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Ed Gein The Real Hannibal Lector

Updated on May 30, 2013

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Ed Gein
Ed Gein
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All About Ed Gein

Ed Gein was the original Hannibal Lector or Buffalo Bill and in fact was worse than them because he really did the things that are portrayed in the two movies. Ed Gein was one of the most horrible gruesome people that ever lived. And some people claim his ghost still haunts the area of his home to today.

Ed Gein was born to Augusta Lehrke 1878–1945 and George P. Gein 1873–1940 on August 27, 1906, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His parents, both were natives of Wisconsin, and had married on July 7, 1900, Their marriage produced Edward and his older brother, Henry G. Gein 1901 – 1944. George Gein was a violent alcoholic who was frequently unemployed. Ed and his brother rejected their violent, aimless father, as did Augusta, who treated her husband like a nonentity.If he asked her a question she often would not answer him for days. Despite her deep contempt for her husband, the atrophic marriage persisted. Divorce was not an option due to the family's religious beliefs. Augusta operated the small family grocery store and eventually purchased a farm on the outskirts of another small town, Plainfield, which became the Gein family's permanent home.

Augusta moved to this desolate location to prevent outsiders from influencing her sons. Gein only left the premises to go to school and Augusta blocked any attempt he made to make friends. Besides school, he spent most of his time doing chores on the farm. Augusta, who was a fanatical Lutheran, drummed into her boys the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drink and the belief that all women (herself excluded) were prostitutes and whores. According to Augusta, the only acceptable form of sex was for biological reproduction. She reserved time every afternoon to read to them from the Bible, usually selecting graphic verses from the Old Testament dealing with death, murder and divine retribution. And it is said she put her own spin on what she read.

With a slight growth over one eye and an effeminate demeanor, the young Ed Gein became a target for bullies. Classmates and teachers recall other off-putting mannerisms such as seemingly random laughter, as if he were laughing at his own personal joke. Despite his poor social development, he did fairly well in school, particularly in reading and the study of world economics.Teachers would later recall that he was a rather strange little fellow and that he was known to take animails from the road that had been run over and take them home with him. It was never really known what he did with them. It was just observed on several occasins him loading the dead animails into a wagon he pulled and taking them home.

Deaths of family members

By the time his father George died in 1940, Henry had begun to reject Augusta's twisted view of the world. He had even taken to bad-mouthing her within earshot of his mortified brother.People often heard Ed telling his brother that he was doomed to hell if he did not repent and pray.

In March 1944, the brothers found themselves in the middle of a brush fire on property they owned in a neighboring county. When Ed ran to get the police, he told them he had lost sight of Henry, but then led them directly to his brother's corpse.

Although there was evidence Henry had suffered blunt trauma to his head, the local county coroner decided he died of asphyxiation while fighting the fire. Gein confessed after his capture that he killed his brother because if he lived he was going to hell.

Gein then lived alone with his mother. Less than two years later, on December 29, 1945, Augusta died from a series of strokes, leaving her grief-stricken son alone on the isolated farmstead. And after her death Ed became even more strange and with drawn.

His Mom is probally the only thing that kept the young serial killer in check and with her gone he began to act stranger and stranger. It is believed that about this time is when he began to steal recently dead corpses from the local graveyards for his

Gruesome Experments.


Police suspected Gein to be involved in the disappearance of a store clerk, Bernice Worden, in Plainfield on November 16, 1957. Upon entering a shed on his property, they made their first horrific discovery of the night: Worden's corpse. She had been decapitated, her headless body hung upside down by means of ropes at her wrists and a crossbar at her ankles. Most horribly, the body's trunk was empty, the ribcage split and the body "dressed out" like that of a deer. These mutilations had been performed postmortem; she had been shot at close-range with a .22-caliber rifle.

At that day and time DNA was far in the future but the police did have a large pile of blood tested and it was later revealed at his trial that the semi dried up pool of blood had came from as many as 12 people.

