From Dr. Coppleson's Book
Undoubtedly the most famous illustration of the length of time human
remains can remain undigested in a shark's stomach was the fantastic
series of events which led to what has become known in world
medio-legal history as the "Aquarium Mystery" or
Shark Arm Murder".
author was closely associated with this case as an expert
witness. Here is the story:
On 16th May, Patrick Brady was arrested and charged with
Smith's murder. Next day Holmes was questioned by the police, and he
promised to give evidence at the coroner's inquiry.
days later Holmes's speedboat was seen racing madly around
Sydney Harbour. Holmes was slumped in the cockpit. A police launch
and another boat with a number of men, including Holmes's brother, on
board, gave chase. The speedboat was finally overtaken. Holmes was
taken off and admitted to hospital , where a soft-nosed revolver bullet
was extracted from a wound in his forehead.
days after this incident, Holmes made an alleged statement
to the police. However, his evidence was never given . The night before
the inquest, Holmes was found dead in the driving seat seat of his
car near Sydney Harbour Bridge with a bullet through his head.
men, one of them a leading Sydney boat owner, were tried for
murder of Reginald Holmes. Although it went to three trials and
created legal history, the Crown case against the men failed.
ended without solution one of the strangest cases in the
annals of crime.
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