Reprint: Story at Inquest: Bones Found in Fire

Remarkable evidence was given by Arthur William Upfield, when the Coroner to-day opened an inquiry in an effort to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a man believed to be Leslie John Brown, also known as Louis Carron, who disappeared near Mount Magnet in 1930.

It is also hoped that the inquiry will lead to the solution of the strange disappearance of George Lloyd and James Ryan, who were Brown's companions.

John Thomas Smith, alias "Snowy" Rowles, who has been charged with the murder of Brown, is alleged to have been seen driving a motor lorry accompanied by Brown, which had previously been seen in the possession of Lloyd and Ryan.

Upfield, in evidence, said that he was a writer of mystery stories, but was formerly a boundary rider. Some time ago, while Rowles was working as a stockman on the Narndee Station, witness discussed with him and a man named George Ritchie, the plot of a mystery novel which he proposed to write.

The witness told Rowles that his story required to be written around a murder mystery, but there must not be any corpse. The story required the corpse to be disposed of in such a manner that it would be thoroughly destroyed. On October 6 1929, he discussed with Rowles a scheme suggested by Ritchie, under which the corpse in the story was to be burned and the ashes sifted for metal and other unburned parts. These metal parts were to be dissolved in acid.

In order to heighten the mystery a kangaroo was to be burnt on the same spot.

The witness said that since then a book embodying this plot had been written, under the name of "The Sands of Windee."

Evidence by the police showed that human bones, thought to be those of Brown, were found in the ashes of a fire.

A pathologist giving evidence said that he had examined some of the bones found in the fire, but they were so broken that they could not be recognised as human. However, several teeth found were human.

A representative of a city jewellery firm identified two watches produced by the police has having been repaired for Lewis Carron.

First published in The Canberra Times, 19 January 1932
[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 14, 2008 8:51 AM.

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