Searching the house, authorities found:

* human skulls mounted upon the cornerposts of his bed;

* human skin fashioned into a lampshade and used to upholster chair seats;

* human skullcaps, apparently in use as soup bowls;

* a human heart (it is disputed where the heart was found; the deputies' reports all claim that the heart was in a saucepan on the stove, with some crime scene photographers claiming it was in a paper bag);

* the facial skin of Mary Hogan, a local tavern owner, found in a paper bag;

* a window blind pull consisting of human lips;

* a "mammary vest" crafted from the skin of a woman's torso;

* a belt made from several human nipples, among many other such grisly objects;

* socks made from human flesh.

Gein's most notorious creations were an array of "shrunken heads." Various neighborhood children — whom Gein occasionally babysat — had seen or heard of these objects, which Gein offhandedly described as relics from the South Seas, purportedly sent by a cousin who had served in World War II. Upon investigation, these turned out to be human facial skins, carefully peeled from cadavers and used by Gein as masks.

Gein eventually admitted under questioning that he would dig up the graves of recently buried middle-aged women he thought resembled his mother and take the bodies home, where he tanned their skin to make his macabre possessions. One writer describes Gein's practice of putting on the tanned skins of women as an "insane transvestite ritual". Gein denied having sex with the bodies he exhumed, explaining, "They smelled too bad." During interrogation, Gein also admitted to the shooting death of Hogan, who had been missing since 1954.

Shortly after his mother's death, Gein decided he wanted a sex change, although it is a matter of some debate whether or not he was transsexual; by most accounts, he created his "woman suit" so he could pretend to be his mother, rather than change his sex. So Gein was making a girl suit long before the days of Hannibal Lector , Red Dragon or the Tooth Fairy.

Harold Schechter, an author of several true crime books, wrote a best-selling book about the Gein case called Deviant. In this book, Schechter mentions that Plainfield police officer Art Schley physically assaulted Gein during questioning by banging Gein's head and face into a brick wall; because of this, Gein's initial confession was ruled inadmissible. Schley died of a heart attack at the age of 43 shortly before Gein's trial. Many who knew him said he was so traumatized by the horror of Gein's crimes and the fear of having to testify (notably about assaulting Gein) that it led to his early death. One of his friends said, "He was a victim of Ed Gein as surely as if he had butchered him."

Art Schley told a friend that Ed Gein was the worst human being that had ever lived and he was going to get by with it. His friend said that the knowledge that Ed Gein was going to a Mental Hospital and not to Death Row worried the policeman into an early grave. Schley believed that Ed Gein was a lot smarter than people thought and the nut act was what he did to get away with his horrid acts.

Late Breaking News About Ed Gein

In 1995 near the location of the old Gein home place parts of up to eleven human skeletons all female but one were discovered in an old well. Local police said that while they can not say 100 percent for certain it is in all likely hood that these 11 remains were the work of Ed Gein as they dated back to the time when he was on his killing spree in the area. One the only male was a mailman that vanished the year before Ed Gein was caught. Yes at the time of his disappearance he had been Ed Geins mail delivery person.

2012 Update

In October of 2012 blood in a old bottle that had been sealed up in a old outdoor toilet along with five more skeletons of females was tested and was proved to be the blood of Ed Gein along with blood from several females. This is the second set of remains that have been discovered many years after the death of Ed Gein. The five female skeletons and the foot bones of seven more people were discovered when ground was being broken up to build a house about twelve miles from the old Gein home place.

It is believed by local police that Gein may be responsible for many victims that were never found. It is only now that more information about Ed Gein is coming out. How many people Ed Gein killed we may never know. It may be that many of his victims will never be found.

The Ghost Of Ed Gein

Many people over the years since his death have claimed to have seen a younger Ed Gein walking along the road walking in the direction of his former home which had burned to the ground years before. He is often seen in his car driving the roads around his former home. Several young couples parked in make out areas over the years have claimed to have been approached by a man who fits Geins description and several have claimed Gein has beat on their car windows. The local police refused to post the drawing of the lovers lane stalker because he so closely resembled Ed Gein.

