How Edward Theodore Gain Became A Serial Killer

1738 words - 7 pages

Most serial killers are psychopaths. They are really frighteningly irrational people, but people who have no human conscience and no capacity for remorse. They also see other human beings as objects that can be manipulated and exploited and used for their own depraved purposes. It is nearly impossible for them to feel any sort of sympathy. Ed Gein raises the question in my mind, “Are monsters born, or are they created?” In this case study, I am going to explain who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s, and how’s of Edward Theodore Gein.
Edward Gein was born August 27, 1906, in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. He was the younger of two boys. His father, George Gein, was a worthless, good for nothing man who had drinking problems and could not keep a stable job to support his family. Augusta, Edward’s mother, was the proprietor of their small family grocery store. She was the perfect example of an overbearing, controlling individual. She hated her husband, in which their marriage had the quality of a lacerating nightmare (Schechter, 1989). Augusta saw George as a weakling, afraid of hard work. Thus, she quickly took on the role of domestic tyrant. For unknown reasons, the Gein family moved to a small dairy farm in the lowlands near Camp Douglas, forty miles east of La Crosse. In 1914, the Gein’s made their second and final move to a one-hundred-ninety-five-acre farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin, also known as the old John Greenfield place. Plainfield was your ideal image of a close-knit community that was kept quiet and filled with hardworking people. Perhaps, the isolation from moving caused the family dynamic to grow stranger and stranger. In 1940, Edward’s father died at the age of sixty-six due to heart failure, consequently tied to his drinking habit. Four years later, Edward and his older brother Henry were caught in a runaway fire. Edward made it out, but Henry did not. It remains a mystery if Edward had anything to do with his brother’s death, since he was able to lead the police straight to Henry’s dead body but claims his brother was missing. Some police suspected that Edward did indeed kill Henry, but no charges were filed. Following Henry’s death, Augusta began to feel sick and terribly weak. She eventually suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. Edward stayed at her bedside, comforting her every second he could. Although Augusta’s strong willed and god fearing personality may have added to the ticking time bomb stored inside Edward, he still seemed to love and worship her very deeply. When younger, Edward would sit and listen to his mother preach the Book of Revelations and Proverbs stating that women were whores, tramps, and evil beings out to hurt people. This constant sermon left him terrified of human contact, women in particular. When he was thirty-nine, Augusta suffered her second stroke, leading to her death. Her death, for the first time, left Edward to be completely on his own. Soon thereafter, his psychological problems crossed the line...

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