The Story Of Ed Gein, His Mother & What Really Happened To Henry Gein? | Part One

Ed Gein: Picture credit:

I've lost count of how many times I've had requests from readers to write about Ed Gein. It's a case I've always been interested in but I thought that everyone already knew the story. What I found out was, that a lot of people just know bits and pieces of his story but not the whole story. 

Here is a man who inspired the iconic characters of three of my favourite movies, The Silence Of The Lambs (Buffalo Bill), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Leatherface) and Psycho (Norman Bates). It makes sense that I should write about him and this is where the true crime community and the horror community meet. Ed Gein's crimes were so shocking that if you combined the characters he inspired, Buffalo Bill, Leatherface and Norman Bates, you would still be nowhere near as horrifying as Ed Gein was. 

And yet, through my research of him I found myself having a strange mix of emotions, there was a feeling of disgust at the things he had done but also a feeling of sadness, I was feeling sadness because of the way his mother treated him and I will go into all of that as we delve further. 

First of all before you get settled in and taken on this journey with me into the life and crimes of Ed Gein, I just want to remind you that you can find me on the following social media platforms and if you're interested in reading my weekly personal posts or want to buy me a coffee and help support my blog, you can do so here 

And just a quick note, I will be sharing some gruesome details so please be warned.

Let's begin...

Ed Gein is a name that many horror and true crime fans are familiar with. He's usually described as this insane character who made furniture out of dead bodies that he stole from his local graveyard. That is true but it's not the only part of the story of Ed Gein. He has been the inspiration for a few horror characters and the start of it all came from Robert Bloch's book Psycho which was later made into a classic horror movie directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock 

Through Psycho and then The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ed Gein's macabre legacy grew, people wanted to know more about this man who inspired such characters and movies, then came along the incredible, The Silence Of The Lambs and Ted Levine's fantastic and shocking performance of Buffalo Bill, a character that was based on six killers including Ed Gein. 

So who was Ed Gein? Edward Theodore Gein was born in La Crosse County to parents Augusta and George, he also had an older brother, Henry. Augusta ran a small grocery store whilst George was often unemployed due to his alcoholism. George could never hold down a job and this frustrated Augusta. The marriage was not a happy one but because of their religious beliefs they thought it would be a sin to divorce and so they carried on.

Augusta ruled the household with an iron fist and both the boys and George lived in fear of her. When Ed was around 8 years old, Augusta sold the grocery store and moved the family out to an isolated farmhouse just ouside the small town of Plainfield, Wisconsin (USA). She chose this location because she didn't want her boys to have any outside influences affecting their view of the world. She wanted them to share her beliefs that all women (except for herself) were prostitutes and were devilish. The only time the boys were allowed to see other members of the public was when they attended school.

Ed was described as an average student at school but had a strange manner about him. He acted quite effeminate and would randomly burst into laughter at strange times, this drew attention from some of the school bullies and Ed had to endure some of their taunts and negative comments. At 14 he dropped out of school and worked full time on the farm. Augusta would force her boys to sit and listen to her preach the bible to them every afternoon. She abused the boys and George, she told the boys they would never amount to anything, that they would end up just like their father.

When Ed was working on the farm, he would sit by himself quietly reading books. Ed so desperately wanted to be like the other kids and be more sociable but every time Ed wanted to make a new friend, Augusta would punish him. It was a recipe for disaster the four of them living in that isolated farmhouse, it was unhealthy and Augusta was the ultimate control freak.

George's drinking continued and got worse, he ended up having a heart attack and passed away in 1940 and so it was left for the boys to be the men of the house and surprisingly, Augusta allowed both Henry and Ed to do little odd jobs for some of the townfolk in Plainfield. Ed was described by the locals as being ''odd but harmless''. Ed was a very hard worker and would go above and beyond what was asked of him, he was also very polite and a lot of the people in the town actually liked him.

Despite the boys working hard and bringing money into the farmhouse, Augusta was her usual overbearing self and Henry was starting to have his own ideas. Augusta must have felt that she had enough control over the boys to allow them to work in the town and have it not affect them but Henry was starting to see a little piece of what life was like outside of the farmhouse and away from his mother's controlling ways.

Ed continued to be devoted to his mother, even when she wasn't around him he could hear her voice in his head. Sometimes he would look at women in the street and imagine what his mother would say about them. Henry became close to a single mother and began a relationship with her. He knew his mother would never approve but that didn't stop him continuing the relationship and one day whilst he and Ed were working on the farm they were talking about Augusta and Henry told him that he was going to move out to be with his girlfriend. Ed was shocked and that emotion soon turned to anger when Henry began to speak of how Augusta was a control freak who was lying about the outside world. Ed wouldn't have anyone speaking ill of his mother like that.

Things were tense between the two brothers and on the 16th of May 1944, a mysterious bush fire occured near the farmhouse, Henry and Ed went out to tackle the flames and as the hours ticked by, the smoke from the now extinguished fire was drifting into the air like little grey clouds as darkness began to fall. Ed returned to the house but Henry was nowhere to be seen.

Continued in part two...

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1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of Ed gein but I have seen one of these films which was silence of the lambs. I would like to see the other films. Anyway sofar no flags. I will be Reading part two soon. 🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️