Ed Gain is considered to be the very original American Psycho. Even though it is disputable whether label Serial Killer suits Ed Gein well, since he was only convicted of murdering two people, the severity and notoriety of his murders as well as necrophiliac tendencies have directly influenced some of the most famous horror films, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. Below is the gallery with Ed Gein crime scene photos. Scroll down to get the visual of what this old school killer left behind. If you are interested in learning more about Ed Gein, to read his biography and get more details regarding his crimes, then read on.
Ed Gein Biography
Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27, 1906 in Plainfield, Wisconsin. He grew up under strong influence of his mother who was very domineering and shaped him to believe that sex was sinful and women were instruments of the devil. George Gein, the father of Ed was an alcoholic and died in 1940 as result of excessive drinking of heart failure. The death of his brother Henry Gein who died in 1944 during fire suggested foul play as there were no burns on his body, just countless bruises on his head. However no charges were filed even though Ed Gein was suspected to have taken part in his brother’s death. Then at the end of 1945, Ed Gein lost his mother Augusta Gein who died after a series of strokes.
After his mother’s death, Ed Gein felt alone and lost. He never developed any friendships and his mother was the only close person to him. Since he was the only member of the Geins family still alive, he was running the farm by himself and lived alone in a huge house. He locked up all the rooms used by his mother and only ever used one small room close to the kitchen.
Soon after his mother’s death, Ed Gein developed interest in anatomy of female body and started reading death cult magazines. What caught his interest the most were the atrocity of the Nazis, in particular the medical experiments performed on people in the concentration camps. His interest in the anatomy escalated to the point that within next few years he visited several local cemeteries and exhumed fresh female corpses, dissect them and keep some of the body parts, including their heads, sexual organs and occasional internal organs (heart, liver, intestines, etc.).
Ed Gein flayed several cadavers off their skin and wore it around his homestead. But his biggest interest lay in female genitalia. He would cut those out and play with them. It gave him immense gratification to wear woman’s panties stuffed with a vagina he would dissect from an exhumed victim. As his obsession grew larger, he was no longer satisfied with dead bodies and sought “fresher” victims.
Murder of Bernice Worden by Ed Gein
Bernice Worden was a woman in her late fifties – close to an age of Ed Gein’s mother. She disappeared on November 16, 1957. Her son Frank was sheriff’s deputy and since Ed Gein already had bad reputation in town and was spotted strolling the streets on day of Bernice Worden disappeared, Frank went to check out the Gein place.
Upon entering the woodshed, shocking evidence of Ed Gein’s obsession was revealed. Bernice Worden was hung inside upside down from a meat hook, her body headless and slit open across the front. Her heart was on a plate inside the house, her intestines and head inside a box in a shed. There were also skins from 10 female heads in the shed and a rolled up skin from one female torso. Ed Gein made himself a belt decorated with female nipples, upholsted one chair with human skin and had several skulls with crown cut off that he used as soup bowls. His refrigerator was full of human organs, table was decorated with human bones and lamps had shade coverings made of human skin.
The posts on Ed Gein’s Tudor bed were decorated with human skulls, one whole human head was hung on the wall to go along with skinned faces of nine women. Ed kept his most precious articles – female genitalia in a shoe box. Aside from those the searchers found plethora of other decorations made of human flesh, including newspaper stuffed heads that were displayed and mounted on the wall like hunting trophies.
Death Mary Hogan by Ed Gein
Ed Gein admitted to murdering Mary Hogan who was missing since 1954. Local tavern owner Mary Hogan was shot to death by Ed Gein. Her skinned face was found in a paper bag during initial search of the homestead.
There were remains of about 15 women found in the house, however Ed Gein said he could not remember how many women he actually murdered. Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden remain his only two convictions, hence it’s questionable whether it’s appropriate to address Ed Gein as serial killer.
Ed Gein House
The house of Ed Gein was burned to the ground on March 20, 1958 while Ed was in prison. Arson was without question in play, however Ed Gein cared less about the house and just shrugged it off when news reached him. The “For Sale” sign is still on the lot where house once stood, but nobody’s buying.
Death of Ed Gein
After his arrest, Ed Gein spent 10 years in mental hospital. His trial took place then, as he was then deemed mentally competent to stand trial. He was found guilty, but still criminally insane and was locked up in the Mendota Mental Health Institute where he served time until his death on July 26, 1984 of cancer influenced respiratory and heart failure. The prison guards noted that Ed Gein was a model prisoner – always polite, very gentle and discreet.
Ed Gein in Popular Culture
Since atrocities of Ed Gein were covered in national magazines Life and Time, he became widely known and recognized overnight. His story inspired many writers and filmmakers. Horror writer Robert Bloch based the store about deranged mama’s boy Norman Bates on Ed Gein. The story was then immortalized by Alfred Hitchcock who filmed Psycho based on the same story by Robert Bloch.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre doesn’t have a character based on Ed Gein, however the house decorated with human artifacts resembles the Gein homestead. Leatherface wears the mask made of human skin, just the way Ed Gein did, and hangs up his victims on meat hooks, the same way Ed Gein’s victim Bernice Worden was murdered.
The list of movies which were directly or indirectly influenced by Ed Gein goes on – Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, Donny from Go In The House, Oedipal killer from Maniac, etc.
Gallery of Ed Gein crime scene photos is below: