This episode contains adult themes and descriptions of violence. It is not intended for all audiences. Listener discretion is advised.

Hitchcock’s Classic “Shadow Of A Doubt” And The “Gorilla Man” Murders That Inspired It

About this episode

What happens when a young woman begins to suspect her sophisticated Uncle Charlie– who happens to be staying in her family’s home for a visit– is the notorious “Merry Widow” killer? That’s the question addressed by Hitchcock’s 1943 classic “Shadow of a Doubt.”

The thriller is reportedly Hitchcock’s favorite movie, one that features Teresa Wright as the strong, plucky heroine, and Joseph Cotten in the role of the charming, sociopathic villain.

Tragically, however, the serial killer upon whom this movie is loosely based was even darker and his crimes more horrific than the one Hitchcock brought to life. 

In this episode we delve into the true crime behind “Shadow of a Doubt,” the murderous spree of Earle Leonard Nelson– aka “The Gorilla Man” and “The Dark Strangler”– who has been described as one of the most prolific and feared serial killers of the early 20th century.  

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Scandal Water is produced by Candy Thomas and Ashley Raymer-Brown 

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