Ed Gein

FeaturedEd Gein

Edward Theodore Gein was born on August 27th, 1906 to George Philip Gein and Augusta Wilhelmine Gein. He had an older brother named Henry George Gein. His mother Augusta hated her husband as he was an alcoholic who couldn’t hold down a job and had worked various types of jobs including a carpenter, tanner, and insurance salesman. George owned a grocery store for a few years, but eventually sold the business and the whole family moved from the city to a 155-acre farm in the Town of Plainfield in the Waushara County of Wisconsin. That was the Gein family’s permanent place of residence.

Augusta was an extremely religious Lutheran, and she took advantage of the isolating farm to make sure her sons weren’t influenced by outsiders. Ed only left the farm to go to school and when he wasn’t in school he was doing chores on the farm. She preached to her sons about the immorality of the world, the evils of drinking, and her belief that all women were naturally prostitutes and were instruments of the devil. She set aside time every afternoon to read the Bible to them, but it was usually graphic verses from the Old Testament concerning death, murder, and divine retribution. Ed was an extremely shy person. In school, his classmates and teachers recalled him having extremely strange mannerisms such as laughing at random times as if he was laughing at his own jokes. His mother would punish him if he tried to make friends. Despite his lack of social skills and development, he did fairly well in school, particularly in reading.

On April 1st, 1940 his father died of heart failure due to his alcoholism. He was 66-years-old. Henrey and Ed started doing odd jobs to pay for living expenses. The brothers were considered reliable and honest by residents in the community. While both of them worked as handymen, Ed would often babysit for neighbors. He enjoyed babysitting which may have shown that he related better to children than adults.

Henry began dating a divorced single mother of two and was planning on moving in with her. He grew concerned with Ed’s attachment to their mother and often spoke ill of her around Ed, in which he would often respond in shock and hurt. On May 16th, 1944, Henry and Ed were burning away marsh vegetation on their property when the fire got out of control and the fire department showed up. At the end of the day when everyone left, Ed reported his brother missing. A search party was formed and they searched where the fire was and found Henry’s body. It seemed he was dead for a while before being discovered. The cause of death of ruled as asphyxiation by the county coroner, but some people believed Ed had killed his brother, possibly relating to him speaking ill of their mother. After the death of Henry, it only left Ed and his mother on the farm.

Shortly after Henry’s death, Augusta suffered a stroke that paralyzed her and Ed devoted all his time to taking care of her. Sometime in 1945 Ed and his mother visited a man named Smith to buy some straw and while there Augusta witnessed him beat a dog to death. A woman came out of Smith’s house and yelled at him to stop, and Augusta was very upset at this scene. She wasn’t upset at the death of the dog, but more upset with the woman who apparently wasn’t married to Smith being there. She said that she had no business being there and angrily called her “Smith’s harlot”. After this event, Augusta suffered another stroke and ultimately died on December 29th, 1945 at the age of 67. Gein was devastated and left all alone. He held onto the farm and earned money from odd jobs. He also boarded up the rooms his mother used and left them untouched while the rest of the house became squalid. He resided in a small room next to the kitchen, and also around this time he became interested in death-cult magazines and adventures stories, particularly ones that involved cannibals or Nazi atrocities.

On the morning of November 16th, 1957 a hardware store owner by the name of Bernice Worden mysteriously vanished. A Plainfield resident reported that the store’s truck has been driven out the back of the building at around 9:30 AM. The store was closed the whole day and people thought it was because of deer hunting season. Worden’s son, Deputy Sheriff Frank Worden, went into the store around 5 PM and found the cash register open and blood stains on the floor. It was discovered that Gein was in the store the night before his mother’s disappearance and said he would come back in the morning for a gallon of antifreeze. A sales receipt of said gallon of antifreeze was the last receipt written by Worden on the morning she disappeared. On that same night, Gein was arrested at a West Plainfield grocery store and the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department searched his farm. A deputy found Worden’s decapitated body in a shed on the property. She was hung upside down by ropes at her wrists and a crossbar at her ankles. The torso was “dressed out like a deer” and she had been shot with a .22-caliber rifle and the mutilations happened after her death. While searching his house the authorities found many more atrocities: whole human bones and fragments, a wastebasket made of human skin, chair sets covered in human skin, skulls on his bedposts, female skulls some with the tops sawn off, bowls made from human skulls, a corset made from a female torso skinned from shoulders to the waist, leggings made from human leg skin, masks made from the skin of female heads, Mary Hogan’s face mask in a paper bag and her skull in a box, Bernice Worden’s entire head in a burlap sack, Worden’s heart in a plastic bag in front of Gein’s potbellied stove, nine vulvae in a shoe box, a young girls’ dress and the vulvas of two females judged to have been about 15-years-old, a belt made from human nipples, four noses, a pair of lips on a window shade drawstring, a lampshade made from the skin of a human face, and fingernails from female fingers. All these artifacts were photographed but then destroyed.

