Though Elliott Leyton was known around the world for his groundbreaking work on serial killers and mass murderers, what the people who knew him best will remember most is his sense of humour, his passion, and his love of people and family.
“He was a man of many passions, from the written word to shooting to pickled herring and lemon pie to the love of family and the joy he took from meeting new people. He loved all these things,” his son, Marco Leyton, told SaltWire Network.
“It’s something we learned from him as well, to embrace all of those things if you can.”
Leyton, who died Monday, Feb. 14, at the age of 82, was a very funny man, Marco said, with a wit that could be biting, sarcastic and “devilishly insightful.”
Leyton’s work profiling serial killers is considered pioneering in the field, and the London Times once called him the “Godfather of criminal psychology.” His 1986 book, “Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer,” was an international bestseller in multiple languages, and he advised police agencies worldwide, including the RCMP, the FBI and Scotland Yard.
Despite all the accolades he received for his work on murder, Marco said, the book his father was most proud of was his first: “Dying Hard: Industrial Carnage in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.” The book was a series of first-hand accounts by miners suffering from diseases contracted while working in the fluorspar mines.
“The power of the stories the people in the community told him, they opened up to him and said with such eloquence and sad and wonderful beauty what they’d experienced,” Marco said. “He felt blessed he was able to capture that.”
Elliott Leyton at his home in St. Phillp’s. Leyton, a noted author, and anthropologist, died Monday, Feb. 14, at the age of 82. – Photo by Greg Locke – Contributed
Marco said the number of people who have contacted the family after the death of his father has been “astonishing” and, in addition to family and friends, includes many former students from his decades teaching anthropology at Memorial University, where his courses on topics such as human aggression and murder were much in demand and hard to get into.
Lectures halls would be packed for …….