Hannibal Lector Was Indeed Based On The Story Of Ed Gein

Contrary to what some people may believe there never was a real Hannibal Lector. The story of Hannibal Lector was made up and written by the author Thomas Harris. Every year many people search the internet looking for the real Hannibal Lector. Well I can tell you that there is no Hannibal Lector. He is only a made up character in a fiction book by Thomas Harris.

Though there are at any given time many serial killers living among us here in the United States. For some reason we seem to have more serial killers than any other country. Why has never been discovered. Maybe some day we will know the answer to that question.

Newspaper With The Ed Gein Story
Newspaper With The Ed Gein Story
Inside The Home Of Ed Gein
Inside The Home Of Ed Gein
Gloves Made Of Human Skin That Were Made By Ed Gein
Gloves Made Of Human Skin That Were Made By Ed Gein
Ed Gein Getting Advise From His Lawyer
Ed Gein Getting Advise From His Lawyer

Only Known Video Of Leatherface (Ed Gein)

What Do You Think About Ed Gein. Post Your Comment Now.

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    • profile image

      Pepi 4 years ago

      From the previous comments it appears that a number of people do not understand what went wrong, or how he could commit such crimes. It was clear that he had an unconscious hatred towards his mother. His victims resembled her, and he only began killing once she died. There were numerous developmental risk factors and Augusta Gein's parenting was one of them. His peers rejected him in school and he was a loner. His father was an alcoholic etc.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      My parents grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since Ed Gein had done all of those horrible things while they were growing up, they followed the news about it very closely. Plainfield is only about 2 hours from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When it came out on ( I think it was history channel, but am not sure), then they told me how much they knew about it. How horrrible!

    • MrsBkay profile image

      Britney 5 years ago from Southern California Desert

      Creepy! Go figure he turned out so crazy with such lost parents :( I feel sorry for him.

    • profile image

      derek guitreau 5 years ago

      if you like 'sick-shi_'!!,

      check out the old movie,named,'DERANGED'!!

      Based on the real life of,HANIBLE LECTOR.!!

      You'll Love it.!!

    • profile image

      karuSj 5 years ago

      Gein was somewhat a victim here. He was raised in an inappropriate surrounding, where he haven't had friends or someone to talk to. He viewed life before as meaningless and made him his senses dead. So he didn't regret things before because he never knew it is severely wrong. I don't know how our god Jehovah viewed him, anyway god knows who really he was..

    • Raevyn14 profile image

      Raevyn14 6 years ago from Tecumseh, Oklahoma

      Yup, you got everything. Impressive, most people miss bernice warden

    • profile image

      Christie 6 years ago

      Its incredible what a difference your up bringing can make, to the way you grow as a person, Physically and emotionally.

      This man was clearly sick, gender challenged and troubled both as a child and an adult.

    • profile image

      emri elizabeth 6 years ago

      for som erason i am facinated by the whole serial killer thing, but i do not agree with what they have done. ed gein was a very twisted man and i think he should have had to suffer what he did to all those peole it's sick. some people may not agree with that but it's my own opinion.i'd love to find out more about him.

      thank you!(:

    • profile image

      lulzshit 6 years ago

      Also, see Robert William Pickton almost as crazy as him

    • profile image

      666 6 years ago

      Ed is very smart because he killed SO many people & he went to jail & somehow escaped . A lot of killers today have not been caught . You know why ? They plan everything before it happens . They're smart . If you disagree with me well I really don't give a damn . So yeah that's my opinion [: enjoy .

    • profile image

      kyky 7 years ago

      in all honesty Ed Gein is not so bad, i mean yeah he was crazy, but we can thank his psycho mother for that. If it weren't for her he probably wouldn't have gone insane.