When Gein was questioned, he stated that between 1947 and 1952 he made as many as 40 visits to three local graveyards at night to exhume recently buried bodies while he was in a daze-like state. On about 30 of those visits, he said he came out of the daze and left the grave without taking anything. On other occasions, he dug up graves of recently married middle-aged women who he thought resembled his mother. He would take the bodies home and tanned the skin to make his paraphernalia. Gein did choose his victims that resembled his mother, but the only difference was that how they presented themselves was totally against what his mother thought. An example would be Mary Hogan was a tavern owner with a sailor’s mouth. Gein knew his mother would disapprove of her entirely, and it seemed that Gein killed these types of women to satisfy his mother in some delusional way.

Gein admitted to stealing from 9 graves and led investigators to the locations. Authorities were uncertain if Gein was capable of robbing so many graves single-handedly in one night and so they exhumed two of the graves and found them empty except for one that had a crowbar instead of a body in it. Soon after his mother’s death, Gein started making a “woman suit” so that he could become his mother and actually crawl into her skin in a way. He denied having sex with the bodies and said they smelled too bad. He also admitted to shooting Mary Hogan who was missing since 1954.

A 16-year-old whose parents were friends of Gein reported that Gein kept shrunken heads in his house which were supposedly sent by a cousin who had served in the Philippines during WWII. Upon investigation, it was determined that these were human facial skins that were carefully peeled from the corpses and used by Gein as masks.

On November 21st, 1957 Gein was arraigned on one count of first-degree murder in Waushara County Court where he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found mentally incompetent and therefore he was unfit for trial. He was sent to Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane (it is now known as the Dodge Correctional Institution) located in Waupun, Wisconsin. He was later transferred to Mendota State Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1968 doctors determined Gein was able to stand trial. Gein’s trial was held without a jury by request of the defense. He was found guilty on November 14th. A second trial dealt with Gein’s sanity. He was found “not guilty by reason of insanity” once again and committed to Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for the rest of his life.

Gein’s house and property were scheduled to be auctioned March 30th, 1958 but on March 27th the house was destroyed by a fire. Arson was suspected but the cause was never determined. Ed Gein died at the Mendota Mental Health Institute due to respiratory failure secondary to lung cancer on July 26th, 1984 at the age of 77. Over the years souvenir seekers have chipped pieces from his gravestone until the stone itself was stolen in 2000. It was recovered the year after near Seattle and was placed in storage at teh Waushara County Sheriff’s Department. The gravesite itself is now unmarked, but not unknown to people. Gein is buried with his parents and his brother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Murder of Shanda Sharer

FeaturedThe Murder of Shanda Sharer

Shanda Sharer was a young 12-year-old American girl who was tortured and burned to death in Madison, Indiana by four teenage girls.

Shanda Renee Sharer was born on June 6th, 1979 in Pineville, Kentucky to Stephen Sharer and Jacqueline. After her parents divorced, her mother remarried and they all moved to Louisville, Kentucky. She attended fifth and sixth grade at St. Paul School and was on the cheerleading, volleyball, and softball teams. Her mother divorced again and moved to New Albany, Indiana in June of 1991 where Sharer went to Hazelwood Middle School. Early in the school year, she transferred to Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.

In 1990, Melinda Loveless was dating a girl named Amanda Heavrin. After Loveless’ father left her family she started behaving erratically. She got into fights, complained of depression which caused her to get counseling. In March 1991, she came out to her mother who at first was furious but eventually did accept it. As the year went by, her relationship with Heavrin got worse.

