New Push for Clues in 46-Year-Old Cold Case

BARRETT TOWNSHIP -- State police in Monroe County are hoping for new information to crack a nearly five decades old cold case.

A Cresco man was found shot inside his taxi cab, and as his murder hits its 46th year unsolved, there's a new push for leads.

It was at the now-former Buck Hill Inn where state police say a crime that quickly went cold occurred more than 40 years ago. Investigators say John Leonard, 52, of Cresco was found shot multiple times in the head inside his taxi cab in Barrett Township in 1970.

“Back then, it was just a big thing. Everybody went to Buck Hill to see what happened and to look at the car that was parked up there and somebody shot him,” said Charlie Engloart.

Some people in this community remember the day it happened and say they can't believe no one has been arrested in all this time.

“Oh yeah, yeah they haven't found anything about who was involved or anything else as far as I know,” said Harold Metzgar.

“And nobody ever knew what happened and why. It was a big mystery and it's still a big mystery around here,” said Engloart.

According to state police, Leonard was a cab driver at Mick's Garage, which is still run by the Mick family, on Route 390 in Cresco.

On September 8, 1970, Leonard was dispatched from Mick's to pick up a fare from Buck Hill Falls. His car was later found by the entrance to the inn with Leonard shot to death inside.

He left behind five young children.

“I know his son very well, and his son and I are very good friends and the kids, some of his brothers have passed, but Kavin, he would like to know,” said Engloart.

Investigators say there was no apparent motive.

Now on the 46th anniversary of Leonard's murder, police are hoping for a crack in the case.

“We don't believe it was a robbery, so if anybody has any information, maybe someone's been holding onto a secret for years. So as they're getting older, and they want to unburden themselves, and they could help a family out,” said Trooper Craig Vanlouvender with the Swiftwater Barracks.

State police in Swiftwater are interested in hearing from any employees who worked at the Buck Hill Inn in August and September of 1970.