This case, as often does in such matters, lead to many conspiracy theories, scuttlebutt and unsubstantiated claims as to the fate of Marjorie.
As stated previously chief amongst reporting many of the claims were the press who were having a field day in the initial stages of the disappearance in order to maintain the sensationalist interest of an eager newspaper buying public.
Many of the leading interstate and regional newspapers were also pumping out the latest news and views on the situation.
One paper for example claimed that Marjorie was five months pregnant when she disappeared and this was confirmed they say by Mr East (one of Marjorie’s closest and longstanding associates) which was not what he said on oath at the hearing. When asked if he knew if Marjorie was pregnant at the inquest he stated “If she was pregnant I was not responsible”.
In fact, the hearing, despite some unusual testimony from the likes of a corset manufacturer and a dressmaker as well as opinion gleaned from relatives, could not conclusively prove that Marjorie was pregnant.
Stories of Marjorie's body having been buried in the foundations of the Story Bridge, (unlikely as the foundations had been poured prior to her disappearance), her body dumped at sea in Moreton Bay ("Amity Bay"), or her body having been dismembered and placed in packages and shipped overseas were just some.
Another claim made by one paper was that many graves had been dug up in cemeteries to see if any undisclosed body had been thus deposited.
Again this was refuted by the Crown Prosecutor, assisting the inquiry who publicly claimed that no such drastic action was taken albeit many cemetery records were scrutinised by Police.
The Coroner himself was obliged to make public comment at the hearing on some of the facts as portrayed by the press, expressing his concern over inaccurate reporting.
It is however certain that much of the information given by the public was sincere in its provision and was in no way a deliberate attempt to mislead or discredit.
It could however be argued that some sources of information and testimony may have had a very different agenda.
Probably the most interesting and confusing of the red herrings were those created by Marjorie herself and should perhaps be examined first.
Prior to and during Marjorie’s ultimate application for leave she offered varying reasons to various friends and associates (all within the same social circle) as to the purpose of her short break.
It could be argued that Marjorie’s oft mentioned reasons were perhaps a deliberate subterfuge or plan. Maybe they were bluffs, or a smokescreen. Maybe they were a deliberate ploy to cause confusion in the event of her not returning on the date and time she had indicated.
Marjorie was obviously an intelligent person, a good organiser, and sharp thinker and planner, all skills of which were evident in her position as an aide to the Premier’s wife.
Put yourself in her shoes. Would it not be beyond reason that the people she had given all the different stories to might not speak to each other during Marjorie’s absence and compare notes and therefore cause suspicion as to where she may have gone? If the varying stories were deliberate then were they then also part of a plan?
Copyright R Burton 2015