A step by step account of how and when this man died..
With many thanks to Clive and to a fellow commenter and researcher for their input. It has been invaluable as usual.
1. The man was spotted about twilight, around 7.30 pm on the evening of 30th November 1948. A local Jeweller and his wife saw him lying with his head and shoulders propped up against the low sea wall near to some steps down to the beach that led down from The Esplanade just about opposite the Crippled Children's Home. The man was also seen by a young couple who were seated just a few yards away to the man's left and slightly above and behind him. There was another unknown person who was seen to be watching the man from the roadway above.
2. The known witnesses had left the scene by 8 pm, there is no record of when the other watcher moved away.
3. It was now dark and we believe that at sometime between 8 pm and 11 pm, the man was removed from his location on the beach. He was a big man, he would possibly have had to have been subdued and then manhandled from his position against the wall.
|This photograph is from the 1948 Sands & Macdougall Glenelg Street Directory,. You can see the various huts dotted along the beach right out to the small promontory which is situated on the North end of the Esplanade in Somerton.|
4. Not often discussed is the presence of a number of beach huts along the beach/shoreline between Glenelg and Somerton Beach, it is possible that the man was taken to one of those huts where he was later given his massive overdose of Digitalis. Alternatively, he was taken up to the roadway above the beach location, bundled into a car and taken to another location, possibly a nearby house and the drug or drugs administered there. The scratched knuckles on the man's left hand may have been the result of the struggle to get him away from the beach.
5. We now need to consider and work backwards from the time the body of the man was examined by at the hospital by Dr. Bennett. According to him, the man had died no more than 8 hours before he examined the body at approximately 9.45 a.m. on 1st December 1948.
6. We also know from a copy of a 2010 Autopsy report on the body of a man who had committed suicide with a massive overdose of Digitalis, that death occurs 1 hour after the ingestion of the overdose. (More from this document later in this post)
7. Having established a timeframe, we can now make a reasonable assumption that the man took the drugs between 12.30 am and 2.30 am on 1st December 1948.
8. That puts his time of death at between 1.30 am and 3.30 am on 1st December 1948.
9. Following his death, it is further assumed that the man was cleaned up removing traces of vomit and blood, he was then dressed in the clothes that they found him wearing but quite possibly the trousers were changed. This would have added, say, a further 1 hour to the process.
|This image, taken in 1948, was given to me by a lady whose parents were in the original photograph and she asked for them to be removed. This lady is a long-time resident of Glenelg. The image was taken close to the Ferris Avenue junction with The Esplanade. To the right you can see the Crippled Children's Home as arrowed and also arrowed is a diagonal ramp down from The Esplanade. The ramp shared a common entrance from The Esplanade with a similar diagonal ramp that led down to a location near to where the Somerton Man was found which is closer to Bickford Terrace. See the next image and map below.
In this image believed to have been taken in 1944, you can see a down ramp arrowed
to the left.
10. Working with our assumed timeframe, we think that the man's body was taken back to the beach where he had been seen the previous evening. Again, being a big man and this time a dead weight, the task would have taken at least 2 people. In fact, you may consider that a 3rd person would have been needed as a lookout during the move.
11. That timeframe would mean that he was taken back to the same location on Somerton Beach after 2.30 am and before daylight om 1st December 1948.
12 A part smoked cigarette was placed in his mouth to give the impression that he had smoked it there and added to the illusion that he hadn't been moved.
'Any fool can commit a murder but it takes an artist to commit a perfect natural death'
More to follow...