The Unknown Man: A Suspicious Death at Somerton Beach
On the 1st of December 1948, the body of a man was found on Somerton Beach in South Australia. No identification documents were located and the name tags had been removed from his clothing. A validated bus ticket in his possession indicated he had travelled from the Adelaide Railway Station to his final destination the previous day.
During the Coronial Inquest, suspicions were raised that his death had been caused by an unknown poison. At the hearing a small rolled up piece of torn paper with the words 'Tamam Shud' was located in a fob pocket of the trousers he had been wearing. It was established these words had been torn from the last page of a copy of 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam'.
As a result of intense media coverage a copy of the book with the words 'Tamam Shud' torn out was handed to the police. It had been found in an unlocked car near where the body was located, and during the relevant period. The tearing matched.
A series of letters written on the rear of the book and coined as a 'Code' by the media, brought to the fore the spy theory. Also written on the book was a telephone number that was traced to a Sydney nurse who had moved to South Australia, and was living a short distance from where the body was found. Was the 'Unknown Man' known to the nurse?
The 'code' has baffled followers of the 'Unknown Man' story for over 60 years. This book will entrap a new generation of detectives.
'Poisoned' in SA - was he a red spy?
One of the most baffling mysteries in South Australia.
What people are saying - Write a review
Great book! The author is a former detective who worked on the case. This book is filled with details about the baffling death of "The Unknown Man" or "The Somerton Man". The author has done a great job of detailing the historical and recent controversies about the poor soul who died a painful death on a warm night at Somerton Beach more than six decades ago.