Saturday, April 11, 2015

Psycho on the Orb called Earth

On November 15, 1957, Ed Gein visited the hardware store in Plainfield, Wisconsin, saying he would return the following morning to pick up a gallon of anti-freeze.

The following day, Frank Worden returned to town from a day of deer hunting and stopped by the Plainfield Hardware Store that was owned and operated by his mother, Bernice, a 58 year-old widow. Strangely, his mother was not there. She had left, leaving the door unlocked and the back door open.

Frank then discovered something terrifying -- a trail of blood leading from the storefront to the back door. A quick search revealed that the last sales slip receipt written in the morning by Bernice Worden was for a gallon of anti-freeze and it had been made out to Ed Gein.

Investigators searched Gein's property and soon discovered Worden's decapitated body in a shed, hung upside down by ropes attached to her wrists, with a crossbar at her ankles. Worden had been dressed out like a deer, waiting to be skinned and harvested for meat. She had been shot with a .22-caliber rifle prior to the mutilations of her body.

Upon searching Gein's house, the following items were confiscated and send to the state crime lab where they were cataloged, photographed and then destroyed.
·         Bernice Worden's entire head in a burlap sack
·         Bernice Worden's heart in a plastic bag in front of Gein's potbellied stove
·         Masks made from the skin from female heads
·         Mary Hogan's skull in a box
·         Mary Hogan's face mask in a paper bag
·         Whole human bones and fragments
·         Wastebasket made of human skin
·         Human skin covering several chair seats
·         Skulls on his bedposts
·         Female skulls, some with the tops sawn off[
·         Bowls made from human skulls
·         A corset made from a female torso skinned from shoulders to waist
·         Leggings made from human leg skin
·         Nine vulvae in a shoe box
·         A young girl's dress and the vulvas of two females judged to have been about fifteen years old
·         A belt made from female human nipples
·         Four noses
·         A pair of lips on a window shade drawstring
·         A lampshade made from the skin a human face
·         Fingernails from female fingers

Yes, indeed -- Ed Gein was a one creepy dude.

I was in junior high school in a suburb of Minneapolis when all this took place. Ed Gein jokes were the topic of the day.

Q) Why did Ed Gein's girlfriend stop going out with him?
A) Because he was such a cut-up.

Q) What did Ed Gein say to the sheriff who arrested him?
A) Have a heart.

Q) Why won't anyone play poker with Ed Gein?
A) He might come up with a good hand.

Ed Gein (1906 - 1984) grew up on a farm a few miles outside of the town of Plainfield, Wisconsin.

His father, George, was strict and an angry alcoholic who was a failure as a farmer. He died in 1940 from a heart attack.

Ed had an older brother, Henry {1901 - 1944), who died (from asphyxiation, according to the medical examiner) during a brush fire that he and Ed were attempting to extinguish. Henry had no burns, but did sustain several wounds to the back of his head, leading future investigators to surmise there had been a "Cain and Able" situation between the brothers.

Ed Gein was now alone with his mother, Augusta, who was fiercely religious and considered the world to be a sinful Hellhole, filled with the wickedness of carnal love.

Augusta had a stroke and was confined to a bed whereupon Ed catered to her needs. She bullied Ed at all hours, calling him a failure and a weakling. However, there were also occasions when Augusta would allow Ed to crawl into bed with her and speak softly to him throughout the night.

Augusta died in 1945 due to another stroke.

At age 39, Ed Gein was now alone with himself.

Gein was a loner and seldom ventured into the small town of Plainfield. He occasionally did handyman odd jobs and would sometimes stop in Mary Hogan's tavern to have a beer.

When Mary Hogan suddenly disappeared in 1954, leaving nothing but a puddle of blood behind, Gein began joking that she was staying overnight at his house. Many of the locals considered Gein's jokes about the poor woman to be tasteless.

Even the gossip about the weird things in Gein's house didn't faze anyone. Some local kids who had been peeking into Gein's windows began to spread rumors that they had seen shrunken human heads in Ed's living room. Ed laughed and explained that his cousin had served in the South Seas during World War II and had sent the heads to Ed as souvenirs.

To the locals of Plainfield, Ed Gein was simply a harmless loner in need of a bath.

When the authorities discovered Bernice Worden hanging in Ed's shed, the world was about to discover madness in rural America.

Upon the discovery of Bernice Worden in the shed, the responding police called for assistance. More than a dozen lawmen soon arrived and began searching the property.

What they found was horrific. The refrigerator had been stocked with frozen human organs and a human heart was found in a pan on the stove. Soup bowls had been made from the sawed-off tops of human skulls. Chairs had been upholstered in human skin. Lamp shades had been fashioned from flesh, giving off an eerie and putrid glow. A box was discovered that contained nothing but human noses. A belt had been made from female nipples. A shade pull had been decorated with a pair of woman's lips. A shoe box under a bed contained a collection of dried, female genitalia. The faces of nine women, carefully stuffed and mounted, were hanging on one wall. There was a bracelet of skin, a drum made from a coffee can and human flesh. A shirt of human skin, complete with breasts, had been fashioned from the tanned torso of a middle-aged woman.

The local sheriff estimated that the various body parts added up to 15 women, maybe more.

Ed would later confess that he often put the shirt of human skin on at night and pretended to be his mother.

The investigators soon discovered a bloody burlap sack containing a freshly severed head. Inserted into the ears were large nails connected with twine. The head belonged to Bernice Worden. Apparently, Ed had planned to hang Bernice's head on the wall as a decoration.

During the many hours of questioning and confession, Gein admitted to the murders of two women -- Bernice Worden and the tavern owner, Mary Hogan. The rest of the gruesome remains in the house had been scavenged from the local cemeteries.

For 12 years following the death of his mother, Gein had been robbing graves in the Plainfield cemeteries during the night. His vast collection of human remains had been mostly gathered from the bodies of the recent dead.

In his quest for trophies, Gein had enlisted the assistance of a dim-witted farmer named Gus, who had helped him to dig up the bodies. Once back at the house, Gein did all the work.

When Gus had been committed to an old-age home, Gein became desperate for fresh trophies. At this point, he was driven to murder.

During questioning by investigators, Gein admitted he had made as many as 40 night visits to three local cemeteries to exhume nine buried bodies of recently buried women who resembled his mother. He left the graves in good order and took the bodies home where he tanned their skin to make his various women objects.

He also admitted to the shooting death of Mary Hogan, a tavern owner missing for three years, whose head was also found in his house.

However, he denied having sex with the bodies he exhumed, explaining: that they smelled too bad.

Soon after his mother's death, Gein began to create a "woman suit" so he could become his mother.

Insert your own Ed Gein joke here >>>>

Sometimes on the Orb of Wounded Souls, life can be stranger than fiction.

Quote for the Day -- “You learn what you need to kill and take care of the details -- it's like changing a tire -- the 1st time you’re careful -- by the 30th time, you can’t remember where you left the lug wrench.” Ted Bundy (serial killer)

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and where life is what happens when you can't sleep.

1 comment:

Axebite said...

I would like to comment on the story, but what in hell can I say.

Well on second thought, I am surprised Alfred Hitchcock never made a movie out of Ed's escapades.
Seems to me Ed's escapades were right up the fat man's alley.

Maybe some producer could recruit J. Demming or Q, Tarantino to direct and have A. Hopkins star in Ed's life story.

Or perhaps Pixar Studios could pick up the rights and do an animated film of Ed's life with Larry the cable Guy as Ed's voice.
By the time Pixar was done spinning the story we might all leave the theater crying for Ed. I mean, they had us all cheering for a cut throat smelly pirate, so why not.

Happy in the Ozarks