Dr. Thredson/ Bloody Face Inspiration: Ed Gein

Gein’s Background:

Ed Gein (August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984)

His mother played a large part in turning him into the person he was. His mother was very religious, reading the Bible to him and his brother on a daily basis, mainly from the Old Testament about death, murder, and divine retribution . She despised his father, but wouldn’t get a divorce from him b/c of her religious beliefs. She taught him that all women (besides herself) were prostitutes and instruments of the devil.

He lived on a isolated farm in Plainsfield, Wisconsin away from others and their influences. As a child, he only interacting w/ others at school. He was shy and was the target of bullies. He was punished by his mother when he tried to make friends.

He always wanted to make his mom happy, but rarely did. She abused him and his brother b/c she thought they would be failures like their father.

His father passed away in 1940 and his mother in 1945. His brother didn’t agree w/ his mother’s views of the world and vocalized this to Ed. His brother was found dead on the farmstead in 1944. No charges were ever brought against Ed, but investigators suspected foul play. After his mother passed away, he closed up the rooms that were hers and became interested in death-cult magazines.

Arrest

On November 16,1957, a local hardware store owner named Bernice Worden disappeared and the police suspected Ed. He was supposedly the last person she wrote a receipt to (for a gallon of anti-freeze). Police searched his home and found her decapitated body hung in a shed and gutted like a deer would be. Other disturbing things they found were:

  • Four noses
  • Whole human bones and fragments
  • Nine masks of human skin
  • Bowls made from human skulls
  • Ten female heads with the tops sawn off
  • Human skin covering several chair seats
  • Mary Hogan’s head in a paper bag
  • Bernice Worden’s head in a burlap sack
  • Nine vulvae in a shoe box
  • A belt made from female human nipples
  • Skulls on his bedposts
  • A pair of lips on a draw string for a window-shade
  • A lampshade made from the skin from a human face

These things were photographed and destroyed immediately.

Upon questioning, Gein confessed to committing grave-robbery several times while in a daze-like state between 1947 and 1952. Some of the bodies he dug up were middle-aged women who resembled his mother. He tanned these bodies/skins and made into a skin suit that he would wear.

Shortly after his mother passed away, he decided he wanted a sex change and started to make a female suit to ” pretend” to be a woman in the meantime. When asked if he had sex w/ these corpses, he said no b/c “they seemed too bad” 

While questioned, he also confessed to the murder of Mary Hogan, a local tavern owner missing since 1954.

Trial

On November 21st, 1957, he was arraigned for 1st degree murder and entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He was found insane and unfit for trial, so he was sent to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and then transferred to Mendota State Hospital (psychiatric hospital). In 1968, his doctors determined he was sane enough to stand trial. The trial began on November 14, 1968 and he has found guilty of 1st degree murder, but he was found legally insane and was returned to Mendota State Hospital for the rest of his life.

Movies Inspired by his crimes:

Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and The Silence of The Lambs (1991)


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