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Posts tagged ‘carl webb’

Were all the Webbs as camera shy as Carl?

Nobody’s having much luck in finding any more images of Carl Webb and as a result they are beginning to concoct a whole new series of reasons of why not, one being he was gay and given the times wasn’t too willing to advertise it, another that he had a nervous breakdown after his brother died, all meaning ……….

Here we go again.

The committee though has come up with something a little revolutionary, asking if all the Webbs were equally discretionary when it came to having their photos taken and if so then that’s the mystery solved. The whole thing turns into a case of join the club.

We would ask any willing burrower to consider having a dig. Any successful efforts will gain substantial exposure, worldwide.

The Webb Mob

Russel R Webb 1893-1949

Freda Grace Webb 1896-1964

Gladys May Webb 1897-1955

Doris Maud Webb 1901-1956

Roy Webb 1904-1943  …. him we got Carl Webb 1905-1948 …. and him we got

We need the full collection, and who knows, young Carl might show up at a wedding or birthday party.

Searching for Carl Charles Webb

Everybody’s at it. His family tree is being dismembered, laid out and examined for anything that may lead to a sign he existed other than his signature on a wedding certificate found and paid for by Dome who I’m almost sure won’t mind me using it  … being such good mates as we are.

And that’s it so far. Never mind the dozens of Webb family members near and far because none of them has popped up with a pic of him as a man, a boy, baby or small child. Abbott hasn’t anything to offer, yet, and Dome is busy fielding a slew of new commentators, some of whom haven’t done much homework: for instance.

PB .. I would as well be interested in links to the Rubaiyat as a suicide handbook. It certainly is not well known as such, because if it was well known, it would be ah well…known. I need to know more on this, and if it is not forthcoming, it is worthy of being ignored. 

That’s from Matt. He should try GOOGLE sometimes, maybe get lucky and score a hit on a Rubiyat themed painting by Elihu Vedder he called The Suicide.

Then there’s this from the same fellow:

‘The murder allegations were made by the investigating coroners who examined the body at the time of death. They said he was poisoned. End of statement.’

Investigating coroners? Examining the body at the time of death? They said he was poisoned?

Matt, matey  .. how can someone be so wrong in just fifteen words. Trouble is, nobody over at Domes is bothered to put old Matt right, maybe suggest he read the inquest papers and buy a second hand copy of GF’s book, and good luck with that.

All of a sudden we’ve got all these new faces onboard and without being rude, they haven’t got a bloody notion. One particularly disappointing comment on DA’s facebook site has the phone number written on the Tamam Shud slip.


Bute is not a big town, only having about 450 residents in the 2016 census so I’m figuring when Webb’s wife Dorothy arrived there in 1947 the place might have been a little on the dusty side. Looking at the town’s website today and you will find six suggestions as to what to do when you visit. So hold onto your hat.

Stop the car and stroll around this lovely old town.

Visit the “Fauna Park“.

Picnic in the town square.

View local history.

Stroll through the streets and see the buildings.

Eat at the pub.

Stay overnight if you wish (at the caravan park)

Bute Railway Terrace

So, if like me you’re asking yourself why after six years of marriage the recently deserted and childless wife of Carl Webb left home and headed for Bute then one answer might be that she was familiar with the territory in some way.

So, there you go Matt, try researching for a Robertson family in Bute back in the forties, you might get lucky.

1947 – Prosper Thomson’s want ads and the possible uses of Carl Webb’s tools.

Updated … *

Screwdriver and Bobby Pin


The Six Pencils.

*‘Graphite powder is the preferred lock lubricant for professional locksmiths, so you know it’s good for lockpicking, All you need is a lead pencil.’  Robin Mansur.


Cut down knife and screwdriver.

*‘Johns & McHale specialised in odometer manufacture and ex-employees talk of how they learned how to disconnect them in rental cars to reduce their costs. There’s also a nice video on youtube showing how you clock a vintage mechanical odometer. All you need is a small screwdriver and a strong, thin, flat edge to prise apart the numbers on the barrel if you want to move them individually.’ Lifted from CipherMysteries, comment by Jamie.


Particle Brush containing an unidentified black powder.

Could be used to apply pencil graphite to the inside of car lock to assist the lockpicker. The black powder shaken from the brush was not successfully analysed by James Cowan as he only tested it for common poisons.



Could be used to strip ignition wires. An electrician/electrical engineer would have no trouble hot wiring any car in the 1940s.



*The Rubaiyat associated with Carl Webb had the Moseley Street phone number Prosper Thomson used for his classifieds (from July 1947) written on the back cover.  Number X3239.

