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Monday, September 17, 2007

Edward T gein aka mad butcher

"Eating the flesh and drinking the blood? ..... I never felt capable of doin' that.
That's a catholic thing isn't it? I don't think my mother would have approved."
______Edward T. Gein


Name of birth: Edward Theodore Gein
Date of birth: August 27, 1906
Location: Plainfield, Wisconsin, (USA)
Date of dead: July 26, 1984, he died of heart and respiratory failure
Killings: 2 (could be more)
Ed Gein was the second son of Augusta and George Gein. He was born on August 27, 1906, near La Crosse, Wisconsin where he attended school with his brother, Henry. Ed insisted, "My mother is a saint," though every psychologist that interviewed Ed would state that Augusta was actually dominating, inflexible, and abusive. When Ed was eight years old, his family moved to a 195-acre farm just outside of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Ed quit school after the eighth grade to help his family run the farm. In his spare time, he'd perform odd jobs for other townspeople, who described Ed as being "likable, though a little quirky."

Eddie ran the family's 160-acre farm on the outskirts of Plainfield until his brother Henry died in 1944. On May 16, 1944, the brothers started a fire to clear some marsh land on their property, but the fire blazed out of control. They separated in order to contain the combustion but, afterwards, Henry failed to return to the house. Ed asked some men to help search for his brother but they were unsuccessful. However, later that day, Ed was able to lead a second search party (headed by Sheriff Engle) directly to where Henry's body lay. Ed's only explanation was, "Funny how that works." Henry's body was blackened with soot, but unburned. Although the sheriff noticed bruising around Henry's head, the coroner declared asphyxiation as the cause of death and no further investigation was pursued.

Ed and Augusta managed the farm until December 29, 1945, when Augusta died from complications of a series of strokes. Ed blamed her death on the degeneracy of the citizens of Plainfield, whom Augusta constantly complained about. Ed Gein, at the age of 40, was alone for the first time in his life. After sealing off his mother's room from the rest of the house, Ed began his plunge into madness.

Thanks to federal subsidies, Gein no longer needed to farm his land, and he abandoned it to do odd jobs here and there for the Plainfield residents, to earn him a little extra cash. But he remained alone in the enormous farmhouse, haunted by the ghost of his overbearing mother, whose bedroom he kept undisturbed, exactly as it had been when she was alive. He also sealed off the drawing room and five more upstairs rooms, living only in one downstairs room and the kitchen.

"Weird old Eddie", as the local community know him, had begun to develop a deeply unhealthy interest in the intimate anatomy of the female body - and interest that was fed by medical encyclopedias, books on anatomy, pulp horror novels and pornographic magazines. He became particularly interested in the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Second World War and the medical experiments performed on Jews in the concentration camps. Soon he graduated on to the real thing by digging up decaying female corpses by night in far-flung Wisconsin cemeteries. These he would dissect and keep some parts heads, sex organs, livers, hearts and intestines. Then he would flay the skin from the body, draping it over a tailor's dummy or even wearing it himself to dance and cavort around the homestead - a practice that apparently gave him intense gratification. On other occasions, Gein took only the body parts that particularly interested him. He was especially fascinated by the excised female genitalia, which he would fondle and play with, sometimes stuffing them into a pair of women's panties, which he would then wear around the house. Not surprisingly, he quickly became a recluse in the community, discouraging any visitors from coming near his by now neglected and decaying farm.

The beginning of the end for Ed was the disappearance of Mary Hogan. On December 8, 1954, a local farmer discovered her missing when he walked into the tavern she operated and the place was empty, except for a pool of blood and a spent .32 shell on the floor. A neighbor of Ed's had mentioned to him that, "if you'd spent more time courting Mary Hogan, she'd be cooking for you instead of being missing." Ed smiled and said, "She's not missing. She's down at the house now."

Bernice Worden, a woman in her late fifties who ran the local hardware store, disappeared on the 16th November 1957. Worden opened her hardware store early that day. Bernice's first customer was Ed Gein. She sold him some anti-freeze, wrote up his receipt, and watched him leave, forgetting his receipt on the counter. Bernice contemplated going out after him to present him with the receipt, but after a moment Ed returned. He asked Bernice if he could look at the Marlin .22 rifle. He had some shells in his pocket and wanted to see if the rifle could accommodate both the short and long .22 shell.

Mrs. Worden's son Frank was the sheriff's deputy, and upon learning that weird old Eddie Gein had been spotted in town on the day of his mother's disappearance, Frank Worden and the sheriff went to check out the old Gein place. When they arrived at the store they found the lights on, but the doors locked. When entering, they noticed that the cash register was missing and there was a pool of blood on the floor. On the counter still laid the receipt for the sale of anti-freeze to Ed Gein.

That evening, Ed Gein was taken into custody. When he was questioned about his activities for the day, Gein abruptly stated, "Somebody framed me for Mrs. Worden," even though there had been no mention of the crime.

Several officials went to Gein's farmhouse to look for evidence, the gruesome evidence proved that Gein's bizarre obsessions had finally exploded into murder, and much, much worse. In the woodshed of the farm was the naked, headless body of Bernice Worden, hanging upside down from a meat hook and slit open down the front. Her head and intestines were discovered in a box, and her heart on a plate in the dining room. The skins from ten human heads were found preserved, and another skin taken from the upper torso of a woman was rolled up on the floor. There was a belt fashioned from carved-off nipples, a chair upholstered in human skin, the crown of a skull used as a soup-bowl, lampshades covered in flesh pilled taut, a table propped up by a human shinbones, and a refrigerator full of human organs. The four posts on Gein's bed were topped with skulls and a human head hung on the wall alongside nine death-masks - the skinned faces of women - and decorative bracelets made out of human skin. The stunned searchers also uncovered a soup bowls fashioned from skulls, a shoebox full of female genitalia, faces stuffed with newspapers and mounted like hunting trophies on the walls, and a "mammary vest" flayed from the torso of a woman. Gein later confessed that he enjoyed dressing himself in this and other human-skin garments and pretending he was his own mother.

