Edward Theodore Gein - America's Most Infamous Murderer

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Edward Theodore Gein - America's Most Infamous Murderer

Although tallying just two deaths, Ed Gein is one of America’s most infamous murderers. His notorious killings are remembered as being among the most perverse of any this century. His lunatic atrocities were magnified by the number of victims who fell prey to his sick deeds and who also fueled his numerous habits of cannibalism, necrophilia of women, and his obsession with the female body, especially his mother, Augusta Gein. Although clearly guilty for the acts Gein committed, psychiatrists were confident in their conclusion of his insanity. As is in many cases, Gein’s birth of insanity started in childhood.

Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27, 1906 in the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin to George and Augusta Gein. He had an elder brother, Henry, who was four years older. His father, George Gein was an inept farmer with a serious drinking problem. On the other hand, Augusta was a strong willed Christian who viewed life based on her religious beliefs. The more dominant influence in Ed's upbringing was naturally his mother. Augusta sternly instilled in her boys the innate “…immorality of the world and the twin dangers of alcohol and loose women” (Schechter, p.27). She preached endlessly to her boys about the sins of lust and “carnal desire” and depicted all women as whores, expect for herself obliviously. Augusta's strict view of life initiated Ed’s sexual confusion as an adolescent; “he was very ambiguous about his masculinity” (Fisher) and had considered transsexual surgeries on many occasions. His natural attraction towards girls clashed with his mother's threatening of never-ending damnation. A naturally shy and slightly effeminate boy, Ed never dated girl...

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...t and respiratory failure, he was suffering with cancer. He died aged 77. He was laid to rest in the only available plot in Plainfield - next to his mother Augusta Gein.

The life story of Ed Gein depicts his numerous brutal acts as illustrations of his insanity and madness. His deranged childhood, especially his relation to his domineering mother led to his psychosis and ultimately to the horrible killings we still fears today. He is the killer whose fiendish fantasies inspired many movies such as, PSYCHO, Silence of the Lambs, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre all of which focused on gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining. Ed Gein was evidently guilty as all the evidence obviously pointed to him. Yet I believe the psychiatrists were without a doubt in my mind, accurate in declaring Ed Gein insane at the time he committed the perverse and evil acts.

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