“Eddie Leonski – The Smiling Psycopath” terrorized wartime Melbourne with a series of appallingly brutal murders in May 1942. This book Ian Shaw details how a good looking young American soldier managed to cold bloodedly strangle three innocent women.
It is also a look into the mind of a psycopathic murderer, a man who felt no guilt or shame in the murders he committed and who in the end felt no emotion when he faced the gallows hangman at the end of his short life.
Tried and convicted by an Australian court, captured by Melbourne Homicide Squad detectives, executed on the orders of the American High Command directly to Douglas Mcarthur himself, the Leonski murders were a unique example of allied co-operation.
The book is well written by Shaw and there are a unique set of photos that humanize his victims and the facer of the man himself. A man of prodigious strength who used to walk across bars on his hands.
Some of the places could still be visited, though much of this part of Melbourne is sadly no longer present, as is the absence of the winter fogs so common at that time of winter.
A good read for those interested in historical Melbourne, or those de,ving into the mind of the a psycopathic murderer.