In Tobe Hooper’s horror classic ”The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” from 1974, a group of hitchhiking teenagers find themselves out of gas in Texas. In search of gas they become terrorized by a cannibalistic, murderous family. One in the family is called ”Leatherface”, a chainsaw-wielding maniac who wears his victim’s carved out faces as masks.
Some may think that these acts of horror in the movie really happened, which is incorrect. However, the character Leatherface was inspired by a real person…
- Ed Gein was an American killer and grave robber from Plainfield, Wisconsin during the 1950’s. He became known as ”The Butcher from Plainfield”.
- Gein dug up bodies of women who resembled of his mother from the local graveyeards.
- From the bodies he fabricated different items such as a lampshade, facemasks and a sheath made from skin, soup bowls out of skullcamps, socks from flesh and accessories made out of genetalia. Police also discovered that Gein also was interested in eating human flesh.
- Gein performed strange transsexual rituals such as dressing up in skin from dead women to look more female.
- Gein’s mother raised him in a disturbed, fanatically version of christianity where all women where prostitutes except for her.
- Gein shot and killed a woman, removed her head and hang her upside down like a hunted deer in his house. He also shot and killed another woman.
- Gein is often called a serial killer, despite the fact that he was guilty of only two kills and therefore not technically qualifies him as a serial killer. A serial killer is someone who has murdered three or more people at different periods of time.
- Gein was arrested in 1957 and was classified as legally insane and therefore spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital until he died in 1984 of cancer.
- Gein also inspired to the character Norman Bates in Robert Bloch’s novel ”Psycho” from 1959 which later became a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960.
- He also was inspiration for the character Buffalo Bill in Thomas Harris novel ”The Silence of the Lambs” from 1988 which became a movie in 1991. Buffalo Bill dresses in womans clothes and skins his victim for use of their skin, similiar to what Ed Gein did.