Somerton man solved;  Carl Webb revealed as identity: researcher

Somerton man solved; Carl Webb revealed as identity: researcher

Abbott has found Webb had a brother-in-law named Thomas Keane who lived in Brunswick, and believes the sharp objects were likely used in his work as an instrument maker.

The death mask of Somerton Man.

A Persian poem and letters that appeared to form a code have perplexed amateur sleuths in the decades since the man’s death, leading to speculation he could have been a spy. Abbott has found documents that Webb wrote poetry and enjoyed horse racing, and Abbott guesses the letters could be linked to betting.

“I suspected right from the beginning of this case – because a lot of the spy theories came around in the ’40s – I thought, ‘that’s all very well, but it’s more likely to be something banal, really’. And that’s what it turned out to be, all quite pedestrian,” Abbott said.

The body of Somerton Man was exhumed by police from Adelaide’s West Terrace Cemetery last year with the hope of identifying him. However, Abbott says the cause of the man’s death remains a mystery and unless solved would continue to cause speculation, including unproven theories he was poisoned.

“Whether it’s too late after so many years to find out anything. Who knows? People will continue to speculate for years to come, I’m sure,” Abbott said.

“My biggest hope is that now the public had his name… [they] will remember that name and go searching in their garden sheds for all family elements that might find something on this guy.”

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