Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ed Gein

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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I’m sure you’ve at least heard of, if not seen the movies, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Psycho.  Did you know that they were all loosely based on the same person?

Ed Gein was born in LaCrosse Wisconsin, but his parents moved the family to Plainfield to get away from the sins of city life.  Now in case you’ve never been to LaCrosse, let me tell you, it’s not that big of a city.  But, Plainfield, IS a one horse town, I’m not so sure they even have a stoplight.

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Because I’m morbid, one of the first places we went when we moved to Wisconsin was to find his grave.  Somewhere I have photos I took that winter but these photos are just from this summer.  His grave marker has long been vandalized and is gone, not to be replaced.  But you can see the empty spot between his brother and his parents. (According to Wikipedia the stone was recovered in Seattle and taken to Wautoma, Wisconsin where it is now on display at a museum. - I’ll have to check into that.)

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His home was near the cemetery, I never have figured out the exact location and the town wishes the memory to fade so I can’t exactly walk up to someone and ask.  The house burned down years ago and to the best of my knowledge the land is empty.

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Although, there are suspicions that he killed his brother and possibly a few people labeled as missing, and he did get convicted of killing two people, mostly he robbed the graves of the same cemetery he is buried in.  He did have human parts in his house and did wear a human face/mask, like Leatherface and Buffalo Bill.  He thought highly of his mother, like Norman Bates.

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He spent the years from 1968 until his death in 1984 in various mental health facilities and died while in Madison.  But before he was caught, he did odd jobs for the Plainfield residents.  Imagine how you’d feel if you found out your plumber, electrician, handyman, had this horror living inside of him.

As for location, Plainfield is about 30 minutes south of where I live.  My daughter and her fiancé delivered newspapers to the area this past winter, and although it may sound weird, I always worried about them in those early hours of the morning, I‘m so glad they aren't doing it anymore.

I haven’t chased down any other of Wisconsin’s ‘famous’ people, like Jeffrey Dahmer, or even John Wayne Gacy down in Chicago.  I haven’t touched the unsolved Capital City Murders in Madison, where victims are female college students, even though a young college girl was killed down there last fall. There’s much debate on whether or not LaCrosse currently has a serial killer, eight drowned men, ages 18-22, resembling each other, could be the work of the Smiley Face Gang Killers, but some say no.  I think maybe some people just can't tolerate the winters up here.  And winter seems to be fast approaching.

I did take down the coordinates of Eddie’s gravesite, N 44 13.000 W 89 31.221, in case anyone is interested.  But if you come up to visit him, you must let me know so we can meet up too.  But let’s not meet in the winter, ‘kay?

31 comments:

  1. My mouth actually won't close.

    I found this VERY intriguing because (a) I didn't know he was behind all those characters and (b) I didn't know how curioiusly cool you are!

    My bet is he is that unmarked grave between the two.

    ALL. BE. DAMN.

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  2. Isn't it always winter in Wisconsin? Way to get me in the mood for Halloween!

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  3. Morbid, but interesting. I've only seen one of those movies, but all the rest of the info is quite intriguing. I wouldn't want my daughters out there, either!

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  4. I guess I am mildly morbid too, because I did know the story of Ed Gein. Oddly enough, I haven't seen any of the movies that are based on him though.

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  5. A most unusual post, Lisa. I went to see Silence of the Lambs but had my hand over my eyes most of the movie. Just too scary.

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  6. I also did not know he was the basis for character of those movies.....I am sure that place is haunted....have you ever gotten any orbs in your photos??

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  7. Now that you mention it, I see the similarities between Texas Chainsaw and Silence of the Lambs, with cutting off the skin and putting it on your body. (Yes I admit I've seen all these movies). Cool post and informative! I did my very first PSF this week.

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  8. That's fascinating! I had no idea the two movies were based on the same character.
    I'm also glad to know that I'm not the only person who would have found the gravesite LOL It would be interesting to hunt around the property where his house stood - just to see what odd things you might find. Are there any of his family members still living around there?
    I wonder what the people who stole his headstone were doing with it. Living room art? Dancing around it in the moonlight? I love tales of the odd and morbid - just as long as they don't touch my life!

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  9. Learned something new...always like that, especially when it's historical stuff.

