Oscar Slater

(1872 – 1948)

Oscar Joesph Leschziner otherwise known as Oscar Slater was born on the 8th of January 1872 in Oppeln, Schlesien, Prussia, Germany. His father was named Adolph Leschziner and his mother Pauline Zweig. Oscar went by various names including Sando, George, Anderson, Schmidt though appears to have used Slater when when providing a surname for use in an official function.

Though Oscars antecedents were named ‘sketchy’ by the papers at the time of the murder It is believed that Oscar moved to London in the year 1893 and became a bookmaker, before he took to dealing in precious stones. In 1899 Oscar moved to Scotland, first to Edinburgh then to Glasgow by 1901.

On the 12th of July 1901 at 33 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow Oscar married Marie Curtis Pryor. Within the wedding certificate Slater noted himself as ‘Dentist’ and his father as a ‘Retired Baker’.

In the May of 1906 Slater filled in a form in New York for the purpose of Naturalization within which he declares he is living at 445 Sixth Avenue, he had emigrated from Liverpool, England. The last forign residence is listed as London, England. Under visible distinctive marks is written ‘Nose Injured’. This distinctive nose would play a role in his future misfortune.

By 1908 Oscar was known around Glasgow as a gambler who enjoyed to while away the hours in billiard rooms and various other clubs. The police viewed Slater as a villainous foreigner who had already been in trouble for ‘Malicious Wounding’ in London and ‘Disorderly Conduct’ in Edinburgh. The police were already apprehensive about Slaters character, he had been seen with various sinful characters.

When Marion Gilchrest a rather wealthy 82 year old lady was murdered police began to have reason to suspect Oscar Slater was behind it. It did not help that Slater had boarded a ship to New York – was he on the run?