Edward "Ed" Theodore Gein By: Mason Likens

Early Life

Gein was born on August 27, 1906 to a hateful mother and an alcoholic father. His mother raised him and taught him that women and sex were evil. Gein had an older brother and the family lived on an isolated farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin. Edward's father died in 1940, in 1944 his brother mysteriously passed and soon after in 1945 his mother died of health problems. This left Edward at the isolated farm alone.

Gein Family farm home in Plainfield, WI

What He Did

After his mother died, he became increasingly insane and eventually began searching cemeteries to unearth recently buried female corpses. He would cut off body parts and keep them as trophies, returning the corpses seemingly undisturbed to their graves. In 1954, Ed Gein turned from grave robbing to murder, a task he was less careful about. Police implicated him in the murders of two women in 1957. During the investigations, police learned that he had practiced necrophilia and experimented with human taxidermy. He made many items from human body parts and bones. For example he had bowls made from human skulls, chairs made from skin, and masks made from at least nine women.

This picture shows one of Gein's victims, Bernice Worden.

TYpe of serial killer

I would argue that Gein would have been a dis-organized killer due to the fact that everything he did was random and unplanned.

What could've been done better

Some things that the police could have done better to catch Gein earlier on would've been to detect any suspicious activity that he was involved in. Beings that he lived alone on a secluded farm it would've been hard to catch him though. He didn't come around many people too often so there weren't many opportunities. The investigators could have used fingerprint analysis to help get Gein incriminated.

Edward Gein's Fingerprints


Gein's tendencies were things like pulling bodies from their graves and killing women to use their bodies for himself. Some of his tendencies would also include all of the housewares items he made from bodies. We can use this example in class to show how a serial killer often will repeat the same thing.

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