Ed GeinEd Gein proves that when it comes to murdering people, it's the quality of the killing, not the quantity that matters. By the strict definition of the term, Ed Gein was not much of a serial killer. He only did in two women in his days. But, christ almighty, what a pair of twisted killings!
There's just something about creepy old farmers who live alone and worship their mothers. Ed was a lonely young man. He never really had any friends. No friends except for Mother. Yes, Ed Gein was the inspiration for not one, not two, but three really twisted films. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs.
Ed was born in 1906 in La Crosse Wisconsin. The family moved to Plainfield soon after, and Ed's mother immediately set about fucking Ed's mind up. She was a royal bitch who warned against premarital sex. Her religious fervor was not entirely chaste, however: she encouraged her two sons to masturbate. Ed's dad died in 1940. His brother Henry died that same year while fighting a fire on the farm.
Ed's mom died in 1945 of a stroke after she had an argument with a neighbor. Ed was crushed. Of course, Ed was an accomplished taxidermist... but he didn't actually stuff her and leave her in the bedroom. He just boarded up her room and left gifts by the door for her.
Old Ed started to get really creepy when he was left alone. He began fantasizing about getting a sex change operation. But that cost lots of money. Money he didn't have. All he had was severe psychosis, 100 acres of empty land, and a shovel.
So he put that shovel to good use. Between 1947 and 1954, Ed became a full fledged grave robber. He stole around 40 female corpses and squirreled them away in his domain. He used the entire corpse: nothing was wasted. He put skulls on his bedposts, reupholstered his chairs, tables, and couches in woman-skin, and kept all sorts of keepsakes in the pantry. Exactly what Ed was planning to do with a bucket of Vulvas preserved in salt is not really known, but it might have had something to do with the bucket of noses he kept beside it.
After digging up 40 corpses and making a suit of girl-skin and a couple of woman-masks, Ed felt he needed something alive. Normally your average sex-crazed serial killer likes to target something they find attractive. Ted Bundy, for example, loved hot young co-eds, whilst young Jeffrey Dahmer liked teenage boys. Ed had a thing for the old ladies. On December 8, 1954, Ed shot Mary Hogan, a 51-year-old bar owner. He took her home and did skudgie things to her for weeks on end. As would be repeated in The Silence of the Lambs, he built a suit with a vagina and breasts out of her skin. Thanks to his father's teachings, Ed had become a brilliant tanner and was able to treat the skin so that it didn't rot away. By 1955, Ed had a couple of suits: evening wear, formal wear, even a casual ensemble with a jet-black wig.
As anyone who sews knows, you can never have enough fabric samples. So Ed went shopping for antifreeze and a new Vulva. He found Bernice Worden in a hardware store in downtown Plainfield. Before she could finish writing his receipt for the antifreeze, he shot her. She and the cash register were dragged outside, and never seen alive again. Poor little cash register.
The police eventually figured out that the creepy awkward dude who had suddenly started hanging around the hardware store was likely a suspect. They came to Ed's house in 1957, shortly after Bernice had vanished. When they came to Ed's house, they found him inside preparing a stew made from Bernice's offal. Ed had hung Bernice in the garage, skinned her, gutted her, and lopped off her head. She was flayed open like a deer.
While the authorities wanted to pin three more unsolved murders on Ed, he only confessed to the killings of Bernice and Mary. He also admitted to being a grave robber.
Old Ed went quietly. He was sentenced to life in prison and died alone in jail in 1984.