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Ed Gein: The Inspiration for Buffalo Bill and Psycho

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Author Topic: Ed Gein: The Inspiration for Buffalo Bill and Psycho  (Read 227 times)
Rorschach
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« on: November 16, 2007, 11:49:59 pm »

Police suspected Gein to be involved in the disappearance of a store clerk, Bernice Worden, in Plainfield on November 16, 1957. Upon entering a shed on his property, they made their first horrific discovery of the night: Worden's corpse. She had been decapitated, her headless body hung upside down by means of ropes at her wrists and a crossbar at her ankles. Most horribly, the body's trunk was empty, the ribcage split and the body "dressed out" like that of a deer. These mutilations had been performed postmortem; she had been shot at close-range with a .22-caliber rifle.
Searching the house, authorities found:
   **** magazines
   Human skulls mounted upon the cornerposts of his bed;
   Human skin fashioned into a lampshade and used to upholster chair seats;
   Human skullcaps, apparently in use as soup bowls;
   A human heart (it is disputed where the heart was found; the deputies' reports all claim that the heart was in a saucepan on the stove, with some crime scene photographers claiming it was in a paper bag);
   The head of Mary Hogan, a local tavern owner, found in a paper bag;
   A window shade pull consisting of human lips;
   A "mammary vest" crafted from the skin of a woman's torso;
   A belt made from several human nipples, among many other such grisly objects;
   Socks made from human flesh.
   A sheath made from human skin.
   A box of preserved vulvas that Ed admitted to wearing.
Gein's most notorious creations were an array of "shrunken heads." Various neighborhood children whom Gein occasionally babysat had seen or heard of these objects, which Gein offhandedly described as relics from the South Seas, purportedly sent by a cousin who had served in World War II. Upon investigation, these turned out to be human facial skins, carefully peeled from cadavers and used by Gein as masks.
Gein eventually admitted under questioning that he would dig up the graves of recently buried middle-aged women he thought resembled his mother and take the bodies home, where he tanned their skin to make his macabre possessions. One writer describes Gein's practice of putting on the tanned skins of women as an "insane transvestite ritual". Gein denied having sex with the bodies he exhumed, explaining, "They smelled too bad." During interrogation, Gein also admitted to the shooting death of Mary Hogan, who had been missing since 1954.
Shortly after his mother's death, Gein decided he wanted a sex change, although it is a matter of some debate whether or not he was transsexual; by most accounts, he created his "woman suit" so he could pretend to be his mother, rather than change his sex.
Harold Schechter, an author of several true crime books, wrote a best-selling book about the Gein case called Deviant. In this book, Schechter mentions that Plainfield police officer Art Schley physically assaulted Gein during questioning by banging Gein's head and face into a brick wall; because of this, Gein's initial confession was ruled inadmissible. Schley died of a heart attack at the age of 43 shortly before Gein's trial. Many who knew him said he was so traumatized by the horror of Gein's crimes and the fear of having to testify (notably about assaulting Gein) that it led to his early death. One of his friends said, "He was a victim of Ed Gein as surely as if he had butchered him."
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