By Alan Hamill
What happened on Somerton Beach and in Adelaide from the 1930’s to the 1980’s?
Consider a cause of death of Carl Webb/Alex Dowling where no drugs were involved in the lethal act of murder, however, substances were used to prepare him for the final outcome.
In Adelaide, as in most major cities worldwide at the time, a new medical treatment was being introduced that would be able to cause exactly the same injuries as those the Medical Examiner in Adelaide found at his analysis of Carl Webb.
After about 1941 a new device called an Electro Convulsive Therapy Machine was quietly (almost secretly) being used by hospitals and mental institutions to try to stabilise people found to have serious or major mental health problems.
This treatment is still known simply as ECT.
There was also a thinking that sexuality (or gender traits) could be re-aligned to match a patient’s birth sex.
If you look at medical records of people in USA that have received lethal shocks in the Electric Chair you would notice the same injuries Carl Webb/Alex Dowling displayed when compared to those US subjects when you examine the first few seconds after the shock starts to be delivered. As the voltage is higher in the US function much more damage results later as the time component is longer.
The typical ECT machine is exactly the same size as the carry bag you and I might use at the supermarket so it is extremely portable and can be used anywhere (in a hospital, a house, a car, anywhere).
Did Carl Webb, as an instrument maker, have an involvement with the construction or maintenance of these devices?
These ECT machines would be readily and easily available to someone with the slightest of medical service access. In this case the mention of nurses was a regular occurrence.
Normally a general anaesthetic would be given to the patient undergoing ECT but this would not provide the result needed to confuse a cause of death inquiry when ECT was delivered with homicidal intent.
To prevent structural damage in the victim the resistance would be increased so that the value of current passed through the victim’s head was about 100milliamps if possible, although the machine is normally set at 400-600milliamps. The higher resistance and lower current would allow a longer delivery time sufficient to cause the heart to seize and stop. It also presented less opportunity for burn marks on the patient/victim. This would probably require about 3-4 minutes of delivery.
In a healthy human a current of about 70 milliamps, when delivered hand to hand for about 3-4 minutes, is usually fatal. This is less than the current used by a 40watt light globe.
The time component function is normally set by the telephone dialler which used each digit as half second increments. The finger of the operator would be placed in the 6 if three seconds of delivery was required as the dial returned to its home position. If four and a half seconds was required then 9 would be dialled.
However, if the dial was started and then held before it reached its home position the current would flow till released from the hand hold. It would be easy to hold for 3-4 minutes.
The victims internal organs would be severely compressed by all the internal and external muscles, particularly the diaphragm, squeezing very savagely while the current flowed. Most would then relax but show severe trauma and bleeding due to this compression. Carl’s/Alex’s heart couldn’t relax as the blood flow had stopped and held it in the compressed state as mentioned by the ME.
I had mentioned in earlier posts that all the items in SM’s pockets were relevant, and part of the messaging, and I direct your attention again to the two combs.
Dorothy Webb, Carl’s estranged and assaulted wife, had Comber as a family name. Her Father was John Comber Robertson and Comber featured further back as well. John Robertson had a time as Overseer in an Invalid/Mental Home and would have motive to remove Carl from Dorothy’s life.
Aaghaz – Tamam ………. (#go to Home Page)
Aaghaz 1930’s – Tamam 1980’s (#1) ……… click here.
A foggy day in Old London Town (#2) ………. click here.
Hiding in plain sight (#3) ………. click here.
Just letters? Nope! They’re a message! (#4) ………. click here.
Care for a walk on the beach dear? (#5) :- click ………. here.
Imagine, one day we’ll use power from the sun! (#6) :- ………. click here.
The Hands of a Sous Chef! (#7) :- ………….click here.
Is that lipstick on your collar Chuck? No, it’s all my blood! (#8) :- .. click here.
More pages and posts will be here soon ………… click here
Hey Ronald, the Medics have come to clean up your town again! (#) :- …click next.
Back in the day, my mates at the 8th Light Horse would’ve taken care of it. (#) :- …click next.
I’ll open our orders Mr Bickford? Yes Colonel. (#) :- …click next.
If you need Barbour, Birks and Cleland, they’re down at Piccadilly. (#) :- …click next.
Tumby Bay Retirement Home – Hurry, it’s in great demand! (#) :- …click next.
A new Sheriff comin’ to town. And he’s one of yours! (#) :- …click next.
The Hatfields v The McCoys v Who wins? (#) :- …click next.
The gardener’s job at Wolston Park? NO WAY! (#?) :- ………. click soon.
Nothin’ leaves here with tags! OK? Nothin’! SIR, YES SIR. (#?) :- ..click soon.
Could I get some more diallers please Jimmy? (#) :- …click next.
Jessie and Tiny Tina? (#?) :- ………. click soon.
When Jessica meets Dorothy! Hello! (#?) :- ………. click next.
H C Reynolds was a local. (#?) :- click ……….
You’re a loose cannon Dwyer! Lt Col (Dr) Matthew John (Barb) Dwyer ME. (#?) :- click ……….
So, Cleland and Bickford run the SAJC! There’s trouble! (#?) :- click ……….
She’s the poet, not me! (#?) :- click ……….
Boy, I’ve said it before! It’s for the greater good, the bigger picture! (#?) :- click ……….
Painter? Painter? I’m not after a Painter! (#?) :- click ……….
I’ll let you know at the Lodge meeting tonight? (#?) :- click ….
Need a car, false statement, new wife, or.. ? (#?) :- click ……….
Now? But I’ve only done half my task! (#?) :- click ……….
The Snake Group (#?) :- click ……….
My Ol’ Kentucky home! (#?) :- click ……….
Meet the Curr Sisters! (#?) :- click ……….
Get out of jail free card. Was it handed down after ’66? (#?) :- click ……….
So, you both work at a Bank? Which Bank? (#?) :- click ……….
Everything in his pocket had a reason to be there! (#?) :- click ……….
When is a tie not a tie? When it’s a tie! (#?) :- click ……….
Flowers for the mother of my Grandson! (#?) :- click ……….
May I offer you a Kensitas Frank, my MI6 friend? (#?) :- click ……….
Was Pakie my aunty, mum? (#?) :- click ……….
Neighbours! Everybody needs good neighbours! (#?) :- click ……….
The Mail Truck is always on time! (#?) :- click ……….
Allow me to replace your ribbon! (#?) :- click ………
Pie Floater? No, a Gibbs Super Pastie please! (#?) :- click ………
You met my brother Wednesday! (#?). :- click ….
Comb your hair please, both of you! (#?) :- click ….
To backtrack and brush up on what this case is about, go to Wikipedia here
Some relevant reading that is on the same search path :-
The Unknown Man by G. M. (Gerry) Feltus 2010 ISBN 978-0-646-54476-2
Tamam Shud – The Somerton Man Mystery by Kerry Greenwood 2012 ISBN 9781742233505
City Of Evil by Sean Fewster 2018 ISBN 978-0-7336-2883-2
Spies and Sparrows by Phillip Deery 2022 ISBN 9780522878301
The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair 2021 ISBN 9781489296931
Actors Blood by Alastair Duncan 2004 ISBN 978 0 9751510 4 5
The Bookmaker From Rabaul by Peter Bowes 2016 ISBN-13 978-0995430211
You could also view some of the more relevant blogs listed below!
Tamam Shud / Somerton Man – Cipher Mysteries
University of Adelaide Wiki page
TAMAM SHUD The Somerton Man Mystery
Identifying the Somerton Man | Facebook
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