hits counter Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster

Availability: Ready to download

From the author of 'Depraved' and 'Deviant', 'Bestial' is the dark journey into the mind of an unrepentant sadist. In the winter of 1926 Earle Leonard Nelson erupted into a 16 month long frenzy of savage rape, barbaric murder and blood lust. From the author of 'Depraved' and 'Deviant', 'Bestial' is the dark journey into the mind of an unrepentant sadist. In the winter of 1926 Earle Leonard Nelson erupted into a 16 month long frenzy of savage rape, barbaric murder and blood lust.


Compare

From the author of 'Depraved' and 'Deviant', 'Bestial' is the dark journey into the mind of an unrepentant sadist. In the winter of 1926 Earle Leonard Nelson erupted into a 16 month long frenzy of savage rape, barbaric murder and blood lust. From the author of 'Depraved' and 'Deviant', 'Bestial' is the dark journey into the mind of an unrepentant sadist. In the winter of 1926 Earle Leonard Nelson erupted into a 16 month long frenzy of savage rape, barbaric murder and blood lust.

30 review for Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juanita

    Harold Schechter is quite a writer. His research is awe-inspiring and the way he can turn a tale told by an outside narrator while cuing the reader as to the times of the era that he's writing about is truly a gift. He spends very little time on the setting up the scene and this makes the read more enjoyable while moving the story along. He can transform the view of the reader from the current times to a time most know very little about. Schechter makes the reader think about not just the serial Harold Schechter is quite a writer. His research is awe-inspiring and the way he can turn a tale told by an outside narrator while cuing the reader as to the times of the era that he's writing about is truly a gift. He spends very little time on the setting up the scene and this makes the read more enjoyable while moving the story along. He can transform the view of the reader from the current times to a time most know very little about. Schechter makes the reader think about not just the serial killer, but about the people that the killer took away. You learn about the person who was killed in just a few introductory words and through the hurt of the deceased person's family. It was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading the next in the series of Schechter books!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Xeburnout

    I really enjoyed Harold Schechter's writing style. The John Douglas books are just packed with facts and insights which no one seems to be able to equal and on the other end of the spectrum is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood which reads like a novel and could be the best True Crime book ever. Schechter is a very good mix of the two. Considering, first, the time period it happened. It was long ago and being able to get together the facts and make it interesting for the reader is a gift. Secondly, N I really enjoyed Harold Schechter's writing style. The John Douglas books are just packed with facts and insights which no one seems to be able to equal and on the other end of the spectrum is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood which reads like a novel and could be the best True Crime book ever. Schechter is a very good mix of the two. Considering, first, the time period it happened. It was long ago and being able to get together the facts and make it interesting for the reader is a gift. Secondly, Nelson covered a lot of ground, from San Fran to Philly, Buffalo and up to the Great White North. That's a lot of newspapers, police reports and traveling to pull it all together. It certainly makes me want to read more of his books. One other thing I'd like to point out is that on the Amazon page for this book it compares this book to Ann Rules' books. The subject matter is similar but her books put me to sleep. Bestial is much better written.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    A serial killer in the 20s who killed a lot of women, mostly landladies. It's beautifully researched but sadly not that interesting because he's no Ted Bundy; he's more in the retarded / head injury / bipolar mode. Why did he kill? Who the hell knows. His MO was to go to houses displaying a "room to let" sign, strangle the landlady as she showed him the room, then rape her, and shove the body into a closet or under the bed. He started in San Francisco and San Jose (which was interesting for me b A serial killer in the 20s who killed a lot of women, mostly landladies. It's beautifully researched but sadly not that interesting because he's no Ted Bundy; he's more in the retarded / head injury / bipolar mode. Why did he kill? Who the hell knows. His MO was to go to houses displaying a "room to let" sign, strangle the landlady as she showed him the room, then rape her, and shove the body into a closet or under the bed. He started in San Francisco and San Jose (which was interesting for me because the addresses of the houses are given and of course I had to look them up on Google street view), then he worked his way across the country and up into Canada. Finally he was caught in Winnipeg and hanged. Schechter describes each murder as it occurs but after a while they're actually boring - the showing of the room, the murder, the discovery. He does a good job of describing what else is going on in the world, like Lucky Lindy's flight, which is kind of cool. It gets interesting once the Canadians realize they're got a killer in their midst and people start chasing him. Anyway, this one is going in the get rid of bag.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Marlene♥

