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The Butcher of Plainfield

Updated on November 19, 2012


The 1950’s were a time of prosperity and happiness. Life was slow paced, nothing like the life in the fast lane that we commonly handle as best we can in these times. But lets back up a few years, to 1906, the year that a man was born that would forever change the status of Plainfield, Wisconsin. He put that town on the map, but not in a good way. He made the town famous for horrors and indignities that he committed.

His father was an alcoholic and his mother could quote the Bible forward, backward, and sideways, and she was a pillar of the community. Unfortunately, he and his brother, Henry, spent a lot of time with their mother, who turned them into carbon copies of her. She touted the fact that all women were evil and Jezebels, just like they were described in the Bible. But to mom, there were no good women, and it was up to her to warn the boys against all women.

Henry mysteriously died in a runaway fire, but the kicker is this: he never felt that his mother was a saint like his younger brother. Oddly enough, when the younger brother led the investigators to the scene of Henry’s death, there were no indications on the scorched site that he was injured in the fire in 1944. His clothing was not burned, only soot covered and his flesh was unburned. But he did have some strange bruises on his head…


The Quiet Man

Meanwhile, the quiet little man, who was a bit strange continued to do his odd jobs and help everyone that needed it. After his mother died in 1945, he still continued to live in the same house and go about his business, just like any other good citizen. He was such a nice man.

Let’s flash to 1954 when a female barkeeper disappeared from her place of business, where blood was pooled on the floor.

There were a couple of other mysterious disappearances of young people, including two females and a 43-year-old male. It was never proven exactly what happened to them…


The Investigation

Finally, in 1957, a local businesswoman disappeared. The proprietor at the gas station across the street saw her panel truck pull out of its garage, and it was being driven by a man. The front door to her business was locked and the lights were left on, which was strange. Her son returned empty handed from deer hunting, and noticed that the cash register was missing and blood spatters were found from there to the rear of the store.

It didn’t take long to discover who the culprit was, as a sales receipt was found made out for antifreeze with our man’s name on it. The proprietress’ son happened to be a deputy sheriff and he called the sheriff’s department as soon as he discovered the missing cash register and the blood.

Deputies appeared from everywhere and went to the home of our quiet little man where they discovered a body. Then they discovered a lot of other things in the house, too, that cleared up a few mysteries.

Our man was found insane twice, and committed to Central State Hospital, where he eventually died of cancer, which was truly ironic. He was secretly buried, which really was not a secret after all.

In between all this, his house was torched after the investigation was complete, as it was supposed to be auctioned on a Holy Day.

If this synopsis piques your interest, do read the entire tale, sold at one of these locations:


And remember, not everyone is what they appear to be…


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, Ikbal, they said the same things about chronic fatigue, as well as so many other things. If someone feels it, how can it be in their heads?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My daughter of 15 seems to have NDPH for 2 1/2 years. She was so alive until this hit her. We think this strtaed from the Chicken Pox or maybe Mono. Her whole nervous system has been messed up. We have been to every type of Doctor you can think of. Her headaches start out around 4-5 in the morning and increase to level 7-9 at night before bed. We have tried every migrain medicine on the market but not one help the headache. We go to the emergency room sometimes 2 times a week. The doctors won't even admit her any longer. Some narcotics work the first time bringing the levels down from 9-10 to 3-4. The next time we go it does not work. She seems to get resistent to the drugs after first use. She is nauseous all the time and is no longer going to school. We are going to look into a spinal leak or possibly neck issues. She had a nerve caterized in her next with no luck. One treatment we hope to try is a lidocain or ketamine infusion. I was wondering if anyone has tried these for their headaches. The Childrens hospital in Seattle is using lidocaine infusion with some successs. There is a pain clinic in Salt Lake City that is using the Ketamine Infusions because they last longer (up to 3 months). We have tried the triptons, erogots, and every other type of medicine. She was put on a pain patch this last week but I don't think it will help at all. Her pain tolerance has been affected also. She had an out patient surgury to remove the galblader that should have been an out patient procedure. She was in the hospital for a week with so much pain. I will never stop looking for an answer to this. There has to be one. I am so tired of the doctors where we live. They think it is in her head and don't think she is in as much pain as she portrays. Make me so mad. I am glad i found this site but it made me even more sad and hopeless.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Peg, they are. They are some of the most normal appearing people in the world, until the family secret is out.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Truly a chilling story, Deb. Your recap makes me want to read more. These folks are strange and dangerous and blend so well into society as God fearing people. Too bad his Mother was a wacko. I have a story of my G-mom on my Dad's side, that is not quite as chilling, but somewhat scary. She was a real child abuser. And she seemed so "normal".

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Brenda, it sure was an unstable situation. The son that died/was killed had been out in the world and didn't lead such a sheltered life. He didn't worship the mother like Ed did, and Ed never forgave him for that comment. She wasn't responsible for his state of mind, but she certainly reinforced it.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This gave me the shivers. The man was obviously insane from a very young age and never got help. Back then though, help was hard to come by and still in infancy concerning psychological matters. I must say that I do not hold his mother responsible. Maybe she was a religious fanatic but many people were raised by one and didn't go off killing others. Her delusions about women in the Bible may have caused him to think women were evil but he also killed men. No where in the Bible does the Bible describe all women as evil. A mother who would teach such a thing to her children sounds kind of mentally unstable herself. Perhaps mental illness ran in the family. In any regard, he was an awful and disturbed man. It makes me shudder!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy. Plenty more where they came from. They are in all countries, and encompass all walks of life.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      I had never heard of this one and you tell the story well!! Sshhudders!!!!

      Have a great day.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Love, nothing. He was so brainwashed he started killing women that resembled his mother. It was his way to get "back" at her for keeping him a celibate prisoner.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jim, it is scary how many there are. They have been around since the dawn of time. For a while, they were being taken out of prison to fight in our wars Naturally, they killed other people that they shouldn't, so it was a big washout..

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Indeed, Martin. He sure got a lot of media attention with books, a movie, jokes called "Geiners," and all the other notorieties to go with. Can you even imagine t-shirts?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, it sure was Beckie. It's amazing how a person cracks like that.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very interesting hub. I heard that some of our favorite serial killer movies were somewhat fashioned from this pycho..Silence of the Lambs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre both had characters that used the victims skin. Crazy how much a mother's "love" can screw up a person!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Interesting and a good reminder to be aware of your surroundings. This guy was a monster like so many others (Ted Bundy comes to mind). I had not heard of this one prior to your hub.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Ed Gain is legendary, but a "psycho" none he less.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Makes you realize how little you really know about a person, no matter how pleasant. I read a book about this psychopath and it was truly chilling.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're welcome, Johan. Know who it is?

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Fascinating history, thanks.


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