Ed Gein FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the life and crimes of Plainfield, Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein.


Is Ed Gein’s house still there?


The house burned down in 1958 prior to the estate sale.

Ed Gein house in Plainfield, WI

Where is Ed Gein’s grave?

The grave of Ed Gein is located in Plainfield Cemetery in Plainfield, Wisconsin. He was buried in the Gein family plot beside his mother Augusta, brother Henry, and father George, just feet away from one of the graves he had once robbed.

How did Ed Gein die?

Ed Gein died of respiratory failure due to lung cancer at the Mendota Mental Health Institute on July 26, 1984.

Was Ed Gein a grave robber?

Yes, Ed Gein was a grave robber.

Soon after the death of his mother Augusta in 1945, Ed Gein began digging up graves in three nearby cemeteries (Plainfield Cemetery, Spiritland Cemetery, and Hancock Cemetery) to exhume the freshly buried remains of middle-aged women who reminded him of his mother.

He used the remains to fashion furniture and clothing which he was at least partly inspired to create by the pulp magazines about cannibals, headhunters, and nazi atrocities that he enjoyed reading.

After Gein’s arrest, he admitted to as many as 40 visits to local cemeteries to rob graves between 1947 and 1952, most of which he left intact as he said he came out of his “daze-like” state and returned home.

Gein confessed to having robbed 9 graves total. He lead investigators to the those graves, and three were opened to confirm Gein’s claims. They were found disturbed or completely empty as he had described.

There were rumors that Gein had help from another local man to dig up the graves, but that has never been substantiated.

Where did Ed Gein kill?

Ed Gein spent most of his life in the small town of Plainfield, Wisconsin. All of his (known) crimes, including grave robbing and murder, were committed within about 5 miles of his family’s farm outside of Plainfield.

Gein’s first victim was Mary Hogan, owner of Mary’s Tavern. He shot and killed her at her bar in the town of Bancroft just north of Plainfield in 1954.

Bernice Worden was Gein’s second and final victim. Bernice was the owner of Worden’s Hardware. While visiting the store to buy a jar of antifreeze on the morning of November 16, 1957, Gein loaded a bullet into a .22 caliber rifle in the store and shot Worden in the head.

Gein was arrested later that evening when Worden’s body was found decapitated and field dressed in his home.

How many victims did Ed Gein Kill?

Ed Gein is known to have murdered two people: Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden. He was only tried and convicted of the murder of Mrs. Worden. It hasn’t been proven, but some suspect he may have murdered others, including a missing teenage girl and two hunters.