Heavrin and Sharer met in the fall semester at Hazelwood Junior High when they got into a fight. They became friends however after spending time in detention together and eventually they started giving each other romantic letters. Loveless was angered and jealous of their relationship. At a school dance, she confronted them about it. Heavrin and Loveless never formally ended their relationship, but Loveless started dating another girl.

Heavrin and Sharer attended a festival together and Loveless began talking about killing Sharer and was even threatening her in public. She had to transfer to a Catholic school because of her parents’ concern about her relationship with Heavrin.

On January 10th, 1992, Toni Lawrence, Hope Rippey, Laurie Tackett, and Melinda Loveless drove to Sharer’s house and told her that Heavrin was waiting for them at the “Witch’s Castle”, also known as Mistletoe Falls which is located on an isolated hill overlooking the Ohio River. Sharer said she couldn’t go because her parents were awake, but to wait until midnight when they were asleep. Loveless was angry, but Rippey and Lawrence assured her they would return for Sharer later. After a few hours, the four girls went back to Sharer’s house. Loveless couldn’t wait to kill Sharer, but also stated that she just wanted to scare her. As Tackett and Rippey went to get Sharer, Loveless hid under a blanket in the back seat with a knife.

Sharer was reluctant to go with them but agreed to after she got changed. Once she got into the car Loveless came up with a knife and held it against Sharer’s throat. She then questioned her on her sexual relationship with Hearvin. When they arrived at the Witch’s House, Sharer was sobbing and tied up. Loveless took off Sharer’s rings and gave them to each of the girls. They told her that the Witch’s Castle was full of sacrifices and that she would be the next. To threaten her even more they got a t-shirt from the car and lit it on fire, but they worried that the light would attract people, so they all piled back into the car and put Sharer under a blanket. They had to stop into a gas station and ask for directions and later ended up near Tackett’s home in Madison, Indiana.

Tackett took them to a garbage dump in a densely wooded area. Lawrence and Rippey were scared and stayed in the car. Tackett and Loveless made Sharer strip naked, and then Loveless began to beat her brutally with her fists. She even slammed Sharer’s face into her knee, causing Sharer’s mouth to be cut on her braces. Loveless then tried to slash her throat, but the knife was too dull to do anything. They then strangled her until she was unconscious, and took her back to the car and threw her into the trunk. They drove to Tackett’s home to clean up. When they heard Sharer scream in the car, Tackett took a paring knife and stabbed her several times. At 2:30 AM, Tackett and Loveless went driving and heard gurgling sounds coming from the trunk. They stopped the car and opened the trunk. Sharer sat up covered in blood with her eyes rolling into the back of her head and unable to speak. They beat her with a tire iron until she was quiet again. Loveless and Tackett returned to her house and told the other girls about the torture. This caused Tackett’s mother to wake up and to yell at her for being out late and bringing home her friends. She then said she’d take them home and went to the burn pile. They opened the trunk and looked at Sharer, but Lawrence refused to look at her. Rippey sprayed Windex on her and said, “You’re not looking so hot now, are you?”

They drove down to a nearby gas station and used a two-liter bottle of Pepsi as a container to fill up with gasoline. They drove north of Madison where they wrapped Sharer in a blanket and carried her to a nearby field. Lawrence remained in the car. Rippey poured gasoline on Sharer and lit her on fire. Loveless wasn’t convinced she was dead, however, so they went back after a couple minutes and poured the rest of the gasoline on her.

After the murder, they went to have breakfast McDonald’s and discussed the murder. Lawrence called one of her friends told them about the murder, and afterward Loveless told Heavrin that they killed Sharer and begged her not to tell anyone. She agreed not to.

In the late morning of January 11th, 1992 two brothers from Canaan, Indiana were driving to go hunting and noticed a body on the side of the road. They called the police and waited by the corpse. They initially suspected a drug deal gone wrong and didn’t believe the crime was committed by anyone local. Stephen Sharer noticed his daughter was missing early that morning and called his ex-wife and together they filed a missing person report.

