35. Kidnap, kidding n and p.
Listening to an ABC Morning Program one day, just as I passed their Collinswood Studios, I overheard a commentator mention, how his mailbox was always empty. From the bits and pieces I grasped they were discussing, who would be a worthy winner of a sports trophy.
With this bit of information stored in my brain, I later wrote the following letter to the person concerned. (Only when seeing this person featured on US TV at the beginning of the Athens Olympics, did I realize that he was a well known TV Sports commentator).
H.G. (Lonely) N.
C/ABC Local Radio
Re: Laurence Angwin trophy
On my way to investigate a road crash I sensed your yearning for some mail in your mailbox. Since I have a similar yearning for someone to listen to my (often strange) tales of “hoo ha and beyond”, we are perfectly matched.
I suggest a bloke named Bob Neil being awarded the “Laurence Angwin” trophy. No one has heard much of him he is so humble. He supports the All Blacks Uni Footy Team and works quietly from his bunker in Salisbury (according to his website by the same name). Philip Satchel did a “special” on Bob Neil, the legend 1 1/2 years ago.
Recently he picked up some rubbish off the road and realized it was outside house number 75 W. Road, Salisbury North (opposite T. Av). Next thing the Crows win their first match out of 5 and they win by 75 points. This was all hatched by Bob and his secret support staff in his bunker between the hours of 3.15 and 5.30 am.
Last year he had organized a grand final between the Crows and Port Power, but the Vic’s insisted it would take place in Melbourne. Bob has nothing against Melbourne. He holds many treasured memories of Sandown, Federation Square and Collins St. But an all SA final, played in Melbourne was too much for him to contemplate. It never happened.
Changing the subject, the 44 year old man allegedly run over outside the Sands Motel was actually killed outside the Great Wall Restaurant. Why did he chose the uptrack to jump infront of a learner truck in the centre lane? Do you know how slow trucks go uphill, especially when a learner is at the wheel? I saw a sign driver under test! Since when can Australia Post do driving tests?
Nothing makes sense. But then, how much intelligence can you expect from a mental patient from Glenside (I know I am one of them, - intellent, ex-Glenside). They wouldn’t give me the deceased’s name at Glenside Hospital. Poor chap would not have many friends. I thought of giving him company. I am a bit of a funeral junkie.
PS As they were discussing the Advertiser headline “Tokyo mercy dash” - I saw it:
Yo, OK T? Me cry - dash! (I learned all this in night classes at Glenside).
The whole of Chapter 38 in “More in number” is about legend Bob Neil. My picking up the rubbish reference is found in Chapter 22. I couldn’t help throwing in the strange co-incidence about the football scores and the hint, how silly it would be, if two Adelaide teams would play against each other in the grand final and it was to be played 800 kilometres away in Melbourne.
The more I blew the whistle to our local Newspaper, via email or letter, or cast doubts on suspect news reports, the more I seem to spot just such items, that did not make sense.
My sensitive ears picked up a radio report of a crash outside the Great Wall of China Restaurant. The location was reported as the Sands Motel; the same name as the Motel I had stayed at in California. I paid a visit to the Motel and asked about the crash. I took a good look around and picked up minor clues, plus exhibits for the museum, possibly.
I had also enquired with the receptionist at the Glenside Hospital (the one mentioned in my letter, where I had spent a week, five years earlier). She gave me a phone number to ring another Government body. The number ends in 5335. She was not allowed to give me the deceased’s name. My message, requesting the name of the deceased, which I left on the answer machine of the number given, was never answered.
Lastly, I played with a headline in the newspaper that day. A senior politician was taking a “mercy dash” to Tokyo for talks on avoiding the closure of the Mitsubishi Factory in Adelaide’s South. How I came up with the jumbled message, I don’t know. (But if they are looking for someone to run night classes in Glenside, I’d make sure they would be fun).
On Saturday 22/5/04 on page 23 I read a report in the Advertiser of a schoolgirl being attacked in an attempted kidnap by a man 50 – 55 years old. I cannot recall what originally make me doubt the truth of this story, which again, I had heard initially on the radio. When I read the printed article I knew the facts would not stack up to scrutiny:
From the Advertiser Saturday 22/5/04 - P. 23
A man approached a girl at a bus stop the morning before. He tried to kidnap her. She fought back with one arm in plaster and escaped. The man ran away. The girl caught a bus to school, and only then reported the incident. She was taken to hospital for observation and released some hours later.
