Born: 27 August 1906
Died: 26 July 1984 (cancer)
Birthplace: La Crosse, Wisconsin
Best known as: Wisconsin killer who inspired the movie Psycho
Ed Gein, known as The Butcher of Plainfield, gained notoriety in the 1950s for murdering at least two women and for committing grisly, fetishistic acts on corpses stolen from graves. In November 1957 the Plainfield, Wisconsin police, investigating the murder of Bernice Worden, visited Gein's farm, where he lived alone. Inside the house they found an array of body parts, the disemboweled corpse of a woman and general cannibalistic squalor. Gein was taken into custody and admitted to killing Worden. He also confessed to the 1954 murder of Mary Hogan, but explained that the rest of the corpses around the farm (more than a dozen, all female) had come from robbing local graves. Deemed insane by the court, Gein was given a life sentence of confinement to the Waupan State Hospital. In 1968 he was tried for the murder of Bernice Worden and found guilty, but still deemed criminally insane and sent back to the state hospital, where he died of cancer in 1984. The extremity of his crimes has been the inspiration for a number of movies, including Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho and 1991's Silence of the Lambs (starring Jodie Foster).
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