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I guess it’s all over and done with now, right?

ABC’s Australia Story has just settled the mystery, everything is bedded down: Webb was the Somerton Man. We have his family, the photos, the whole story. A tragic man lost and alone, a dead stranger found on the Adelaide shore.

Everything in place. A lonely suicide far from his family and friends,

Derek Abbott finally triumphant, his wife less so, the South Australian Police in the wings and awaiting the result of their own DNA investigation, slivers of doubt weakening the strength of some of us who think the mystery has yet to be fully resolved.

Because there are questions …

Like where he died and who carried him from there to the beach, who planted a box of matches on his body to support the finding of a part-smoked cigarette wedged under his chin, what poisoned him, whether there was a relationship between Webb, the man seen lying by the steps the previous evening and the fellow Olive Neill saw looking down on him for an inordinate length of time .. add to that the fact that the police investigation appeared to be inexplicably delayed until the inquest was adjourned and most importantly, when and how did Jessica meet Charles Webb and under what circumstances.

It ain’t over until it’s over.



16 Comments Post a comment
  1. em #

    to be honest. it is neat and tidy . a suicide verdict always is. although it wasn’t and to me there are far more implications to be digging in the now own family history. As in would you if you were Derek Abbot go digging only to discover that your grandparents in law was a crooks and possibly involved in an illegal cover up of a death. better stick to suicide

    November 22, 2022
  2. Guzz Rating #

    PB…”Like where he died and who carried him from there to the beach…”

    This (along with about a thousand other things with this case) really makes no sense to me. Who, in their right mind, would transport a dead body, on their shoulders (ffs!) and neatly place it where they did?
    I get it that it wasn’t so busy back in the day, people weren’t kicking about all day and all night, but there was still a huge risk that you’d be caught…and try explaining that to the judge!
    In any case, if you’re going to carry some dead dude to the sea, then throw him in it! Good chance he’d be swept away a lot further from your house than just by leaving him by the steps.
    Also, we know Prosper had a car/ute/truck. If Webb had died, for whatever reason, at the Thomson’s house and they were worried about the implications of the questions that would raise, then why not carry Webb to the boot of your motor and drive him away, ditch the body or bury it…not leave it 400 metres from your house! Back in 1948, you’d only have to drive about 6 miles and you’d be hitting countryside. (When I was a kid, Modbury and Golden Grove was just vineyards and paddocks). Webb’s body need never be found!

    November 22, 2022
  3. The Sly Dog #

    Right on the money there em… The good Professor has plenty of opportunity to bring PMcTT into the narrative as a second adult living at 90A and fielding calls to the phone connected there. He plain refuses to acknowledge him. Deflection #1.
    And he has also gone quiet on what other genealogical results he and his researcher have uncovered for his missus and her family lineage in an effort to ID her real grandfather. I thought you submitted your DNA with one of those home test kits and, voila, you had cousins, second cousins, third cousins, once, twice, three times removed coming out of the woodwork! The Prof has a world leader on this on his side… surely they would have founded something that resembles her family tree? Deflection #2 (hmmmm… perhaps Robin ISN’T her biological father.)
    Also, Pete; please, pretty please make sure you secure the painted portraits of Granny Jessie and Mr Somerton when they go up for auction for charity!! You could gift them to GC with micro code added for effect or hang them proudly in your smoking room. During the Australian Story I thought it was strategic editing to make sure we didn’t see those pictures again! But the closing credits were just the best, almost like an out take of footage the Prof asked the ABC not to include…

    November 22, 2022
  4. em #

    @guzz rating , driving him miles away and burying him would definitely flag it as a murder even if found years and years later. staging it like the way he was found would have been seen as a suicide and who else knew about the Rubaiyat …?

    November 22, 2022
  5. Webb was said to be a gambler. A couple of ‘prominent’ gamblers from Melbourne who desired to remain anonymous believed they knew Webb from a Melbourne baccarat school where they played and he worked as a nit picker. They said after 10 weeks he disappeared. Dome wrote about this in several posts and with his research to back it up, it’s worth reading. Just search on ‘nit picker’
    Perhaps after getting on the wrong side of a couple of Melbourne hard men he bolted to Adelaide.
    Then all we have to do is fit the stooge in striped duds seen the evening before, the gent in a hat and suit looking down at him, the bloke seeing carrying a body later that same night, the coppers not really doing their job with any enthusiasm, the ROK that was never photographed, and lost. Add a few known crims to that mix with a propensity to influence everyone from politicians to policemen and whaddya know?