Printed with the story was a locality map, an identikit of the suspect and a photo of a person, one arm in a cast, but the face blacked out. I couldn’t help pondering the fact that my 14-year old son Jon also had his arm in plaster at the time. He’d had a sports injury.
It was reported that police had conducted a door knock in the area and were asking the public for information through their CrimeStoppers hotline. I knew the area pretty well and decided to do a little research the following Monday morning. It was convenient, because I had a lesson to conducted just down the road a little later that morning.
I parked in Alpha Road and was looking for Priscilla Street. There was no street sign so I checked with my street directory to be sure it was the right street. The last five letters of this name I can easily read as: I see all, but playing little word games was not what this was all about. I knocked on one house, but nobody answered. A lady at another house said, she did not live there and her mother had only returned from Perth the day before. She had not seen or heard anything. (Why did she bother mentioning Perth? I had been there only a short time prior on a remarkable journey).
The graphic description in the paper puts the crime scene right at the northern end of Priscilla St, which is only about 100-150 meters long. There is a large, red brick church situated at the junction of Barker and Priscilla Roads., but no bus stop, as shown in the diagram. Barker Road is far too narrow for buses.
Walking back to my vehicle in Alpha Rd. I asked an elderly man, who was sweeping his driveway, if he knew anything about the incident? He did not. Neither had he been doorknocked by police, even though he lived right at the scene of the crime. It’s possible that he had been out at the time, but too much of the story didn’t add up, to convince me it was true.
On the subject of ‘newspapers and truth’ I once read that if an article does not give any name or data that can be cross checked, one should be very suspicious about it. In this attempt at a kidnap it worried me that the girl’s account of what took place, was the only basis for the entire printed story. Yet, the paper had reported events as if they really had taken place. Here is what I think needed answering in this story:
1.The blatant error about the bus stop. (I took a second look later, just to be sure).
2. What would the man have done with a screaming girl, without a vehicle in the middle of a residential area?
3. Why did the girl not call for help at the nearest house or tell the bus driver?
A week after the alleged crime, a day after my on-site visit, I wrote to the motoring writer of the Advertiser (with a copy to a Member of State Parliament):
The article on P. 23 of the Advertiser 22/5/04 by R. H. lacks a lot of credibility.
The first sentence does not say, "the girl alleges". It presumes that it is fact. The girl walked along Barker Rd. - the graphic that goes with it shows - 1. Girl grabbed at bus stop Barker Rd. Prospect. - There is no bus stop opp. Priscilla on Barker, only a church (I am almost 100% sure, but will check this out again).
Eric D., the inspector believes this was a genuine attempt at kidnapping. Yet, the offender did not even have a car nearby. A girl with a plastered arm fights off successfully an offender. She flees, but still hits him from behind (it must have been from behind, otherwise how could she inflict injury with her right arm on the right side of his face) and gives a detailed description: Fleecy green pants and red top, yellow underpants (no sorry, I made that up, I'm learning), tinted glasses, but she still estimates the age within a 5 year range. Brilliant girl.
I could go on and write a book about it, but there are more important things on my mind than questioning media reports. (Except one, I'm taking that one more slowly and seriously).
One last concern with this type of reporting - What is stopping the police to knock on anyone's door, arresting any 50 -55 y.o. that fits the description and telling the media that he confessed to the crime, even if he denied it all? Truth does not come into it, only convenience. If a troublemaker has to be removed from the street, why not do it in style - clean, legal, above the board. AH, the legal profession, you say, would help. Sure, if you find an honest one and/or they don't sell your house, so you can't afford a lawyer.
God willing none of this will happen, but it still worries me that the sheep out there swallow everything they read. If the girl is telling the truth, I still would like more common sense in your paper's reporting, especially when I am paying money for it.
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS Your report said a doorknock was conducted. I spoke to a man in Alpha Rd. He said no police had interviewed him yet.
The name ‘Derrick’ under my signature above hinted at another sensational story I was “investigating”. It was not just a local car crash or alleged rape. It was a political bombshell that made front page news all over Australia, even in South East Asia. (Full story in a later chapter, God willing).
