A Real Life Murder Mystery- Can You Crack It?

 A man was found dead on a beach in Adelaide, Australia on December the 1st 1948. He appeared to be aged in his mid 40s and looked to be physically fit. He had no form of identification on his body and all of his clothing labels had been removed. He had checked in a suitcase with some eclectic belongings at the Adelaide railway station however all clothing labels within the suitcase were removed.

 A thorough search of his body eventually led to a piece of torn out paper being found in a hidden trouser pocket. The piece of paper contained the words ‘Taman Shud. ’ Taman Shud mean the end. These words are the closing words of a book of poetry by Omar Khayyam called The Rubaiyat. A local professional found this very book on the back seat of his car with the words ‘Taman Shud’ torn out the day before the mystery man was found dead.  Laboratory results confirmed that this very book matched up to the piece of paper located on the deceased man.  

On the back page of the book, a mysterious code was printed. It contained what is seemingly unrelated letters. Some of the letters are ambiguous, however my interpretation of them is:





This code was found over 60 years ago and to this day no-one has cracked it. Many professional code crackers have tried to however all have failed.

In the back of the book found in the professionals car was also a telephone number. It belonged to a retired nurse who only lived a few kilometers from where the body was found.  The women claimed to have had previously possessed a copy of The Rubaiyat however gave it to a former lover.

To this day, the identity of the mystery man remains unknown and despite worldwide efforts over the past 60 years to identify him, his identity is still a mystery.

I have only given a brief outline of some of the features of the case however for a greater overview with many more specific details please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case

I have personally spent over 12 hours trying the crack the code.

I tend to believe that

  • Every letter stands for a word
  • It may not be a code
  • As it was found in a book of poetry it may have a link to poetry
  • The book of poetry contains only quatrains
  • The ‘code’ is in the form of a quatrain and may indeed be a quatrain
  • When some people have limited space to write, they write only the first letter of the words.
  • It is common for people to try and memorize poems
  • The actual code has a 2nd line that is crossed out, resembling the ‘fourth’ line.
  • This crossing out leads me to believe that the writer had jumbled up the order of the lines of the poem that they were trying to recall.

In conclusion I believe that it is a spurious similarity that the letters resembling a code were found in the book. I believe that someone was just trying to recall a quatrain (not from The Rubaiyat) and due to limited space was only writing the first letter of each word. I am not sure if the poem was a famous one or one that they themselves or someone close to them made up.

I have tried to identify the poem, dedicating many hours to this however have been unsuccessful.

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