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 Earle Leonard Nelson

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Earle Leonard Nelson

Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death
13 Jan 1928 (aged 30)
Winnipeg, Greater Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Burial
Burial Details Unknown
Plot
Location of body is unknown
Memorial ID
6854525 View Source

Serial Killer. Earle began with a childhood full of distress. His mother and father both died of syphilis when he was nine months old. He was subsequently sent to be raised by his maternal grandmother, a devout Pentecostal. As a young man, Earle was a daydreamer. He began his criminal behavior early, and he was sentenced to two years in San Quentin State Prison in 1915 after breaking into a cabin he believed to be abandoned. Later, he was committed to the Napa State Mental Hospital after behaving oddly and erratically during his short stint in the United States Navy. He managed to escape three times from the hospital before hospital staff stopped trying to find him and simply discharged him. Earle began engaging in sex crimes when he was 21 years old. In 1921, he attempted to molest a 12-year-old girl, but he was thwarted when she screamed and brought attention to Earle. Earle would marry Mary Martin, a 58 year old shy old maid who worked in the housekeeping department of the hospital. Reclusive and introverted, she attracted Earle because of her latent maternal instincts. Around the age of 10, Earle collided with a streetcar while riding his bicycle and remained unconscious for six days following the accident. Over time, Earle descended further into madness. He suffered terrible migraines which no medicine or maternal care from his wife could ease. During one such attack, while he was at work, Earle fell from a ladder and struck his head on the ground knocking him unconscious for a second time. The head injury, the second of his life, further loosened his grasp on sanity and he began to see visions and hear voices, often of a religious nature. He became even more violent and paranoid toward his wife and for the first time, Mary began to fear him. It took some convincing, but eventually Mary told Earle she would not accompany him when he wanted to leave their home in Palo Alto after causing a scene with their employer. He left without her, but returned the next day begging her to take him back. Mary wisely refused. He killed his first victim, Clara Newmann on February 20, 1926, and two weeks later, he claimed his second victim, Laura Beal. His victims were mostly landladies, whom he would approach on the premise of renting a room. Nelson often studied his worn Bible, using it to keep his victim at ease and off-guard around him. Once he gained their trust, he would kill them, almost always by strangling them, and engage in necrophilia with their corpse. He would often hide the body, leaving the corpse under the nearest bed. By using false names and moving on quickly after he committed the murders, Nelson avoided capture for eighteen months. Earle was arrested twice in Canada, where his murder spree ended. He was first arrested on June 15, 1927 in Wakopa, Manitoba, not long after murdering two women in Canada: 14-year-old Lola Cowan, found decomposing in a room Earle had rented, and housewife Emily Patterson, who was found by her husband underneath the bed. Earle was incarcerated at the local jail after giving police the alias Virgil Wilson. His trial began on November 1, 1927 in Courtroom Number One of the Manitoba Law Courts Building. Though his lawyers attempted to portray Earle as mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his crimes, the jury found him guilty of the Winnipeg slaying of Emily Patterson, found strangled underneath her own bed by her husband; who had knelt by the bed to pray for her safe return after finding her missing on the afternoon of June 9. Patterson had been his fifth victim in just 10 days. Earle was responsible for killing as many as 20 or more women. He was hanged at the Vaughan Street Jail.

Serial Killer. Earle began with a childhood full of distress. His mother and father both died of syphilis when he was nine months old. He was subsequently sent to be raised by his maternal grandmother, a devout Pentecostal. As a young man, Earle was a daydreamer. He began his criminal behavior early, and he was sentenced to two years in San Quentin State Prison in 1915 after breaking into a cabin he believed to be abandoned. Later, he was committed to the Napa State Mental Hospital after behaving oddly and erratically during his short stint in the United States Navy. He managed to escape three times from the hospital before hospital staff stopped trying to find him and simply discharged him. Earle began engaging in sex crimes when he was 21 years old. In 1921, he attempted to molest a 12-year-old girl, but he was thwarted when she screamed and brought attention to Earle. Earle would marry Mary Martin, a 58 year old shy old maid who worked in the housekeeping department of the hospital. Reclusive and introverted, she attracted Earle because of her latent maternal instincts. Around the age of 10, Earle collided with a streetcar while riding his bicycle and remained unconscious for six days following the accident. Over time, Earle descended further into madness. He suffered terrible migraines which no medicine or maternal care from his wife could ease. During one such attack, while he was at work, Earle fell from a ladder and struck his head on the ground knocking him unconscious for a second time. The head injury, the second of his life, further loosened his grasp on sanity and he began to see visions and hear voices, often of a religious nature. He became even more violent and paranoid toward his wife and for the first time, Mary began to fear him. It took some convincing, but eventually Mary told Earle she would not accompany him when he wanted to leave their home in Palo Alto after causing a scene with their employer. He left without her, but returned the next day begging her to take him back. Mary wisely refused. He killed his first victim, Clara Newmann on February 20, 1926, and two weeks later, he claimed his second victim, Laura Beal. His victims were mostly landladies, whom he would approach on the premise of renting a room. Nelson often studied his worn Bible, using it to keep his victim at ease and off-guard around him. Once he gained their trust, he would kill them, almost always by strangling them, and engage in necrophilia with their corpse. He would often hide the body, leaving the corpse under the nearest bed. By using false names and moving on quickly after he committed the murders, Nelson avoided capture for eighteen months. Earle was arrested twice in Canada, where his murder spree ended. He was first arrested on June 15, 1927 in Wakopa, Manitoba, not long after murdering two women in Canada: 14-year-old Lola Cowan, found decomposing in a room Earle had rented, and housewife Emily Patterson, who was found by her husband underneath the bed. Earle was incarcerated at the local jail after giving police the alias Virgil Wilson. His trial began on November 1, 1927 in Courtroom Number One of the Manitoba Law Courts Building. Though his lawyers attempted to portray Earle as mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his crimes, the jury found him guilty of the Winnipeg slaying of Emily Patterson, found strangled underneath her own bed by her husband; who had knelt by the bed to pray for her safe return after finding her missing on the afternoon of June 9. Patterson had been his fifth victim in just 10 days. Earle was responsible for killing as many as 20 or more women. He was hanged at the Vaughan Street Jail.

Bio by: Shock


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