That night, Lawrence went to the police with her parents and confessed the crime and named the other three girls who were involved. They were quickly apprehended and found guilty. All four girls were tried as adults. To avoid the death penalty, they all agreed to a plea bargain. In exchange for her cooperation, Lawrence was guilty of one count of Criminal Confinement and given 20 years. Tackett and Loveless were sentenced to 60 years and Rippey was sentenced to 60 years. Loveless and Tackett are still imprisoned, but Lawrence and Rippey have since been released with Rippey still remaining on parole.

Edmund Kemper

FeaturedEdmund Kemper

In honor of the recent Netflix show, “Mindhunter” I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the Edmund Kemper. He’s incredibly fascinating in how meticulous he was when he started his killing spree in how much thought and how he evaded capture for so long.

Edmund Emil Kemper III was born in Burbank, California on December 18th, 1948 to Clarnell Elizabeth Kemper and Edmund Emil Kemper II. He was the only son and middle child, having an older sister (Susan) and younger sister (Allyn). His father was a WWII veteran who tested nuclear weapons in the Pacific Proving Grounds after the war, then moved back to California after that and worked as an electrician.

His mother wasn’t a happy woman. She complained constantly about her husband’s “menial” job, and at some point his father has been known to say: “suicide missions in wartime and the later atomic bomb testing were nothing compared to living with Clarnell.”

Kemper was a large boy even from birth. He was 13 lbs as a newborn baby and by the age of 4 he was a head taller than all of his peers. He was extremely intelligent, but showed antisocial and psychopathic behavior, such as cruelty to animals. When he was 10, he buried a cat alive. When it died he dug it up, decapitated it, and then mounted the head on a spike (in an interview later in his life he admitted that he got pleasure from lying to his family about who actually killed the cat). Another incident with a cat happened when he was 13 and he killed a cat that he thought favored his sister Allyn over him. He kept the pieces of this cat in his closet until his mother found them.

Considering what he did with cats, it comes as no surprise that he had a dark fantasy life. He would perform rites with his younger sister’s dolls that involved removing their heads and hands. He would also play games called “Gas Chamber” and “Electric Chair” where he would get his younger sister to tie him up and flip an imaginary switch and then he would fall to the floor and pretending he was dying.

On one occasion his older sister Susan teased him and asked why he didn’t try to kiss his teacher and he replied with, “If I kiss her, I’d have to kill her first.” As a little boy he would sneak out with his father’s bayonet and go to his second grade teacher’s house to watch her through her window.

He’s had two near death experiences, both caused by his sister Susan. The first one he was almost hit by a train when she push him in front of one and the other one was she pushed him into the deep end of a pool and he almost drowned.

He had a very close relationship with his father and was devastated by his parents divorce in 1957. This caused him to be raised by his mother in Helena, Montana. He had an extremely dysfunctional relationship with her. She was a neurotic and domineering alcoholic who would often belittle, humiliate, and verbally abuse him. She often mocked him for his large body size (he was about 6 feet 4 inches tall by the age of 15) and called him a “real weirdo”. She refused to coddle him in fear of “turning him gay”, and told him that he reminded her of his father and that no woman would ever love him. Kemper would later describe his mother as “a sick angry woman” and thought she was suffering from borderline personality disorder.

At the age of 14 he ran away to see his father who he found out was remarried and had a stepson. He stayed with his father for a while before being sent off to live with his paternal grandparents, Maude and Edmund Kemper, who lived on a ranch in the mountains in North Fork, California. He hated living there, referring to his grandfather as senile and projected his hatred of his mother onto his grandmother who he felt was similar to her.

On August 27th, 1964 Kemper’s grandmother got into an argument with him sitting at the kitchen table, so he stormed off and got his .22 caliber rifle that his grandfather gave to him for hunting. He returned to the kitchen with it and shot his grandmother in the head and twice in her back. He then dragged her body into her bedroom and waited for his grandfather to come home. When he did, Kemper went out into the driveway and shot and killed his grandfather as well. He didn’t know what to do after the crime so he called his mother who in turn told him to call the police. He did so and waited for them to come take him into custody.

