M O T I V E S
On November 17, 1957, after the discovery of Bernice Worden's headless corpse and other gruesome artifacts in Eddie's house, police began an exhaustive search of the remaining parts of the farm and surrounding land. They believed Eddie may have been involved in more murders and that the bodies might be buried on his land, possibly those of Georgia Weckler, Victor Travis and Ray Burgess, Evelyn Hartley and Mary Hogan.
While excavations began at the farmstead, Eddie was being interviewed at Wautoma County Jailhouse by investigators. Gein at first did not admit to any of the killings. However, after more then a day of silence he began to tell the horrible story of how he killed Mrs. Worden and where he acquired the body parts that were found in his house. Gein had difficulty remembering every detail, because he claimed he had been in a dazed state at the time leading up to and during the murder. Yet, he recalled dragging Worden's body to his Ford truck, taking the cash register from the store and taking them back to his house. He did not remember shooting her in the head with a .22 caliber gun, which autopsy reports later listed as the cause of death.
When asked where the other body parts came from that were discovered in his house, he said that he had stolen them from local graves. Eddie insisted that he had not killed any of the people whose remains were found in his house, with the exception of Mrs. Worden.
However, after days of intense interrogation he finally admitted to the killing of Mary Hogan. Again, he claimed he was in a dazed state at the time of the murder and he could not remember exact details of what actually happened. The only memory he had was that he had accidentally shot her.
Eddie showed no signs of remorse or emotion during the many hours of interrogation. When he talked about the murders and of his grave robbing escapades he spoke very matter-of-factly, even cheerfully at times. He had no concept of the enormity of his crimes.
Gein's sanity was in question and it was suggested that during trial he plead not guilty, by reason of insanity. Gein underwent a battery of psychological tests, which later concluded that he was indeed emotionally impaired. Psychologists and psychiatrists who interviewed him asserted that he was schizophrenic and a "sexual psychopath."
His condition was attributed to the unhealthy relationship he had with his mother and his upbringing. Gein apparently suffered from conflicting feelings about women, his natural sexual attraction to them and the unnatural attitudes that his mother had instilled in him. This love-hate feeling towards women became exaggerated and eventually developed in to a full-blown psychosis.
While Eddie was undergoing further interrogation and psychological tests, investigators continued to search the land around his farm. Police discovered within Eddie's farmhouse the remains of ten women. Although Eddie swore that the remaining body parts of eight women were those taken from local graveyards, police were skeptical.
They believed that it was highly possible for the remains to have come from women Eddie may have murdered. The only way police could ascertain whether the remains came from women's corpses was to examine the graves that Eddie claimed he had robbed.
After much controversy about the morality of exhuming the bodies, police were finally permitted to dig up the graves of the women Eddie claimed to have desecrated. All of the coffins showed clear signs of tampering. In most cases, the bodies or parts of the bodies were missing.
There would be another discovery on Eddie's land that would again raise the issue of whether Eddie did in fact murder a third person. On November 29th, police unearthed human skeletal remains on the Gein farm. It was suspected that the body was that of Victor Travis, who had disappeared years earlier. The remains were immediately taken to a crime lab and examined. Tests showed that the body was not that of a male but of a large, middle-aged woman, another graveyard souvenir.
Try as the police did, they could not implicate Eddie in the disappearance of Victor Travis or the three other people who had vanished years earlier in the Plainfield area. The only murders Eddie could be held responsible for were Bernice Worden and Mary Hogan. --crimelibrary.com
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