Author Topic: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968  (Read 22221 times)

Angela Ellis

  • Member
  • Posts: 139
  • Webmaster/Founder of www.nampn.org
    • View Profile
Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« on: August 28, 2007, 09:17:43 AM »
* 1968 ? Scott Leishman, 16, of RR 1, Thorndale, was missing for three months
before his body was found in Port Burwell harbor on May 15. There were no signs
of violence but some of his clothing was disturbed. It is unclear if he was
sexually assaulted.

Woodland

  • Member
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 06:36:53 PM »
While browsing Toronto Star Pages of the Past today, found the following  on the front page dated 30 May 1968.  Unfortunately it is not possible to link the pages.

TS reports that Scott McGregor Leishman, 16 was last seen 21 March 1968 - during a school holiday after spending the day with friends in Thorndale, where he was from.  He was last seen getting into a vehicle - a cream colored meduim compact car.

This is different from other reports that he was last seen 15 February 1968 in London, Ontario.

Not sure which report is correct, however looking at the Robert Bruce Stapylon thread, in 1969 Canada did not use the metric system, so Robert 'found 6 km's from home' is dicey imo.

I do not see Scott or Robert on an OPP or other police force website, giving details that these are active and unsolved cases.  I believe they are unsolved, just not active - so who released the different info?  I get the police want to hold back on some info - but if they released outright incorrect info - this would be ill-conceived on their part.

Woodland

  • Member
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 05:35:53 PM »
Another note on Scott.  On 5 February 1998, Project Angel did release info that Scott was found beaten.

I wonder if this occured prior to him being put in the water and was it possible then to determine that with certainty.  Or is it possible that he was put in Big Otter Creek much further upstream and carried down to Port Burwell with the spring run-off, causing some battery to his body.

jeb

  • Member
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 07:10:19 PM »
Hi All, I'm new to the forum.  I have done much research on many of London's unsolved murders from the sixties.  I have read that Scott Leishman's body was found in Port Burwell Harbour but I have never read that his body was in Big Otter Creek.  Could you please direct me to a reference as I would like to read up on it.

Woodland

  • Member
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 08:04:29 PM »
Hi jeb - Big Otter Creek was pure speculation on my part.  See 'By Decade Murders and Missing People' on the home page of this site --> Comparing MOs in Canada, page 2, 17 June 2010.

I was asking the question 'could Scott have been placed in Big Otter Creek the same as Jacqueline English and carried to Port Burwell in the spring run off'.  Conversation continued from there.

jeb

  • Member
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 10:59:57 PM »
Hi Woodland:  Thanks for the reference.  Until I read your post I was unaware that Big Otter Creek empties into Port Burwell.  And of course, as you have stated Jacqueline English's body was found in Big Otter Creek.  There is a picture in the London Free Press of the bridge that her body was said to have been thrown from.  (Listed as the 10th Concession.  On a Brantford Simcoe Map the bridge is located on Highway 20 right at Furnace Rd.)  Also, in your reference conversation you assumed that Jacqueline Dunleavy finished work at 11pm.  However the London Free Press has stated she finished work at 6pm.  Hope this is helpful.

Woodland

  • Member
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 05:15:13 AM »
Thanks jeb.

Since you have studied the London cases, we would be most interested in any info you might want to share on any of the threads.

Do you know where Robert Stapylton was located?  If so, can you post under his threaad?

goNgo

  • Member
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 07:34:58 PM »
I spent a brief time with the microfiche of the London Free Press today, with a specific goal of finding out more about Scott's disappearance.  Unfortunately that microfiche is time consuming to work with if you don't know the specific dates of the news. So...I'll have to go back to complete the job.

In the meantime I found the following:

May 16/68 -  very brief article, titled "Unidentified body found in harbour", on page 29 (in only one edition of LFP...not the other), which is the front page of the local/regional section.  It basically said that a body had been found floating face down in the Port Burwell inner harbour (I presume the day before -- May 15 -- which is consistent with other reports). They indicated that the body belonged to a male, teen to early 20's in age.  The body was sent to the coroner's office for autopsy.

I checked the next couple of days of LFP...but I didn't see anything further reported.

Thursday, May 30, 1968 edition -  on page 1 there were two related items.

