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People Connected to the Case

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  • Derek Abbott
  • Dr John Barkly Bennett: Was the doctor who pronounced the Somerton Man dead at 9:40am on the 1st of December 1948. Note that it was a quick examination while the body was parked outside the hospital in the ambulance. Bennett estimated the time of death at 2 am based on a quick opinion on the state of rigor mortis (although at the time he didn't consider any possible effects of poison) and he admitted that he made no written notes at the time. Therefore the time of 2 am may not be accurate. He did not measure the temperature of the body to estimate time of death more accurately.
  • Alfred Boxall : A Service man who had met "Jestyn" for drinks 'The Clifton Gardens Hotel' Sydney, whilst "Jestyn" was studying to be a nurse at the Royal North Shore Hospital. It was thought for a time that the Somerton Man was Alf Boxall.
  • Ken Brown: A dentist who is knowledgeable about the dental records of the dead man.
  • Leonard Douglas Brown: Len Brown was the detective, who along with Lionel Leane, was assigned to the case 6 weeks after the dead body was found.
  • Sir John Cleland: The pathologist who re-examined the body 6 months after Dr Dwyer, as part of the coronial inquest. Cleland only visually inspected the body in its embalmed state. He also carefully examined the clothing, suitcase, and its contents.
  • Thomas Erskine Cleland: The coroner that presided over the inquest. He was the first cousin of John Cleland the pathologist.
  • Errol Canny: The detective who initially interviewed the former nurse "Jestyn" and who knew her real identity.
  • E. B. Collins: An inmate of Wanganui Prison, New Zealand, who claimed he knew the identity of the Somerton Man.
  • Robert James Cowan: A deputy government chemical analyst who's findings agreed with Dwyer's that the cause of death was unnatural. He also tested samples of the body organs for presence of poison and found none.
  • R. Craig: The station cloak room attendant who issued the Somerton Man with his luggage receipt and checked in the suitcase.
  • Brian Joseph Dittmar: The person who reported to the police that he thought the Somerton Man was Jack Thomas McClean.
  • Patrick James Durham: A police employee who fingerprinted the deceased and took photos of the body.
  • Dr John Matthew Dwyer: The government pathologist who performed the post-mortem at 7:30am on 2nd Dec 1948 (his colleagues called him 'Barb Dwyer').
  • Lawrence A. Elliot: Embalmer that prepared the dead body for burial and arranged the funeral.
  • Anthony Elliot: A local funeral director who is an enthusiast studying the case, and nephew of the embalmer. He owns the original fingerprint sheet of the dead man.
  • Gerry Feltus: A retired detective senior sergeant who has performed thorough research and is arguably the world's leading authority on the case. He is the author of 'The Unknown Man' which is probably the best book to buy if you are interested in researching the case.
  • Edward FitzGerald: an English poet and writer, best known for his translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The Somerton Man's copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was an Edward FitzGerald translation.
  • Gray: the head of the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts who examined the brush and knives in the suitcase and suggested that it was stencilling equipment.
  • James Gillogly: an expert code breaker who believes the code is the first letters of words.
  • Gweneth Dorothy Graham The girlfriend of Joseph Hiam Saul Marshall, who committed suicide shortly after giving testimony at the inquest into Marshall's death.
  • Edmund Leslie Hall: an employee of the Municipal Tramways who examined the Somerton Man's bus ticket and was able to tell it was a bus that left Adelaide railway station at 11:15am. He was also able to tell the ticket was purchase somewhere between North terrace and West Terrace.
  • Helmut Hendon Linked to both Pakies and Gweneth Dorothy Graham.
  • Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks: An Adelaide University physiologist who was called by the inquest to provide another medical opinion. He agreed the cause of death was unnatural.
  • Arthur Anzac Holdernesse: The tram conductor that sold the Somerton Man his tram ticket.
  • E. C. Hopkins: The Adelaide CIB officer in charge of looking into the claim of the Wanganui prisoner.
  • Jestyn: The pet name of the Adelaide ex-nurse who's phone number was in the back of the Rubaiyat. She signed her name "Jestyn" in Alf Boxall's copy of the Rubaiyat. Her name by birth was kept under wraps by police. She passed away in 2007, and her real name can easily be found on-line.
  • Prestige: The pseudonym used for Jestyn's husband. Again his real name is readily available on-line. 
  • Queenie Prestige's first wife. 
  • Ronald Francis : A pseudonym for the man who found the missing copy of the Rubaiyat in his car, a Hillman Minx. He claimed that at the time his car had been parked on Jetty Road. He is described as either a Businessman, a Doctor or a Chemist. 
  • Robin: Jestyn's son. It is claimed that he may be the biological son of the Somerton Man, this is based on them sharing particular genetic features.  
  • Frank Kennedy: The journalist who told the police, in 1949, where the words Tamam Shud come from.
  • Omar Khayyam: The poet who wrote the book of poetry, the Rubaiyat that was linked to the Somerton Man.
  • Donald Laycock: A linguist who attempted to crack the code in the late 1970s.
