Location of the crime.
The early morning hours of March 9, 1941 found Leila Adele Welsh’s lifeless body beneath her bedding, and only to be discovered by her mother. Over 20 investigators and detectives were assigned to work Leila’s case. The Last Good Night is the story about Leila’s entrepreneurial family, her interrupted life, and the arrest, trial and acquittal of her brother.
There are over 70 players involved in the investigation and outcome. The Welsh family hails from Kentucky and creating business successes is not foreign to this family. Research and a variety of resource information are pieced together to bring this 75-year-old cold case up for discussion again. From 1941 to 1943, this case which occurred a few years before the murder of Elizabeth Short, would make national news. Leila, another beautiful and educated woman, would only live to be age 24.
Although my awareness of this subject spans over a decade, for the past two years, I have been driven to tell the story. Leila received her education degree for the purpose of teaching. She worked in a school district which was eventually absorbed into the Kansas City School District in the late 1930s. Then, she taught for awhile in Illinois before returning to Kansas City, Missouri at the request of her mother in late 1940.
Leila comes from a long line of successful businessmen, including her grandfather who was defined as a real estate mogul in Kansas City. She was born and raised in Lee’s Summit, Missouri on a farm inherited by her father who at one time was a practicing attorney in Oklahoma before a condition left him suffering from paralysis. He continued to live on the farm and Leila along with her brother and mother located to an affluent area near the University of Kansas City in Missouri (f/k/a UKC).
Life was good until she arrived home from a date after attending a local fundraising event called the Police Circus. Her date walked her up to the front door of her home around 1:00 a.m. She checked in with her mother and that was the last time anyone ever saw her alive again. Someone had entered her bedroom and killed her in an horrific manner.
Much research has gone into this project and it is nearing completion with a 2014 publication goal. I recently interviewed a 76-year-old woman who stated her mother was one of Leila’s best friends and what she shared with me gave me chills because it was the first instance I had an actual conversation with someone who knew somebody that had been close to Leila at one time in her life.