Leonard Ewing Scott Dies A Pauper
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Leonard Ewing Scott, whose murder trial paved the way for future prosecutions in ″no body″ cases, died nearly 30 years after he was convicted of killing his socialite wife whose body was never found. He was 91.
Scott died Aug. 17 at the Skyline Convalescent Hospital. His body remains unclaimed at the Los Angeles County morgue, county spokeswoman Kathy Dickinson said Tuesday.
Scott’s wife, Evelyn Throsby Scott, was last seen alive at the couple’s Bel-Air home on May 16, 1955. Her dentures, glasses and other personal items were found near an incinerator in their back yard.
Scott fervently denied killing his wife, and the bulk of the evidence against the former investment consultant at his 1957 trial was circumstantial.
Since the Scott trial, 20 ″no body″ cases have been successfully prosecuted in the United States.
Scott refused all opportunities for parole, saying acceptance would make it appear he was guilty. He was imprisoned for 21 years.
The author of ″Corpus Delecti,″ an account of the case published last year, says Scott eventually confessed.
Author Diane Wagner said Scott told her he killed his wife with one blow to the head with a rubber mallet, then buried her in the Nevada desert.
″I can’t tell you why he confessed. He called up and said he had a story to tell me and that’s what it was,″ Wagner said Tuesday.
The prosecution had believed Mrs. Scott’s body may have been encased in a concrete beam used to support the San Diego Freeway, which was being built near the couple’s home at the time.
After his wife’s disappearance, Scott fled to Canada. He was indicted for murder and was listed as a fugitive for a year before being arrested in Canada and returned to Los Angeles.
Prosecutors claimed Scott killed his wife because of her alcoholism and medical problems, and because he learned she had been married five times previously.
Prosecutors recommended a death sentence, but jurors sentenced him to life in prison. He was released in 1978.
Wagner described Scott as a charming man who spent the final years of his life ″living in genteel poverty.″
He has no known survivors.