Leslie Arnold GLAISTER: Historical Adelaide Tours Profiles

Historical Adelaide tours Profile | Photo by Vlad Kutepov on Unsplash

The man who murdered Leslie Arnold GLAISTER still has not been caught.  The murder took place in 1951 and the case remains open today.  It is unlikely to be solved due to the murder happening over 70 years ago.   Kathleen Mary Oleson who was with him at the time, was also shot by the same man.  The bullet hit her in the thumb before it ricocheted into her nose. 

Was this the case of mistaken identity, a jealous lover or just a sadistic killer on the prow. 

Leslie Arnold Glaister was married to his wife, Jean.  He was working for a carrying firm at Todd Street, Port Adelaide.  He played football and cricket on most Saturdays and was a professional runner.  He ran third in the Bay Sheffield in the Centenary Year, 1936.  He was also a small-scale S P bookmaker which his wife knew about.

Miss Kathleen Mary Oleson worked with Leslie at Port Adelaide, and also worked for him collecting bets for his S P book making business. 

In January 1951, the Glaister family were holidaying in Hamley Bridge.  On Saturday 27 January 1951, Leslie travelled by train to Adelaide to play in a cricket match, and to collect illegal bets on the races that day.  He had planned to meet Kathleen Oleson at the East Parklands to settle any outstanding winnings and loses from his S P book making and then travel back by train to Hamley Bridge.

On the night of Saturday 27 January 1951, Leslie Glaister met Kathleen Oleson on a park bench in the East Parklands, Adelaide between Wakefield Street and Bartel Road.  It was a secluded spot in the park.  There were a number of other couples sitting on seats scattered throughout the park.

Leslie and Kathleen were chatting to each other, when a man appeared from the shadows carrying a rifle.  He took aim and shot Leslie in the head.  He then fired at Kathleen Oleson.  At the same time, he shot at her, Kathleen put her hands up in front of her face.  The bullet ricocheted from her thumb and continued to her face where it lodged in her nose.  She fell on the ground next to Leslie.

She tried to get up, and the gunman aimed the gun at her again.  She pleaded with him not to shoot her, and the gunman told her to keep quiet.  He then grabbed her handbag and was about to walk off, when Kathleen asked for it back.  He then threw it on the ground next to her.  

The gunman then walked off in the shadows carrying the rifle with him.  The gunshots were loud and distinctive, but nobody else in the park approached them to assist.

Kathleen then got up, bleeding from her face and thumb and approached a couple not far away and asked them to call the police, but they refused.  They walked off. 

She then walked towards the road and stopped a taxi travelling past her and asked the taxi driver to contact police, which he did.

Police and an ambulance attended, and Leslie Glaister and Kathleen Oleson were taken to the Adelaide Hospital.  Leslie Glaister died at the Adelaide Hospital an hour later.

The gun man was described as a man with a short build wearing an open neck shirt and carrying a firearm about 15 – 18 inches long

The police do not believe the motive for the shooting was jealousy or robbery as Glaister had about 60 pounds in his possession at the time of his death which was not taken.  On the same night, two women, Mrs May Richards (55) and June Richards (25) of Little King William Street, Kent Town were shot at their home.  Police believe the crimes are linked to each other as both shootings were in close proximity to each other When Leslie Glaister was murdered every seat in the East Parklands was occupied but no-one had come forward to assist police in their enquiries.  Speculation Glaister was murdered by mistake possibly by a jealous husband who was after his wife and her lover were rife.  There was no known motive for the killing.   Police believe the gunman lay in wait and would not have been able to identify who sat at the seat only their outlines.  This case remains unsolved today

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