The Mirror

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Newspaper Clippings

The following extracts were obtained with kind permission, but as such do not come to any definite conclusions.

Cornish newspaper clipping reads as follows

27th August 1924

At seven o'clock yesterday morning, local fishermen from out of Portloe found a body floating face down in the sea near the cliffs a mere three hundred yards from their small harbour. The deceased was said to have drowned, but no specific details concerning the bodies apparent "bizarre state" can as yet be ascertained. The body was a young man, about early to mid-twenties, and was believed to have been staying nearby.

No more information can be gleaned from the Police at this time

Notes from P.C. Dants report-Falmouth Police Station

29th August 1924

…the deceased, named as Randall Smith, architect by trade, was not a local man. He lived in the South East of England, and was staying at the Ship Inn at Portloe whilst taking some leave from his employer. Previous to this Mr Smith had been holidaying in Scotland…

…Mr Smiths family have been informed of his death and the circumstances surrounding it. They are due to arrive in Falmouth later on tonight or first thing tomorrow morning (30th). We also contacted Mr Smiths Scottish relatives, who were asked the whereabouts of a‘tea shop close to Loch Ness. Apparently there are no shops of that kind in the area. We have chased up the lead on the antique shops in Falmouth. The first mentioned in Smiths account is genuine, dealing in furniture and the like, with the proprietor being a well respected dealer on that corner of the market. The other shop does not exist. All that we found was an empty building with windows boarded over. That is how it has stood for the past six years…

31st August 1924

…Mr Smith was not known to have had any enemies, outstanding debts or ever a crossed word with anyone. We are regarding this case as suspicious but are not as yet ruling out suicide or misadventure. The Coroner will determine the cause of death…

…the diary Mr Smith had been writing dated from the 24th to the 27th August, leaving a large question mark. He was last seen by the landlord of the Ship Inn on the morning of the 25th. Smith was found dead on the 26th, yet an entry in his diary clearly states the 27th. Perhaps a lapse of memory? It is still very puzzling, especially considering the bizarre condition of his body…

…the Coroner knows an excellent psychoanalyst who he hopes can give an insight on Smiths state of mind from the information we have. Still a fairly recent science, psychoanalysis…

Excerpts from the Coroners report.

31st Aug. 1924.

…upon initial examination the cause of death can only be that of drowning. No bruises, lesions, cuts, burns or any other sign of a forced struggle or possible accident are apparent, barring the red circular marks around his legs and lower torso. These marks are raised slightly above the flesh, and look for all the world like giant squid rings. Hmmm, too many stories of the sea as a boy put that in my head. Smith was brought to me with his left hand clutching a mirror, which proved quite a task to release. The mirror has no particular fascination…

2nd Sep. 1924

…and when Davies saw the marks he confirmed what I had took to be only flight of fancy. The rings were indeed made by a giant squid or octopus. But I did point out that the rings were six to seven inches in diameter. Davies merely shrugged…

…according to Smiths G.P. he had never suffered from any skin complaint/disorder in his life. Yet once his body had dried out sufficiently I could see that it was covered with small dry scales, not unlike those of a fish. He was diagnosed as having suffered from an acute form of Icthyosis. The degree of this condition would have been impossible to keep out of the public eye, yet his family insist that he had never suffered from anything like this, and wasn't one for staying indoors…

3rd Sep. 1924

…it has been found that Smith was told to take leave from his employer as he was having ‘difficulty at work'. He had apparently claimed to hear voices on occasion, and hallucinated several times. Smith had confided to his G.P. that the voices sometimes said ‘objectionable' things and that he was feeling increasingly persecuted. By whom he did not say. Much of his unstable condition is borne out in his diary…

…no drug use was known or found. He was not an alcoholic and was in good physical health, aside from the inexplicable case of Icthyosis…

…as far as we can tell Smith could have been suffering from a psychological condition known as Dementia Praecox or Schizophrenic Psychoses which may have driven him to suicide…

…with my side of the case now closed-or taken as far as is humanly possible?-Smiths effects will be handed over to his family. All except for the mirror, for I have been told that it has been misplaced…



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