Henry George Gein: A Life of Strange Crimes is a book about the life of Henry Gein, a man who was convicted of killing two women in the 1950s. The book details Gein’s life from his childhood, through his years as a farmer and family man, to his arrest and trial for murder.
Gein was born in 1906 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was the second of five children. His father was a violent man who often beat his children. His mother was a religious woman who tried to protect her children from their father’s abuse.
Gein’s older brother died when Gein was nine years old. This had a profound effect on Gein, who became withdrawn and shy. He began to spend more time alone and became interested in reading about death and murder.
In 1940, Gein’s father died of heart failure. His mother died of a stroke two years later. Gein, who was then in his early 30s, began to isolate himself even more. He stopped farming and began to hoard junk and garbage. He also started to steal bodies from graves.
In November 1957, police discovered the body of Bernice Worden, a local hardware store owner, in Gein’s farmhouse. She had been shot and her body mutilated. Gein was arrested and charged with murder.
During his trial, Gein confessed to killing Worden and another woman, Mary Hogan. He also admitted to robbing graves and making furniture and clothing from human skin. Gein was found guilty but insane and was committed to a mental hospital.
Gein died in 1984, at the age of 77.
Gein’s Early Life and Troubled Family
Henry George Gein was born in 1906 in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. His parents were George Philip Gein and Augusta Wilhelmine Gein. He had an older brother, Henry, and a younger sister, Mary. His father was a violent alcoholic, and his mother was a religious fanatic. Gein’s parents died when he was young, and he and his siblings were raised by their grandparents.
Gein was a shy and withdrawn child, and he was often teased by other kids. He was also fascinated by death, and he would often visit the local graveyard. He dropped out of high school in 1924, and he began working odd jobs to help support his family.
In 1940, Gein’s brother Henry died of cancer, and Gein began to isolate himself even more. He became obsessed with reading about serial killers and necrophilia, and he began to fantasize about killing and skinning women. In 1945, his grandfather died, and Gein’s mental state began to deteriorate. He became a recluse, and he stopped leaving his farmhouse except to steal women’s bodies from graves.
On November 16, 1957, Gein was arrested for the murders of Bernice Worden and Mary Hogan. He confessed to the murders, and he led police to the graves of his victims. Gein was found guilty of first-degree murder, and he was committed to a mental hospital. He died of cancer in 1984.
Gein’s First Murder and Further Crimes
Henry Gein’s first recorded murder was that of Bernice Worden, a local hardware store owner in Plainfield, Wisconsin. Gein had been stealing from her store for some time, and on the day of the murder, he entered the store while she was alone and killed her with a shotgun. He then cut off her head and genitals and mutilated the body.
Gein later confessed to killing two other women – Mary Hogan, a local tavern owner, and Gladys Baker, a neighbor. He also admitted to robbing graves and to attempting to create a “woman suit” out of human skin.
Gein was found guilty but insane and was committed to a mental hospital. He died in 1984.
Gein’s capture, trial, and imprisonment
On November 16, 1957, Gein was arrested for the murders of Bernice Worden and Mary Hogan. Gein confessed to both murders, as well as to robbing graves and making lampshades and other objects from human skin. He was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was committed to a mental health institution. In 1968, Gein was found guilty but mentally ill of the murder of Worden and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died of cancer at the age of 77 in 1984.
Gein’s crimes inspired many works of fiction, including the films Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs.
The Legacy of Henry George Gein
Henry George Gein was an American serial killer who was active in the late 1950s. He gained notoriety after it was discovered that he had exhumed corpses from graves and used their skin to make furniture and other household items. Gein was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was found guilty but insane at his trial. He was committed to a mental hospital where he remained until his death in 1984.
Gein’s crimes inspired the creation of several fictional characters, including Norman Bates in the 1960 film Psycho and Leatherface in the 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Gein’s story also served as the basis for the character of Buffalo Bill in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.