Ed Gein's Gravestone Rescued, But Will It Ever Be Seen Again?

The stolen tombstone of Ed Gein, perhaps America's most "beloved" grave robber, murderer, and cannibal, has been brought home to Plainfield, WI. Last June it mysteriously disappeared from Gein's grave in Plainfield Cemetery.

The police aren't sure what to do with it.

"We could put it back in the cemetery, but it would only get stolen again," said Waushara County Sheriff Patrick Fox in an interview with the Stevens Point Journal.

The Waushara County Historical Society wants to display it in the old jail museum in downtown Wautoma, a town not far from Plainfield. Gein was held in the jail briefly after his grisly crimes came to light. The police haven't yet decided the stone's fate, but if past experience with politically incorrect memorabilia is any guide, it may take up permanent residence in an unmarked closet or basement.

Gein, described often as a mild-tempered farmhand, murdered women and robbed the graves of others in the Plainfield area more than 50 years ago. His ghoulish souvenirs -- carefully preserved human body parts, some meant to be worn as clothing -- were found strewn about his farmhouse near Plainfield.

He served as the model for the Norman Bates character in "Psycho," and Leatherface in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Police expected to find Gein's tombstone for sale on eBay. Instead, they discovered it in Seattle, WA, in the hands of the promoter of the band Angry White Males, who was selling rubbings of the stone for $50 each on his web site.

The promoter claimed that his tombstone was a reproduction, but it was covered with the same Satanic symbols and obscenities as the missing stone, and it had the same chips taken out of it by years of irrepressible Gein fans. Interest in Gein has never waned, frustrating Plainfield's residents, who want the town to be associated with more pleasant subjects. The town has even formed a committee, Positive Plainfield, to do just that.

[07/04/2001]
Address:
5th Ave., Plainfield, WI
Directions:
I-35 exit 136. East on Hwy 73, then an immediate left (north) on 5th Ave. to the Cemetery. Ed is buried next to his mom; look for the "Gein" headstones.
Hours:
Cemetery hours. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
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