Paul Lawson never spoke to Jessica Harkness, never met Alf Boxall and was not privy to the investigation in any way other than what he may have overheard while working on a seriously corrupt, long dead and embalmed body in the morgue, though I suspect the stink of the body’s decomposition and the accompanying stench on Lawson’s clothes and hands would have kept him a foot or two away from any of the detectives assigned to watch over the work, though I have little doubt he was included in their conversations, being a gregarious man with a robust sense of humour.
Unsurprisingly he became fascinated with the case and eventually settled on a pet theory that had Harkness and Boxall involved in an Intelligence operation while both were working in Sydney.
There is no evidence to support Lawson’s hypothesis just as there is no evidence to suggest Jessica Harkness was ever a member of the Communist Party.
After having had a few conversations with Paul shortly before he died I can only say he easily surpassed my pedestrian imaginative powers with his own and his memories of those heady days were as clear as if they had happened yesterday, though even Stuart Littlemore couldn’t fox anything of a confidential nature out of Paul when he interviewed him years later.
And as far as having something in common with Paul, he was a champion grappler and I was an almost champion surfboard rider.