Deviant, The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original “Psycho” Is the life story of Edward Gein. Ed Gein was born on August 27, 1906 to a George and Augusta Gein. Augusta had hoped for a girl since her first born was a boy but it did not work out that way. She was at first bitter, but Augusta was not the kind to give in to despair so she took the newborn in her arms and made a sacred vow. She stated that this boy would not grow up to be like most men; those lustful, sweating, foul-mouthed creatures who made use of women’s bodies in such filthy ways. Eddie would be different and he was. Ed grew up on a farm a few miles outside of the town of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Ed’s father, George, was a very hard working farmer with not much luck producing much of a crop, he had very little talent for working the soil and he loved his alcohol. George also had a tendency to be quick with his fists, especially after he had been drinking, but as rough as he was, he was no match for his wife, Augusta.
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Eddie’s mother, Augusta was a very religious woman and opposed anything related to sex. All around her, she saw nothing but filth and depravity, how she managed to become pregnant with her two sons. Eddie and Henry, remains a mystery. Augusta believed that their small, God-fearing town to be a “hellhole” and kept her two sons on the farm and away from anything she considered dangerous or of a sinful influence, namely whorish women and the wickedness of carnal love. Ed was different from the boys in his class as there was softness in his voice, meekness in his posture, the nervous fluttering motions his hands made when he talked all giving him the mannerisms of a girl.
In 1940, George Gein dropped dead from a heart attack. The two boys were left alone with their mother and soon Ed was even deeper under her terrible spell. Henry however, tempted to break away and have a normal life, but Eddie would have nothing to do with it. In 1944 Henry was found dead on the Gein farm, it was reported that he had suffered a heart attack while trying to put out a brush fire. Ed finally had his mother all to himself, although a year later Augusta had a stroke and was confined to her bed. Ed tended to her day and night, she continually found his attentions lacking. She would scream for him at all hours, calling him a weakling and a failure. Then at other times she would call him to her side and allow him to crawl into bed with her. Ed prayed that his mother would not die, would never leave him to face the world alone. Augusta died in December 1945 after suffering another stroke. Ed Gein, now 39 years old was left alone to fend for himself. It was at this point that he began his descent into dark and unfathomable madness.
Ed was pretty much a loner, you would not see him hanging with the guys; Eddie stayed to himself and humored himself by reading about murders and other crimes. Old Ed Gen would never hurt anybody, so it was thought. He was a strange little guy who didn’t even like the sight of blood. He wouldn’t even go deer hunting with the other fellows in town. That’s what everyone in Plainfield said-until Bernice Worden disappeared from her hardware store. A quick search revealed a receipt that had been left behind. The receipt was for a half-gallon of antifreeze. It had been made out to Ed Gein. The police were notified and they headed to Gein’s farm house to question him about Mrs. Worden’s whereabouts. When they arrived, they game upon the body of Bernice in the summer kitchen behind the house. She was naked, hanging by her heels from an overhead pulley. She had been beheaded and disemboweled – dressed out like a butchered deer. What they found that night became known as Ed Gein’s “house of horrors”.
Soup bowls had been made from human skulls. Chairs had been upholstered in human skin. Lamp shades had been fashioned from flesh, giving off an eerie and putrid glow. A box was discovered that contained nothing but human noses. A belt had been made from female nipples. A show box under the bed contained a collection of dried, female genitalia. The faces of nine women, carefully stuffed and mounted, were hanging on one wallâ€¦and there was much more.
Ed Gein admitted to the murders of two women, Bernice Worden and a tavern owner named, Mary Hogan. The rest of the gruesome remains in the house had been scavenged from the local cemetery. For twelve years, following the death of his mother, Gein had been sneaking into the Plainfield cemetery at night and robbing graves. He would dig up the grave take what he wanted then bury them back. After much testing and studying Ed Gein was declared insane and sent to a mental hospital where he remained for eleven years before he was declared able to stand trial. He was convicted of murder and then once again stated to be insane and not aware of his actions. Ed was sent back to the mental hospital instead of being sent to jail for murder. While Ed was in the hospital his home was set afire and destroyed. When Gein learned of the loss, he only uttered three words in response. “Just as well,” he said. Some would insist that even greater horrors may have vanished in the fire, along with the house.
Deviant was written by Harold Schechter in 1989; the title of this book is so fitting of the information it reveals. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)Deviant: deviating especially from an accepted norm. One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behavior and attitudes differ from accepted social standards. This is fitting of Eddie Gein; he was defiantly different than the norm. This book is very graphic and descriptive of the crimes that Gein committed. I could almost picture everything that was found at his little farm house just because of the way the writer described each and every detail. The book covers Gein’s entire life from years before he was born to the day he died with a whole lot of detail in between. I have not read any of Mr. Schechter’s other material but Deviant was a very easy to read book, it kept my interest as I found myself wanting to know what happens next. (Contributors)Harold Schechter is a true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he obtained a Ph.D. He is professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York.
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I believe the purpose of this book to be informational. Other than letting people know about the life of Eddie Gein how he was a long-term schizophrenic I’m not sure of any other purpose of this book, of course this is just my opinion. Deviant is the true story of Ed Gein, even though some of it sounds as it could be fiction it is true. It’s hard to imagine a person actually doing some of the things that Gein done with a human body. This book in chilling detail explores the incredible career of one of the most twisted madmen in the annals of American crime-and how he turned a small Wisconsin farmhouse into his own private playground of ghoulishness and blood. I felt that the book was very well written and done a very good job of keeping my attention. The writer eases you into the gruesome details by giving you some family history as well as describing the farm and what kind of a man Ed Gein was before going into details and facts; for me there was a little too much history about the town and the family but I guess that ‘s what makes for the story. The book would have been much shorter had it not been for this history.
If you are someone who likes horror films or likes to read of blood and guts then you would probably enjoy reading this book. It is written in a way that you can just about picture what the police are seeing when they entered into this little farmhouse. The images are very graphic and described with great details. Other than for a study of criminal history or of psycho paths I’m not sure of the relevance of this book to today. I hope that I never have to experience anything like this on a first hand basis. I’m sure that there are people list Mr. Gein in the world today and hopefully they are on medication to keep their disease under control.
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