When he was questioned by authorities he said he “just wanted to see what it felt like to kill Grandma” and the reason he killed his grandfather as well was so he wouldn’t have to find his wife dead. His crime was seen as incomprehensible for a 15 year old to commit and the court psychiatrists diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and sent him to the criminally insane unit in the Atascadero State Hospital. At the hospital, psychiatrists and social workers strongly disagreed with Kemper’s diagnosis. They said there was no evidence of hallucinations and no evidence of bizarre thinking. He had a high IQ (136) and he was re-diagnosed as having a “personality trait disturbance, passive-aggressive type”. Before he was released his IQ went up to 145. Kemper was a model inmate, and was trained to administer psychiatric tests to other inmates. He was a good worker and not seen as a typical sociopath. He was released to the care of his mother on his 21st birthday and had his record wiped clean.

While he was in the care of his mother he attended community college and hoped he could become a state trooper. He ultimately was rejected due to his size. At this time he was around 6 feet and 9 inches tall which gave him the nickname “Big Ed”. Although rejected as a state trooper, he still kept in contact with the Santa Cruz police and would occasionally have drinks with them in the Jury Room, which was a bar.

He started dating a 16 year old Turlock High School girl that he would later be engaged to. That same year he was hit by a car while riding on his motorcycle and sued the driver. He bought a new car with his settlement money from the accident and noticed a lot of women who were hitchhiking. That’s when he started storing tools in the back of his car. He started picking up women as a way to practice being able to convince them to get into his car. He kept doing this until he finally gave into his homicidal urges.

Between 1972 and 1973 Kemper went on a terrifying killing spree. He started with two college students and ended the spree with killing his mother and her best friend. He would pick up hitchhikers and take them to isolated areas where he would them proceed to shoot, stab, smother or strangle them, then he would perform irrumatio on their severed heads, have sex with their corpses and then dissect and dismember them. He went on to do this for 11 months. When he killed his mother his had sex with her severed head, cut out her vocal cords and tried to put them in the garbage disposal but they were ejected out. He said about that moment, “That seemed appropriate. As much as she’d bitched and screamed and yelled at me over so many years”.

Kemper was indicted on eight counts of first degree murder on May 7th, 1973. He was found legally sane to stand trial and while in custody he attempted suicide twice. He was finally sentenced on November 8th, 1973 and received 7 years to life for each count with these terms to be served concurrently. He is currently still in prison and seen as a model prisoner, and is in charge of scheduling other inmates’ appointments with psychiatrists and makes ceramic cups, he also reads books on tape for the blind.

Chupacabra

FeaturedChupacabra

The Chupacabra is a legendary creature and possible cryptid that has been spoken about for many years in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Americas. Its name is translated literally into “goat-sucker” because of how it kills and drains the blood from animals. There are various descriptions of the Chupacabra, some say it’s heavy and the size of a small bear. Others have said that it is a reptile-like creature with leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back and is about three to four feet tall. Also that it can hop like a kangaroo. Another description is that it is a strange hairless breed of dog with a pronounced spinal ridge, pronounced eye sockets, fangs, and claws. There have been sightings since 1995 in Puerto Rico and are still being spotted today. Many biologists and wildlife management officials believe the Chupacabra is merely an urban legend.

The Keddie Murders

FeaturedThe Keddie Murders

The Keddie Murders was a 1981 quadruple homicide that happened in Keddie, California. It took place in Cabin 28 during either the late evening of April 11th, 1981 or early morning of the next day. The victims were 36-year-old Glenna Sue Sharp (who went by Sue), her 15-year-old son John, and his 17-year-old friend Dana Wingate. Later Tina Sharp (who was 12) was found a distance away from the cabin. Let’s break the crime down.

Sue and her five children (along with a few of her son’s friends) went to a cabin that Sue had been renting since November of 1980. On the night of April 11th Sue’s oldest daughter, Sheila, went to sleep over at a friend’s cabin instead of staying at her own. This move saved her life. A bedroom upstairs would have Sue’s youngest sons and their friend sleeping in it. The morning of April 12th, Sheila came back to her cabin at around 7:45 AM and discovered a grizzly sight. Her mother, her brother John, and his friend Dana were all murdered. They had been tied up with medical tape and appliance wire, and had been stabbed, bludgeoned, and strangled to death. Upstairs, Sheila discovered her two younger brothers and their friend were fast asleep, completely unharmed. With the help of her neighbors she got the three boys out.

