On This Day……. 18th May 1942
The strangled body of Gladys Hosking, 40, was found inside the Royal Park boundary, not far from Camp Pell. She would often have dinner with friends before returning to a boarding house, just 350m from the crime scene. An Australian soldier told police he saw a US officer slipping under the Royal Park fence on the night of the murder. The soldier shone a torch in Leonski’s muddied face, asking why he was covered head to foot in yellow mud. Leonski replied, “I fell over in a pool of mud going across the park”. He had actually been committing murder. After days at Camp Pell interviewing American soldiers, police investigations led to Leonski’s tent, where yellow clay matching the crime scene was found on his tent, shoes and bed.
Photo of Senior Constable Haygarth and an unnamed Aboriginal tracker examine footprints in the mud near where the body of Gladys Hosking was found in Royal Park. Parkville.