The story of Ed Gein has had a lasting effect on American popular culture as evidenced by its numerous appearances in movies, music and literature. His murders and psychology inspired four mains horror characters.

  • Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974
  • Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
  • Norman Bates in Psycho, 1960
  • Frank Zito in Maniac 1980

During Kempers stay at the Atascadero State Hospital, by age 15, he would display himself as seemingly cooperative and trustworthy, resulting in an allowance to help doctors in the psychology lab where the assisted in the administration of psychological examinations. Ed would carry test materials from one room to another, taking the chance to memorize test questions and crafting the answers he knew psychiatrists were looking for to deem him properly functioning.

I started out sharpening pencils and few years later I’d learned everything, right there in that department.


A cauldron that was once owned by serial killer Ed Gein went up for auction February 28th 2015. Allegedly the cauldron was originally discovered by police upon searching the shed of Gein and was covered in dried blood. It was purchased for a price of $2,800 by the TV show host of Ghost Adventures.

Gein was notorious for the murders of two women as well as graverobbing antics in the town of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Gein was the inspiration behind many modern horror characters including Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs & Norman Bates from Psycho.

Clarnell Strandberg worried about Edmund’s inability, when playing with other children, tostand up for himself. And one reason she worried about the absence of a father figure for him to identify with was that a relative’s son had turned out to be homosexual, a development that Clarnell ascribed to too much maternal affection and softness in his upbringing. Edmund’s exile to the basement may have been a misguided effort to make a little man of him. Throughout her life there were many signs of the closeness of their relationship, however unhealthy the symbiosis became. Edmund admitted that he was a demanding son even when he berated his mother most violently for her domineering ways. 

- The Co-Ed Killer by Margaret Cheney

On Jan. 24, 1968, an Article was written about how to pronounce Ed Gein’s last name. Due the fact that his name was seemingly often prounounced in several different ways, a Reporter eventually asked Gein how he pronounces his Name, to which he replied with “I pronounce it (like keen). Some of them pronounce it (like fine). It’s about half and half.”


Edmund Emil Kemper II or simply ‘E.E.’ played a very important role in young Edmund Kempers life. E.E. himself being exceptionally tall, he served in WW2 and later went on to provide a rather comftable life for his family with a job as electrician. 

But he and Eds mother Clarnell had a stormy relationship, she being described as the more dominat part of the relationship, Clarnell would complain about money and critize E.E. about his soft handling of Ed and his stricter attitude toward his two daughters.

Due to this situation at home E.E. would do anything to get away, even taking an employment in testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. 

He wasn’t part of Edmunds formative years and left his son fully to his abusive motherscare,

Ed would describe Clarnell as “a very mean, controlling, impossible to please person, who was on his back, basically the day he was born”.

In 1957 Edmund Emil II left the family and would settle in Los Angeles to remarry and have a stepson.

By age 15 young Ed would go on to search for his father who would take him in. By the time Ed realized he had to share his father with the family E.E. had established he became jealous and hostile

After one month E.E. sent his son back to his mother. Continuing the cycle of Eds continuous rejection, until in 1964 Ed was sent to live with his grandparents, where he shot and killed them both.