    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 have read a lot of books by this author now. Only one was very disappointing, (Fatal) but all the others, like Deranged, Deviant Depraved were great. Now I need to get my hands on Fiend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Griffin

    At first I wanted to read BESTIAL: The Savage Trail Of a True American Monster, by Harold Schechter, because the summary said the serial murders occurred in San Francisco in 1926 (I didn’t know that was just the beginning!) and I’d never heard of these cases before. Schechter has written quite a few true crime books. This book was first published in 1998. Schechter researched deeply to assemble the movements of Earle Leonard Nelson, a serial killer who claimed victims across the United States and At first I wanted to read BESTIAL: The Savage Trail Of a True American Monster, by Harold Schechter, because the summary said the serial murders occurred in San Francisco in 1926 (I didn’t know that was just the beginning!) and I’d never heard of these cases before. Schechter has written quite a few true crime books. This book was first published in 1998. Schechter researched deeply to assemble the movements of Earle Leonard Nelson, a serial killer who claimed victims across the United States and into Canada. Although he was only convicted of two murders, his believed total is at least twenty-two over a sixteen month period. Moving from place to place, Nelson preyed on landladies with rooms to rent. What he did to them was horrific. One topic covered here is the question of just how insane was this man? He’d had a bad head injury in his early years (usually a bad sign). He’d been institutionalized in mental hospitals, which he was very good at escaping from. He walked around in tattered clothes and disappeared for days or even months. He used fake names. He most likely murdered almost two dozen people, yet he was the most personable, intelligent, loquacious man when inquiring about a room for rent. Q: “Now then, Mrs. Fuller, doesn’t it just come down to this: he was jealous, and he was eccentric?” A: “He was what?” Q: “Eccentric—odd.” A: “He was absolutely insane.” From the cross-examination of Mary Fuller, his wife The topic of the death penalty comes up as well. Earle Nelson was hung at the penitentiary where he was being held in Canada. Nine days later a woman and a man were executed by electric chair in the USA. This caused a lot of consternation in the newspapers of the day. I was surprised to find out that four of the murders occurred in Portland, Oregon, where I currently reside. None of the Portland history books I’ve read have ever mentioned this. Guess I haven’t read the right books! I highly recommend BESTIAL for true crime fans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Podgorski

    Disappointing Read The blurb for this book was fascinating, compelling me to lay down 12 dollars, which is very rare for me. I have read Schechter, which was another reason for my purchase and disappointment. Unfortunately, this book reads like a series of newspaper articles, and as such gets quite repetitive- even through 22 murders. Earle Nelson would be a fascinating character to explore, but he is not explored in this book. We are presented with a shallow presentation of facts that becomes, m Disappointing Read The blurb for this book was fascinating, compelling me to lay down 12 dollars, which is very rare for me. I have read Schechter, which was another reason for my purchase and disappointment. Unfortunately, this book reads like a series of newspaper articles, and as such gets quite repetitive- even through 22 murders. Earle Nelson would be a fascinating character to explore, but he is not explored in this book. We are presented with a shallow presentation of facts that becomes, mindboggling so, boring. Sad to say, I cannot recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tregear

    Creepy unsettling look at one of the first American serial killers. Interesting background on how the different police forces started to share info

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I love how Schechter ties historical events into his stories. You can learn about history while enjoying a fascinating true crime tale.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Theremin Poisoning

    Creepy. He's like the Ted Bundy of 1926... Creepy. He's like the Ted Bundy of 1926...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Three stars only because I'm a weirdo and really wanted it to be more graphic. Interesting read though. Three stars only because I'm a weirdo and really wanted it to be more graphic. Interesting read though.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Craig A. Maser