    November 22, 2022
  6. thedude747 #

    Remember PT’s chilling warning to Daphne Page who threatens to go to the police about his Melbourne business partner ” he’s not the kind of person you go to the police about”

    November 22, 2022
  7. dude47 #

    Yeah nicely tied up in a neat package down at the ABC. Nothing to see here. Thats everything explained

    Apart from the fact he’s dead 2 minute from 90a Mosley st whist having said address phone number.

    And the bizarre disposal of the ROK
    And the code
    oh and the tool kit
    And the fact that Jess goes catatonic of seeing the bust but denies knowing him

    And the fact his many missing relatives never notice that Charlie disappears

    Oh and obviously no-one knew he was in Adelaide

    And the missing 2 years
    And the missing ID

    Yeah right just a garden variety suicide.

    November 22, 2022
    • Pretty bold setup if they used a stooge in the afternoon then ferried the body down later that night after he was relaxed enough to scoff a pasty which was probably laced with something nasty … and perhaps the shock that hit Jessica was intended to be relayed to PT, who may have been invading somebody else’s turf and bringing in a Melbourne partner, being Webb.

      November 22, 2022
  8. dude47 #

    And another thing, Im getting more curious about Roy Webb. He looks a pretty robust lad in his photos and well dressed with a confident smile. Looks like he shared Carl’s well documented excellent physique based on the family photos he looks pretty dapper too and there seems to be a feeling that he and Carl were close.

    As we know Roy had the balls to sign up to fight the good fight and deserves the utmost respect for that.

    Im just curious that this well built , well dressed confident looking lad in his prime lists his occupation as “driver” when he enlists. I’m struggling to believe he didn’t have more going on??

    I reckon the burrowers over at Domes who have become obsessed with Doff and her second husband could learn more about Carl if they devoted similar effort to see what Roy was up to in the day. when he and Carl were in their 20s.

    November 22, 2022
    • Talullah #

      Dude – Roy’s wife’s father, Joe Gavey, was a gangster, as was one of the witnesses at their wedding, Ed Alsop. There are lots of references in Trove to their activities.

      November 23, 2022
    • Tallulah #

      A favourite Joe Gavey article:

      Melbourne is in the midst of the 1916 conscription referendum debate. Mannix, the Catholic archbishop of Melbourne opposed both the war and the upcoming referendum on conscription, influenced by home rule politics brewing in Ireland. Many of Melbourne’s Irish Catholic community also opposed conscription, although many of course had enlisted.

      Gavey is in a Chinese restaurant on a Saturday evening in Bourke Street. A digger provokes him by dropping a “yes” (to conscription) badge on the floor. Gavey tells his female companion to “put her heel on it”. Some hot soup is hurled, a gun is produced, somehow the female companion takes the rap. Just your average night out in Melbourne in 1917.

      November 23, 2022
  9. I feel for Dome, the Zodiac code’s been cracked by an Australian would you believe, the Voynich Manuscript is in the too hard file, Charles Webb is the Somerton Man and my old mate John Sanders is steering Dome’s ship here there and everywhere … which is exactly how that old rascal likes it. I’m onto you Dusty.

    November 22, 2022
  10. The Sly Dog #

    Brother Roy at the Webb family picnic certainly resembles the sauve looking reconstruction of SM put together by Voshart.

    November 22, 2022
  11. dude47 #

    #Talullah WOW!! is that right. Roys father in law was a gangster and a witness at his wedding. Sounds like Roy was in with the wise guys. Also your right Sly he is a dead ringer.

    November 23, 2022
  12. Clive #

    Guzz Rating: The more you think about the disposal of the body, what more illogical was it to leave his body within walking distance of Jessie/Prosper’s house? Surely, a quick drive, by Prosper, into the Adelaide Hills etc and bingo, a nice hole in the ground that nobody would ever dig into. Or, did Prosper have a sudden panic attack and reckoned it was worth the risk being spotted, just to dump the body asap and not care how near to his house it was? Or, was someone else involved and the body was dumped near enough to 90a Moseley St to give the occupants a clear warning sign?

    November 23, 2022
    • Guzz Rating #

      Clive… Yes, I can’t see any scenario where the Thomson’s would,
      1…Want the body so near to their home.
      2…Would risk being spotted carrying a corpse to the beach when they have a motor vehicle and thousands of square miles close by to bury it.

      It would seem that SM was meant to be seen to be dead.
      A direct message to a particular person… but made to look like a suicide to the wider world.

      November 23, 2022

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