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

(An officer gathering evidence from a room in Ed Gein's house. Picture credit:

Continued from part two...

Please be aware that I will be sharing some graphic details and pictures in this post.

Once the police managed to get a hold of Ed Gein, they took him into custody and began the painstaking task of searching the farmhouse which was in darkness. Still relying on their flashlights, it was no easy task as the place was cluttered beyond belief and the smell was awful.

You can imagine the constant dread they must have felt after seeing the mutilated body of Bernice Worden in the woodshed after he had shot her with a .22 caliber gun, it was a wonder what they were going to see next. What they were entering was a world that none of them had ever known before, a nightmare beyond nightmares and all in the dark with just the flashlights to guide the way. 

It was a nightmare, everywhere they turned there was body parts, skin on lampshades, on chairs, nipples on a belt, noses, a face of a woman who had gone missing three years earlier (Mary Hogan) in a paper bag, Bernice Worden's head was found in a shoebox. It was one horrific discovery after another. I have listed what the police had found below:

- Bernice Worden's mutilated body in the woodshed
- 4 noses
- Bits of human bones and fragments strewn about the floor and on the walls
- 9 masks of human skin
- Bowls made of human skulls
- 9 female heads with the tops sawed off 
- Human skin covering chair seats
- Mary Hogan's head in a paper bag (she had also been shot with the .22 caliber gun and had gone missing three years before)
- Bernice Worden's head in a shoebox
- 9 vulvas in a shoebox
- 9 human skulls on his bed posts
- Human organs in his refrigerator 
- A pair of lips on a drawstring for a windowshade
- A belt made from women's nipples
- Gloves made from human skin
- A lampshade made from human skin
- A corset made from a woman's torso
- A vest made from women's breasts

(Some of the gruesome finds from Ed Gein's house. Picture credit:

During this horrendous search the police came across a door which was boarded up, they managed to get it down and found a room which was spotless, it was dusty, smelled of damp and the walls were discoloured but it was the tidiest room in the house, this was Augustas's room. Ed had preserved it and left it untouched. 

Back at the police station, Ed agreed to talk to the police as long as they gave him some apple pie with cheddar cheese on top. After he finished eating this strange combination, he confessed to the killings of Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden, He didn't confess to killing his brother. He told investigators that he had been stalking graveyards from 1947 to 1952 and had visited a total of 40 times but only 10 out of those occasions did he steal a corpse. He said when he dug up the bodies he was in a daze, sometimes he would come out of it and leave the cemeteries, other times he would proceed on and take the bodies with him. The police checked his story by exhuming two graves and found them to be empty which confirmed to them that he was telling the truth about that.

The news of Ed's crimes spread like wild fire and everyone in Plainfield was in horror and in shock, the world's media all arrived and nobody could believe what had happened. Robert Bloch wrote Psycho about a man who was controlled by his mother and his book was almost completed by the time Ed Gein's crimes were discovered. Bloch said ''I discovered how closely the imaginary character I'd created resembled the real Ed Gein both in overt act and apparent motivation.''

Ed was deemed legally insane and unfit to stand trial (he diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia). His first confession was thrown out due to the sheriff (who was present at the questioning) physically assaulting Ed by bashing his head against a wall. The sheriff, Art Schley suffered a heart attack at the age of 43 just shorty after tesifying at Ed's trial. Some people believe that he never got over the horror of the case.

Ed was sent to a psychiatric hospital, whilst he was there an auction of the farmhouse and some of his belongings was due to take place but a mysterious fire destroyed the property and all that was inside. The only thing that was left was his car which was sold to a fun fair owner by the name of Bunny Gibbons. Bunny took the car all over America and charged people to see it. When Ed was told that the farmhouse was gone because of the fire he said ''Just as well.'' 

In 1968 he was deemed fit enough to stand trial and was found guilty of first degree murder and was sent back to the Psychiatric Hospital to live out the rest of his days. He was said to have been a polite, model prisoner but sometimes when there was a full moon he would sit and ramble in a really creepy, disturbing way about what he wanted to do to women. The majority of the time he kept himself to himself.

Ed died on the 26th of July 1984 of respiratory and heart failure, he was 77 years old. In another strange turn of events, he was buried next to his mother in Plainfield Cemetery just a few feet away from his victims. Henry, Ed, Augusta and George's graves are all side by side. Ed's stone was stolen and the thief put chips of the stone up on Ebay, the police managed to track him down and the stone was recovered and placed in a museum. The grave is now unmarked but there are always flowers, notes and tributes left by horror and true crime fans.

(Ed Gein's unmarked grave in between Henry and Augusta. Picture credit:

For the people who lived in the town, a lot of them moved away and they had no sympathy for him when he died, They were disgusted by the murders but also by what he had done with the deceased bodies and they were glad when the farmhouse was burned down because they were concerned that Palinfield was going to having a stampede of tourists wanting to visit the house.

So who did burn down the farmhouse? Nobody knows to this day.

What's also interesting about the Ed Gein case is that he was never offically classed as a serial killer although some people think of him as one. If he had been charged with Henry's death that would have been three murders (that we know of) that he committed thus giving him the title of serial killer. 

RIP to Mary Hogan, Bernice Worden and Henry Gein.

Thank you for checking out my latest case, see you in the next one x

Further reading & sources:

Deviant: True Story of Ed Gein By Harold Schechter
Ed Gein | History
Ed Gein | Bernice Worden | History
Ed Gein | Wikipedia
The Ed Gein House
Ed Gein | Murderpedia
Ed Gein Docu
Ed Gein | Movie

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