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Mead High School’s Student News

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Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

The Killing of James Smith

A tiger shark started a homicide investigation in Sydney, Australia.
Mav+Murder+crime+analysis+was+started+by+Alice+Stewart
Isabella Pacotti
Mav Murder crime analysis was started by Alice Stewart

On April 25, 1935, a tiger shark in the Coogee Aquarium Baths in Sydney, Australia threw up a human arm.

Just eight days prior the tiger shark was caught off the coast of Coogee Beach by a fisherman, who took it to the aquarium. In the aquarium, the shark had been very active and had quite the appetite but suddenly he appeared extremely ill. It then vomited the famed arm up.

When a medical examiner looked at the arm, they said that the arm had not been bitten off but cut off or removed with a knife. Luckily the arm was in good shape and detectives found a lead from the tattoo of two boxers in a fight on the arm. They then posted this information on the local Sydney Newspaper. Edwin Smith, seeing the article, contacted the police suggesting the arm belonged to his brother, James Smith.

With this lead, the police then looked at the fingerprints on the arm and found that it matched James Smith’s. Smith was a former boxer and had several run-ins with the police for bootlegging and illegal gambling. While looking into Smith’s life they noticed that he had been in argument discourse with Patrick Brady.

During the examination of Patrick Brady’s life, the police noticed that Brady and Smith had been together before Smith’s disappearance. Brady was already known to the police with a lengthy criminal record.

While looking into Brady they discovered that Brady and Smith had taken a taxi ride to a man named Reginald Holmes’ home. Holmes was a middle-class businessman who was involved in some sketchy activities. He had created a speedboat smuggling ring, where he would transport cocaine and cigarettes using boats. Smith had worked for Holmes and had helped out on these boats. The police suspected that Smith had possibly blackmailed Holmes after a failed insurance scam. Law enforcement began to think of theories that could lead to why the shark had the arm.

They concluded that Brady killed Smith and disposed of his body in the harbor where the shark later found and ate it. The police were still unable to arrest because most of the evidence was circumstantial.

Finally, there was a break in the case when Holmes took off in a speedboat pulling out a pistol. He then shot himself but the bullet didn’t kill him immediately. He began driving his boat around attempting to avoid the police. When they finally arrested Holmes, he said he would testify against Brady in court. Before he could make it to court Holmes was found dead in his car. With little evidence to convict Brady, he was acquitted.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Pacotti
Isabella Pacotti is a sophomore. She enjoys skateboarding, drawing, painting, and reading. She is involved with orchestra and theatre. She is looking forward to writing articles for The Mav this year.
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