    Good Read! As one who seems to gravitate towards stories about serial killers, this story was well written and kept me interested.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Farley

    This harrowing mid 90’s book about a killing spree across America and Canada in the 1920’s is a fascinating account of an event that I think is surprisingly not as well known as I think it should be. Unlike the glamorous and more notorious names like Dahmer, Wayne Gacy, Manson and the UK’s own Jack the Ripper, the relatively more unknown story of Earle Nelson, ‘The Gorilla Man’ nee ‘The Dark Strangler’ has got to be up there for guts, gore and sheer audacity alone. He went on a rampage across No This harrowing mid 90’s book about a killing spree across America and Canada in the 1920’s is a fascinating account of an event that I think is surprisingly not as well known as I think it should be. Unlike the glamorous and more notorious names like Dahmer, Wayne Gacy, Manson and the UK’s own Jack the Ripper, the relatively more unknown story of Earle Nelson, ‘The Gorilla Man’ nee ‘The Dark Strangler’ has got to be up there for guts, gore and sheer audacity alone. He went on a rampage across North America, racking up an incredible 22 victims across almost two years, preying upon unsuspecting landladies, whilst posing as a prospective boarder and brutally attacking and raping them, leaving them for dead with a childish and disturbed nonchalance that is truly chilling to read about. BESTIAL is painstakingly researched and is in respectful and trusted hands in Harold Schechter, who carefully highlights the many problems and issues with the case and specifically contemplates (rightly so) the lacking in mental health awareness and care of the perpetrator throughout his early life and his eventual treatment and demise, post arrest. The author is certainly ahead of his time when we look back upon the case from these more lucid and learned times when it comes to the subject of mental health and having a greater understanding about the psyche of those who commit terrible acts. The crimes were a victim of the time they were unfortunately committed though. The mid 1920s were a time of innovation and the killer had at his fingertips new methods of avoiding capture that the authorities were clearly unprepared for. In all cases and incidents Nelson committed, they would not have happened in the present day, in this age of technology, social media and crime fighting resources and techniques. I say this but there is a glaring disparity between how the authorities in both the US and its neighbour to the north both reacted, pursued and dealt with the assailant. Eventually apprehended in Canada by a dogged, determined and incredibly well organised force, the American boys in blue decidedly lack competence and seem to be constantly chasing ghosts. It’s quite stark and frankly embarrassing. All in all, it’s a great read for all you true crime readers and fans of everything dark and macabre. It’s violent and horrific in all the right places. Earle is an interesting and disturbing character study. Pious and contradictory, devilish and captivating. As is the behaviour and actions of all of those he comes into contact with. It’s a sad and unfortunate tale, but one that should be learned from.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie

    Despite my interest in True Crime this was a series of crimes that I had never heard of before. This does surprise me as there is such a litany of atrocities committed that you would have thought it would be a far more publicised case - especially when you compare it to the rumours of what H H Holmes did in Chicago which have far less proof. The research was undoubtedly thorough and is well documented in the book so should you wish to fact check the author it is easy to do. I always appreciate a Despite my interest in True Crime this was a series of crimes that I had never heard of before. This does surprise me as there is such a litany of atrocities committed that you would have thought it would be a far more publicised case - especially when you compare it to the rumours of what H H Holmes did in Chicago which have far less proof. The research was undoubtedly thorough and is well documented in the book so should you wish to fact check the author it is easy to do. I always appreciate a full Bibliography and Mr Shechter is always meticulous in logging even the smallest source. Unfortunately there is just something about his writing style that overrides the information being given and takes centre stage instead of the story that does put me off when reading. There are also a lot of personal conclusions drawn and voiced rather than just a retelling of the actual histrocial events and it is for this reason alone I have given it 3 Stars. What is undoubtedly interesting is the background of Nelson and the steady escalation of his assaults which eventually morph in to rape and finally murder. I was surprised how Nelson seemed to have an innate sense that he needed to keep moving from state to state and even crossing Country borders to keep consistantly ahead of the police. He also had no real type, he had a method he employed but each crime seemed to have been one of opportunity and the age ranges of his victims would baffle law enforcement today. Perceived wisdom being that a murderer always has a type and Nelson certainly didn't. If you can get past the author's voice this is a very interesting read for anyone interested in True Crime. This review has been a long time coming. I actually read this book between the 8th and 13th August so my memory is a bit foggy about all the plot lines. Fortunately, I have a notebook where I jot some initial thoughts on the book and an overall ranking so between the book blurb and that I did have a reasonable handle on what I thought at the time of reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tlingit