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  10. Huh - that is a bit morbid - but also history!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Cheers, Klaus

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  11. That's really interesting. I'm a true murder story reader so I love hearing about these things.

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  12. I would say yes, a little morbid, getting close to Halloween though, LOL!

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  13. Tiaras & TantrumsSeptember 12, 2008 at 2:09 AM

    I will NOT be visiting you anytime soon!!

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  14. What a great adventure! I'm the chick flick girl and hubby is the everything-scary-gross-and spooky kinda guy! Although crime and mystery intrigues me! Nice shots of the cemetery too. I think I am going to make that my next goal.

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  15. Hm. Interesting. Creepy but interesting.

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  16. Yep, I was convinced there was a serial killer involved with all those young men who mysteriously drowned, even before word spread about the I-94 Serial Killer.
    Crazy stuff!

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  17. That was really cool. At least I know that I'm not the only one who finds stuff like that interesting.

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  18. I have never seen those movies!! And I do find it interesting and the fact you actually have been to where he is buried!! I can't imagine how on earth people think of tose things to do!! He actually robbed the graves??? ewwwwww.....And seems to be alot of scary things going on there??? But it tells me never to move there!! And maybe we could meet here???

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  19. Fantastic Photostory today … interesting subject for sure ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  20. My husband's grandparents not only knew Ed, they played cards with him.
    Did not know he had been buried back in Plainfield as he had been at the winnebago Institute here in Oshkosh.

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  21. Spooky stuff! They should stake out that cemetery for any paranormal activity going on!

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  22. I love stuff like this! Totally cool!!

    And I agree with iPost...I would be lurking about...

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  23. Perfectly 'Spooky' for getting into the mood for Halloween. How creepy!!

    Interesting post, Lisa. A little morbid, but interestingly so.

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  24. You know, as close as I visit to Plainfield and as often as I get there, I've never looked for Ed Gein's grave. I should - it'd be right up my alley.

    I heard a few years ago that they put the land up for auction (the site where the house used to stand) but I don't know they got any takers. I thought for sure some whack job would snatch it up and put some sort of museum/memorial where Gein used to live, but they probably had some sort of stipulation to the sale. Haven't heard anything since.

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  25. I had no idea that there was anyone behind the scary content of those movies. That kind of freaks me out! I'm sure glad I don't live in Wisconsin.
    Have a safe and serial killer free winter!

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  26. Ol' Ed used to be supper table conversation when I was a kid. My dad was a cop so you know...I didn't realize he was born in my beloved LaX though.

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  27. [...] Ed GeinEd Gein was born in LaCrosse Wisconsin, but his parents moved the family to Plainfield to get away from the sins of city life. Now in case you’ve never been to LaCrosse, let me tell you, it’s not that big of a city. … [...]

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  28. And I thought Michigan sprouted some crazy people (Aileen Wuornos, Madonna, etc).

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  29. Interesting stuff. I love that morbid crap too. Gives me the heebee though, sometimes.

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  30. Crazy weird story! I like it!!!! =)

    Okay, I heard there was a Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy and he was in Rusk Mental Hosp?!?!? Do you know anything about that? I went to college near Rusk and would always get freaked out because I thought the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy was there...I always thought he would get out and come saw us up! YIKES! Okay, I've freaked myself out!

    Have you even heard of Mansfield Reformatory (it's in Ohio) http://www.mrps.org/
    This prison has been in a ton of movies! When Shad and I went up to Ohio last Sept he was going to take me on a tour! They were closed! I did get a few pics...it's a COOL looking place! They also do ghost hunts! I sooooooooooooooooooo want to go do this!!!!!!!!

    Great blog post!

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  31. A small tidbit about the headstone:
    In May of 2000, the headstone was traveling around the west coast as part of the Angry White Male Tour. The tour was sort of a traveling circus, organized by Shane and Amy Bugbee, featuring music, spoken word, comedic performance and a serial killer exibit. Needless to say, the Gein headstone was the centerpiece of that exibit.
    At the Seattle stop of the tour, the local police arrived with photos of the headstone, questioned the Bugbee's (they claimed it was a replica), assessed that it was the real deal, then proceeded to haul it away with the use of a handtruck and 4 officers.

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