Earle Leonard Nelson may well have been America's first serial killer. In the winter of 1926, he began a string of murders that spanned the U.S. and Canada, horrifying and confounding both the public and the police. Bestial tells the story of Nelson's life--from his bizarre childhood to his ignoble end--sparing no graphic detail in the process. If there is an answer to the question of why this man murdered, it is in this book somewhere. Everything about Nelson seems bizarre, from his family to his eating habits to his religious obsessions. But strangest of all was his compulsion to kill--for no imaginable reason. He killed women of all ages, from all walks of life, seemingly with no remorse.
Surprisingly well-written, despite the trashy title. Schechter is an engaging writer, and Nelson was a suitably insane subject. Highly recommended for fans of true crime or of historical mysteries.