Melissa Caddick’s Severed Foot Theory Has Almost Been Debunked
After the foot failed, many were quick to speculate that the con artist faked his own death by amputating his foot and fleeing the country. Others believed she killed herself in order to avoid prosecution for her crimes. To this day, no one is certain of his exact fate.
Now the whole debacle is revisited, thanks to the Liar Liar: Melissa Caddick and the Missing Millions podcast. In it, experts attempt to debunk the theory that Caddick severed his foot, instead suggesting the possibility that it broke away from his body before washing up on shore.
Moninya Roughan, professor of oceanography at the University of NSW, appeared on the podcast to say it was entirely possible the shoe was being swept 400km to the south by ocean currents.
In a strange coincidence, Roughan and his The team conducted an experiment just two days before Caddick’s disappearance that tracked how far biodegradable dinghies traveled in the ocean.
Satellite tracking devices were attached to the dinghies, which were about the size of a shoe, before they were thrown into the sea at Port Stephens, around 150km north of Sydney. The first ran aground a month later in Jervis Bay, 250 km south of its starting point, while the second was swept as far as Wollongong. The last was found on a beach slightly north of the launch position.
“After looking at the ocean circulation that occurred from November through February, and after looking at the dinghies we deployed at the same time, the possibility of Caddick’s shoe running aground this far south is entirely possible,” said Professor Roughan. on the podcast.
Well-respected science journalist Erika Engelhaupt also dismissed the idea that Caddick had amputated his foot, arguing that the anatomy of the human foot made it borderline “impossible”.
“The complicated arrangement of the bones at the top of the foot and ankle…make it almost impossible to get a clean slice without cutting the bone,” she told the podcast.
Matthew Orde, a medical examiner at the University of British Columbia, said the unique design of modern running shoes played a central role in the discovery of loose feet washed up on shore. In fact, the Canadian province has reported finding at least 21 feet of washed-out water since 2007.
“Over the last few years they have become more and more advanced in their design and construction, and many of them contain pockets of air filter bubbles in the soles which make the shoe more buoyant,” Orde told the podcast, talking about the likelihood of the shoe traveling a great distance.
Several experts argued for the likelihood of Caddick cutting his foot, which only added fuel to the contentious fire. Dr Paolo Magni from Murdoch University spoke with The Daily Telegraph in 2021, where he questioned the lack of barnacles found on the shoe, especially given the hot weather Australia was experiencing at the time.
As things stand, we still don’t know what happened to Melissa Caddick that day.
An inquest into Caddick’s disappearance and presumed death will take place in September.