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Carl Webb .. The Man Who Disappeared.

Carl Webb …

In 1946 Webb was described by his wife as a man who would be in bed at 7pm night after night, a man who rarely wished to go anywhere, someone with no particular friends of his own, a bad-tempered suicidal and violent wife-beater.

According to Jo at Cipher Mysteries, and she knows her chops, the last archival sighting of Webb was 26 November 1946 when he signed as the informant of his mother’s death by stroke at the Keane’s house in East Brunswick.

At this stage Webb was still living at 63 Bromby Street.

During the next two weeks there were a number of small ads in the newspapers, advertising the entire contents of what I (Jo) assume was his apartment (number 1, Bromby Street, even though number 2 was listed for the sale of the roadster in 1942). This is consistent with the landlord’s report to the young law clerk that Webb sold the contents of his flat and left.

Left for where?

In 1948 Webb was found dead on Somerton Beach. He was dressed as a successful businessman down to his highly polished shoes and trimmed fingernails. He had the body of an athlete/ weightlifter despite appearing to be a heavy smoker. Physiques such as the one Webb had take years of effort to acquire and require a constant discipline of diet and exercise to maintain. Webb’s whole body was sculptured according to taxidermist Paul Lawson, himself a amateur wrestler: his shoulders, arms, chest, abs, thighs and calves. He had a pre-season suntan on his lower torso and sand and barley grass seeds were found in the cuffs of the trousers he had packed in his suitcase.

Barley grass | Agriculture and Food

Webb was found to have no watch, no false teeth to replace the eighteen missing, no hat, no overcoat, his suitcase was found lodged and unlocked, no identity was found on his body, no wallet, no left luggage stub, no small change, no blood on or around him, no signs of trauma and a part-smoked cigarette under his chin.

Where was Webb for the last two years of his life?



16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    ‘Pre-season suntan’ and a U.S. made jacket in the suitcase, and his attire was somewhat unusual for the time of year? So, had Carl Webb been overseas for a couple of years? Still doesn’t answer the question why/what was he doing in Adelaide?

    November 1, 2022
  2. I’ve just read an interesting comment on Dome’s site, which is down at the moment, about a Melbourne gym where a man could involve himself in serious weight lifting and amateur wrestling in the 40’s … first I’ve heard of it. Could be a goer.

    November 2, 2022
  3. misca #

    Have you now?

    November 2, 2022
  4. misca #

    Did you also see the picture with the fellow’s high calves?

    BTW – Something is wrong with your site too. I can type but can’t see my typing until I post it. It’s like talking into outer space.

    November 2, 2022
  5. misca #

    How would Lawson have described this guy?

    Wasn’t Lawson a wrestler?

    November 2, 2022
    • Lawson would have described that bloke as a very solid unit .. built like a brick shithouse, and yes, PL was an amateur grappler.

      November 2, 2022
      • misca #

        Is it possible that in his (Lawson’s) time, you naturally had strong calves or you didn’t. And this bloke (SM) came along and had very defined calves built by various weight lifting exercises? And Lawson, being a wrestler that hadn’t been exposed to weight lifting was a bit baffled by it all?

        November 2, 2022
        • Next post deals with all this … hold your wild horses there ..

          November 2, 2022
  6. misca #

    (I think it’s a problem with my browser. Switched computer and it’s all good Pete.)

    November 2, 2022
  7. Beam me up Scotty, we have a software problem down here.

    November 2, 2022
  8. misca #

    They had a school/gym in Adelaide too. With a partner Reginald Gordon Shorthose.

    November 2, 2022
  9. misca #

    He’s in the Who’s Who in Australia. Born in Sydney 1880. Fellow of the Incorporated Institute of Physical Culture Teachers, Victoria.

    There seems to have been quite a movement for weight lifting (sorry, physical culture) but it was relatively new and trying to find it’s place…There were programs set up at schools and they were very inclusive of women. They encouraged participation to not only strengthen the body but also the mind and self-confidence. They were doing everything they could to bring attention to their teaching at times to their detriment.

    It’s interesting and a side of things that we generally haven’t looked at. We were always looking at circuses and ballet. This aspect kind of slips in as a more moderate possibility that perhaps, touched on both of those worlds.

    November 2, 2022
  10. Jo #

    I missed a further reference – according to the lawyer’s divorce affidavit, the summons for Dorothy’s maintenance was served to Charlie at work, at the Red Point Tool Company, in April 1947. Interestingly, it wasn’t served to his home address – maybe he had already left…. The order for maintenance was made at a Petty Sessions hearing on 1 May 1947 but by June Charlie was no longer complying…

    November 2, 2022
  11. a lurker #

    I think at least one of the furniture sale ads wasn’t Carl – I forget how I come to that conclusion….
    Perhaps some of them are sold from flat 1 because he moved out before he’d sold them all – so he asked the neighbour if he could give him a hand. it would also account for the neighbour knowing he sold off his furniture before he left

    November 3, 2022
  12. MaudP #

    Looking at the Bromby St address from the front, is flat 1 on the left or right?

    November 21, 2022

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