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Edward Joseph Leonski

Birth
Kenvil, Morris County, New Jersey, USA
Death 9 Nov 1942 (aged 24)
Coburg, Moreland City, Victoria, Australia
Burial Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Section 9 Row B Site 8
Memorial ID 15710335 · View Source
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Edward Leonski died at the age of 24, executed in Australia by hanging, for the murders of three Australian Women while an Army Private, stationed at Camp Pell in Melbourne, Australia. The three victims were: Ivy McLeod, Pauline Thompson, and Gladys Hosking. A fourth woman was accosted by him, but escaped. After witness accounts and linked evidence, he was arrested and charged. He gave a full confession. He'd go out bar hopping every night and get intoxicated, he'd become a violent drunk. He admitted and bragged about, going through 30 beers a night. He came from an unstable home. His mother was mentally unstable and his father an alcoholic. He had two brothers, one was a known criminal, another was committed to a mental institution. He admitted he choked those ladies, because he was fascinated with their voices. One had sung for him. General Douglas MacArthur confirmed his sentence, he was hung five days later. He was hung at Pentridge Prison in Coburg, Victoria, Australia. On the way to the gallows he was singing happily, "It's a lovely day tomorrow, tomorrow is a lovely day." Most likely to mask his fears and to hide his true anxiety. He was buried three times. First at Springvale Cemetery near Coburg, Australia, then moved to the USAF Cemetery in Ipswich, Australia, in Queensland, then moved to American soil, at the Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 14th, 1949, almost 7 years after his execution.

The murders caused intense fear at the time, and tarnished the reputation of the Army, his exploits was during World War II. Pentridge Prison where he was housed was in the suburb of Coburg. Springvale Cemetery is in an outer suburb of Melbourne, Austrailia. Ipswich is in Queensland, which is a Northern State of Australia. The former prison of Pentridge, is now a housing estate. The site where Leonski left his female victims is now the site of the Royal Childrens Hospital since 1963. And the old military base of Camp Pell, where the U.S. Servicemen were stationed, is now Parkland.

It was actually the United States who sentenced and executed him, Australia just let them use their facilities.

Gravesite Details He was actually cremated, his remains interred at the Cemetery.

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  • Created by: Bonnie Fortney- Wichita, Kansas
  • Added: 12 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15710335
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Joseph Leonski (12 Dec 1917–9 Nov 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15710335, citing Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Bonnie Fortney- Wichita, Kansas (contributor 46786768) .