The true story of the murderer who inspired ‘Psycho’, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

In recent years, Netflix has advocated for the production of true crime about some serial killers that have inspired hundreds of horror productions and documentaries, among which we find psychopaths of the stature of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy. These productions released materials that were anonymous until now, such as tapes of interviews with the aforementioned. A model that MGM+ has now copied for the creation of Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein (Psycho: The Lost Ed Gein Tapes).

In the new platform production of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer company we know in depth Ed Gein’s story, from Plainfield (Wisconsin, USA), where he carried out his worst outrages. In 1957, Gein was accused of desecrating the graves of the local cemetery and making trophies from human bones and skin, while at the same time he was also tried for the alleged murder of two womenaccording to his own confession.

Official sources pointed to the difficult past of the psychopath, raised with a violent and alcoholic father, and a mother who was a religious fanatic, growing up under a strict education with his brother. His father died young at 66, while His brother died in a strange fire. The unhealthy overprotection of his mother It got worse when she suffered a heart attack that kept her in bed for 12 months until her death.

Ed Gein and Leatherface

Ed Gein: murderer, defiler and taxidermist

His personal problems increased Gein’s imbalanceswho was discovered within the framework of the investigation into the disappearance of Bernice Worden, owner of the town hardware store. It’s finally She was found in the psychopath’s living room hanging by her ankles, decapitated and without viscera. In this way, Gein also decided to confess to the murder of the waitress Mary Hogan, which was never proven, as well as his alleged cannibalistic practices.

Among the most macabre finds found in his home belts, lamps or seats made from human skin, as well as cups created on the basis of skulls. His role as a taxidermist was instantly reminiscent of the Nazis’ worst experiments in concentration camps on Jews. Thus, his mental health was soon called into question.

Precisely, His mental problems were the reason why he was not attributable. and was confined in various psychiatric hospitals. His death occurred in 1974, at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, where he suffered respiratory failure. Afterwards, Gein returned to the place where he committed his most heinous acts, the Plainfield Cemetery, where he was buried alongside his family. His horror legacy would be transferred to cinema to inspire classics such as Psychosis (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) or The silence of the lambs (1991).

Ed Gein, the psychopath in film and television

In 1959, the American novelist Robert Bloch published his magnum opus, Psychosis. The title starring the character of Norman Bates became a true phenomenon, although many were unaware that it was based on the true story of Ed Gein, presenting his mental problems and the conflictive relationship with his mother.

The film adaptation of Bloch’s novel, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins, ended up elevating the history of the psychopath to this day. Just a decade later, the image of Ed Gein also inspired another film franchise again most famous horror films of all time, The Texas Chainsaw Massacrewhere Leatherface emulated the misdeeds of someone who was always considered a serial killer, despite the fact that he only committed two crimes and one was never proven.

Ed Gein and Leatherface
Ed Gein and Leatherface

Ed Gein also had other versions in film and television through The silence of the lambs, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, where the cannibal Hannibal Lecter imitated the psychopath; or the television series American Horror Story: Asylum (for many the best season of the series created by Ryan Murphy), where Bloodyface inexorably referred to Gein. Other productions that were based on the maniac were Three on a Meathook (1972), Deranged (1974) or The house of 1000 corpses (2003), among many other films.

Now, the four-episode docuseries from MGM+ delves into its history through a production by Amazon and MGM Studios Distribution. “For years, filmmakers, journalists and academics have sought to unravel the mind of this notorious killer, and with new revelations and never-before-heard recordings, viewers will be transported to late-1950s America and immersed in the evil mind. de Gein”, picks up the streaming service.

Psycho: The Lost Ed Gein Tapes arrives next September 17 on MGM+.

Poster for 'Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein'
Poster for ‘Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein’

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