George Leonard

George Leonard (Courtesy Michael Leonard)

George Albert Leonard


George Albert Leonard
53 YOA
The Inn tavern
902 S. 14th Street
Clinton, IA
Clinton County
DCI Case # 81-06936
November 28, 1981

George Albert Leonard, 53, a painting contractor and former Elmwood Dairy milkman, was shot to death in the early morning hours on Saturday, November 28, 1981, while working his second part-time job at ‘The Inn’ tavern in Clinton, Iowa.

Clinton County in Iowa
Clinton County in Iowa
Clinton in Clinton CountyClinton in Clinton County

Leonard worked at the S. 14th Street and Bluff Boulevard bar, owned by Barb Wood, from 7 until 10 a.m. each Saturday.

Sometime during the robbery-homicide, an unsuspecting woman entered the tavern and came face to face with the Leonard’s killer, who assaulted her and left her for dead before fleeing the scene and running down the building’s south side.

Witnesses described the killer as a 5-foot-9 male with reddish-brown hair and a mustache, and said the young white male wore blue jeans and a dark jacket.

Clinton Police Chief Wayne Wilke headed up the investigation, which included six plainclothes officers. He also called in the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation to assist with the investigation.

george-leonard-inn-where-shot-clinton-heraldCourtesy photo The Clinton Herald, Nov. 30, 1981
George Leonard was killed at The Inn Tavern, located at S. 14th Street and Bluff Boulevard in Clinton, on Nov. 28, 1981.

About $1,000 was missing from The Inn Tavern’s cash register.

A November 30, 1981 article published in the Clinton Herald described Leonard as a “man of ‘giant’ stature and ‘gentle nature.’ ”

Investigators consider connections

Ten months earlier, a 19-year-old bartender Pamela Hinrichs had been robbed and killed at the AMVETS Post No. 28 at 1317 S. 17th St. — less than one mile away from the establishment where Leonard was slain.

Courtesy The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Dec. 1, 1981

Courtesy The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Dec. 1, 1981

When 48-year-old Raymond Hinrichs, Pam Hinrichs’ father, learned of Leonard’s slaying, he contacted Clinton police to offer his help in the investigation, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported on Dec. 1, 1981.

Police developed a composite sketch of the suspect in Leonard’s murder, conducted a house-to-house search, and friends chipped in toward a reward fund. None of the efforts proved effective in developing any positive leads.

Clinton County Attorney G. Wiley Pillers also said investigators didn’t have any information that would connect Hinrichs’ slaying to Leonard’s.

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, George Leonard’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

George Leonard headstone

George Leonard is buried in Clinton Memorial Park Cemetery.
(Courtesy photo Kearney, Iowa Gravestone Photo Project)

About George Leonard

George A. Leonard was born in Clinton, Iowa, November 3, 1928 to William “Ted” A. and Grace L. (Carrington) Leonard.

He married Eleanor Fredricksen on June 8, 1946, and the couple had three children.

He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

George Leonard was buried at the Clinton Lawn (aka Clinton Memorial) Cemetery in Clinton County, Iowa.

Information Needed

If you have any information about George Leonard’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email, or contact the Clinton Police Department at (563) 243-1457.



11 Responses to George Leonard

  1. veronica a hayes says:

    Through DNA, I have found that Jerry Lee Huff is my birth father. I know he was not a good person, and running around the area at this time. If you need any DNA for cold cases….I’m willing to offer it. Good Luck on your case, very sad story.

  2. Michael Leonard says:

    Love you Dad, Been missing you every day for years.

  3. Robin Gaines says:

    Contact cold justice, maybe they can help.

  4. Somehow someway those responsible will pay for what they have done. Hugs and PRAYERS to the families.

  5. Janice Cady says:

    We lived two houses away from them. Horrible to think this could happen.

  6. Jamie Dornbush, this is Jody from ICC, and I’ve sent you a message via FB regarding your brother, Steven. I will be adding a case summary page for him on the ICC website ASAP. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  7. Prayers sent. To the family and friends for justice.

  8. While the police were investigating this murder they learned that my brother Steve Barrette did not drown but had been murdered in 1976. We had his body exhumed and it did show blunt force trauma to the head. We have our ideas of who was involved or at least knows who did it but the police have no proof for an arrest. We pray everyday that someone will come forward and give our family some closure. Lets hope both of these unsolved murders can be solved!!! The Clinton Police can be reached at 563-243-1457.

  9. Tim L says:

    im sure but the clinton police cant get their act together they forgot to question him they have always lost police reports

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