8 November 1942 – Eddie Leonski

Eddie Leonski

Eddie Leonski

As if there wasn’t enough death during World War II, US-born serial killer Eddie Leonski strangled his way round Australia in his killing spree in the early 1940s.

From New York, he joined the US Army in February 1941 and was posted to Melbourne a year later. His first victim was 40-year-old Ivy Violet McLeod, who was found beaten and strangled On 3 May 1942 in Albert Park, Melbourne.

Then, Pauline Thompson (31) was found strangled 6 days later having been seen with a man with an American accent. His next strangling was Gladys Hosking, 40, on her way back home from Melbourne University.

A witness came forward saying that a muddy American man had asked for directions Of course he had tried and failed to kill on several occasions and those survivors were able to identify him. What could he do but confess to the crimes.

Naturally he was convicted, and the Army court martialled him. He was sentenced him to death in July 1942 and was hanged at Pentridge Prison in November – the second American serviceman to be executed during the Second World War.

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One Response to “8 November 1942 – Eddie Leonski”

  1. Steven Palmer Says:

    Who actually pulled the lever in this case? An Australian executioner or an American?

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