  • Paul Francis Lawson: A taxidermist at the Adelaide Museum. He created the plaster cast of the Somerton Man. He was the also the person to notice the Somertan Man's wedged toes and high calf muscles.
  • Stuart Littlemore made the 1978 ABC report on the case in a episode of Inside Story.
  • Raymond Lionel Leane: Lionel Leane was the detective, along with Len Brown, assigned to the case 6 weeks after the dead body was found.
  • John Bain Lyons: A jeweller by profession, who with his wife, alerted the police to the dead body.
  • Clive Mangnoson: The 1 year and 11 months old infant who was found dead of unknown causes on 6 June 1949, about 20 km from Somerton.
  • Keith Waldemar Mangnoson: A person who tried to identify the Somerton Man, as Carl Thompsen, but received death threats. His son Clive,was found dead of unknown cause on 6 June 1949, about 20 km from Somerton. Keith was then shorty after committed to mental hospital. His wife Roma collapsed and required medical treatment.
  • Joseph Saul Haim Marshall also known as "George" Marshall (aged 34) was found dead of poisoning in Mosman, Sydney, 3rd June 1945. It was believed to be a suicide. A copy of Omar Khayyam was found open next to his body. Mosman is between St. Leonard's where "Jestyn" lived and Clifton Gardens where she met Boxall. The estimated date of death was May 21st, 1945.
  • Neil McRae: The person who discovered the body of Keith Mangnoson.
  • Kevin Moran: Homicide squad Chief Detective Sargent Kevin Moran. Along with Ron Thomas Moran re-investigated the Somerton Man case in the 1970s.
  • John Moss: The name of the police constable who came to the scene and took charge when the dead body was found. He was officially off-duty, and normally stationed at Brighton, but nevertheless attended the body and summoned the ambulance.
  • Olive Constance Neill: A teenage girl, with her boyfriend Gordon Strapps, who reported seeing a body after it was reported by Lyons.
  • Harold Rolfe North: The senior porter at the cloak room in Adelaide Railway Station. He was able to figure out that the Somerton Man checked in his suitcase between 11 am and 12 noon on November 30th, 1948.
  • Stephen Orr: A fiction writer who referenced the case in his novel Hill of Grace.
  • Gordon Kenneth Strapps: A teenage boy, who with his girlfriend Olive Neill, reported seeing a body on Somerton Beach after it was reported by Lyons.
  • Ron Thomas: A detective who with Chief Detective Keith Moran, re-investigated the case in the 1970s.
  • John Harber Phillips: The Chief Justice of the State of Victoria and the Chairman of the Victorian Medical Forensic Institute. He studied the case in 1994 and came to the conclusion the poison was digitalis.
  • Hugh Pozza: The tailor that examined the jacket of the Somerton Man and determined it was of American origin because it had a front gusset and feather stitching.
  • Fred Pruszinski - A possibly connected case, a young man drove a stolen motorbike all the way from broken hill to Adelaide, dumped a suitcase full of clothes and a rifle stock on Somerton beach and then stole a motorcar. All of this about one week before the Somerton Man's body was found on the beach.
  • Dorothy Pyatt: A retired policewoman who works for the SA Police Museum and has written articles on the case.
  • V. A. Reynolds: A WWI signaler and amateur code cracker who came up with, "Wm. Regrets. Going off alone. B.A.B. deceived me too. But I've made peace now and expect to pay. My life is a bitter cross over nothing. Also I'm quite confident I've this time made Tamam Shud a mystery. St. G.A.B."
  • John K. Ruffels: performed original research in the 1970s and interviewed a number of people connected with the case. He performed the initial background research on the case that prompted the ABC to produce the Inside Story documentary. He propagated the theory that it was a spy murder related to the Woomera missile base and Sir Henry Tizard.
  • Simon Singh and expert code breaker who said the Somerton code "doesn't appear to be too complicated" and that the letters are likely to be acronyms.
  • C. Ruston: A lighthouse keeper and amateur code cracker who sent police his attempt at cracking the code.
  • William (Bill) Owen Sheridan: A police superintendent who received a letter in 1949 from a Mrs P. Bailey asking if the Somerton man could be her missing husband. He also dealt with the claim that the dead man was Jack McClean.
  • Scan Sutherland: The name of the coroner's plain clothes constable (PCC) who was present at the post-mortem carried out by Dwyer and sent the samples for poison testing.
  • Elizabeth Thompson: A witness who had identified the body as Robert Walsh, but later retracted her statement.
  • Sir Henry Thomas Tizard: The senior British defence scientist who was visiting Adelaide at the time of the death.
  • Douglas George Townsend: The ticket clerk who sold the train ticket that Somerton Man subsequently never used.
  • Em Webb: The Salvation Army captain who conducted the funeral service for the Somerton Man.
  • William West: An employee of the South Australian Railways (SAR) who testified at the coronial inquest reporting the train arrival times into Adelaide at the morning of November 30th, 1948.
  • Harry Dexter White : A US government official identified by Operation Venona. He died 16th August 1948 of a suspected digitalis overdose.
  • L.F. Wytkins: A bus conductor who reported having found a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam on a bus.

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