Edward Gein was a grave robber and murderer from rural Wisconsin. Although he only officially killed 2 people himself, he admitted to exhuming corpses from as many as 9 graves from 3 cemeteries. He transported the bodies to his family home where he constructed macabre keepsakes and tanned their skins, using them to fashion a variety of disturbing paraphernalia including wearable face masks. He gained national infamy after his horrific crimes were discovered in late 1957.
Gein's upbringing was strictly traditional as his mother was a genetic priest, a fervent Lutheran. His father, however, was an alcoholic and was despised by his mother who preached the evil of drinking, along with the general immorality of the world.
Gein grew up in isolation on the family farm and was heavily influenced by his mother, who often preached of her belief that all women were disgusting whores. Ed's brother, Henry, did not share Ed's admiration of their mother and often spoke ill of her to Ed, in an attempt to break his reliance on her. Ed was suspected of later murdering his brother by blunt force trauma to the head who was found lying face down beyond their property. Earlier that day, a controlled fire they had lit to burn off rubbish, had broken out. The fire most likely got out of control due to the brother's absence during the blaze, which is when the murder was likely to have taken place.
It was when his mother passed away that Gein finally began his crimes. After his eventual arrest, he told investigators he sought out graves of recently buried women whom he thought resembled his mother. His ultimate goal was to create a woman suit so that "...he could become his mother - to literally crawl into her skin". He also confessed to the killings of Mary Hogan and Bernice Worden. In 1968, after more than 10 years after having been apprehended, Gein was found guilty but legally insane and confined to spend the rest of his life in psychiatric institutions, where he had spent the last 11 years of his life. Gein later died in mid-1984, aged 77.
His heinous acts serve as inspiration for fictional serial killers, such as Norman Bates from Psycho, and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and in other media such as in Slayer's Dead Skin Mask or Mudvayne's Nothing to Gein. He continues to have a lasting influence on American pop culture.
Presence in San Andreas
The early years of the San Andreas myth scene were ripe with reports of a string of serial killings and grave robberies haunting the countrysides of Flint and Red County. Some called him Leatherface, others called him Piggsy, but there was always an overarching theme within all of these claimed encounters. The community rallied around the infamy of Ed Gein to explain why the killer did these acts, and more importantly, why Rockstar Games included such a malevolent secret in a game with relatively tame violence. Over time, players kept finding more and more evidence linked to Gein, and some players even gave up the fictional killers and believe Rockstar put in a parody of Gein, or even the man himself, into the game.
The Flint Range is a small subdivision just west of Los Santos, home to a few farmhouses and three large fields. It is also the home of Helena Wankstein, a girl who is in a relationship with Carl Johnson. This area contains several references to Gein.
A few farmhouses around the Flint Range, including Helena's, share an almost exact likeness to the home Gein lived in when he committed his crimes. Removing the small grain silo located near each of these houses would make them appear to be almost identical.
By Helena's property in particular, there is a shed located not too far from the house. Assuming the player has made significant progress with Helena, four weapons will be located in this shed. All of the weapons are related to Gein in some fashion.
- A Flamethrower and Molotov Cocktails represent the fire that destroyed the Gein House shortly after Ed's death.
- A Pistol represents a firearm, which Gein used to murder Bernice Worden.
- A Chainsaw represents a cutting device. Ed Gein skinned his victims and used their skin to make various paraphernalia.
It just so happens that Gein also stored his weapons and occasionally corpses in his shed as well. A Country Rifle can also be found in the forests of Back O' Beyond, near the farmstead, which could signify the 22 LR rifle Gein also used in his murders.
The Ghost Cars are a large collection of abandoned and dilapidated vehicles strewn around the countrysides of the state of San Andreas.
Due to a large amount of scratches, and the fact that they are abandoned in suspicious locations, the Ghost Cars were quickly considered evidence of the countryside Chainsaw Killer.
However, there is more evidence linking these cars to Gein. Throughout his life, it is known that Ed Gein drove two types of vehicles. One of these was a 1949 Ford sedan. Another one was an unidentified truck with a wooden truck bed at the end. The vehicles owned by Gein share an appearance to the Glendale and the Walton from San Andreas, respectively. Coincidentally, both the Glendale and the Walton are the types of vehicles found as Ghost Cars. Many fans claim that they are also a reference to Gein.
Within the small town of Palomino Creek, there is a small church and graveyard locally known as Drive Thru Confessions. The graveyard is well known within the myth hunting community because to a large sarcophagus located at its end. The sarcophagus has been completely uprooted and the coffin has been ripped open. If the player looks inside, there will be nobody there as it has been cleaned out entirely. More creepily, there is a Shovel pickup located directly in front of the coffin, implying that a grave robber stole the contents. Ed Gein only committed two murders, and was only charged with one; his primary method of gaining corpses was from body snatching.
In a small terraced area of Bayside, there lies an old trash bin. Behind the bin, there is a unique silver sex toy found nowhere else in the state of San Andreas. This may actually be another reference to Ed Gein's crimes. Both of his murder victims were women, and he usually dug up graves from women, as he was crushed by his mother's death and wanted to remember her. He dismembered the women and cut off their vulvae. In order to preserve these from decomposition, he heavily salted them, which over time caused them to turn into a grayish color. Even stranger though, is that the trash bin the toy is located in is surrounded by blockades, and police officers occasionally wander through that area, as if it was related to a crime.
Fisher's Lagoon is also relevant to the Gein mystery for being a converging point for multiple pieces of evidence towards his existence. The area around the lagoon is notorious in the myth hunting community for a large array of Leatherface and other killer sightings.
There remains more evidence in this area, however. In the above evidence, the Bayside dumpster, there is a very bizarre connection. The texture of the dumpster with the silver toy reads "Skip Hire" with a rusted metal exterior. At Fisher's Lagoon, a rusty wheelchair is found at the end of the dock and it shares this exact same "Skip Hire" texture. This connection places Gein into both areas. The lagoon itself is located in Palomino Creek, home of the looted Drive-Thru Confessions graveyard.
Again, there is another connection to a location in the Gein mystery. At Fisher's Lagoon, there are a series of barrels and wire cable holding wheels are scattered throughout the beach. These objects may actually serve to reinforce a connection with Fisher's Lagoon and the Panopticon, the only other location to have the cable wheels, and one of only a few to have the barrels. The props seem to be intentionally placed to form a bond between these two locations.
Overall, the whole area has plenty of references to murder and grave robbery.
Despite The Panopticon's relationship with the Leatherface myth, and the Fisher's Lagoon props, the area does not contain too many references to Ed Gein. However, if the player competes in the Badlands mission, a Walton, a vehicle used by Gein, can be seen driving away from the Panopticon, which is a possible reference. This is the only time a pedestrian is programmed down this route. Moreover, the driver will plow through any obstacles with no hesitation.
- Edward Gein by Robert H. Gollmar, page 22.
- Deviant by Harold Schechter, pages 30-31.
- Rites Today For Man Who Died in Roche-a-Cri Fire in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.
- Edward Gein by Robert H. Gollmar, page 85.
- Ed Gein's Case File by Modus Operandi - Serial Killers.
- A True Necrophile by Katherine Ramsland.
- Ed Gein Found Guilty of 1957 Murder in Plainfield in The Capitol Times.