The Somerton Man

Murder Minute


Welcome back to murder minute on the warm summer evening of november thirtieth nineteen forty eight joan lions and his wife. Were taking a walk along. Somerton beach in adelaide south australia as they walked toward glendale at around seven pm. The couple noticed a smartly dressed. Man slumped against the seawall approximately twenty yards away. His legs were outstretched in the sand with his feet crossed and he appeared to be smoking a cigarette. The man lifted his right arm and then let it drop. The lions thought that he looked drunk. Thought little of it and continued on their way at seven thirty pm. Another couple noticed the man from above. He appeared to fallen asleep for half an hour. They sat on the bench together observing him. The woman could see that he was wearing a suit and polished new shoes unusual beach attire. And all the while they sat there. The man didn't move a muscle as mosquitoes landed on his face and still. The man didn't flinch. The boyfriend joked he must be dead to the world to not notice them dead. He was but it wasn't until the next morning that the fact became clear to passersby. When john lyons returned to the beach for morning swim. A crowd was gathered at the seawall where he saw the drunk man smoking the previous evening. When john walked over he saw him slumped in the same position. Pete crossed with a cigarette tucked behind his ear. Another half smoked cigarette was laying on his collar as though it had dropped out of his mouth mid smoke. The police soon arrived and confirmed that he was dead and within hours. The body was transported to the royal at late hospital where it was autopsied seed. Dr john barclay bennett placed the time of death at no earlier than two. Am the body bore. No marks of violence on the outside inside. The man's stomach and liver were congested with blood and his spleen was quote strikingly large and firm and about three times the normal size. They noted that his pupils were smaller than normal. Drew ran out the side of his mouth that he lay against the wall and in his stomach. Pathologist john dwyer found his last meal a pasty. Dr bennett believed that the man had died of heart failure caused by poisoning but no trace of it was found in his body adelaide. Coroner thomas cleveland would later suggest that the only explanation was that one of two rare poisons must have been used which quote decomposed very early after death. Stroke pantheon or did you tell us both of which could be obtained from a chemist and would leave no trace an official cause of death could not be determined but an inquest would later conclude that the man had not died of natural causes equally. Mysterious was the man's entity he had no wallet. No cash and no identification. All of the tags had been carefully cut out of his clothing which were well pressed dent in perfect condition in his pockets. Were a train ticket to the beach and a used bus ticket to glen haege a pack of chewing gum to combs some matches and a pack of army club cigarettes which strangely contained seven cigarettes of a more expensive brab called conceit us. The man stood five foot. eleven was in his. Mid forties and of european descent had no scars or any identifying marks on his body and was in peak physical condition for his age his calf muscles were high and well defined like that of a dancer or maybe a runner and his toes. Were distinctively wedge. Shaped at the inquest. One expert noted quote. I have not seen the tendency of calf muscles so pronounced as in this case. His feet were rather striking suggesting. This is my own assumption that he had been in the habit of wearing high heeled and pointed. Choose another expert suggested that perhaps the man had been a ballet dancer also distinctive. The man's teeth his lateral incisors were missing and his sharp canines had grown in next to his front teeth. A rare occurrence his stylish and immaculately kept clothing of brown slacks carefully mended inside one part with orange thread. A white shirt a pullover a red and blue striped tie and a freshly pressed double breasted jacket but with all of the labels cut out. These were useless in identifying him. His dental records also proved a dead end. No match the same was true of his fingerprints. A full set were taken and distributed with his photo throughout australia and the english speaking world but no one could identify him

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