    • profile image

      Mr Reacher 7 years ago

      That bastard should have had a rope tied around his neck and thrown off the westgate bridge, his bloody head would have been ripped off, send the bastard to hell

    • profile image

      M.R. 7 years ago

      look at what you all am typing..... yes gein was a smart fellow and quite deranged but when you bring good and evil into the question, there is no god there is no good and evil there is only free will and choices, choices to do what you lot would say are either bad or good, im not praising Ed Gein because the man is sick and if i was alive in his time i would personaly piss on him, and the theory of its always the mother is not necessarily (if ive spelt that right) true, look at adolf hitler and his rage for jews, his father started that how he beaten adolf and his wife but any way this is about Gein. My personal opinion and sorry if anybody disagree's with everything i have said today is the fact that the man was intelligent not "GENIUS" he managed to get away with murder wich of course is sick and twisted but you could question was he in his right mind? who knows he's dead now so its very much IMPOSSIBLE to ask him is it, no one knows the truth about him on opinions and theorys.....

    • profile image

      Diane.P 7 years ago

      Who the hell would have thought about making skulls into soup bowls, or make furniture out of body parts, confess to doing the crimes and still live up the ripe old age of 70 and not having to pay for his crime, FUCKING GENIUS, not only that but his name is still going on strong to this day. If i can shake someone hands from the past, won't be Martin Luther King, not any of the presidents or any important figure in life, I would shake hands with this handsome devil, Ed Gein..and I am a woman...I also am not crazy.....

    • profile image

      Promise N. Ozuzu 7 years ago

      I want to know if Ed Gein died of natural cause or was he caught did he face the music? if he did face justice then it is justice denied for those victims of his.

    • profile image

      Miranda 7 years ago

      He may have been crazy, but I agree with those who said he is a genius. I've always been fascinated by serial killers & cannibalism, but it doesn't mean I'm gonna go out, kill someone & eat them.

    • profile image

      Denmal 7 years ago

      A word of warning to those who are fascinated by evil.That which man thinks so he is.

      Or maybe try this; That which holds your attention,controls you.

    • profile image

      Sconni_Girl 7 years ago

      Commenting on several things posted here: 1) Ed Gein was a lot of things, but genius was NOT one of them. If you have trouble finding information on him, or pictures of his mother, it is because we, as a state, would simply like to erase Ed Gein from our collective conscious and history.

    • profile image

      SHARON 7 years ago


    • profile image

      Denise LaFrance 7 years ago

      I stand FIRM in my belief that the most IMPORTANT job not to screw up in is the job--the DUTY--(the PRIVILEGE!) of being a good, loving, SANE, nurturing, respectful, compassionate, protective MOTHER. Look at all the monsters created by horrific Mothers (and Fathers too-but~) LOUSY Mother is, more times than not, at the helm of these monsters. SHAME on them!! They should be sent to prison with the monsters they created with their abuse & neglect.

    • profile image

      janisha 8 years ago

      he is sick GOD has it in hes hands he will del with that sick man he is going to HELL!! but GOD still loves him

    • profile image

      C***** M********  8 years ago

      Ed Gein was a smart and intellectual guy, the things he did and thought of doing were unreal, normal people could never do such things there minds could not take it, he had a brilliant and indepth mind to carry out such acts, the power he possesed was emence, he influenced many people from what he did and drove Art Schley to an early grave just by what schley found out who Ed was and what he did! He's influenced the horror industry and many people admire him for some reason. I think most serial killers are sculptured by there upbringing and the fact that they chose to act more over there evil side rather than good, some are pissed of by others and the way they get treated in life so they do it as revenge, some may do it for pleasure fame and admiration, a way to get into history and be remembered for years after death, i also think most serial killer reguire allot of intellect, because they can't lead there lives as a normal person, it is to basic, they need to do something to keep there enlarged mind satisfied. I also believe murder is wrong but it goes on because our world is becoming corrupt, humans don't just live to survive anymore, and they aren't living the right way as we should, why should gay people be accepted,(Life would seize to exist if everyone were gay)why do we unnecessarily kill the beautiful creatures on this planet and continually chop down rainforests that we need for our race to survive for future generations, we need to get back in touch with God and do things for the right reasons. Life is based around money greed, and no one looks out for each other, why do we eat bad foods when we know that it will shorten our lives, why don't most people care about Love and just sex, why do we continually polute the environment. The list goes on and on and on, serial killers are on a different level to other people, (NOT A LEVEL THAT YOU COULD EVER UNDERSTAND!), that's why we are fascinated by them, theres so many aspects that can be taken into accound but i can't write it all on here, murder will carry on aslong as people focus there life on money and themselves and aslong as racism carries on, murder CAN be avoided!..