The scattered remains of an estimated fifteen bodies were found at the farmhouse when Gein was eventually arrested, but he could not remember how many murders he had actually committed. The discovery of these Gothic horrors sent shock waves throughout Eisenhower-era America. In Wisconsin itself, Gein quickly entered local folklore. Within weeks of his arrest, macabre Jokes called "Geiners" became a statewide craze. The country as a whole learned about Gein in December 1957, when both Life and Time magazines ran features on his "house of horrors."

After ten years in a mental hospital, Gein was judged competent to stand trial. Although considered fit to stand trial, Eddie was found guilty, but criminally insane. He was first committed to the Central State Hospital at Waupon, and then in 1978 he was moved to the Mendota Mental Health Institute where he died in the geriatric ward in 1984, aged seventy-seven. It is said he was always a model prisoner - gentle, polite and discreet. He died of respiratory and heart failure on 26 July 1984.

By then, however, Gein had already achieved pop immortality, thanks to horror writer Robert Bloch, who had the inspired idea of creating a fictional character based on Gein-a deranged mama's boy named Norman Bates. In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock transformed Bloch's pulp chiller, "Psycho", into a cinematic masterpiece. Insofar as "Psycho" initiated the craze for "slasher" movies, Gein is revered by horror buffs as the the prototype of every knife-, axe-, and cleaver-wielding maniac who has stalked America's movie screens for the past thirty years.

There are some obvious similarities between Hitchcock's reclusive Norman Bates and the apparently inoffensive but secretly deranged, mother-fixated Gein. Hitchcock's "Psycho" led on, of course, to a plethora of pale imitators: "Psycho 2", written by Tom Holland and directed by Richard Franklin, "Psycho III" (1986), written by Charles Edward Pogue and directed by Anthony Perkins, and Mick Garris's "Psycho IV: The Beginning" (1990), which was made for cable TV, and went straight to video in Europe. The Gein case also provided a basis for the 1967 monster movie "It", ostensibly based on the mythical Jewish folk demon, the Golem, in which mad curator Roddy McDowall carries on conversations with the rotten corpse of his mother, which he keeps at home in her bed.

"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre... What happened is true! Now the movie that's just as real!", screamed the posters for Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic of independent cinema. Whilst not a literal rendition of the Gein case, the terrible house in Chain Saw, with its bizarre artifacts made out of human detritus - armchairs that bear human arms, lamps made out of human hands - resembles the Gein homestead in many of its particulars, and the crazy Leatherface, who hangs up his victims alive on meat hooks, also sports a grotesque mask fashioned from stitched together pieces of human skin. In Joseph Ellison's 1980 study of psychopathic child-abuse "Don't Go In The House", Donny (Dan Grimaldi) keeps the corpse of his religious fanatic mother in his apartment, and, as a consequence of her nasty habit of burning his arms when he misbehaved as a child, enjoys nothing better than bringing a young woman home and frying her up alive. In William Lustig's "Maniac" (1980), the eponymous Oedipal killer indulges in garroting, deception, shooting and scalping, with the murderer's scalp collection adorning a row of tailor's mannequins.

Gein's fondness for wearing human flesh resurfaced again in 1991 as one inspirations for the character Buffalo Bill in Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs", the homosexual psycho killer so named because he liked to "skin his humps". Gein was also the inspiration for the psycho-biopic "Deranged", a 1974 offering from American-International Pictures, co-written and co-directed by Alan Ormsby, and the lesser known but equally reverential "Three On A Meathook" (1973), directed by small-time auteur William Girdler and filmed in Louisville, Kentucky. It also seems likely that Jorg Buttgereit, a self-confessed "Geinophile", was influenced by Eddie's predilections whilst making his paeans to necrophilia, "Nekromantik" (1988) and "Nekromantik 2" (1991).

A list of the artifacts found in Geins home after the raid of the local Sherrif:

The headless body of Bernice hanging from a block and tackle in an outdoor lean-to, gutted like a deer.
Human bodies hanging from hooks set in the basement walls.
In a cup in the kitchen where 4 noses
Bracelets made from human skin
Table with shinbone legs
Lips hanging from a string
In pan on stove there was a humanheart (Wordens)
Chair covered in human skin
Hanging human head
A bowl made from the top of the human skull
Refrigirator contained human organs and body organs
Skinned womans faces used as decorative masks
Lampshade covered in human skin
Belt made of nipples
9 salted vulvas contained in a shoebox
A complete suit made from the skin of a female, complete with masks and breasts
Between 1946 and 1958, the areas surrounding Plainfield experienced a series of unexplained disappearances. Eight year old Georgia Weckler disappeared after a babysitter dropped her off in the driveway of her home. Victor Travis, his dog, and a friend never returned from a deerhunting excursion. Fifteen year old Evelyn Hartley was abducted from a house where she was babysitting. None of these bodies, nor others whom had disappeared, were ever found.

It is still not known how many of these Gein had killed or how many he had dug up.

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