By Harold Schechter
FROM SOCIAL OUTCAST TO NECROPHILE AND assassin -- HIS APPALLING CRIMES surprised AN period.
San Francisco, the 1920s. In an age whilst nightmares have been relegated to the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe and far away stories of the Whitechapel murders, a real-life monster terrorized the United States. His acts of butchery have proved him one among history's fiercest madmen.
As an baby, Earle Leonard Nelson possessed the facility to unsettle his elders. As a toddler he used to be unnaturally captivated with the Bible; sooner than he reached puberty, he had an insatiable, aberrant intercourse force. by way of his youngsters, even Earle's circle of relatives had cause to worry him. yet not anyone within the bone-chilling iciness of 1926 may have anticipated that his degeneracy might erupt in a sixteen-month frenzy of savage rape, barbaric homicide, and unbelievable defilement -- deeds that might turn into the hallmarks of 1 of the main infamous fiends of the 20 th century, whose blood-lust wouldn't be equaled until eventually the likes of Henry Lee Lucas, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Drawing at the "gruesome, extraordinary, compelling reporting" (Ann Rule) that's his trademark, Harold Schechter takes a dismal trip into the brain of an unrepentant sadist -- and brilliantly lays naked the parable of innocence that shrouded a bygone period.
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Additional resources for Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster
An article in this issue by Edward Glover, one of the leading criminologists of the time and an editor of the journal, shows how firmly crime had been associated with pathology. He explained that to people like him notions of recidivism and the prediction of recidivism were ‘redundant, misleading and tendentious’, and that they were more used to thinking in terms of relapse. Glover went on to say, There is no more reason to describe the symptoms of pathological delinquency as recidivism than to say that tubercular symptoms which persist beyond the average time range in spite of various measures of treatment are signs of recidivism.
More attention focused on socially oriented efforts to rehabilitate offenders. For example, during the later part of the 1970s and into the 1980s the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) established a number of schemes that concentrated on developing educational provision, accommodation, training and employment for offenders, and underwent rapid growth as an organisation as a result. , 1976: 2). Further consideration will be given to the fruits of some of this work in Chapter 4.
Bifurcation Although no more a replacement for the treatment paradigm than any other development, another policy which was pursued in the wake of ‘nothing works’ was to combine different approaches to dealing with offenders by, on the one hand punishing and incapacitating very serious offenders as much as possible, while developing more limited forms of non-custodial measures for the less serious offenders: a bifurcated approach. In 1977 Tony Bottoms explained what he referred to as ‘the renaissance of dangerousness’ in the context of the ‘decline of the rehabilitative ethic’ (Bottoms, 1977).
Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster by Harold Schechter