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Two egregious failures in the police investigation.

It could have been made a lot easier …..

If DS Leane hadn’t waited nearly two months to alert the newspapers of the connection between the body found on a Glenelg beach, the slip of paper found in its pocket and Omar Khayyam’s  Rubaiyat then the Glenelg pharmacist Freeman might have seen the article earlier and arrived at the station with the book it was torn from well before the inquest,

.. then

Leane would have sent Detective Canney to interview Glenelg resident Harkness well before the inquest,

.. then

Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks may have made a connection between what he suspected was the poison that killed the man found on a Glenelg beach and its easy availability at Glenelg pharmacies well before the inquest. “Such a substance would be quite easily procurable by the ordinary individual. I do not think even special circumstances would be required.” Hicks.

.. then

Knowing this, Detective Sergeant Leane may have deduced that there was a possibility that the Glenelg pharmacist who found the book inside his car which he had parked near his Glenelg pharmacy may have been the one who sold Webb the poison Hicks thought killed him before he was found dead on a Glenelg beach.

.. then

Detective Sergeant Leane may have had both Harkness and Freeman subpoenaed to appear before the inquest,

.. then

I wouldn’t be doing this.


If Detective Brown had investigated the other phone number written on the back of the Rubaiyat – rather than dismiss it as irrelevant – we might know who else Webb knew in Adelaide.

.. then

All those burrowers over at Cipher Mysteries might find the going a little easier.


21 Comments Post a comment
  1. thedude747 #

    The biggest clangers for mine are not interviewing/digging deeper on Mr T at Mosley st who was actively using x3239 in small ads at that very time which would certainly be putting him into contact with all kind of random people. Not leaning harder on Jess but rather taking the bait on her red herrings. AND brushing off/not keeping a record of the other number.

    October 19, 2022
  2. The Sly Dog #

    According to the Professor (DA) PMcTT was likely out of town at the time of any questioning of the Ms’. Apparently he was regularly out of town around ‘48 & ‘49. DA said, must be true! What a stinker…

    October 19, 2022
  3. I’ve got a copy of a video of DA addressing a roomful of people where he says Webb was wearing a buttoned-up cardigan when found, then he said wearing such an article of clothing was proof that Webb was of a better class than most.

    October 19, 2022
  4. dude47 #

    DA claiming to know what PT’s movements were at that particular point in time is preposterous and even if hes correct, cos even a broken clock is correct twice a day, it is no excuse for the plods not to chase him up on his return. More like and PT involvement falls outside any of his theories.

    October 19, 2022
    • PT was into some big money with his car deals from time to time and we know there was little or no cooperation between the states when it came to stolen cars being moved about and rebirthed. Perhaps like Webb he knew a few of the local police force and was able to keep them both happy and distant from his business.

      October 19, 2022
  5. Clive #

    I wonder if Harrods in London sell button-up cardigans,? If so, I’ll have to order one to enable me to go upmarket. So, there were two telephone numbers on the code page, one was found to be in Jessie’s name and the other number belonged to? Wouldn’t it have been a can of worms if it belonged to a police inspector?

    October 19, 2022
  6. dude47 #

    Carl was definetly connected to the cops and had no issues when they turned up to Bromby st when the neighbours called about the racket.

    October 19, 2022
  7. a lurker #

    Should be easy enough to trace if PT was in town – wasn’t he in the habit of advertising his trips in the paper (he certainly appeared to be regularly off to Broken Hill and Melbourne (and I have a vague recollection either Pirie or Pt Lincoln?)?
    DA bothers me, mainly because to me the leaps and bounds he makes to turn speculation seems to me the opposite of how an academic normally thinks (especially in the sciences I would expect an academic to pedantically insist on the most concrete proof for even the most obvious conclusion rather than speculate, assume and guesstimate the facts). I know it’s not his area of expertise (and it shows) and perhaps I’m drawing a stereotype, but I’d expect most academics to be as rigorous in most aspects of their life as they are in their area of study.

    I agree with the original comment about why they focused on the lady of the house. The fact the number was tied to her in the phone book might explain it, but at the very least the coppers have dropped the ball not asking “does anyone else live here?” (perhaps given the number was listed to her they simply assumed not).

    October 20, 2022
  8. The Sly Dog #

    Lurker – she was masquerading as a married woman at the time, so the fact there was already a man in her life MUST have passed through the cops mind.

    October 20, 2022
  9. Lurker: 18 December .. CITY or suburbs. Tudor gold watch. Nearly new; good reward. Thomson 90A Moseley Sst. Glenelg. X3239

    October 20, 2022
  10. #

    Easy for an adult to make scarce when the food come calling, but harder to hide a toddler. By all accounts Jessica accompanied the SAPOL officers to view the bust without toddler Robin – maybe PMcTT came out if hiding from the back room to mind him while she went into the city??

    October 20, 2022
  11. Clive #

    2 other things the police fell down on were: (1) Checking her ‘Sister’ status and (2) failing to question her after viewing the bust.

    October 20, 2022
    • There were three detectives with her when she viewed the bust and none of them acted like they had any idea what to do next after finding out the body wasn’t Boxall’s.

      October 20, 2022
  12. dude47 #

    Not SAPOLs finest hour this whole case.

    On another note PB and I say this with respect to all contributors to the topic in general when I say WTF in regards to some of the rabbit holes they are running down over at Dome’s place !!!

    They are obsessed with Doff for reasons I am yet to understand. As far as I am concerned we have a name so the main game now is to work out 1. WTF was Carl doing in SA and 2 why did he end up dead on Somerton beach?

    Not sure what finding out where Doff got her hair done in the 50s is going to contribute to solving those matters BUT that’s just me.

    October 20, 2022
    • My start point is where we decide whether the investigation was inferior in every respect or fully compromised by actors yet to be identified.

      October 20, 2022
  13. dude47 #

    My money is on inferior.

    October 20, 2022
  14. Detective Leane came from impeccable South Australian stock, his father a war hero, yet Leane’s progress in the police force was not as successful as detective Brown who managed to get the detective inspector’s baton despite his own failures in the investigation ..

    October 20, 2022
  15. Clive #

    You get the feeling that the police inspectors were just waiting for Jessie to confirm, when she was in the office and the cover was removed off the bust, yes, it’s Boxall. Odd, that none of the police inspectors in that office, on that day, concurred with Paul Lawson, that Jessie’s reaction warranted further investigation. Would we have ever known about Jessie’s strong reaction without Paul Lawson’s observation?

    October 20, 2022
  16. dude47 #

    PB can you advise as to wether Jess went to see the bust before or after the plods found Alf alive and well in NSW.

    October 21, 2022
  17. Clive #

    I understand that Jessie was shown the bust on 26 July, Alf was questioned the following day.

    October 21, 2022

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