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Charles Carl Webb – Man Of Many Faces

He has written many poems, most of them on the subject of death, which he claims to be his greatest desire.

He was very robust, very strong.

He was of a moody disposition.

He had a beautiful shape.

The Rubaiyat was found in a utility truck.

He would completely ignore people.

His body a real wedge shape.

He was quite often rude.

He was a man of considerable strength.

He refused to speak to me for hours on end.

He showed no signs of hard work.

The nails of his fingers and toes were clean and carefully attended to.

Small things led to quarrels.

He was evidently particular about his appearance.

His hands didn’t show any signs or callouses you would expect from handling tools.

I found him lying in a wet bed, gazing into space.

He was an electrical engineer / instrument maker.

If he lost at the races he would be sullen and rude to me or anyone else.

The garments in his suitcase were quite clean.

One night in the year of 1945 while playing with guests he threw his hand on the table and went to bed without saying a word.

The trousers in his suitcase were well-pressed.

One night in the year 1945 when he was losing he got his long bladed carving knife and threatened a guest who had won money from him.

His shoes looked they had just been polished.

He had no particular friends of his own.

His shoes looked like they had not been worn all day walking about.

He rarely wished to go out anywhere, but usually went to bed about 7 p,m,, often night after night.

He had broad shoulders.

From that time on he abused me constantly and seemed determined to drive me out of the flat.

He had narrow hips.

He would fly into a rage and abuse me, calling me a dirty rotten bitch.

He had well-formed legs.

He would call me a liar and scream at me “Shut your bloody mouth” or “Shut up and get out.”

He had the calves of a ballet dancer.

He finally came to the door and struck me.

The one thing that bugs me is that he had no spare socks.

He came into my room and struck me again, he knocked me across my bed and I struck my head on the wall.

There wasn’t a match on his body.

He flew into a rage and abused me, calling me a bloody bastard and a dirty bitch.

He was wearing a cardigan under his coat.

He tried to strike me with a kitchen fork.

He would have been of a better class than most.

Just as I cleared the doorstep he kicked me so hard that my spine was bruised for some time.

He was wearing a brown pullover under his coat.

Again in about July 1946 I called in Constable Carter of St. Kilda Road police, after being chased out of the flat and struck as I reached the front porch.

His feet were rather striking features.

Next night he tried to throw me out of the flat by force.

His feet suggested he had been in the habit of wearing high-heeled riding boots.

From then on he became more violent.

He appeared to be more of a clerk or officer class.

He could hardly speak and was rambling. I got him out of bed and found he was unable to walk.

He could hardly have been robbed as a dead man before 6:30am.

He was an instrument maker.

He was hardly likely to have spent exactly all the money he had.

One night he entered my room when I was in bed and stood over me threateningly.

Sixpence fell out of a pocket in the suitcase contents.

After a struggle I got him to tell me what else he had taken, namely 40 Phenobarbitel tablets.

His hands were not those expected in a hard manual worker or seaman.

In an easily overlooked small money pocket on the right side of the front of the trousers was a small piece of paper torn from its context  with imprint in large letters ‘Tamam Shud’ in Turkish.

In about the month of June 1946 the Respondent again abused me and threatened to take my life.

His hair was rather long for a man.

I wanted to call a doctor, but he said if I did and he got better he would kill me.


Just get out while you’ve got your life to do so.


That’s what it turned out to be, all quite pedestrian.


Above quotes taken from Dorothy Webb’s divorce petition, Gerry Feltus’ The Unknown Man, PC Moss’ newspaper interview, Derek Abbott’s public utterances, Paul Lawson’s description of the body and inquest and pathology papers.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jo #

    Occupational lead poisoning has been suggested by a few people, this makes sense to me! Damage to the prefrontal cortex…mood changes, irritability, even psychosis, but often no obvious physical symptoms. I wonder whether SAPOL have tested remaining bones and teeth for lead deposits?

    I can understand why Dorothy wanted to ensure Charlie couldn’t find her, and yet, there had been a time when she had seen enough in him to want to marry him… If we read from her script and why wouldn’t we, what a sad, difficult and often dangerous relationship!

    November 6, 2022
  2. Jo, the problem with such a lucid explanation is that it sits in the company of the theory that Webb was once thought to have been a ballet dancer because, believe me, we had all the facts covered. Then there is dude47 with his firm belief Webb was in the stolen car business because once again, everything fitted. Cramer busied himself for years chasing micro-writing only to realise it too was a wasted effort and Nick Pelling, bless him, came up with a scenario Timothy Leary would have been proud of. The fact remains that as pedestrian as Webb’s life may have seemed to some, the manner of his death remains a complete and utter mystery to others.
    For which I am extremely thankful…

    November 6, 2022
  3. misca #

    Just the minimal amount for it to remain undetected. Possibly without forethought/knowledge that this would be the case?

    “Cause of death – Remains obscure. All the circumstances point to suicide. D Dwyer’s letter of May 31 with quotations from Brandford? on ‘Poisons’ shows that in some cases barbiturates or alkalides may not be detected in the way that it is known that they have been taken. The failure to detect would be most likely to occur in cases where approximately the minimum lethal dose was taken.”

    In many suicide attempts, this results in people being resuscitated and saved.

    November 6, 2022
  4. misca #

    Remind me please. Who the hell ordered the bust?

    November 6, 2022
  5. misca .. read on.

    ‘There was no information forthcoming suggesting any possibility that the Unknown Man would be identified in the near future. The police had to consider alternatives to photographs as a means of identification once the body was buried. It was decided to approach the South Australian Museum to discuss the feasibility of producing a cast of the upper body.’
    Feltus p83

    November 7, 2022
  6. Jo #

    Hi Misca – do you have access to the electoral rolls? Are you able to see what Mr Wilson’s line of work was? F Wilson, Flat 3 Gladstone Court, 19 Seacombe Grove, Brighton (1931 possibly later too) . Thank you! Jo

    November 8, 2022
  7. misca #

    I have access to electoral rolls but that’s not quite how they can be searched on ancestry. At most, I can put in F Wilson and Brighton with an estimated (guessed) birthdate. Ancestry doesn’t allow searches specifically by street address. Well, it “allows” them but doesn’t find them as it’s not set up yet to sort by them.

    So…the search remains very broad (F. Wilson, Brighton) and results in many results that don’t necessarily relate. And…there are a lot of Wilson’s.

    A first name would be very helpful. A rough estimate of age could help. Another family member’s name…Then, the search could be narrowed.

    I have looked but so far, have not found anything tangible.

    November 8, 2022
  8. Jo #

    Thanks Misca!

    November 8, 2022
  9. thedude747 #

    Yes Carl was a man of many faces and also by now anyone with a keen eye on reading about his various quirks interests and behaviours will have worked out that he was on the autism spectrum.

    November 9, 2022
  10. Clive #

    Interesting that a Mrs D.J. Robertson is listed as living at 45 Keane St/Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe, WA. per

    November 11, 2022
  11. Clive #

    Interesting that a C.Webb flew from Geraldton to Perth 3 Nov 1947. See “Geraldton Guardian & Express” 4 Nov 1947. https:// Perth

    November 13, 2022

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