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Only once has a foreign court hanged a man on Australian soil. It is May 1942 and Melbourne was torn between fearing Japanese invasion and revelling in the carnival atmosphere created by the influx of 15,000 cashed-up American servicemen. Not long after their arrival, the city was gripped with fear when 40-year-old Ivy McLeod was found brutally strangled; killed while waiting for a tram and left partially naked with her clothes ripped. Six days later, 31-year-old Pauline Coral Thompson, wife of a Bendigo police constable, was found lying on the steps of her home, her clothes in tatters. Detectives worked around the clock to find the killer. But then a third woman, Gladys Hosking, was found dead just 350 metres from her home. Then a breakthrough: American soldier Eddie Leonski was arrested.

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