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  1. #1
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    MD/CA - ELLWOOD LEROY LEUSCHNER serial rapist and murderer

    In the course of my research on an old case involving the disappearance of some Maryland children, I came across information on an individual named Ellwood Leroy LEUSCHNER who was a serial rapist and murderer of children. He was captured on Maryland's Eastern Shore in November 1977. I pass this information on in the hope it might assist in investigations of cold cases from the 1974-1977 time frame.


    Ellwood Leroy LEUSCHNER

    On 1 November 1977, a paroled California rapist was arrested in Salisbury, Maryland by Maryland State Police on the charges of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 9 year old boy. The boy was abducted from his trailer park and buried on a farm ten miles away. The suspect, was one Ellwood Leroy LEUSCHNER, age 45. He was a tall, gaunt, white man who worked as a general laborer at the Campbell Soup Plant in Salisbury.

    LEUSCHNER had been first convicted of rape in 1953. He was sent to a California prison in 1960, released in the mid 60's and then convicted and sentenced again for a subsequent forgery and for the rape of a 12 year old girl. In that incident, he dressed in priest's clothing and asked the little girl to help him bring some packages into a church. When he got her in the church, he raped her.

    He was paroled in 1974, and some time after that (exact date not known), he vilolated his parole and left California. He claimed to have lived in Salisbury for three years when captured in 1977. The Maryland State Police called California Corrections Office in 1977 to try to confirm this, but California officials stated that he had left California in March 1976 to avoid another rape charge there.

    LEUSCHNER was also suspected of the kidnap and murder of two other young boys, in separate incidents in July 1977. Police ruled him out as a suspect in one, but believed that he committed the other and he was charged with that murder as well.

    LEUSCHNER was said to have had a girl friend about 15 years younger than himself in Salisbury at the time. He drove a blue or green Camaro (model year not known) in 1977, and it was that car which had been seen at the abduction sites, and at the burial sites that connected him with the abductions and murders. Just prior to his last murder, he had attempted another abduction, but the child escaped and gave a description of him and his car.

    Many police departments became interested in him after his capture, but when the California Corrections officials said that he had only been out of California since March 1976, he was "ruled out" of many open investigations. He may have been out of California sometime before he was reported missing and the March 1976 date might only be when the California parole violation warrant was issued.

    I do not know what became of LEUSCHNER. He was probably tried and convicted of murder in the two cases (which were separate events, not a double murder) and sent to a Maryland prison or to an institution for the criminally insane. I could not find any indication that Maryland sent him back to California. He is not listed in the Social Security Death index, or in any other on-line data bases. If still living, he would be 72 years old today.

    It would be interesting to know where he went and what his time schedule was between his release from prison in California and his eventual capture in Maryland. That might allow investigators to look into other unsolved murders or abductions.

    LEUSCHNER's known victims were male and female children ages 9 to 12, his manner of approach and deception, and his way of burying the bodies in remote areas, the fact that he was a serial offender and had transportation - all would make him a prime suspect in some of the unsolved murders and missing child cases of 1974 thru 1977.

    LEUSCHNER was a serial rapist and murderer. It would seem that for him to have accellerated to the point of killing two boys in one month, he may well have killed others between 1974 and his November 1977 capture. Some answers may be in the existing records. It would be worthwhile to request all available records on him from both California and Maryland. For example, where did LEUSCHNER obtain the car that he was using? Besides the evidence linking him to the two murders that he was charged with, what other physical evidence was obtained from it? What items were found in his personal effects? Perhaps locating LEUSCHNER (if he is still living) and interviewing him might uncover information on other cases.

    I noted several patterns for cases which occurred between 1974 and 1977. During a nine month period between July 1974 and April 1975, there were five incidents involving abductions of two or more children at the same time. These cases have some similarity, although they took place if five different states: Arizona, Florida, Texas, Maryland, and New Jersey. There are a total of 32 children still missing from the 1974-77 time frame. Six of them from Florida, 5 from Texas, 4 from Pennsylvania, and the rest from ten other states.

    In a very short time frame of five months from March to July 1975, and within a very close radius, two girls from Maryland, two boys from New Jersey and three girls from Pennsylvania all disappeared. One incident per month, each in a different police jurisdiction. All of those sites were within driving distance from Salisbury, Maryland.

    Whether or not LEUSCHNER was responsible for the abduction and murder of any of those children is a matter to investigate. He was, in fact, a serial killer on the loose at the time, and it is a reasonable conclusion that these children may have fallen victim to such a killer.
    Last edited by Kimster; 11-05-2011 at 10:35 PM. Reason: prefix

  2. #2
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    The first thing that came to my mind when I read this were the Lyon sisters and Janice Pockett. If he can be talked to then this might be a lead.

