Nicknamed at the time “The Gorilla Man” for the savagery of his rape and necrophiliac murders, Earle Nelson is one of history’s early “pioneer serial killers” committing more than twenty horrific murders. Nelson targeted landladies mostly whom he met through ‘room to let’ classified advertisements. He carried a well-worn Bible for appearance to reassure his female victims before brutally strangling them, raping their corpses, and making a cursory attempt to hide the bodies.

In 1926, following the murder of Laura Beal, the newspaper reporters began calling him “the Dark Strangler.” Also dubbed the “Original American Monster” Nelson killed women, not only in multiple US cities, but eventually he crossed the border into Canada where he killed several women before authorities finally arrested, convicted and executed him. In an era before the term “serial killer” had been coined, Nelson was a true serial killer as we today define them.

The Dark Strangler: Serial Killer Earle Leonard Nelson (Crimes Canada 9)

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  • A California native, MICHAEL NEWTON has published over 330 books under his own name and various pseudonyms since 1977. He began writing professionally as a "ghost" for author Don Pendleton on the best-selling Executioner series and continues his work on that series today. With 130 episodes published to date, Newton has more than tripled the number of Mack Bolan novels completed by creator Pendleton himself. 

    Newton's first book under his own name was Monsters, Mysteries and Man (1979), a survey of unexplained phenomena for younger readers. While 216 of Newton's published books have been novels--including westerns, political thrillers and psychological suspense--he is equally known for nonfiction, primarily true crime and reference books. 

    Newton's Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Facts on File, 2000) is currently in its second edition. His history of the Florida Ku Klux Klan, The Invisible Empire (2001), won the Florida Historical Society's 2002 Rembert Patrick Award for Best Book in Florida History. His Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology was named as one of twelve books on the American Library Association's 2006 list of Outstanding Reference Sources. His western, Hanging Judge, was a finalist in the 2010 Western Writers of America's Spur Awards. His western, Manhunt, won the 2010 Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers, and his novel, Avenging Angels, was a finalist in the same category, and was also a finalist for the 2011 Best Original Mass Market Paperback for the Western Writers of America's Spur Awards. His western, Blood Trails, was nominated for the 2011 WWA Spur Awards for Best Western Novel. His western West of the Big River: The Avenging Angel was a finalist in the 2014 Peacemaker Awards for Best Western Novel by the Western Fictioneers.

    Michael Newton is a member of the Western Fictioneers and International Thriller Writers. He lives in Indiana. 

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