Sunday, June 16, 2019

Somerton Man (Gerry Feltus)

The Tamám Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is an unsolved case of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 am, 1 December 1948, on the Somerton Park beach, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. The case is named after the Persian phrase tamám shud, meaning "ended" or "finished," which was written on a scrap of paper found months later in the fob pocket of the man's trousers. The scrap had been torn from the final page of a copy of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, authored by 12th-century poet, Omar Khayyám.
To add to the wiki: His cause of death was never determined, and any wounds on his body were superficial. It's suspected he may have died from poison. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam has an unsolved cipher on the back page, as well as a number to a nurse, which leads the detectives to many new leads, but none that can possibly close the case as of yet.

A good read for those interested in the case of Somerton Man/Tamam Shud. The way the chapters are laid out is somewhat disjointed, though perhaps there was a logic to the structure that I didn't notice while reading. It honestly appears that a lot of material is repeated. There's somewhat of a thoroughness to the work—heavy with pointless minutia that is really only there for the sake of completionism, and some of the information only pads the work out with little excerpts that quickly are revealed to not be related to the case and lead nowhere. Oddly, Joseph "George" Marshall and the Mangnoson case isn't touched on at all (well, if my memory is correct there was a brief mention of Marshall), and while I'm not convinced they are truly related to the case they add an extra layer of intrigue to the event, and it would seem Marshall was likely an influence on either Jessica Thomson or the Somerton Man.

It would have been nice to have included more about Prosper Thomson, but I suppose he was either ruled out early on or he was somehow not considered as a good lead and, hence, there's little information to be found. There is some dull information about Prosper prior to the death of the Somerton Man, but it doesn't really add much to round Prosper out as a character nor connect him in anyway to mysterious death.

It has some great and convenient material in the appendix, such as the inquest involving the coroner and other people who examined the body. Great as a reference tool. 

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