A classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Leo found himself wrongfully imprisoned in an Immortal's game.
Like many of his generation, Leo Atkins in the military, and saw action in The Vietnam War. One night, on point for his platoon, he took a bullet to the face, which lodged in his brain, causing permanent damage. Despite this, he was able to warn his comrades in time, saving his unit. Leo was awarded The Purple Heart, which he kept on his person at all times.
Leo's injury, however, meant the end of a normal life for him. Unable to function as a normal person, he took to wandering across the country, collecting and trading various pieces of junk. Thirty years later, he was still performing this "service," and was often harassed by local youngsters.
On one such wandering, Leo heard sounds of a struggle coming from a nearby cabin. Investigating, he was stunned to notice a flash of lightning engulf the cabin, and when he entered to explore, Leo discovered the headless body of Lucas Desiree lying on the floor. Without warning, he was stopped and arrested by Sheriff Howard Crowley, on charges of murder.Leo was taken to the Steveston Sheriff's Department and held without bond, awaiting trial. When Seacouver Police Sergeant Thomas Powell showed up to question Leo about a similar beheading in his jurisdition, Leo confided in him: his history in the war, what had happened at the cabin, and his innocence. Powell was professional enough to realize Leo's presence was entirely circumstantial, and arranged to have Leo extradited for psychiatric evaluation.
Crowley, however, had other plans: he was The Immortal who had taken Desiree's head, and he wanted Leo lynched for the crime. As Leo and Powell headed back to Seacouver, a mob intercepted the two, but was driven off by Duncan MacLeod, who had his own reasons for investigating.
Once in Seacouver, Leo was quickly cleared of all wrongdoing. He turned up at Duncan's antique shop, intending to sell his Purple Heart for some extra cash. Duncan made the deal, but quietly slipped the medal back into Leo's duffel bag, unwilling to let his new friend part with his legacy.