Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster

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Simon and Schuster, 2004 - True Crime - 368 pages
3 Reviews
Harold Schechter, who delivers "must reading for true crime buffs" (Ann Rule), unravels one of the most gruesome and historically significant cases of American serial murder in Bestial. Violent crime was on the rise in the Jazz Age, and gangland carnage made flashy headlines. But few could conceive of who -- or what -- orchestrated the acts of barbaric murder and unimaginable defilement that commenced in San Francisco in the winter of 1926. The savagery of Earle Leonard Nelson -- a hulking creature dubbed "the Gorilla Man" -- shocked a nation weaned on the fictional nightmares of Edgar Allan Poe and distant legends of the Whitechapel murders. A child of unnatural obsessions and an aberrant sex drive, he grew to become a social outcast whose perverse behavior erupted in a sixteen-month spree of butchery that would not be equaled until decades later, by the likes of John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.


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User Review  - Marlene-NL - LibraryThing

On Friday, May 25, 2007 I wrote about this book: Finished reading this book last night. As always Mister Schechter makes this period alive for you. He kept me interested from page 1 till the last. I ... Read full review

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User Review  - schatzi - LibraryThing

After reading Harold Schechter's account of the Ed Gein murders ("Deviant"), I had to pick up another of his books. I love his writing style - it's very engaging and thorough. Not only does he detail ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Harold Schechteris a professor of American literature and culture. Renowned for his true-crime writing, he is the author of the nonfiction booksFatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved,and, with David Everitt,The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. He is also the author ofNevermoreandThe Hum Bug, the acclaimed historical novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe. He lives in New York State.

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