Where to now with Jessica Harkness’ involvement?
You can’t say that things haven’t been developing quickly with the Somerton Body Case.
First we had the Abbott / Fitzpatrick Revelation where it was found there was Thomson DNA present in Rachel Egan’s DNA makeup, effectively kiboshing DA’s hopeful claims of linking his children to the Somerton Man and the probability of even more publicity than he has already achieved over the last ten or so years.
Then we had the astounding news that the Somerton Man had an identity. Enter Charles Carl Webb. Allied to this was the opportunity to read his wife Dorothy’s account of an unsuccessful suicide attempt Webb had made some years prior to arriving in Adelaide. Dorothy also recorded his liking for poetry and a morbid fixation with death, all of which could provide an explanation for him being linked to the Rubaiyat ‘The Suicide’s Handbook‘ and Cleland finding the torn and tightly rolled Tamam Shud Slip in his fob pocket.
The End indeed.
I think it was Jo who posted a brief comment on Cipher last month about a phone number appearing in a classified Melbourne ad she found on Trove, asking what was to be made of it. I’ve spent twenty minutes looking for the post amongst the 300 plus comments but gave up. The phone number Jo mentioned was X3239.
Jo noted that the number was for a Melbourne based physical culture instructress named Wilson.
It seems that every state had their own phone numbering system as X3239 was also the listed number of Sister Thomson (aka Jessica Harkness) of 90a Moseley Street.
As a result of Jo’s finding, Jessica’s connection to the Somerton Body Case might now be questioned..
It’s surprising Paul Lawson didn’t make a connection between Webb’s remarkable physique and the existence of the many successful physical culture schools in Australia, even Adelaide had its share of them from as far back as 1921 (see pic).
This is where we ascend into the universe of speculation once again because if the phone number we have always associated with Harkness / Thomson was in fact evidence of Webb’s contact with fellow Melbournian Ms Wilson then all we have left to link Harkness to the Somerton Body case is her reaction to seeing his bust, remembering at the time she was in the company of three senior policemen as well as Paul Lawson and was no doubt being subjected to a barrage of questions.
Little wonder when Alf Boxall learnt of what must have been quite an ordeal he commented that Jessica must have had ‘great courage, tremendous courage.’