Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Eddie Gein

Seriously Weird

After the death of his mother, Eddie became increasingly lonely. He spent much of his spare time reading pulp magazines and anatomy books. The rooms he inhabited were full of periodicals about Nazis, South Sea headhunters and shipwrecks. From his readings Eddie learned about the process of shrinking heads, exhuming corpses from graves and the anatomy of the human body. He became obsessed with these weird stories and he would often recount some of them to the children he babysat. Eddie also enjoyed reading the local newspapers. His favorite section was the obituaries.

It was from the obituaries that Eddie would learn of the recent deaths of local women. Having never enjoyed the company of the opposite sex, he would quench his lust by visiting graves at night. Although he later swore to police that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the dead women he had exhumed ("they smelled too bad"), he did take a particular pleasure in peeling their skin from their bodies and wearing it. He was curious to know what it was like to have breasts and a vagina and he often dreamed of being a woman. He was fascinated with women because of the power and hold they had over men.

Bernice Worden's funeral
Bernice Worden's funeral

He acquired quite a collection of body parts, some of which included preserved heads. On one occasion a young boy that he sometimes looked after visited Eddie's farm. He later said that Eddie had showed him human heads that he kept in his bedroom. Eddie claimed the shriveled heads were from the South Seas, relics from headhunters.

When the young boy told people of his experience, his story was quickly dismissed as a figment of the young boy's imagination. Then somewhat later, the boy was vindicated when two other young men paid a visit to Eddie Gein's farm. They too had seen the preserved heads of women but thought them to be just strange Halloween costumes. Rumors began to circulate and soon most of the townspeople were gossiping about the strange objects Eddie supposedly possessed.

However, no one took the stories seriously until Bernice Worden disappeared years later. In fact, people would often joke with Eddie about having shrunken heads and Eddie would just smile or make reference to having them in his room. No one thought he was telling the truth or maybe they just didn't want to believe it was true.

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