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Ed Gein; The Ghoul of Plainfield

Notorious criminal (criminology assignment)

Chinthujan Nandakumar

on 20 January 2014

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Transcript of Ed Gein; The Ghoul of Plainfield

The Ghoul of Plainfield
Edward Theodore Gein
The Coldblooded Killer's Childhood
Impacts on society
Ed Gein's crimes don't really quailify, he was found insane not criminal, and spent the rest of his life in a mental lockdown.

But his case is a good example for not releasing the mentally ill back into society. With state and federal cutbacks mentally ill people are sent back out into a world they can't cope with. Most are not dangerous like Gein, but a few are and they
July 26, 1984,
Gein died of respiratory failure (cancer)
At the age of 77
At the Mendota Mental Health Institute.
His grave site in the Plainfield Cemetery
(Next to his mother)
Criminal Activity
Born: August 27, 1906
Notorious Criminal Profile
Died: July 26, 1984, Mendota Mental Health Institute (aged 77)
The Plainfield Ghoul / The Mad Butcher
Date apprehended: November 16, 1957
The Basics:
Born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on August 27, 1906.
Father: George Philip Gein -
timidly alcoholic
Mother: Augusta Wilhelmine

fanatically religious
The marriage =
physically broken
but religious belief against divorce
Natives of Wisconsin
Operated a small grocery store
One elder brother - Henry George Gein
Live with a farm on the outskirts of the small town of Plainfield, Wisconsin.
Life in rural area
Ed Gein's relationship with his mother:
Extreme attachment with his mother
Obsessively devoted to his mother until her death in 1945
She preached to her boys
the innate immorality of the world
the evil of drinking
the belief that all women (herself excluded) were prostitutes and instruments of the devil
His mother, Augusta Gein, insisted moving the family to the rural area
to prevent her children from any outside influences
Her motives of doing so:
discourage any sexual desires the boys might have had
Excessively Religious
Yet, Ed Gein gave his full respect to his mother:
Leave the premises only for school
Spend most of the time doing chores in the farm
Bible listening from his mother
(Old Testament dealing with death, murder, and divine retribution)
Effeminate, anti-social Ed Gein became a target for bullies in school

Ed Gein's Childhood = Poor, fragile social development
Augusta, herself, is a significantly negative
social barrier
to Ed Gein.
Even so,
Ed Gein is frequently abused by his mother
--> Men = doomed to be failures like her husband
Police Investigation
Ed Gein's first murder was in 1954.
1st Victim: Mary Hogan
Authorities fail to figure out the murderer until they were lead to his house 3 years later.
November 16, 1957
2nd Victim: Bernice C. Worden
Disappeared from her hardware store.
Police of Plainfield traced the receipt of the last customer, Ed Gein, back to his house.
The police went to Ed's home with the intention to ask him a couple questions for further information, but immediately found out that he was the kidnapper.
They went into Ed Gein's home only to find not only Bernice Worden's corpse hanging without a head, but much more than they had originally set out for.
What did
they find?
- Four human noses
- Whole human bones
and fragments
- Nine masks of human
- Bowls made from human skulls
- Ten female heads with the tops
sawn off
- Human skin covering several
chair seats
- Bernice Worden's head in a
burlap sack
George Gein, his father suffered in heart attack.
He and his brother had to work for the expenses.
--> Handymen, babysitter
- Nine vulvae in a shoe box
- A belt made from female
human nipples
- Skulls on Gein's bedposts
- A pair of lips on a draw
string for a window-shade
Along the time, his brother began to speak ill of his mother, questioning her overly religious view
- A lampshade made from
the skin from a human face
Night of May 16th, a brush fire burned closed to the farm.
His brother was listed asphyxiation as the cause of death .
Criminal Classification Ed Gein
Dec. 29th,
Ed Gein's mother suffered from a series of strokes.
Gein simply lost his "only friend and one true love."
vidence are only enough to prove that he had killed two victims
Alone time + Deaths of family members + Lost of the only 'non-devil woman' =
Devastating Mental Breakdown
Initiated to reading death-cult magazines and adventure stories
2) Grave robber:
Ed Gein's abnormal attraction to corpses started his life of crime by defiling corpses.
Linkages to theories
Sociology of crime:
Albert J. Reiss
Delinquency was a result of 3 factors:
Psychology of crime:
Freud's Psychoanalytical Theory
Stays in Genital Stage:
Poorly socialized people continue to act out parental conflicts with their lovers.
Maternal Deprivation and Attachment Theory
A healthy/successful attachment requires:
care keeper
Anxious attachment
difficulty to form strong attachment
with others will be resulted from the separation from care keeper
No direct influence towards law enforcement