    The writing was engaging. Still throughout the book the author would repeat facts so that it seemed to me that he was being paid by the word. It was distracting and more than a few times I wanted to stop reading. Why did I keep reading? I thought the author would pleasantly surprise me with a good wrap up. I wasn't pleasantly surprised. Reading this book immerses you in the mindset of people in the 1920s. That can be a good thing I suppose but for me I was looking for a commentary or contrast th The writing was engaging. Still throughout the book the author would repeat facts so that it seemed to me that he was being paid by the word. It was distracting and more than a few times I wanted to stop reading. Why did I keep reading? I thought the author would pleasantly surprise me with a good wrap up. I wasn't pleasantly surprised. Reading this book immerses you in the mindset of people in the 1920s. That can be a good thing I suppose but for me I was looking for a commentary or contrast that told the readers the difference between how "insane" judgements would be handled today. To me this book was lazy in researching mental illness and killers and explaining how back in the 20s how mental illness was viewed and treated compared to how it is treated now as far as this serial killer. I also was disappointed in the lack of understanding through the eyes of the killer that was presented here. It could be because this happened so long ago that no one thoroughly interviewed him. I am trying to be magnanimous here because I think this author is a pretty good writer yet he's written so many books about violent killers I would have thought he'd include more than just the manipulation of the written facts like some research into these killers and additions about the work that criminal psychologists and crime prevention workers woven into the stories. It's frustrating to read the killers history with his family and schools and work etc. but not have any wrap up included. Basically this is violent crime 101 for titillation. It took me longer to finish than it should have and was utterly forgettable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Renowden

