Earle Leonard Nelson, aka The Gorilla Killer (May 12, 1897 - January 13, 1928), was an American serial killer. Nelson's mother and father both died of syphilis before Nelson turned two. He was subsequently sent to be raised by his maternal grandmother, a devout Pentecostal. Around the age of 10, Nelson collided with a streetcar while riding his bicycle and remained unconscious for six days following the accident. After he awoke, his behavior became erratic and he suffered from frequent headaches and memory loss. When Nelson was 14, his grandmother died and Nelson went to live with his aunt, Lillian, and her husband. Nelson began his criminal behavior early, an 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.
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