Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield

A Grave Digger and Butcher

Ed Gein was an introverted and lonely man whose obsession with his mother caused him to dig graves and find bodies whose faces looked like his mother.

Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27, 1906, to Philip and Augusta Gein. Ed also had a brother Henry George Gein who was born in 1901.

They lived in isolation on a farm. Augusta, who was extremely religious, took advantage of this and imposed her Lutheran beliefs on the boys, teaching them the evil of drinking and that all woman were prostitutes. 

Their father was an alcoholic but Augusta didn't file for a divorce due to her beliefs. Augusta didn't expose them to the outside world so they won't be affected by their outside lives.

The only time they left home was to go to school and come back to do chores at home. Ed Gein didn't have any friends due to this.

Judging by this, it's safe to say that Augusta was the only friend Ed Gein ever had. She had a prominent effect on him that had lasted his entire life. If anything happened to her, it would've scarred him for life.

When their father died in 1940, Ed and Henry began working odd jobs to support their mother. During this process, Henry started dating a divorced woman who was the mother of one. Ed, on the other hand, also worked as a babysitter, something he enjoyed doing because he felt like he related more to them.

Henry used to be worried about Ed's fascination with their mother and whenever he spoke ill of her, he would either be shocked or hurt.

This brings us to the fateful day of May 16, 1944, when the two brothers were burning away some vegetation on the property. The fire got out of control; this drew the attention of local firefighters, who extinguished the fire.

After this, Ed reported his brother missing. When he was found, they discovered he was already dead because there were no burn marks, only bruises on his head. Yet police didn't think there was any foul-play, and ruled the death as asphyxiation.

No official report was written and no autopsy was conducted. I believe that it had something to do with Ed's mother; around this time, Henry wanted to move in with his girlfriend and probably tried to convince his brother to be independent and not to believe every word his mother said.

This had upset Ed to hear such cruelty and lie about his mother; after this, he took extreme action and fought his brother and eventually killed him by punching him multiple times, there could've been other foul play, but since he was buried without an autopsy, we might never know.

Tragedy struck Ed Gein when his mother died after suffering two strokes on December 29, 1969. 

After his mother's death, he kept her room pristine and clean, he lived in a room next to the kitchen, and he became interested in death-cult magazines that involved cannibals and Nazis.

Ed Gein killed two people: Bernice Worden on the morning of November 16, 1957, when Frank Worden, the son of Bernice and a sheriff, came into Bernice's hardware store and found blood-stains on the cashier counter.

Around 1954, Ed Gein had shot Mary Hogan, who was a tavern owner with a foul mouth. The reason why he killed her was thought to be that it pleased his mother in some way; Mary Hogan's attitude and personality went against everything his mother taught him about a woman, so killing her satisfied his mother in some delusional way.

Ed was arrested later on and when the police went to his house and discovered a house of horror:

They found the body of Bernice Worden, who was decapitated and hung upside down by her leg; she was killed with a gun before the dismemberment began. The torso of Bernice was dressed like a deer.

Among many bizarre things, they found leggings made out of legs, masks that were peeled off perfectly, human skins covering chairs, a human skull used as a bowl, Mary Hogan's skull, and Bernice's head, among other things.

Between 1947 and 1952, he made nocturnal visits to graveyards and exhumed recently buried bodies that were of the middle-aged women whose faces resembled his mother; what did he used to do with the skin? He slipped into them and became his mother. 

When brought to trial, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity; he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was mentally incompetent to stand trial. When he was deemed mentally able to stand trial, the verdict was the same and he was committed to Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. 

The infamous house was destroyed in a fire and when Ed Gein heard of this, he said: "Just as well." 

Edward Theodore Gein died on July 26, 1984 to lung cancer at the Mendota Mental Health Institute.

RATIONAL THINKER
RATIONAL THINKER

A Hong Konger who writes about UNSOLVED, MURDER MYSTERY AND THE TIME TRAVELER. UNSOLVED IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED EVERY MONDAY, MURDER MYSTERY ON WEDNESDAY AND THE TIME TRAVELER ON FRIDAY. 

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Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield