DNA Tests Slated on Body of Producer Sought in Sex Crimes

<i> From Reuters</i>

Police said Wednesday they will run DNA tests on the corpse of pedophile David Leigh MacLeod to see if the Hollywood producer and cousin of Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine is linked to Montreal sex crimes.

The body of MacLeod, 54, was found Dec. 6 under a railway bridge in Montreal. He had been sought by the FBI and New York City police since he fled New York in 1989 after being charged with paying underage boys for sex.

The body was identified through fingerprint records, which were on record with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police because MacLeod had a record of sex crimes involving children in Toronto.


Authorities want to know if MacLeod committed more sexual abuse crimes in Montreal and will compare his DNA with samples from other sexual assaults.

Montreal police said Warren Beatty had called them Tuesday after receiving word from Los Angeles police that MacLeod’s body had been identified.

“Obviously, Mr. Beatty was very sad to find out his cousin was found dead in this fashion,” Montreal Police Det. Sgt. Phillippe Paul said. “He hadn’t heard from him in many years.”

The cause of death is unknown, but toxicology tests are underway, police said. Foul play is not suspected, and police are appealing to the public for information on where MacLeod had been living in Montreal. Police suspect he was using an alias.

MacLeod had been a producer of the 1987 film “The Pick-Up Artist,” starring Robert Downey Jr. He also was an associate producer of the 1981 movie “Reds,” for which Beatty won an Oscar as best director, and “Ishtar,” a high-profile 1987 film flop starring Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and French actress Isabelle Adjani.

But MacLeod’s Hollywood career ended in the late 1980s as charges arose that he was a sexual predator of underage boys.

In December 1989, MacLeod fled a Bronx courthouse where he was facing 30 criminal counts. The FBI alleged that MacLeod had transported 15 boys ages 12 to 16 from New York to New Jersey, where he had paid them to perform sexual acts.

In 1993, MacLeod was indicted by a federal grand jury in absentia on six counts of interstate transportation of minors for prostitution.

Police said they had contacted a sister of MacLeod in British Columbia to arrange for his burial.