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Gordon Cramer and The Redlegged George Webb.

Gordon Cramer is determined when it comes to pursuing and hunting down a lead in the Somerton Body Case, and unlike the majority of commentators, he believes that Charles Carl Webb – as physically identified by Professor Derek Abbott (without the assistance of Colleen Fitzpatrick) – is not the Somerton Man. Cramer bases his rebuttal on an examination and comparison of Carl Webb’s ears as a boy and those on the Somerton Body, the left ear in particular. Some may scoff at this approach despite it being the same method used by Derek Abbott over the many years he was attempting to convince readers the Somerton man was his wife’s grandfather, and not just convince them, Abbott put out the begging bowl in order to raise the $20,000 necessary to finance the exhumation of the Somerton Man’s body. A questionable method given the private nature of his interest.

Then we have the argument about height – The Somerton Man was 5’11” yet Carl Webb appears to have been the same height as his brother Roy who measured in at a little under  5’9″. This significant difference has been roundly dismissed by most readers for a multitude of reasons, none of which carry any strength yet are effective in that the discussion is squelched from the outset in favour of peripheral matters of little consequence. You cannot argue with someone who doesn’t want their mind changed.

Now we have a further development in that another Webb appeared to have shared the Adelaide morgue’s facilities at the same time Paul Lawson was working on the Somerton Man’s bust. “George Webb collapsed and died when about to enter Adelaide Oval to see Norwood play West Adelaide on Monday, 13 June, 1949.  He was 83 years of age when he died and lived at Salop St, Beulah Park.”

Finding this remarkable coincidence is down to Gordon Cramer and taken with some gaps (11th to 14th of June) and mysterious entries in Paul Lawson’s working notes for the same month, provides yet another doorway into this never-ending house of mystery as the possibility of cross contamination between the two bodies may become a factor.

Click to access lawson_diaries.pdf

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. gordon1552 #

    There are a couple of issues regarding this find, one is of course the possibility that there was cross-contamination between George Webb and the bust being made by Paul Lawson and the second is the question of why the records of deaths for Adelaide during that particular time, were apparently never researched.

    Surely that is something that should have been done as a matter of course. In that regard, the work done by Professor Abbott and Colleen Fitzpatrick leaves me and I am sure others, disappointed.

    January 3, 2023
  2. This question was asked here :

    Is there a possibility that the hair found in the plaster cast could have come from one of those making the cast?

    DA’s answer: The plaster bust was moulded directly off the dead body. So the hairs are actually standing on end in a manner that is obviously from the body. Confirmatory evidence is that the hair’s DNA led to Charles Webb and not Paul Lawson who made the bust.

    Standing on end? Even through the hardening plaster and after Lawson’s smoothing and sculpting?

    January 3, 2023
  3. gordon1552 #

    Professor Abbott’s words are incorrect.

    Paul Lawson explained the process to me in an interview, in fact, he did so twice on separate occasions.

    1. The mold was made from the body as seen in the pre-bust images. the face of the body and thus the cast that was made of it had deteriorated badly.

    2. Thus a decision was made to model the face onto the cast taken from the mold. In other words, the plaster bust had been removed from the mold and the remodeled face and hair were applied on top of that original but poorly formed plaster bust.

    3. The hairs that were seen to be protruding from the now-remodeled bust can only have got there during the remodeling process.

    4. There were at least 4 possible sources of the hair samples that were taken, Paul Lawson one of the two detectives (May have been three?) who were assisting him, and now we add Mr. George Webb. We are told that Paul Lawson’s DNA did not match, Paul did not mention that he gave a sample of his DNA to professor Abbott.

    5. For the sake of the argument let’s discount Paul from the list of potentials leaving three, one of whom was Detective Brown, the two others are one unnamed detective and of course Mr. George Webb.

    I note that Professor Abbott did not mention any other potential sources when in fact there were at least 3 more.

    January 3, 2023
    • When you see the trouble taken theses days to protect crime scenes from errant particles such as hair and imagine what the Adelaide morgue conditions were in ‘49 when every time a door was opened there would have been an airborne flurry of particles…

      January 3, 2023
  4. Jo #

    The King’s Birthday public holiday was observed in South Australia on Monday 13 June 1949, 11 and 12 June were a Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps Mr Lawson took an additional day off on the Tuesday – eg time in lieu?

    January 3, 2023
    • If you browse his diary Jo you will see Lawson included the weekend’s pages earlier in the month.

      January 3, 2023
      • Jo #

        Pete – but not some of the later ones… eg 19 and 20 June, with 20 June being a Monday…

        January 3, 2023
        • Fair enough .. What’s your opinion on the possibility of cross contamination?

          January 3, 2023
          • Jo #

            PB – I’m a social vs a hard scientist so no expert here, but I do wonder why we have heard nothing yet from SAPOL! We also don’t have a genealogical link to George Webb. Personally I’d like Somerton Man to be Charlie and for him to be returned to his family – I guess that’s narrative yearning.

            January 3, 2023
  5. Jerry Klindt #

    Maybe hairs from other people got into the cast. Let’s assume for the moment that hair from at least 20 people, including George Webb, were in the cast. None of that changes the DNA evidence. If you believe Colleen Fitzpatrick’s comments on a podcast, the specific hairs that were sent to the DNA lab yielded a DNA sample from a man who was related (by blood, not marriage) to Eliza Amelia Webb, and was also related (by blood, not marriage) to Richard August Webb. That’s just DNA science. That narrows the field of possible candidates to Carl Webb and his brothers. I suppose you can construct unlikely scenarios to take in a few more hypothetical candidates (say, if Richard was banging his wife’s sister), but realistically, the DNA was from a son of Eliza and Richard Webb.

    January 4, 2023
  6. The Sly Dog #

    And how many hairs did the good Professor pluck from the plaster cast for DNA sequencing? If it was proper science they would have gathered a range of hairs from all over the bust (were available) and sequenced independently. Many would not provide an adequate sample.
    Maybe they had to mix up a multiple hair soup… hmmm
    Best wait OFFICIAL results from Forensic SA and SAPOL

    January 4, 2023
    • Jerry Klindt #

      The history of the hairs is available online. I’ve seen it, but didn’t find it again today with a limited search. The professor himself plucked exactly zero hairs. From memory, SAPOL gave the University of Adelaide DNA research department a few (on the order of ten, from memory) hairs in hopes that state-of-the-art-at-the-time DNA techniques could identify the hair owner. Initial testing couldn’t extract any usable DNA, but the hairs were filed and eventually (maybe a decade later) the technology became good enough that a different DNA testing facility was able to get a usable amount of DNA.

      January 4, 2023
  7. Jerry K … Dr Xanthe Mallet, a forensic scientist at the University of Newcastle said on the Australian Story that “We may never be able to categorically say that Charles Webb is the Somerton Man,”

    January 4, 2023
  8. thedude747 #

    Can’t see a man aged 83 having natural ginger coloured hair Im afraid. Also this George Webb dies in mid June so why is he still in the morgue in December?

    January 4, 2023
  9. The Sly Dog #

    Time line check: mid June 1949 SM was still in the morgue chiller and being taken out for P Lawson to work with to make the mould and bust cast.

    January 4, 2023
  10. Wasn’t there another bloke named Webb found on Somerton Beach years earlier?

    January 4, 2023

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