    • profile image

      missy 8 years ago

      as hard as we try i dont think anyone can explain any serial killers actions; the bible speaks of this so it has to come to pass

    • BJBenson profile image

      BJBenson 8 years ago from USA

      This man was a psychopath. God forbid you run into some one like him.

    • profile image

      steveT@VTUNIVERSITY 8 years ago

      I agree with you. Ed Gein was a sick twisted man. He was not a smart man. It does not take any intellect to kill and pretty much disect a human person. He was obviously troubled as a kid and was probably taught and abused for thinking about sex and women. As any normal person they are curious about what he was not supposed to think or even do and after he had no family and nearly no friends he was in a very dark state of mind and the only thing to do was to expierment.

    • profile image

      Teresa K 8 years ago

      People Like Ed Gein and Gordon Steward Northcott are men that were nothing more then possessed by evil. A normal human being would never consider doing something so horrific that they had no concept of what they were doing. That had to be something that was supernatural in it and the evil demons that were in these men just move to other people and the cycle just keeps going and going. It will never end and there will always be people as evil as they are and still are. When one is gone the demon goes into another and makes that person do the horrible things that they do until they are cause or dead then they move on to the next. We will forever have those possessed people doing these things until the end of days.

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      lol lol lol he is sick

    • profile image

      Jack Smith 8 years ago

      His mom was a bitch.

    • profile image

      Uni 8 years ago

      Read up on Andrei Chikatatilo( if that's how you spell it)

    • profile image

      carol holmes 8 years ago

      Ed's story leaves an impact on the past and present. One thing I find interesting is the mother always plays a role in how the person becomes a serial killer. Not only an overbearing mother but strong relegious beliefs teter on the sanity of driving someone insane. A mother who has to be in control over husband and her children is just a breader for serial killers. From the womb the mother poisons the child with her thoughts that conceiving him in the first place was a dirty nasty sin and against Gods will. Child comes into the world and momma takes over controlling that childs every move. Sit up, comb you hair, you can't go out tonight, you have to go to church Sunday. THe mother implants so much fear in the child that they become damaged goods through the way the mother disciplines them, scolds them, failure to love them, give them hugs and help the child to become normal in life. Starts at an early age and continues into their adult life. His career of killing had to start somewhere. Did momma love his broher more than him? Did Ed feel a need to snuff out his brother so mother would love him more? Possibility. Relegious battering I would think also played a role in him snapping and deciding

      his only recourse in life was to kill. The only way he could bring momma back into his life was to make him a momma and become her image. God made man in his own image so Gein made Momma into his collection of images for the dead and the living.

      And the horror industry eats his story alive.


    • profile image

      8 years ago

      what's so intelligent about taking dead bodies and making clothes out of it?he lived in no were, so how hard it is too keep it a secret, not that...

    • profile image

      Sarastro 8 years ago

      This is quite shocking even for today's generation. Yet some experts believe that only about 20% or so of serial killers get caught because most of them target transients, and prostitutes...people whom hardly anyone would miss. For instance, Robert Picton (the Canadian farmer) went for drug addicts and streetwalkers who already had been alienated from society and their families.

      The strange part is that these people actually tend to be highly intelligent and organized. It's a different level of insanity.