Cutbacks by State and Federal constitutions for mentally ill people to be released into society
Otherwise, most need to remain under close medical supervision.
Evidential impacts on Western popular culture
Lasting influences on modern
movies, music and literature.
Deranged (1974)
In the Light of the Moon (2000)/Ed Gein (2001)
Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield (2007)
Books/Film Characters: (Serial Killers)
Norman Bates (Psycho)
Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Jame Gumb (The Silence of the Lambs)
Deviant (Author: Harold Schechter)
The families of the victims who were identified found out after the investigation that the body parts in Ed's possession came from corpses. The names of the people were never revealed.
Son of Bernice Worden - Frank Worden, Deputy Sheriff leader of the investigation
After 'Prosecution':
Suspected of opening up 40+ graves (between 1947 and 1954)
removed whole corpses from time to time but also choice pieces in his nocturnal raids
was aided by a simple minded neighbor named "Gus"; when Gus passed away, Ed continued the grave robbing
Body parts = tools all through his home
51 year old Mary Hogan disappeared from a tavern she managed in Pine Grove, Wisconsin(December 8th, 1954)
authorities found a pool of blood on the floor, overturned chair, and one spent cartridge from a .32 caliber pistol: foul play was obvious

Other Suspected Crimes:
His brother Henry Gein
Evelyn Hartley
Georgia Weckler
reported missing from Jefferson, Wisconsin
was believed murdered & cannibalized
female organs that could not or matched to existing cemetery records
January 16th 1958- judge found Gein incompetent for trial
Deputies recalled Gein as a suspect but no charges were filed at the time
in custody, he readily confessed to Hogan and Worden murders, along with a series of unreported grave robberies
confirmation was obtained by opening three graves
in one, corpse mutilated (as described by Gein) ; second held no corpse; third showed pry
marks but body was intact

of the

Difficulties during the investigation
His Last Days
Ed Gein's "Prosecution"
serial killer = classified as a 3 or more victims.
last seen when Gein was hired as their hunting guide
Gein professed the whereabouts of Travis' body but blaming his death on a "neighbor"
Victor Travis
Ray Burgess
1968 - ordered up for trial
Judge Robert Gollmar innocent by reason of insanity and sent him back to Waupan
Willingly confessed to two murders
--> Mary Hogan + Bernice C. Worden
Investigation of his mother's disappearance = traumatized
Gein's crimes were acquitted due to his "criminally insanity"
10 years later, In the Trial...
Ed Gein guilty of committing the crimes
Escorted to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
Ed Gein was found to be insane by the judge
Gein remained at the mental institution for the rest of his life
Developed as a perfectly amiable and docile patient, who never required tranquilizing medications to keep him under control
The "model patient" in the eyes of the staffs
Purpose of the crimes
Ed Gein lived his entire childhood following the rules his mother had set out for him; she was everything to him
As soon as his mother had died, he was left with no one to fill her place
Ed didn't know how to cope with the loss of his mother
This was also the reason Ed had begun to make trophies out of female body parts
His mother's death had caused him to have a psychological breakdown, which lead to the crimes he had committed
Failure of Control Mechanisms
Lack of social rules that prescribe behavior in the family, school, and other important social groups.
Full transcript