author was closely associated with this case as an expert
witness. Here is the story:
the first time the fantastic theory of murder was raised. A Sydney
newspaper, Truth , published a description and photograph of the tattoo/
This brought quick results, for soon afterwards, a man reported he believed
the arm was that of his brother, 45-year-old James Smith, a billiard maker
and ex-amateur boxer. Later he positively identified it.
the meantime the shark had become very sick and on 27th April
it was killed. When it was opened there was found in its stomach
portion of another shark and some fish bones, but no more human
began a series of murder trials with few parallels in the
history of crime.
a difficult case, the Crown alleged that a number
of men, including Smith, Patrick Brady, a boat-builder named
Reginald Holmes and several others were involved in stand-over
tactics, murder threats, forgery and a conspiracy to defraud an
insurance company of a large sum of money, by deliberately
wrecking a yatch called the Pathfinder. The scheme misfired
and it is believed that the disputes which as a result began
amongst the conspirators led to a chain of events which ended
in Smith's death.
story moved to Cronulla, a seaside resort near
Sydney. Here in March 1935 Brady, under an assumed name,
Smith had leased a cottage known as Cored Joy.
was last seem alive at 6 p.m. on 8th April, playing dominoes
in a hotel at Cronulla with Brady and two local residents. Nothing more
was heard of him until his right arm was found in the Coogee
Aquarium on 25th April.
on 9th April Brady had paid the rent of the cottage and then
taken a taxi to Sydney, where he had seen Holmes. Next day he has
visited two second-hand shops. At one he bought a mattress, at the
other a tin trunk, and had taken both purchases to Cored Joy.
these facts the police deducted the theory that Smith had
been murdered on the night of 8th April, that his body hd been
dismembered on a mattress and the parts stuffed into a tin trunk. The
trunk had been taken in the boat, weighed down with a kellick and other
heavy objects and sunk in deep water. The police believe that all of the
body would not fit into the trunk and that a rope had been attached to the
arm and weighted down with a heavy object and thrown overboard.
this theory the shark must have taken the arm at some time between
8th April, when Smith was last seen alive, and 17th April when the shark
was caught of Coogee. The arm must then have remained in the stomach
of the shark for a further eight days until it was disgorged on 25th April.
police made a thorough search of the Bay at Port hacking for the
trunk, they scoured the area with an aeroplane and a launch. A diver
was sent down but he failed to locate either the trunk or any part
of the body.
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