrived in Adelaide from Melbourne pregnant the year Webb deserted his wife. They had also lived in Melbourne.
Webb deserted his wife Dorothy Jean (nee Robertson) in 1947 after a childless marriage lasting almost six years. She then moved to Bute in South Australia, a town 144 kilometres distant from Adelaide.
It is not known if Webb visited Bute before lodging his one suitcase at Adelaide Station on November 30th and buying the tickets to Henley Beach and Glenelg as no train tickets were found on his body, similarly, no lodging stub for his suitcase was found either.
Webb was found dead on Somerton Beach a short distance from the Moseley Street address the following morning and the only signs of violence found on the body was an abrasion between the knuckles of his right hand. Any identification he might have carried was removed.
Three medical witnesses called to the inquest were of the opinion that his death was not natural. The coroner could not say where he died. The two Persian words printed on a slip of paper found in his pocket took six months for the police to translate. The book it was torn from was handed in after the inquest was adjourned and it was found to have Prosper Thomson’s Moseley Street phone number written on the back cover together with series of lines of capital letters which have yet to be deciphered.
The labels on some of his clothes were noted by the coroner as being ‘carefully removed’, which may indicate they were bought second-hand from a clothes dealer who removed them prior to sale.
In the month before Webb deserted his wife, Prosper Thomson was advertising for a partner for an Adelaide used car business as well as placing several wanted ads for weapons (rifles).
In the month after Webb deserted his wife Thomson was advertising for a building suitable as a workshop.
The police were of the strong opinion that Webb was known to Prosper’s girlfriend, Jessica Harkness. Prosper Thomson was never interviewed by the police and as a result it is not known if he too knew Carl Webb.
As of yet no photographs of Carl Charles Webb have been unearthed other than the one taken of his body and none of his sizeable family is on record as having recognised him from his image reproduced in the many newspaper reports printed over the past seventy years.
Newspapers published in every city and major town in the country.
It is also noted that despite Webb being of a suitable age and having a very strong physique, there is no record of him as having any war service, unlike his brother Roy who died in a POW camp in ‘43.