Edward Gein was born August 27, 1906, in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. He was the younger of two boys. His father, George Gein, was a worthless, good for nothing man who had drinking problems and could not keep a stable job to support his family. Augusta, Edward’s mother, was the proprietor of their small family grocery store. She was the perfect example of an overbearing, controlling individual. She hated her husband, in which their marriage had the quality of a lacerating nightmare (Schechter, 1989). Augusta saw George as a weakling, afraid of hard work. Thus, she quickly took on the role of domestic tyrant. For unknown reasons, the Gein family moved to a small dairy farm in the lowlands near Camp Douglas, forty miles east of La Crosse. In 1914, the Gein’s made their second and final move to a one-hundred-ninety-five-acre farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin, also known as the old John Greenfield place. Plainfield was your ideal image of a close-knit community that was kept quiet and filled with hardworking people. Perhaps, the isolation from moving caused the family dynamic to grow stranger and stranger. In 1940, Edward’s father died at the age of sixty-six due to heart failure, consequently tied to his dr...
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...al state and returned to his home empty handed. During his trial, he was found to be mentally incompetent, and suffering from schizophrenia. July 26, 1984, Edward Gein died of respiratory failure at Mendota. The next night, he was buried in an unmarked casket directly next to his mother in the Plainfield Cemetery.
Edward Gein’s twisted world will forever be America’s obsession. His story is so peculiar and deviant that we can’t help but wonder why. It is very rare that someone would develop into this kind of personality without suffering some tremendous abuse. Though that supports his reasoning, it in no way justifies his actions. Edward did not only leave the family members of the victims heartbroken, but he also left the community feeling shocked, upset, devastated, and horrified. Having read this case study on Edward Gein, are monsters born, or are they created?
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