The Jackal of Nahueltoro was Jose del Carmen Valenzuela, the animalistic murderer of a mother and her five children. The superstitious Jose (Nelson Villagra) places stones on the chests and hands of his victims so their spirits would not follow him. He is jailed and sentenced to death, but before his demise, Jose learns to read and write, learns a trade and develops a belief in God. He is executed by a firing squad for his crimes, but he manages to become a compassionate human before his death, expressing remorse for his actions. Miguel Littin, in his directorial debut, took great care in interviewing witnesses and people who knew Valenzuela, researching the events of the murder and the life of the notorious butcher. He allows the story to be told as the events transpired, avoiding judgments and blame on crime, society and punishment.