- "This guy's playing with you, Mike!"
- ―Det. Cantrell (from Predator 2)
Detective Leona Cantrell was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and member of a small team at the Alvarado Precinct during the gang wars of 1997. The team's investigation of severe gang violence led them to cross paths with that of a Predator in the city hunting the same gangs for sport.
Leona was one of few people to encounter the Predator in Los Angeles and survive; she was attacked by the creature on the Los Angeles subway, but it refrained from killing her when it discovered that she was pregnant.
Fighting the gangs
Leona served as part of Detective Lieutenant Mike Harrigan's team at Alvarado Precinct. She had a husband called Rick and was pregnant with their first child; it is not clear if she was yet aware of this fact.
Professionally, Leona was heavily involved in combating the ongoing drug war in Los Angeles between the Colombian Scorpions and the Jamaican Voodoo Posse. When Jerry Lambert was transferred to Harrigan's team, he became Leona's partner, although she was initially hostile towards him due to the fact his previous partner had been shot in the line of duty, allegedly as a result of Jerry's actions.
When Danny Archuleta was killed and it became clear the City Hunter was stalking Harrigan, Leona pleaded with her superior to stay safe and watch is back. While traveling on the L.A. Metro with Jerry to a meeting with Harrigan, the two detective stumbled across a gang leader and his men harassing an innocent commuter. They intervened, stunned when several other civilians on the train also drew weapons and joined the stand-off. At that moment, the City Hunter burst onto the train, having followed Leona and Jerry there, seeking to kill them as a means of taunting its ultimate prey, Lieutenant Harrigan. At Jerry's insistence, Leona began shepherding the civilians to the opposite end of the train while he face the Predator by himself.
Once the train had stopped and the innocent passengers evacuated, Leona returned to see what had become of Jerry. She found his blood-stained lucky golf ball on the floor near his body, which now hung by its feet from the roof of the train. At that moment, she was confronted by the City Hunter, but before it could harm her, it detected the unborn baby growing inside her and released her unharmed as a result. Despite suffering no physical harm, she lapsed into severe shock as a result of the encounter; she was being seen to by Lester and Jackson when Harrigan arrived at the scene, and was quickly rushed to hospital by the paramedics when they discovered that she was pregnant. Her ultimate fate is unknown, although she was likely traumatized by what she saw for the rest of her life.
Personality and Traits
Despite her outward appearance, Leona was strong-willed and aggressive, qualities no doubt essential in her career as a female police officer in one of the most crime-ridden districts of L.A. Although she initially did not get along with Jerry Lambert, she (somewhat grudgingly) came to respect him as a fellow officer and was greatly distressed by his death at the hands of the City Hunter on the Metro.
Leona carried a SIG Sauer P226 fitted with a stainless laser sight that doesn't actually appear to fit her P226 as her primary weapon.
- Originally there was a greater subplot regarding Leona's pregnancy. The scene where Harrigan meets Jerry at a bar to discuss Keyes was originally part of a longer scene where the officers celebrate Leona's birthday there. Her husband Rick was introduced during this sequence, although neither of them knew Leona was pregnant at the time. Before he talks with Jerry, Harrigan briefly chats with Leona, who reveals one of the bodies from the massacre at the beginning of the film is missing (likely the corpse hanging from the roof that the City Hunter is seen dragging away). The whole scene was reduced to just the conversation between Harrigan and Jerry in the final version of the film, although it appeared in the novelization.