  3. #3
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    Leuschner

    I think he's dead. I found this item in a prisoner advocate newsletter:

    "In memorium - Ellwood Leuschner - Gone but not forgotten - the best habe writer in the system and they took his typewriter when he got to MHC (Maryland House of Corrections) Annex. They also had the audacity to double-cell him when he was used to the warmth, coziness, intimacy and privacy of South Wing of the Penitentiary. "

    He didn't come up on the Maryland DOC Inmate Locater.

    That's all I could find on him for now.

  4. #4
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    Ellwood the writer...

    I wonder if old Ellwood in any of his great "habe" writings ever wrote down where he buried the habeas corpi of his other victims. Or did he go to his grave keeping their families in suspense?
    It really breaks my heart to hear how shabbily he was treated by the Maryland prison system. What a shame that he was taken from the "warmth, coziness, intimacy and privacy of South Wing". And they took his typewriter away too? How cruel! You would think that the poor guy was some kind of child killer or something.

  5. #5
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    hi Richard...i have nothing to add except to say nice to see you again!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I wonder if old Ellwood in any of his great "habe" writings ever wrote down where he buried the habeas corpi of his other victims. Or did he go to his grave keeping their families in suspense?
    It really breaks my heart to hear how shabbily he was treated by the Maryland prison system. What a shame that he was taken from the "warmth, coziness, intimacy and privacy of South Wing". And they took his typewriter away too? How cruel! You would think that the poor guy was some kind of child killer or something.
    Yeah, I thought it was parody at first. It's so ridiculous that it sounds completely tongue-in-cheek, but the writer is actually serious.

  7. #7
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    does anyone know where else he lived besides md? or if he only lived in md and what was he doing in 1973? was he in the new england area?

  8. #8
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    Leuschner from California

    Quote Originally Posted by smile22
    does anyone know where else he lived besides md? or if he only lived in md and what was he doing in 1973? was he in the new england area?
    Leuschner lived in California where he was in prison for raping a little girl that he lured into a church dressed as a priest. He was Paroled in 1974 (exact date not known) and would have been required to remain in the state and report in with his Parole Officer. He might have left California as early as 1974, but California parole officials claimed that he left in March 1976. That was probably the date that he was first noticed missing, or perhaps a date so many months after he failed to make an appearance.
    Many police departments were interested in him as a suspect in various cases, but backed off when California insisted that he did not leave until March of '76. At any rate, he was still in prison in 1973.

  9. #9
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    Looking back at cases between 1974 and 1977...

    I put this dirtbag's story in the Cold Case forum some time ago with the idea or possibility that maybe some cold cases of abduction/molestation/murder of children could be linked to him.

    Leuschner is one of those individuals who was obviously a pedophile and child killer, but was never on the rolls as one of the well known serial killers. He was tried and convicted of several rapes, and of the murder of one child, then spent the rest of his life enjoying a life of leisure in the Maryland prison system.

    I wonder how many others there are like him who go through the legal system's revolving door, until finally locked up for good. And how many others like him have committed some of these unsolved abductions and murders?

    Perhaps if details of their crimes, convictions, and travels were made available, some of these cold cases might be linked and resolved.

  10. #10
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    May 2005
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    Unhappy

    Richard--thanks for posting this. There are other "dirtbags" both outside and inside the prison system, some of them are released every day, others are "fat and happy" in their prison subcultures with access to many things that hard working law abiding citizens don't have---at the taxpayers expense. But I'll go ahead and say what we all already know (and also the most important thing to remember)---there are other innocent victims whose lives could have been saved, had these predators not been released. My sister might have fallen into that category. It's the least I can do to make her senseless and brutal death as beneficial as possible to those other victims of unsolved cases, or cases of unidentifieds---and especially to the general public, some of whom don't acknowledge the fact that they/their loved ones are potential victims. At least, that's one way I feel that I can do something she would have wanted with regards to her abduction, rape, torture, and murder---stop it from happening to others and reach out to those other past victims.

    I could go on and on (as you can probably tell ). But I do have respect for the people here on the cold case forum and most folks who post here would probably think that this is really not the forum to discuss my opinion on these matters---to those of you who fit this category, thanks for not slamming me and I'll shut up now.

    Back to the business of cold cases, I have been puzzled also by the number of unsolved homocides in the PA area (and NJ area). It would be helpful to websleuthers to have the MOs and other details so that we can see those cases that are similar to unsolved/unidentifieds. I'm getting ready to start a thread on a NJ DOE that was identified a few months ago. When she was identified her name/other info about her was not released. This is one of many examples of what you are trying to say, I think. Hope you offer some insight to the thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I put this dirtbag's story in the Cold Case forum some time ago with the idea or possibility that maybe some cold cases of abduction/molestation/murder of children could be linked to him.

    Leuschner is one of those individuals who was obviously a pedophile and child killer, but was never on the rolls as one of the well known serial killers. He was tried and convicted of several rapes, and of the murder of one child, then spent the rest of his life enjoying a life of leisure in the Maryland prison system.

