List of people connected to the Taman Shud Case

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This is an alphabetical glossary of names associated with the case.

Names associated with the case

  • Dr John Barkly Bennett: The doctor who pronounced the Somerton Man dead at 9:40am December 1st, 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 2am based on a quick opinion on the state of rigor mortis (and at the time he didn't consider the effect of poison) and he admitted that he made no written notes. Therefore the time of 2am is probably inaccurate. He did not measure the temperature of the body to estimate time of death more accurately.
  • Ken Brown: A dentist who is knowledgeable about the dental records of the dead man.
  • Leonard Douglas Brown: Len Brown was the detective, along with Lionel Leane, 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 name of the detective that initially interviewed the former nurse Jestyn and knew her 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: 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 an original facsimile of 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.
  • Edward FitzGerald: The book was the FitzGerald translation of Omar Khayyam.
  • 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 stenciling equipment.
  • James Gillogly: an expert code breaker who believes the code is the first letters of words.
  • Edmund Leslie Hall: an employee of the Municipal Tramways who examined the Somerton Man's tram ticket and was able to tell it was a tram 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.
  • 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 has been kept under wraps by police. Though she passed away in 2007, and therefore her name is bound to emerge soon.
  • 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 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: 1 year and 11 months old infant who was found dead of unknown cause 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 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 Clive Mangnoson.
  • Kevin Moran: Homicide squad Chief Detective Sargent. With Ron Thomas re-investigated the 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, normally stationed at Brighton, but nevertheless attended the body and summoned the ambulance.
  • Olive Constance Neill: A teenage girl, with her boyfriend 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 11am and 12noon 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, with his girlfriend Olive Neill, who reported seeing a body 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.[1]
  • 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.
  • Dorothy Pyatt: A retired policewoman who works for the SA Police Museum and has written articles on the case. She rather strangely omits any reference to Jestyn and Alf Boxall in her writings.
  • 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.

Suspected identities of the dead body

  • Bailey: The husband of Mrs P. Bailey of Mildura who went missing in August 1948.
  • Alf Boxall: The man the Adelaide ex-nurse, Jesyn, gave a copy of the Rubaiyat to when she worked in Sydney. Originally thought to be the dead man, until Alf was found alive and well. This possibility is ruled out. Apparently the police were so disappointed when they found Alf alive that it prompted Alf to dryly state that he had "upset their apple cart." He was born on April 16th, 1906, in Hammersmith, UK, and died in Narrabundah, ACT, Australia, on August 17, 1995. He married Dulcie Smith on November 16, 1937. Dulcie was born February 22nd, 1910, in Forbes, NSW, and died December 3, 1993, in Randwick NSW. They had three children.
  • E. C. Johnson: A suspected name of the Somerton Man. Ruled out as Johnson checked himself into a Police station to declare he was alive.
  • Titus Kean: An American born in 1918 claimed to be the dead man by E. C. Collins. Too young to be the Somerton man. Ruled out. Also Collins was not of reliable character.
  • Keanic: In 1949, the SA Police received information that the body may have been a Bulgarian named Keanic. However, it seems there is no such surname as 'Keanic.'
  • Jack Thomas McLean: McClean was a former boxer and then a seaman. This was dismissed because it turned out that McLean was a pipe smoker and not a cigarette smoker. Also there was no record of McClean as a seaman in the Merchant Marine Records.
  • Tommy Reade: The name of a ship hand who went missing, but his fellow crew said the Somerton Man didn't look like him.
  • Tim Reed: In April 1949 the body was identified, by Harold Francis of Plympton, as a Swedish man, Tim Reed, who baled wheat at Thevenard. Police dismissed this.[2]
  • Solomonson: A suspected surname of the Somerton Man. Most likely ruled out as the dead body was uncircumcised.
  • Carl Thompsen: A person claimed by Keith Waldemar Mangnoson to be the Somerton man. Thompsen and Mangnoson worked together in Remark in 1939.
  • Kliment Voroshilov: A famous Russian Marshal. This is ruled out as Voroshilov in fact died in 1969. Also he was 67 at the time the Somerton body was found, and hence too old.
  • Robert Walsh: A suspected identity of the Somerton man. Ruled out because Walsh was much older. Also the Somerton man's hands had no sign of manual labour. Walsh was a woodcutter.

List of witheld names

  • The Nurse (Jestyn): The phone number in the back of the Rubaiyat was that of 'Jestyn', who has trained as a nurse at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital. She had moved to Adelaide and eventually got married. Her full name was withheld, according to newspapers, because she didn't want her husband to know she was linked to Alf Boxall. It appears there wasn't a proper coronial suppression order of her name, and that it was a "gentleman's agreement" between her and the police. She passed away in 2007, and so it was only a matter of time before her name would be released in the press. In fact this occurred in 2014 on a 60 Minutes documentary.
  • The Man Who Handed in the Rubaiyat: The name of the man who found the Rubaiyat tossed in the back of his car, on Jetty Road, has been withheld by police. Also the reason why his name has been suppressed has never been revealed by the police. Again, there is no official suppression order, only a "gentleman's agreement" with the police. All we know is that he was a professional of some kind. Some reports have described him as a 'doctor' and some as a 'chemist.'


  1. J. H. Phillips, "Phillips' brief," Criminal Law Journal, 1994, pp. 108-110
  2. Adelaide News, 2 April 1949, p. 13.

See also