1) "Did you see this boy?"  There is a photo of Scott.  Key points were:
  -  body found in Port Burwell harbour on May 15
  -  Scott was seen accepting a ride in Thorndale between 4:00 and 4:30 on March 21 
  -  he was last seen wearing a black wool jacket with a hood and blue jeans
  -  OPP Det. Sgt. Dennis Alsop said they want to find the driver of the car

2)  "US sex-killing not linked to unsolved London deaths" -- on page 1 and cont'd on page 9
 
The article is about Stanley Rice, arrested in Florida for the May 12 sex killing of an 9 year old boy.  Waterloo police and OPP questioned the suspect to determine if he was involved in the 1963 disappearnce of 9 year old Keith Henry of Waterloo (vanished July 12/63) -- body not found. The article stated that this suspect was cleared of any involvement in the Frankie Jensen and Scott Leishman murders.

Key points related to Scott's case

  - Leishman's body recovered from the Port Burwell harbour on March 21 (???-- seems like a mistake and is inconsistent with what they said in above article. I might be a transcription error on my part.  I will have to go back and check since the copy quality is too poor to confirm.)
Leishman's farm home in Thorndale was only one mile away from the spot where Frankie Jensen was found.-  Police were unable to determine Scott's cause of death.

Sorry I don't have more to report.  I'll have to go back and go through the period between mid and late May to see when/if they reported more details on Scott's case when they identified the body.  I also want to check references to this case arising from Project Angel in 1998.


edited to correct my poor typing/grammar!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 08:59:46 PM by goNgo »

goNgo

  • Member
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »
While Scott's body was found in Port Burwell harbour, I wondered how much upstream (Big Otter Creek) his body could have been placed and still been washed down to the harbour.

I came across this blog, which described a canoe trip down the Big Otter Creek in the month of May (the same month that Scott's body was found).  The canoeists put in around Richmond (just south of Hwy #3) and successfully canoed to Port Burwell.  They had to lift their canoe over one log jam though.  check out the link and have a look at the photos.  (Thanks Darren...whoever you are!)  This creek is quite sandy, as opposed to rocky, and has fairly high sandy banks.  I'm guessing that Scott's body could have been dumped in the creek quite a way upstream, been snagged on a log jam or branch and then a large rainstorm could have dislodged his body in May.  Thoughts?

http://dmcope.freeshell.org/bigotter.htm

Woodland

  • Member
  • Posts: 818
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 08:52:52 PM »
I have previously read the blog you mention goNgo - it's very interesting.

It would be equally interesting to know what the initial investigators and Project Angel felt about Scott being found in Port Burwell - placed there vs floated/carried some distance.  I wonder if it's even possible to forensically know with a degree of certainty one way or another.  Doubtful in 1968.

Port Burwell it not all that far from Thorndale/London - will the killer tell us one day?  I hope so.

Great job on the media reports!

rkay

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 08:58:20 PM »
Here's the LFP articles I found for Scott Leishman's case (thanks to goNgo for some direction as to relevant dates).


Scott disappeared on March 21, 1968. There is nothing I found in the paper about his disappearance from March 21-29. Like Robert Bruce Stapylton, I wonder if there was a specific reason why this was not reported. Was it originally thought a runaway case? Or did the family or police specifically want it kept quiet? Considering Frankie Jensen had disappeared only 6 weeks earlier, one might assume Scott's (and later Robert's) might have caused a greater alert in the community.

The first set of articles come from May 16th, 1968. Obviously information was at first sparse:


rkay

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 09:00:54 PM »
May 22-23, 1968. After one week Scott has been identified:

rkay

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 09:03:02 PM »
Another week goes by before the next mentions. May 29-30, 1968.

The 2nd article is a repeat of the May 29th, except for the added fact that the white compact car that picked him up was heading eastbound.


rkay

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2011, 09:11:17 PM »
This article is also from May 30th, but primarily deals with the apparent non-connection in relation to Scott (and Frankie) of a captured suspect in Florida who was arrested, and connected with the disappearance of 9-year-old Keith Henry in Waterloo in 1963.

(I found later and earlier articles dealing with this case also-- apparently the suspect, Stanley E. Rice, arrested for other child murders, provided information on where the Waterloo boy's body could be found. I could post this if anyone would like, though I don't want to take this thread off-focus.)

rkay

  • Member
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Scott Leishman - Thorndale, ON - Murdered - 1968
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2011, 09:14:35 PM »
Lastly, from May 31st, 1968.

There didn't seem to be anything else in the week following, and aside from related mentions in articles dealing with later cases, as well as the resurgence of interest with Project Angel (which I'll post separately) there seems to be no other news specific to Scott's case. If anyone is aware of anything else, please let me know.