Earle Nelson (The Gorilla Man) Born May 12th 1897 in San Francisco Convicted: Murder, Attempted Molestation, Breaking and Entering Died January 13th 1928 ( Execution by Hanging) Number of Victims: 22+
Childhood• Nelsons mother and father both died of syphilis before Nelson turned two. He was sent to be raised by his maternal grandmother• At the age of 10, Nelson ended up colliding with a car while riding his bicycle and was unconscious for six days after the accident. Once he awoke, his behavior became very strange and he would constantly get headaches and Memory loss• His Grandmother died when he was 14 and than he was sent to live his aunt and her husband
When it all began• Nelson ended up being sentenced to 2 years in prison after being accused of breaking into a cabin that was in his belief to be abandoned.• Soon after he ended up getting into the NAPA State Mental Hospital after behaving oddly in the USN. He escaped 3 times and finally the hospital staff just stopped trying to find him• Nelson began in sex crimes when he was 21 years old. In 1921, Nelson attempted to molest a 12-year-old girl named Mary Summers but he was caught when she screamed and brought attention to Nelson. He was committed once again to the Napa State Mental Hospital. After several escapes and attempted escapes, Nelson was released from the Napa mental institution in 1925 and started on his killing spree early in 1926. He killed his first victim, Clara Newman on February 20, 1926, and two weeks later, he claimed his second victim, Laura Beal
Victims• Earle Nelson was finding victims in the ad pages of the newspapers. A month later he found Lillian St Mary aged 63 a widow who had started renting out rooms in her home to support her income. She showed Earle to his room and it was here that he attacked her. One of the other boarders spotted her through an open doorway, she had been strangled and raped.• Eventually cops started to warn boarding houses about a “Dark Strangler” but Earle moved and was able to contain himself for 2 months
Victims (cont.)• The killings soon resumed and Ollie Russell aged 53 was to be his fourth victim.• Over the next year Nelson was to kill a further 18 women throughout the United States. Mary Nesbitt 50, Beatrice Withers 35, Virginia Grant 59, Mabel Fluke, Blance Myers 48, Wilhelmina Edmunds 56, Florence monks, Elizabeth Beard 49, Bonnie Pace 23, Germania Harpin 28, Mary McConnell 60, Jenny Randolf 35, Minnie May 53, Mrs Antwerp, Mary Sietsema 27, Lola Cowan 14, Emily Patterson, baby Harper 8 months old.
How he was Caught• His last two victims were in the town of Winnipeg. Earle’s face by now was known to the police and locals. Five miles from the US border Earle was recognised by a local store keeper who called the police. He was arrested by a local constable, and taken to the Killarney Jail.• On November 1st 1927 Nelson went to court in Winnipeg. He pleaded insanity but was found to be responsible for his actions. His Aunt Lillian testified for her nephew in an attempt to keep him alive. He was found guilty and on January 13th 1928 he was hung