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Ed Gein-The Serial Killer who wanted to recreate and resurrect his dead mother

Ed Gein spent years in his decaying home in Plainfield, Wisconsin, skinning and dismembering his victims so that he could construct everything from a chair to a bodysuit in memory of her mother.

By Rare StoriesPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Ed Gein

The majority of individuals have viewed iconic horror films such as Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). (1991). But what many may not realize is that the terrible antagonists in these three films are all based on Ed Gein, the infamous "Butcher of Plainfield."

In November 1957, when authorities entered his Plainfield, Wisconsin residence in response to the disappearance of a local woman, they discovered a house of horrors. Not only did they discover the woman they were searching for dead, decapitated, and dangling from her ankles, but they also discovered a number of stunning, gruesome things created by Ed Gein.

The police discovered skulls, human organs, and horrifying pieces of furniture, such as lampshades constructed from human faces and chairs upholstered with human skin. As he later claimed to authorities, Gein's intention was to make a skin suit to resuscitate his dead mother, with whom he had been fascinated for years.

Early Life And First Murder Of Ed Gein

Edward Theodore Gein was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on August 27, 1906, and grew up under the influence of his pious and authoritarian mother, Augusta. She instilled in Ed and Henry the belief that the world is filled with evil, that women are "vessels of sin," and that drinking and immortality are the devil's tools.

Augusta insisted that her family relocate from La Crosse — a "sinkhole of filth," in her opinion — to Plainfield in a frantic attempt to shield them from the evil she feared lurked around every corner. Even there, Augusta had the family reside outside of town because she feared that her two young kids would be corrupted if they lived in the city.

Ed Gein never left his family's remote farmstead other than to attend school.

Consequently, Ed Gein never left his family's remote farmstead other than to attend school. However, he was unable to develop significant relationships with his peers, who described him as socially awkward and prone to unexplainable fits of uncontrollable laughter. Ed's lazy eye and linguistic handicap also made him an easy target for bullies.

Regardless, Ed cherished his mother. (His father, a timid drinker who passed away in 1940, cast a somewhat smaller effect on his life.) He assimilated her worldly instruction and appeared to adopt her harsh perspective. Henry occasionally stood up to Augusta, but Ed never did.

Henry, Ed Gein's older brother, was most likely the killer's first victim.

In 1944, Ed and Henry set out to clear their fields of vegetation by incinerating it.

Henry, Ed Glein's brother who stood up to their mother

As they labored, their fire suddenly broke out of control. And when firefighters arrived to extinguish the fire, Ed informed them that Henry had disappeared. His face-down body was subsequently discovered in the marsh, dead from asphyxiation.

Initially, it appeared to be a fatal accident. Whether accidental or not, Henry's death left Ed Gein and Augusta alone in the farmhouse. They stayed there in seclusion for around one year, until Augusta's passing in 1945.

Then, Ed Gein's decade-long fall into wickedness commenced.

The Horrendous Crimes Committed By "The Butcher of Plainfield"

After Augusta's death, Ed Gein converted the residence into a memorial to her memory. He boarded up the rooms she had occupied, maintaining their exquisite condition, and moved into a kitchen-adjacent bedroom.

Living alone and far from the city, he became consumed by his obsessions. Ed spent his days learning about Nazi medical experiments, studying human anatomy, devouring porn, but never dating actual women, and reading horror books. It took a long time for anyone to recognize that he had begun to enjoy his dark dreams.

In fact, hardly one thought much about the Gein farm outside of town for an entire decade. In November 1957, everything changed when a local hardware store owner called Bernice Worden vanished, leaving behind only bloodstains.

The 58-year-old widow Worden was last seen at her store. Her final client? Ed Gein himself had entered the store to purchase a gallon of antifreeze.

Ed Glein's house was in disarray when it was searched.

The police investigated Ed's farmhouse and found themselves in the midst of a living nightmare. There, authorities discovered the inspiration for horror films such as The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Ed Glein's major motive was to recreate the body of his dead mother, his mother was the only person he had contact with.

Sometimes, monsters are created in isolation.

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