As if trying to press home a point, another dodgy story appeared in the Advertiser Newspaper on 9th June 04, page 11. The article took almost a full-page. It included a composite photograph and sketch of the alleged crime scene.
This time it was not merely an attempted attack, but for real. (Alleged real, if you know what I mean?). The police again were asking for witnesses to a rape of a 65-year old woman. I detected a number of similarities to the Prospect attack barely 2 weeks earlier. Here is the short version of the incident:
On Saturday afternoon, June 5th at approx. 4.50 pm a 65-year old female was walking home carrying bags of shopping. She heard footsteps behind her, when she was dragged into an area alongside a football oval and raped for 10 minutes.
The fact that it was not printed until 4 days later, yet the report said that police feared repeat attacks, made me think. The attacker was shown in the newspaper as well as the TV News, wearing a white “beanie”. A security camera at a nearby car park had filmed a man, who fitted the description. Police were anxious to talk to him.
The name of the main road ‘Goldsmith Drive’ (a boy named Ben Goldsmith had died in the Salisbury train crash in 2002, More in number, Chapter 50) was only a minor clue that made me decide to take a closer look. I asked my friend Dave to come for the ¾ hour drive down to Adelaide’s Southern suburbs. He agreed to come. (The same person had accompanied me to the York Peninsula Field Day months earlier, Chapter 12).
As soon as I had parked my vehicle I read a further clue – I had parked right above an overpass near the crime scene. It was bus stop 65 (the same age as the alleged victim). Was I on the right track or conducting a wild goose chase? The path from where the woman was allegedly “picked”, runs between and a large, private school and their sports oval. This meant the crime scene was in full view of the college. The newspaper’s locality sketch of the attack points an arrow well towards the centre of the oval. If the attack had taken place there, it would have been not only in view of the school, but also nearby houses. For such crime to go unnoticed in that locality for a full 10 minutes is hard to believe.
In the distance under the overpass is the football oval where
the alleged offence took place.
The 65-year-old victim was allegedly traumatized, yet managed to ruffle herself up, collect her groceries and walk home immediately after the attack. As in the Prospect kidnap incident the victim gave a very accurate description of the perpetrator and the clothing he wore. The newspaper article didn’t say who took the raped woman to hospital. It was also unclear to me, why she was taken into the Royal Adelaide Hospital (just for a check-up), when Flinders Medical Centre, a very large medical facility, was much closer.
As during our previous excursions, Dave was a little bewildered as to what I was doing. He couldn’t understand why I was particularly intrigued at the “white beanie”, supposedly worn by the offender. Despite having seen TV footage, I cannot recall ever having seen a man in a white beanie before. I even promised Dave 20 dollars, if he would spot a man in a white beanie that afternoon. (I nearly lost the bet after a car went past; the driver wore a light coloured beanie, not white. Luckily, Dave didn’t see it at all).
After strolling the area Dave and I went into the shopping centre. While Dave sat down in a café for a light meal I did a little shopping – for a white beanie! One male shop assistant gave me a peculiar look: “We don’t sell beanies”, and walked away. At another department store one lady was friendly and helpful. She took me to the female clothing section. I could have bought a bone-coloured beanie, but had no intention to, whatsoever. (I may have been into crosses, but not into ‘cross-dressing’).
There were a number of similarities between the two cases. Both alleged crimes rested entirely on the statement of the victim, no witnesses. The victim of the 10 minute rape walked home afterwards, the report says, but not how far. It only said – “…she lives in the southern suburbs”. An accurate reporter would have stated that “…she was only 300 metres (or ½ kilometre or a few blocks etc) from home”.
My wife and family regarded my excursions and my line of questioning as waste of time. We got into a few arguments about my “Sherlock Holmes” game play. “It doesn’t bring us in much money”, was a phrase I heard repeatedly. How true can someone be - and yet so wrong!
In my mind a picture started to crystallize as to what was taking place. There were too many parallels between the cases to ignore it all.
I wrote the following letter to the author of the article:
The Police Reporter, The Advertiser
Daylight rape - alleged -Your report - The Advertiser 9/6/04, P. 11
Dear Mr. S.
I have always believed that thinking and asking questions is a very healthy sign of democracy at work, therefore this letter. Your article raises many questions.