An examination of the bodies revealed that the victims suffered from at least two different hammers of varying size. Sue and John had been stabbed repeatedly, and Sue had also been bludgeoned to death with a rifle and Dana Wingate was strangled to death. There were various weapons found at the scene, including a table knife, a butcher knife, and a bloody hammer (later another bloody hammer would be found that seemed to be intentionally planted). Other weapons, such as the rifle, were never recovered. A second bloody knife turned up in a trash bin behind the Keddie general store.

There were several suspects, including Marty Smartt, who was a close friend of the family’s and with the local sheriff (his son was also with the Sharp family and was the friend sleeping upstairs) and “Bo” Boubede, who was reportedly a hit man for Chicago and Las Vegas mobs. Some suspects were thought to be former lovers of Sue that held a grudge for some reason, but despite the considerable evidence and police questioning no one was arrested. It was questioned severely why Tina’s body was discovered so far from the cabin, and many people believe the entire crime was a police cover up. Eventually, in 2004, Cabin 28 was demolished along with the secrets and answers to this horrendous crime.

Thunderbird

FeaturedThunderbird

Thunderbird is a cryptozoological term used to describe large, bird-like creatures and are generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. There were similar cryptids reported in the Old World called Rocs. These giant birds are regarded by a small group of researches as having lizard features like the extinct pterosaurs. The reports throughout the centuries and even fossil records show that giant birds with wingspans of between four and five feet long were coexisting with early man. Today, however, the creatures are regarded as myths and urban legends, even though people used Native American legends as evidence to back up their claims. One of the most famous stories of a Thunderbird was back in 1890 when two cowboys killed a creature that was a giant bird-like animal with a large wingspan that had smooth skin and a face that resembled an alligator. It was brought back to town and put up against a barn. It was reported in the local newspaper, but even though it was actually printed there is no further evidence that this event actually occurred. No one has been able to find any other supporting facts. Another reason that people call these giant birds Thunderbirds is because it was believed that when they flapped their wings it made a sound as loud as thunder. Birds can grow to be quite big so it would not be surprising if these monsters of birds actually did exist.

Mothman

FeaturedMothman

The Mothman is an unknown cryptid that was spotted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia from November 12th, 1966 to December 15th, 1967. It is described as a large man-like creature, with large wings, glowing red eyes, black or dark brown fur, and an ear piercing screech. There’s a popular book called ”The Mothman Prophecies” by John Keel that is about the creature and that it may have supernatural powers or is a supernatural being. There is a statue in Point Pleasant of the creature and there is a festival held every year to celebrate it.

In November of 1966, there were five men who were digging a grave in a cemetery near Clendinin, West Virginia when they claim they saw a man-like figure flying low from the trees over their heads. This sighting is often identified as the first ever known sighting of the Mothman. A little while after on November 15th, two young couples reported to police that they saw a large black creature with glowing red eyes that looked like a large flying man with ten foot wings following their car while driving in an area known as “the TNT area” which was the site of a former World War II munitions plant. Over the next few days there was an increase in sightings of this creature. A local man named Newell Patridge reported seeing the creature as well, and even blamed the buzzing noises from his tv and the disappearance of his German Shepard Bandit on this unknown creature.

A man named Robert L. Smith who is a wildlife biologist suggests that based on the descriptions witness have given of the Mothman, it sounds to him like it might be a sandhill crane that simply went off its migration route. They are known to be the size of a man with large wings and red around their eyes.

on December 15th, 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed, and many people attribute that to the Mothman since it was spotted sitting on the bridge right before it collapse. Due to this people started saying that the Mothman could predict disasters or was the cause of them. After this people claimed it was related to UFOs or that a military storage unit was its home. Other say it is an alien, a supernatural manifestation, or a more logical explanation is that is a previously unknown species of animal. To this day no one knows what it was that was seen in Pleasant Point, but the residents there still keep the spirit of the Mothman alive with their festival and the statue they have.