    I have to say I am a bit surprised by all the glowing reviews for this! I found it such a slog to get through! Schechter goes into great detail about everything, great from a research point of view, but his writing becomes painfully repetitive. Most of the book is made up of accounts of numerous murders, all of which were almost identical, so you need to plough through chapter after chapter of basically the same crime scene being described over and over again. I also found it pretty offensive ho I have to say I am a bit surprised by all the glowing reviews for this! I found it such a slog to get through! Schechter goes into great detail about everything, great from a research point of view, but his writing becomes painfully repetitive. Most of the book is made up of accounts of numerous murders, all of which were almost identical, so you need to plough through chapter after chapter of basically the same crime scene being described over and over again. I also found it pretty offensive how Schechter constantly described middle-aged women as "elderly" or "crones" - 50 years old is not elderly! There is also a passage where a 14 year old girl is described as "looking like a woman" - this kind of description of child victims needs to get the hell out of True Crime. The trial makes up a very small portion of this book and again, is written with such a dull, drawn out hand that by the time you get there you just want it all to be over. Like I say, each to their own, but the glowing reviews here are baffling to me!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    An excellent account of the life of the first serial killer in America/Canada. The research is so well done. The books lays out the killers early life and how he got started. Shows you how he met his victims and background of their lives, then how he managed to escape justice for a couple of years. It shows how basic the police systems were then and how just by moving away a bit someone could continue killing so long. He killed over 20 people, before being finally caught and tried. All of this i An excellent account of the life of the first serial killer in America/Canada. The research is so well done. The books lays out the killers early life and how he got started. Shows you how he met his victims and background of their lives, then how he managed to escape justice for a couple of years. It shows how basic the police systems were then and how just by moving away a bit someone could continue killing so long. He killed over 20 people, before being finally caught and tried. All of this is recounted in the book. If you like real life crimes you will enjoy this. Also if you appreciate good research ih history ditto as this is set in the 1920s. Scary but good book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    This book was a good read but the detail was overkill. Earle Nelson was a serial killer fifty years before the term was in use. In an era when high tech was radio, telephone and telegraph Nelson was able to kill with impunity. Yet the author dwells too much in detail of each crime. Are the names of every police officer who worked on the case relevant? The best part of the book was Nelson’s relationships with his aunt and wife; who loved him in spite of his terrible crimes. A chilling tale of a m This book was a good read but the detail was overkill. Earle Nelson was a serial killer fifty years before the term was in use. In an era when high tech was radio, telephone and telegraph Nelson was able to kill with impunity. Yet the author dwells too much in detail of each crime. Are the names of every police officer who worked on the case relevant? The best part of the book was Nelson’s relationships with his aunt and wife; who loved him in spite of his terrible crimes. A chilling tale of a mass murderer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    A pretty straightforward and engaging narrative of Earle Leonard Nelson, whom I hadn't heard of before picking this book up. Like any good true crime nonfiction book, this one does a good job of characterizing the murderer as well. Not that he's in any way innocent, but it's interesting to see how he was raised and how he views his own crimes. A pretty straightforward and engaging narrative of Earle Leonard Nelson, whom I hadn't heard of before picking this book up. Like any good true crime nonfiction book, this one does a good job of characterizing the murderer as well. Not that he's in any way innocent, but it's interesting to see how he was raised and how he views his own crimes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Really good read This isn't a trashy rehash. It is a very well researched true crime book. The book is readable and really flows. It's a great weekend read, and an interesting insight into the 1920s in the U.S. and Canada. Really good read This isn't a trashy rehash. It is a very well researched true crime book. The book is readable and really flows. It's a great weekend read, and an interesting insight into the 1920s in the U.S. and Canada.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Franquis Vegas

    Interesting book about a necrophiliac I hadn't heard of before. I always wonder how true the information I'm getting is when I see small mistakes like calling Richard Ramirez 'Richard 'The Night Stalker' Rodriguez'. Interesting book about a necrophiliac I hadn't heard of before. I always wonder how true the information I'm getting is when I see small mistakes like calling Richard Ramirez 'Richard 'The Night Stalker' Rodriguez'.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Gave up about half way. Very well researched and is full of details about this monster killer but sometimes that is overkill.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alice Nuttall

    An interesting and thorough account.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Louise McCardie

    Found this book very long winded. Doesn’t hold your attention and was glad when I had finished it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lee Richardson

    Excellent reading. One wonders how possible it was to commit one murder let alone many and get away with those vile crimes. An excellent narrative.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Parcell

    The book was ok but a little too much detail on the other issues in the 1920's. Some were relevant but others felt out of place. The book was ok but a little too much detail on the other issues in the 1920's. Some were relevant but others felt out of place.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vic Brisbin

    The Dark Strangler, aka Gorilla Man, a 1920's American serial killer rapist who had victims in the double digits, yet few have ever heard about him. The Dark Strangler, aka Gorilla Man, a 1920's American serial killer rapist who had victims in the double digits, yet few have ever heard about him.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Incredible How even in those days how he got away with the murders. Need a good constitution to read this story. But if you do it gives good insights into human nature

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alberto

    very well done biography of who had been essentially the first acknowledged serial killer.

  29. 4 out of 5

    cindy

    Interesting Historically interesting. Not a gripping page turned but good. I'm. Glad he was quickly found guilty and hung/strangled for his crimes. Fitting Interesting Historically interesting. Not a gripping page turned but good. I'm. Glad he was quickly found guilty and hung/strangled for his crimes. Fitting

  30. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Pestorius

    It was pretty good. A little out-of-date with some of the terms, but Schecter holds my interest, so I finished it quickly.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.