    I wonder how many others there are like him who go through the legal system's revolving door, until finally locked up for good. And how many others like him have committed some of these unsolved abductions and murders?

    Perhaps if details of their crimes, convictions, and travels were made available, some of these cold cases might be linked and resolved.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mullins
    I could go on and on (as you can probably tell ). But I do have respect for the people here on the cold case forum and most folks who post here would probably think that this is really not the forum to discuss my opinion on these matters---to those of you who fit this category, thanks for not slamming me and I'll shut up now.

    Back to the business of cold cases, I have been puzzled also by the number of unsolved homocides in the PA area (and NJ area).
    Hey, I'm with you...I've read the threads about the death penalty here, and some of the arguements against. Its not a deterrent. It costs too much. I'm amazed that some people hide behind the cost...stating it costs less to house a criminal for life than to put them to death. I would have to ask the question (though I'll stay here with my friends)...
    What price to put on that one innocent life that is saved when a killer thinks, they'll fry me if I pull this trigger-and lowers the gun?

    As to the number of homocides in my area here...Consider the density of population. Escape from the suburbs of NYC or Philly, hide a body so its not discovered for 3 to 5 years...Chances are you get away with murder.

  12. #12
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    Smile Thanks, I needed that

    Thanks---as to the costs, let me just say this. It's been my personal experience that ADP defense attorneys purposefully prolong the appeals process to make it as lengthy and costly as possible because they ultimately want to abolish the death penalty. My sister's murderer was proven guilty and sentenced to death by a jury of his peers over 20 years ago. Since that time, his ADP defense attorney has "made up" all sorts of lies to try and stall the process and kept the victim's family in distress, reliving the possibilities. Although somehow I've managed to incorporate this into my everyday life by the grace of God, something's gotta change with that process. It's just plain outrageous and unjust. And generally speaking most victims are so torn apart that they lose their voice in the process, having no one to turn to, no funds to assist them, and no real help from the system. Since you seem to be on my wavelength, I recommend reading up on parallel justice---a wonderful idea, and a wonderful direction for the American criminal justice system to move towards. I wish you and your family happy holidays----



    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Hey, I'm with you...I've read the threads about the death penalty here, and some of the arguements against. Its not a deterrent. It costs too much. I'm amazed that some people hide behind the cost...stating it costs less to house a criminal for life than to put them to death. I would have to ask the question (though I'll stay here with my friends)...
    What price to put on that one innocent life that is saved when a killer thinks, they'll fry me if I pull this trigger-and lowers the gun?

    As to the number of homocides in my area here...Consider the density of population. Escape from the suburbs of NYC or Philly, hide a body so its not discovered for 3 to 5 years...Chances are you get away with murder.

  13. #13
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    There's a painful truth to our justice system...The "state" steps in to take the place of the victim, bringing the full weight of the government's resources to bear against the criminal. However, in this process, the victim is removed entirely and loses any voice---defense lawyers then twist this to preclude the victim from having any part in the proceedings, claiming any input from the victim is "prejudicial"! I am not bashing defense lawyers, they are an integral part of the systems of checks and balances. However, when the system can be used to delay ultimate justice for 20 years or more, is justice truly served? Is "justice delayed" truly "justice denied"?
    You and your family will certainly be in my prayers this holiday season, M.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Hey, I'm with you...I've read the threads about the death penalty here, and some of the arguements against. Its not a deterrent. ...
    You are probably correct to say that the death penalty is not a deterrent when you are speaking of the improbable idea of a criminal weighing in his mind whether or not to commit murder.

    BUT.... How many girls has Ted Bundy killed since he was executed?

    On the other hand, look at Harvey Carignan. His 1950 death sentence for rape and murder was overturned on technicality, and nine years later he was paroled. Had he been hanged, as he deserved, he wouldn't have been around to rape and murder all those young girls. Here was a guy who was let off the hook, and still murdered again and again.

    The death penalty is reserved for particularly heinous cases. It is meant to be the ultimate punishment, NOT a deterrant. But when it is carried out, it is in fact the ultimate deterrant too. No executed murderer has ever repeated his crimes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mullins
    I could go on and on (as you can probably tell ). But I do have respect for the people here on the cold case forum and most folks who post here would probably think that this is really not the forum to discuss my opinion on these matters---to those of you who fit this category, thanks for not slamming me and I'll shut up now.
    Mullins you can go on and on if you want to... we are all friends here in cold cases. We are here to listen if you need to talk. I am sorry to hear about the murder of your sister.

    It's the pure evil low lifes like the one who brutally murdered your sister that makes me a staunch advocate of the death penalty!

    Do you mind sharing his name... I would like to know more about your sisters case but don't want you to have to re-live it here.

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