    • profile image

      MD 8 years ago

      Does anyone know where I can find more information about Ed Gein? I am interested in writing my psychobiography on him. I am having difficulty gathering information about him though.

      Thank you.


    • profile image

      Marni 8 years ago

      Sweetmacrbre, may I suggest you get an education in Philosophy, you sound quite ignorant.

      Survival of the fittest is not about murder, and just because the guy was a killer does not make him smart. It always amazes me how people think if someone i a serial killer and also shows some semblance of intellect, they MUST be a genius, shows how small the minds are thinking those things.

      Gein was highly irrational and weak willed/minded. This is how his mothers religious brow beating was useful in making him a complete nut job, like his mother.

      Survival of the fittest has more to do with rolling with life's punches and NOT losing your sanity, than you realize sweetmacabre - and krystal.

    • profile image

      sweetlymacabre 8 years ago

      damn... everyone attacking krystal. nothing wrong with thinking the man was clever. and open up your happens everyday and will continue to do so...christians want to call it free will...others call it..instinct. man has killed man since the beggining of man. survival of the fittest. plus...blind melon's song about him is just awesome and i absolutely love it.

    • profile image

      Adam B 8 years ago

      Another crazy f**ker like Ed Gein was Albert Fish...check that guy out as well.

    • profile image

      Nice Gurl 8 years ago

      he was a very sick man.he was also mental.this is to krystal howden...WAT IS WRONG WIT U???!!!

    • profile image

      Trigonometry 8 years ago

      In reply to and about Krystal Howden:

      Is it any wonder so many people who are as deranged as Ed Gein go about unnoticed? If someone like Krystal acquainted herself with the likes of Ed Gein, she would find nothing odd about him or his behavior; she of the same flock: TWISTED!

      Yes, his work is continuing on today, thanks to your flock of Twisted, evil people. The Twisted family relatives are found throughout society in every stratum. Krystal lives in one stratum, and there isn't very much oxygen there.

    • profile image

      Nia  8 years ago

      Kind of makes you wonder what possesses people to do this stuff. I mean not just Ed Gein, but other killers as well like Jeffrey Dahmer or Gordon Northcott who just up and killed 20 kids in 1928. What is wrong or where did it go wrong?

    • profile image

      Chris Friend 9 years ago

      Finisged Deranged and I must say that olf coot made Jeffrey Dahmer look like a vegetarian (not sure if I spelled that right).Im on Butcher right now about that Canadian mass murderer who fed victim to his pigs. Pretty ugly stuff.

    • profile image

      Chris Friend 9 years ago

      Very interesting. Reading Harold Schector's Deranged right now. It's about Albert Fish. Schector wrote a great book on Gein titled Deviant. Recommended to anyone interested in Gein.

    • profile image

      Brian Goode, MA, LPC 9 years ago

      Wow, the power of the human mind, whether used for good or for evil is a force that Freud had right in his theories.

    • profile image

      sam 9 years ago

      reacking man

    • profile image

      Ciara 9 years ago

      In reply to Krystal Howden: You seem to be very amazed by Ed Gein. I too, was sort of facisnated. Also, yes he was a genuis, he was a very intelligent man, but he doesn't exactly deserve to be praised for it. He used his knowledge for evil. He was a sick man. You act as if what he has done is a good thing.

    • profile image

      KEVIN 9 years ago


    • profile image

      Sam 9 years ago

      what about the victms families and their stories? Are any left to talk about what Ed Gein did

    • profile image

      rocknea@AOL.COM 9 years ago


    • profile image

      Valerie/Josh/Sherry:) 9 years ago

      this man is a freak!!!


    • profile image

      Krystal Howden 9 years ago

      This man has inspired me to find more and more about him. This is only the beginning of his story there is still his son. Hannibal Rising. He maybe a physco but the man was a genius. He maybe dead but his work is still continueing to this day.

      This is really interesting


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    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)