Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Mysterious Letter

A Mysterious Letter

Mysterious letters began to turn up at the local Adelaide police station in December 1931 and the home of the Lawson family in Hilton, after the body of 17 year old James Charles Lawson was found at the bottom of the Torrens Weir in Adelaide.
The letters, sent anonymously, appeared to be made by someone lacking in literacy, or trying to disguise themselves as appearing so.
The letter received by James' Mother, was signed “ I am one who knows” and contained a number of insinuations toward the Mother that she may have had a hand in the boys death. The letter also alluded to the boy running away from home of a frequent basis, and that the reason for this was known by the letter writer, insinuating it was caused by harsh treatment of James by his Mother.
One line in the letter stated “ If an inquest is going to be held, I am going to make myself known”, a thinly veiled threat that this anonymous writer knew something more about the boys death and would come forward as a witness to provide possible evidence that could lead to a murder trial – the letter was signed by “A Mother”.

Of course the Police issued a statement in the media urging this Mother to come forward and state the facts she knew, they assigned an officer, one they thought would be approachable, for the anonymous writer to come forward too, Constable E. J. Davis, a plain clothes officer of the law. Of course, The Mother did not show
AS is law, an inquest was held into the death of young James, and hoping that the anonymous writer would be brave enough to come forth, A young court orderly was sent into the hallway and doorways of the building and told to announce in his loudest voice “ That if anyone wished to give further evidence, he, or she, should come forward now and be heard!”
No-one stepped forward.
It was found by the inquest that James died from drowning, Dr. A F Lynch, who conducted the post mortem examination added to the testimony stating that James had eaten a very heavy meal shortly before he entered the water and that, due to this, it was probable that a sudden a chill on top of a full stomach had resulted in his losing consciousness and drowning.

Do you believe the inquests verdict, or so you think something more sinister happened to young James?

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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