Prosper Thomson’s girlfriend Jessica Harkness, who lived at Moseley Street at the time, almost fainted when she was shown Webb’s bust. When questioned by the police she divulged nothing. Prosper Thomson was not interviewed.

Carl Webb’s body was found on the morning of December 1, 1948 only two hundred yards away from Jessica’s home in Moseley Street.

The coroner ruled that Webb did not die where he was found, citing the body’s conflicting lividity.

The cold case investigator – ex-detective Gerry Feltus – interviewed a man who had formally reported to the police in 1959 that he and three others had seen a man carrying another man along Somerton beach on the night of November 30, 1948, the night before the body was found.  Feltus, a seasoned detective, found the man reliable.

Some conclusions  may be drawn.


Some of the classifieds Prosper Thomson placed in 1947 together with other relevant information.

1947 – Jessica Harkness arrives in Adelaide from Melbourne.

Feb 47 – Clinic Distrib. WANTED – Paying cash or exchange take over terms for Roadster.

Mar 47 – Clinic Distrib. FOR SALE – Morris 10 hp series 1940 for Dodge or similar. Genuine NSPR.

Mar 47 – Box 1009j. WANTED – House or flat. Thomson

Mar 47 – FOR SALE – Dodge 1923 single seater NSPR £110

Mar 47 – Wanted .22 rifle (Three times this month). Hindley St.

Mar 47 – WANTED .22 auto or repeater -cash or exchange Healing Cycle. Thomson

Mar 47 – WANTED. Car, any make, any model, buckboard will do. Thomson Box 1009j.

Mar 47 – WANTED. Partner for used car business – £500 to £1000. City premises. Box 1009j £500 to £1,000


Apr 47 – Wanted. Car or buckboard, any make. McTaggart (twice more this month). Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. Employment of any kind. Good refs Thomson. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. URGENTLY. Car any type, spot cash. Thomson. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED DESPERATELY. Car, any type, pay cash. Box 953H. £75 to £200

May 47 – WANTED. Any make car, cash or takeover terms. Thomson. £150. Box 953H

May 47 – WANTED. Building suit workshop – pay ingoing or buy plant. URGENT. Thomson. Box 953H.

June / July 1947 – Jessica Harkness gives birth to son Robin.

July 47 – WANTED. 1946 / 47 sedan for taxi. URGENT. Thomson, X3239. Moseley Street.*


And a big thank you to Dude47, who’s been been plugging Webb as a shifty sort of character from day 1.

The Somerton Man’s Ship Has Sailed

The end of a long voyage

Read more

CARL ’CHARLES’ WEBB and His Family Tree.

See end of post for family tree.


The Somerton Man is said to be Carl ‘Charles’ Webb.

Born 1905 Footscray, Melbourne.

He had six siblings.

He disappeared in ‘April 47, the same year Robin was born and Jessica moved to Adelaide from Melbourne.

Deserting his wife, Dorothy “Doff” Webb. Maiden name Dorothy Jean Robertson.

They had no children.

She divorced him in absentia in 1951 and by that time was living in Bute, South Australia, 90 miles from Adelaide.

Electrical Engineer – Instrument Maker.


DNA match made. First cousin three times removed on his mother’s side.

No photo of him found.

No official record of him found other than his record of birth.

No death record.

None of his family on record as having identified him as the Somerton Man from newspaper photos

Derek Abbott claims success. Colleen Fitzpatrick claims success.

SA police have no comment to make, neither verifying or confirming this claim.

Abbott has found Webb had a brother-in-law named Thomas Keane who lived in Brunswick, and believes the sharp objects were likely used in his work as instrument maker.

Abbott found family records showing he wrote poetry and liked a punt on the racehorses.

The following lifted from CNN, article written by Hilary Whiteman.

Who was Carl ‘Charles’ Webb?

According to Abbott, Webb was born on November 16, 1905 in Footscray, a suburb of Victoria’s state capital Melbourne. He was the youngest of six siblings.

Little is known about his early life, Abbott says, but he later married Dorothy Robertson — known as Doff Webb.

When Webb emerged as the prime person of interest on the family tree, Abbott and Fitzpatrick set to work, scouring public records for information about him. They checked electoral rolls, police files and legal documents. Unfortunately, there were no photos of him to make a visual match.

“The last known record we have of him is in April 1947 when he left Dorothy,” said Fitzpatrick, founder of Identifinders International, a genealogical research agency involved in some of America’s most high-profile cold cases.

“He disappeared and she appeared in court, saying that he had disappeared and she wanted to divorce,” Fitzpatrick said. They had no known children.


Courtesy of Byron Deveson.



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