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Shark Week may be over, but we’re diving into a true crime horror story involving a missing man, a tiger shark, and a regurgitated arm.

shark arm case

The Shark Arm case refers to a murder investigation and trial that began in Sydney, Australia, in 1935.

The case began when a captive 3.5-meter tiger shark regurgitated a human arm with tattoos in Coogee Aquarium. Police were called to the aquarium to retrieve the arm from the shark’s tank. The arm was promptly identified as belonging to James Smith, a missing ex-boxer and small-time criminal.

Early inquiries correctly implicated a Sydney businessman named Reginald William Lloyd Holmes (1892–1935), known to be a fraudster and a smuggler. But trust, my friends, when I tell you that’s just the beginning of a tale almost too twisted to believe.

The case, which resulted in a murder investigation and trial, made quite a splash — gaining significant media attention due to its bizarre and macabre nature. And this still unsolved mystery has become legendary in Australia’s legal history. The case was the basis of a 2003 episode of CSI: Miami, a Season 5 episode (2) of the popular YouTube series Buzzfeed Unsolved, and a Season 4 episode (15) of Psych.


Ominous Origins

Welcome to the Ominous Origins Podcast, a Horror Shots production. If you were previously a fan of the Horror Shots Podcast, this is the same great show with the same compelling content focused on myth, mysterious creatures, unexplained events, spooky stories — and even some of the strangest and most disturbing true crime stories. As always, our goal is to entertain but also to enlighten with short, well-researched episodes on a variety of fascinating topics.

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