OSSINING, NY (WCBS 880) – On the internet, the movement is growing to leave the “Leatherman” alone.

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi reports from Ossining

The “Leatherman,” whose real name is unknown, is set to be exhumed this spring for testing.

The founder of the website Leave the Leatherman Alone, Don Johnson, says it’s not right.

“I don’t see the enormous historical benefit,” Johnson told WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi. “I think the legends and the folklore that we have are amazing.”

Johnson says the Leatherman who wandered Westchester County and Connecticut for thirty years would have wanted his privacy preserved.

Johnson says, “I wouldn’t want anybody doing this to me.”

Johnson says the decision to exhume should be made by the public.

Ossining Historical Society’s Norman McDonald said this spring the leather man, whose real name is unknown, will be exhumed and studied.

“They’ll be able to determine whether or not he was autistic. Where he may have originated,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the man never worked and never spoke, which is why it’s going to be fascinating.

Comments (17)
  1. jen says:

    I cannot beleive how rude and disrespectful some of these comments are! If you are unclear about a subject, wouldn’t you think to educate yourself on it before making comments about a topic of which you know nothing?

  2. Dumba Merican says:

    I love David Leatherman – especially his top 10 list.

    1. Warren Lucas says:

      You mean David Letterman? Which is actually ironic because David Letterman lives in the same town as me and that is a town that the Leatherman walked through. (North Salem, NY)

      1. Don says:

        ..and before that he lived in New Canaan, where the Leatherman also maintained a “residence”

  3. Maryanne says:

    Steve, you’re absolutely right. I was trying to figure out who this guy is. Not one sentence to even attempt to explain who he was.

    1. Don says:

      Although the name of the site “Leave the Leatherman Alone.com” makes my position abundantly clear, I set up the site as a place for anyone to learn more about the unusual life and times of the Leatherman, and also become informed about the details of the project from the researchers themselves.

  4. Dave says:

    Go to wikipedia.Type in “Leather Man”.Interesting.

  5. Rob Halford says:

    The Leatherman was my great-great-grandfather. I look forward to his exhumation and the resultant benefits to mankind specific to the wearing of sweet, sweet leather duds.

  6. mj says:

    the problem is that notjing gets proof read any more . editors are too lazy . they just use spell check . spell check woud never pick up on things such as ” would of” because its spelled correctly. i can’t believe how many times a day i find this type of thing in the news . just another example of the DUMBING OF AMERICA.

    1. MJ says:

      OOPS” NOTHING” I DIDN’T USE SPELL CHECK LOL (but at least i caught it

      1. ben says:

        How about using correct grammar? The beginning of a sentence is capitalized.

  7. Flynn says:

    I guess they figured the link to the website — which provides history on the man — was sufficient enough (It wasn’t).

    The one thing I will say, and this doesn’t mean I’ve necessarily feel strongly either way, but considering we have no trouble digging up Native American burial sites, or excavating Egyptian tombs, extracting the bodies and putting them on display, what’s the big deal here? No one’s saying that’s going to be done to Leatherman. All they’re saying is ‘let’s try to figure out who this guy was.”

    Maybe there’s a family out there who has long wondered what happened to their ancestor.

  8. Ed P. says:

    Who wrote this article, a child? Who is the Leatherman, who wants to exhume him and why? The writer actually uses the words “would of” instead of the verb “would have.” How did this get published, and why?

  9. Ouija says:

    Steve is right…this potentially interesting item is worthless with no historical perspective. Most of the 5 journalistic W’s are missing from this awesome report: WHO was the Leatherman? WHAT is the history? WHEN did he die We know he wandered for 30 years…but? WHERE is he buried? WHY are they exhuming him?

    Unless it’s a typo and they mean Weatherman and it’s actually Abbie Hoffman.

    1. SuzieS says:

      Maybe you should have clicked link as I did and all the 5 W’s would have been answered.

  10. teetotaler says:

    It’s almost April fool.

  11. Steve says:

    Great reporting. Let’s just suppose I’m not the only person in America who has no idea who this is and what this is about. Folklore? From where and when?

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