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Edward Theodore "Ed" Gein (August 27, 1906 – July 26, 1984) was an American murderer and body snatcher. His crimes, committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, gathered widespread notoriety after authorities discovered Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Gein confessed to killing two women – tavern owner Mary Hogan on December 8, 1954, and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, on November 16, 1957. Initially found unfit for trial, after confinement in a mental health facility he was tried in 1968 for the murder of Worden and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he spent in a mental hospital.His case influenced the creation of several fictional killers, including Norman Bates of the movie and novel Psycho and its sequels, Leatherface of the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) of the novel The Silence of the Lambs and Ezra Cobb of the movie Deranged.Edward Theodore Gein was born in La Crosse County, Wisconsin on August 27, 1906, the second son of George Philip (August 4, 1873 – April 1, 1940) and Augusta Tiffany Wilhelmine (née Lehrke) Gein (July 21, 1878 – December 29, 1945), the daughter of Prussian immigrants. Gein had an older brother, Henry George Gein (January 17, 1901 – May 16, 1944). Augusta despised her husband, and considered him a failure for being an alcoholic who was unable to keep a job; he had worked at various times as a carpenter, tanner, and insurance salesman. Augusta operated a small grocery store and used the proceeds from the sale of the grocery store in 1914 to purchase a farm on the outskirts of the small town of Plainfield, Wisconsin, which became the Gein family's permanent home.Augusta relocated to the farm to prevent outsiders from influencing her sons. Edward left the premises only to attend school. Outside of school, he spent most of his time doing chores on the farm. Augusta, a fervent Lutheran, preached to her boys about the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drinking, and the belief that all women (except herself) were naturally prostitutes and instruments of the devil. She reserved time every afternoon to read to them from the Bible, usually selecting graphic verses from the Old Testament concerning death, murder, and divine retribution.Edward was shy, and classmates and teachers remembered him as having strange mannerisms, such as seemingly random laughter, as if he were laughing at his own personal jokes. He was sometimes bullied. To make matters worse, his mother punished him whenever he tried to make friends. Despite his poor social development, he did fairly well in school, particularly in reading. While Gein was devoted to making his domineering mother happy, Augusta was rarely pleased with her boys, believing that they were destined to become failures and alcoholics like their father. In their teenage years and early adulthood, Henry and Ed remained detached from people outside of their farmstead, and had only each other for company.

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