WARNING: The photos above are very graphic and may be disturbing to some. Please use viewer discretion.
Ever since he was a little boy growing up in Wisconsin, Ed Gein showed signs of psychological impairment: He clearly wasn’t a normal kid. It wasn’t until his mother died in 1945, however, that he snapped — and in a really creepy way. He boarded up her room and kept it pristine while letting the rest of the house fall apart.
Soon after his mother’s death, Ed Gein also decided he wanted to be a woman. He wanted a sex change but didn’t have the money.
After being suspected of murder, Gein confessed to killing two women – tavern owner Mary Hogan on December 8, 1954, and a Plainfield hardware store owner, Bernice Worden, on November 16, 1957.
He also confessed to other more macabre crimes. Apparently, in the years that followed his mother’s death, Ed had taken at least 40 trips to the local graveyard while in a “daze.” During most of those trips, he said that he’d snap out of his daze and return home, but he made at least 10 of those trips in full. At the graveyard, Gein dug up the bodies of middle aged women who resembled his mother.
The closest Gein could get to having a sex change and the closest he’d ever be again to his mother was through these dead bodies he dug up. Gein began creating “women suits” out of the skin of these deceased women.
After digging up the bodies and taking them home, Gein would skin the bodies and tan them, molding them into suits that he wore regularly.
These ‘women suits’ were not the only horrifying things police found in his home.
When Gein was finally arrested in 1957, police found a sizeable collection of items made from human body parts (check out the slideshow above to see the grisly creations). They found he’d upholstered his furniture with human flesh and had even created a lampshade from skin. He said that he never had sex with the corpses, however, because “they smelled too bad.”
The law was soft on Gein, who didn’t go to prison. He was found guilty but legally insane. Instead of prison, he spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric facility until he died from heart failure in 1984.