Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield
Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27, 1906 in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Augusta and George Gein. Augusta supported the family as a grocer. Their first son, Henry, was born seven years before Eddie. The brothers were never close. Augusta clearly favored little Eddie over Henry.
To get away from the "depravity" of living in town, Augusta moved her family to a rural 275-acre frame farmhouse outside Plainfield, Wisconsin with no electricity, or plumbing in 1914.
Gein did well academically, particularly in reading and was captivated by the anatomical drawings in the family medical guide. Most of his time was spent doing chores and his mother sheltered him from external influences. He had no friends, his mother made sure of that, and other children bullied him.
Augusta often lectured her sons on the sins of wickedness, desire and sex. She was preoccupied with revulsion towards women in short skirts, curled hair and make up. She read to her family from the Bible daily with an emphasis on Old Testament verses dealing with retribution. During heavy rains she read the story of Noah with predictions of a coming flood to cleanse the world of sinful women. She believed sex was for procreation purposes only. When she caught Ed masturbating in the bath she poured scalding water on him. As an adolescent, Gein who never grew any larger than, 5’8” weighing in at 140 pounds was bashful, and effeminate. He never had a relationship and associated natural sexual feelings with shame. He developed an unnatural and unhealthy attachment to his mother.
Gein’s father died of a heart attack in 1940, at age 67. Henry, who wanted a normal life, frequently criticized his mother in front of Ed, who was particularly protective of her. Henry died in 1944 at the age of 43 in a suspicious brush fire. Ed reported Henry as missing but when the fire department arrived, he led them to his body, which revealed evidence of a blunt...