If there were genuine fears of further rape attacks, why wait for four days before alerting the population? Had another attack occurred on Tuesday, people may have asked, why was nothing in The Advertiser on Monday to warn people? There may have been other media reporting this incident, but your paper is the prime source for public information of this nature.
As happened in another attack (by an old man, 50-55 year old) on a 15 year old girl in Prospect about 3 weeks ago, this whole story is based only on the victim’s statements. Both reports are written as if the events took place exactly as stated. The word alleged ought to be inserted.
I visited the location last Thursday afternoon. It really looked not a very suitable place for an attack of this kind. The two-story structure of Cardjin College, with numerous windows, overlooks the whole path and oval. I was told later by a staff member that he was on the premises at the time of the alleged attack, but heard nothing. Why did the attacker drag the woman onto the Oval, where there is open exposure? The underpass, which the victim must have walked under, would have been a more obscured spot for an attack. Wearing a white beanie is very rare for a male. May I say, I have never seen a white beanie on a male’s head.
The phrases used by CIB Detective Polacek are very vague in parts: “...incidence of this nature have happened in the past all over the place… there was a bit of violence used... (yet - the insert says—”it is a nasty attack”, not “was a nasty attack” and no mention of any weapon)… the woman, who lives in the Southern Suburbs (very unlikely she’d walk home with groceries to a far away suburb)… Why was the victim taken to the RAH and not to the Flinder’s Medical Centre, less than half the distance away?
What is meant by this: “We are certainly looking at that aspect (DNA test) of the investigation, because of the nature…” Another similarity between the Prospect attack and this incident – both victims ruffled themselves up, and went their ways. One caught the bus to school, the other walked home, before raising an alarm. Why not raise the alarm immediately to possibly catch the offender(s)?
Perhaps the 65 year old (if she exists) should be questioned further to establish exactly what happened by that path under Goldsmith Drive, near bus stop 65 at 4.50 pm on Saturday 5/6/04?
PS During my visit I noticed a girl walk
under the underpass all by herself no police anywhere.
One of above statements is not quite correct. The offender did not drag the woman onto the oval, but into an area beside. When I wrote the article I looked at the graphic in the newspaper, which showed the attack’s location toward the centre of the oval.
It became increasingly difficult for me to make my wife Isobel, my wife since July 24th 1971, consider any of the many, many connections I noticed daily all around me. When I tried to make the connection, she got irate or laughed at my linking thinking.
For example, late in July 04 Isobel pointed out an article in the Messenger Press Newspaper, the paper I initially emailed when I recognized matching headlines (e.g. “Up the creek” Ch. 18 More in number). Isobel showed me a photo of a couple that had been married 50 years on July 24th 04. I started to hint that we might be receiving ‘veiled’ attention. (Our wedding anniversary is on that date). As if she could read my mind, she ended the conversation with a shrug.
Two weeks later the same newspaper actually had her name in print. A reporter had come to our door (I was out) and interviewed Isobel about the footpaths in our street. Goodall Road had been named as one of the worst 3 streets in Salisbury for footpath damage. I noticed quite a number of cryptograms (hidden messages) relating to “it”. Three small photos of broken footpaths in three different streets were pictured. The one concerning Goodall Road had a shoe in the foreground.
The various names, all printed in bold, of the people interviewed I decoded. The messages I read into the names were not very uplifting. The reporter had classed my wife of 33 years as Ms. Fischer. Was this a genuine mistake? Did he want to suck up to the ‘politically correct’ lobby or had he read in chapter 31 about an ‘R’ gone missing? After I read and had digested my clues, I quietly said to Isobel: “What would you say, if I told you, the report was not about footpaths, but about walking?” Sadly, I didn’t get past first base once again.
My journey would have ended long ago, arriving nowhere, had I let sceptics convince me that I was ill. I had reached a point of assurance, despite incredible events taking place. I kept an open mind, pursuing thoughts with a ‘possibility thinking’ attitude. This didn’t mean I ignored people. Everybody played the part assigned to them in this sage. It really was a matter of forgiving them all - they didn’t know what they were doing.
A time was approaching, when matters would need to come to a head. I felt there was a change coming; from the playful, light-hearted larrikin role to one, who must heed a call for a special purpose. Leaving my family, because they did not see things the way I did, was not an option. I started to clearly understand a principle I had heard preached so often, but now fully grasped:
“Those who do not believe in Christ, are nailing him to the cross once again”.