The Somerton Man



Suicide theory

The basic theory behind the case is that the Somerton Man committed suicide and all the strange clues were products of his disturbed mind or just peculiar sense of humour.

Facts that are supporting the theory:

  • there were no signs of violence, which may suggest that he took the poison on his own will,
  • all the identifications and the labels from clothes has been removed, which could be explained that he didn’t want his family to know that he killed himself,
  • he was well dressed, shaved, he took a shower, cleaned his boots as he was preparing for his last day in this world,
  • if he left the book in someone’s car about week before suicide and suitcase in the railway station day before his death it is possible that he planned the whole thing as his key to immortality (in that case it worked - he still is remembered),
  • the clean and well prepared clothes he was wearing would guarantee that the police would not ignore his case as a homeless or drunken man.


Facts that oppose the theory:

  • remaining of his last meal didn’t provide any signs of poisoning,
  • if he didn’t want to be identified and took a lot of effort to be unrecognizable why he left the paper in secret pocket and killed himself in the public place, where it was more than likely he will be found,
  • if he took a lot of effort to plan his suicide to be remembered forever he also took a lot of chance when leaving the clues: book in stranger’s car (that he could have just thrown away and forget about it), the small piece of paper that could have been overlooked (and was during the first examination), the suitcase that could have just been destroyed or sold (as the unclaimed luggage), missing one of these clues would not link the investigations to others (we can’t be even sure if we have all the clues that there were),
  • several items in his possession are foreign made or unavailable in Australia which means it would take a lot of time, money and effort to collect them all for Australian citizen, but the same sort of mystery could have been achieved with less effort (any kind of clothes with removed labels would be very hard to trace in 1948, especially bought years before),
  • if he chose to commit suicide in the public place by poisoning he would gamble that someone would try to help him and his whole effort to be mysterious and remembered forever would be ruined if he would survive,
  • if the eyewitnesses were right and Somerton Man was lying on the beach on the evening before he was found why there were no signs that he was poisoned (like vomiting or convulsions that usually take place)?
  • since the autopsy report shows that he died around 2 AM and there were no signs that man lying on the beach on the evening before was poisoned this would mean that Somerton Man was dead before he was placed on the beach and therefore it couldn’t be suicide (except in case if he would have accomplice in creating the whole mystery),
  • even if he did commit suicide there is still the question how come he was never recognized (despite over 250 claims about his identity) - even if he was living alone and didn’t have any family still he must have lived somewhere, had some job, had neighbours, was doing shopping from time to time, etc.



 theory




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