11.12.2019 - By Cold Case Murder Mysteries

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On the evening of November 16, 1957, Deputy Sheriff Frank Worden entered a Plainfield, WI hardware store owned by his mother, Bernice, only to discover the woman was missing. After finding blood all over the floor, his initial investigation revealed that the last customer who had purchased something that day was a local man named Ed Gein. Authorities soon learned Bernice had been shot, and her decapitated body was found inside a shed on Gein’s property. But the nightmare was just beginning. When police entered the home, what they saw was nearly unspeakable. Body parts, from bone to skin, had been repurposed for use as common household items such as lampshades, belts, and other accessories. Gein soon admitted to another murder, in addition to dozens of grave robberies intended to exhume women who looked like his deceased mother. He had also sealed off his mother’s bedroom, and turned it into a shrine dedicated to her. Disturbed by this news, local author Robert Bloch took a particular interest in trying to determine what had driven Ed Gein to commit such heinous acts, a question which, no matter how it’s answered, always leads back to the killer’s relationship with his mother. It was apparent, one way or another, that Gein was intent upon keeping his mother alive, no matter what it took physically, or what it cost him emotionally. Lurking beneath that insanity, however, is a heartbreaking story about the devastating effects of loneliness and loss. Not long after, in 1959, Robert Bloch published a book called Psycho, which indirectly examined Ed Gein’s emotional issue by way of a fictional story that shows us a man who will stop at nothing to keep his mother alive and prevent the fragile facade of his deception from coming to light. In that same year, director Alfred Hitchcock was made aware of Bloch’s novel. He quickly purchased the rights in order to adapt the story into a 1960 film. And the rest is history. Join Cold Case Murder Mysteries host Ryan Kraus for a comprehensive, in-depth psychological analysis of this cinematic masterpiece in an effort to examine the terrifying truth about our humanity lurking beneath the smile we offer the outside world.

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