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Although many may not have heard his name, Ed Gein could be proclaimed as one of Americas most famous serial killers. He was an unusual character that partook in hobbies that were out the norm. He was a grave a robber, a necrophiliac, a cannibal and also took up arts and crafts with human remains. His crimes inspired well know films like Psycho, The Texas chain saw massacre and silence of the lambs. Ed Gein is seen as one of the most bizarre serial killers of the twentieth century and this is his story. (Case)
Edward Theodore Gein was born to the parents of Augusta and George Gein and brother of Henry Gein on August, 27, 1906 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Ed father was an abusive alcoholic and his mother was a very religious and over protective who discouraged Ed and his brother from women and kept them busy on the farm. (Jenkins) She disputed Ed's father, she felt he was worthless and gave him no say in the raising of Ed and his brother. (Jenkins) According to evidence gathered from interviews with Gein his mother may have abused him and may have tried to kill him when he was a child. (Quinn)In 1913at the age of 7 Gein experienced his first ejaculation watching his parents slaughter a pig behind the family store(Jenkins). The family moved to Plainfield, Wisconsin in 1914 where Ed began school at Roche-a cri grade school.
Ed was shunned and isolated in school because of a lazy eye he had from a growth he had on his left eye lid. His mother used to severely punish him if he tried to make friends and his dad used to beat him in the head for crying until his ears would begin to ring.(Quinn) He graduated the eighth grade at the age of 14 then dropped out of school but he remained an avid reader, reading books about head shrinking, grave robbing, and many different human anatomy books. Later in his years Henry died while he and Ed were trying to put out a fire close to their home. The injuries that Henry sustained were inconsistence with what Ed said happened which lead people to believe that Ed killed him in order to be more alone with their mother but nothing were ever found out so his death was ruled to be caused by asphyxiation. (Case)
At the age of 39 Ed would begin his life of being alone, On December, 29, 1945 his mother Augusta died from having a stroke.(Jenkins) In reaction to her death he boarded her room, and the siting room in an attempt to preserve it like a museum so it would stay as his mother had left them. Being alone caused him to withdraw from society and reality and he began to start digging up women's bodies from grave yards. Since childhood He was always ambiguous about his masculinity and always wanted to be a female.( Quinn) Due to this he would only dig up female bodies because he was so obsessed with the female anatomy, but he would only dig up the bodies of women close to his mother's age. He eventually dug up the head of his mother which he then ripped the head off with his bare hands and shrunk the head. He would perform experiments on the bodies in which he dug up.(Quinn)
He would perform different experiments on the bodies that he dug up. He would construct objects from the skin and bones and then store the organs in the fridge later for meals he would create. He was constantly thinking about sex, due to his mother stick attitude about it he would never attempt to have it when she was alive so when she passed he saw it as his time to act on his urges. His lack of confidence to talk to real women caused him to start performing acts of necrophilia on the corpses. (Case)He began to become bored with the dead bodies and started to become more curious about newer, fresher bodies for his sick and twisted experiments.
He began to attack women but he would only attack women around the same age as his mother. Two of his victims were fifty-four year old Mary Hogan and fifty-eight year old Bernice Worden.(Jenkins) Later when Ed would be captured they would find that he had mutilated the bodies and that he hung Bernice's head from the ceiling and that Wordens heart was in a saucepan. Ed would create suits out of the bodies and dress his self in the skin and pretend to be his mother.(Case) From then on there were various disappearances over span of years. Some names would be forty-two year old Victor Travis who disappeared after spending several hours in a local bar. Another was 15 year old Evelyn Hartley who was abducted while babysitting. On November 17, 1957 Ed's house was raided.
Ed was 51 years old when he confessed to killing Mary and Bernice. On November 19, 1957 a week long search was done his 195 acre farm.(Trygve) On November 22, 1957 a judge scheduled Ed to undergo insanity testing. On December 17, 1957 the judge received word that Ed was to be permanently committed to the mental hospital due to server signs of insanity.(Quinn) He only spent ten years in the institution and was cleared competent to stand trial. The trial began on November 7, 1968 he was found guilty of first degree murder for the shooting of Bernice Worden, but because he wasn't sane on that day he was not guilty due to insanity and sent back to the hospital.(Quinn)
He spent the rest of his days in the insane hospital. On July 26, 1984 after becoming senile and a long bout with cancer, he died of respiratory failure in the geriatric ward of Mendota at the age of seventy-eight. At 6 A.M.,(Trygve) with only four attendants, he was laid to rest next to his mother at the Plainfield Cemetery.
Quinn Lacie, Nikolaus Emily, Monroe Katie, Stockinger Lyndsi. "Biography of Ed Gein."
"Case File Ed Gein the Butcher of Plainfield."
http:www.fortunecity.com/roswell/streiber/273/gein_cf.htm. Hiperaktiv, n.d. Web
Jenkins Brandi, Clark Amanda, Duncan Cathleen, Robinson Lacey. "Edward Theodore Gein
American Psycho." http://maanodt.asp.radford.edu/Psyc405/senallicille,Gein:ed.pdf .
Department of Psychology Radford University, n.d.Web
Trygve Ager, Worth Bingham. "Wisconsin Farmer Admits Killing for Seven Years."
Minneapolis Tribune. Yesterday's News, 29 Nov. 2007. Web. 25 Mar. 2011