Episode #34: Halloween Special: Ed Gein

Summary of the Case:

On November 17th, 1957, police entered the premises of a dilapidated old farmhouse, on a rural piece of property. Inside the kitchen, investigators could see the home was filthy, full of garbage, dirty dishes, rotting food, and the smell of death. Using flashlights, the investigators continued their search into the kitchen. Without realizing it, one investigator brushed against something hanging from the ceiling. At first, his mind could only make sense that it must have been a deer. But soon, they would realize the unbelievable truth that it was a woman’s body hanging from the rafters. 

Without ever realizing it, you have probably already heard the life story of Ed Gein. If you are familiar with Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, then you know this story. But you might not have realized all of those movies are based on one singular person.

Ed Gein was born in 1906 to an ultra religious mother, and a submissive, alcoholic father. Ed and his mother were very close, and many speculate that the death of Ed’s brother, Henry, from mysterious circumstances, was actually Ed’s first murder, based on the two men’s arguments over their mother. But in 1945, Ed’s beloved mother would die from natural causes, resulting in the severe deterioration of Ed’s mental health.

He started robbing graves to mutilate bodies and steal body parts. He created a human flesh suite so that he could see what it was like to have a woman’s body. Eventually, this wasn’t enough for him though, and people started to go missing. Although the disappearances of several people are often attributed to Ed, he only ever admitted to two murders, two middle aged women he felt reminded him of his mother. However, during his second murder, he left a receipt behind, leading police straight to him. He eventually admitted to what he had done, and investigators had the unfortunate job of examining his house, which was now a museum to the bizarre bodily mutilations he had done. He was determined to be insane and was committed, however he was deemed appropriate to sit trial 10 years later. He was initially found guilty, but this judgement was overturned when it was determined he had been insane when he had done the murders. He died in a mental institution at the age of 77.

Sources:

Murderpedia Article
The Charley Project— Georgia Weckler
Wikipedia— Evelyn Hartley
Wikipedia– Ed Gein