The Four-Part Docuseries Will Dig Deeper Into the Murderer Known As Ed Gein
“Based on a true story” are the words an audience member dreads after seeing a terrifying thriller on the big screen. Having inspired directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Tobe Hooper, and Jonathan Demme, one of those true stories is going to be explored like never before. Active from the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Ed Gein is a name most crime enthusiasts should be familiar with. For those not familiar, MGM+ is going to deliver a docuseries with never-before-seen interviews with the Butcher of Plainfield himself.
Acts of the Man Known as the Plainfield Ghoul
Although he does not have as many murders as Ted Bundy or the flashiness of John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein brings the dark atmosphere to his chilling crimes. While investigating his house after being found guilty of murdering the Deputy Sheriff’s mother, authorities were horrified to find accessories; moreover, these “accessories” turned out to be furniture, clothing, bowls, and decorations made out of human body parts. Gein had not just murdered one woman, later confessing to another, but he dug up bodies at local graveyards and stole bits and pieces from them.
To add on to the horror, Gein was very close with his mother before she passed away, growing to have a strong bond with her. Once she passed and he began to steal from graveyards, he gathered pieces to make a “woman suit” that resembled his mother for him to wear. After being charged and found not guilty due to insanity, Ed Gein lived the rest of his days in a mental hospital.
Hollywood Takes Notice
With a story like that, it was not long before someone in the arts tried to adapt Gein’s story. The first loose adaptation came through Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel titled Psycho, which chronicles the story of Norman Bates and his peculiar relationship with his mother. The novel was made into a film a year later by famed director Alfred Hitchcock. The “based on a true story” from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes from Ed Gein: the aspect of Leatherface wearing his victim’s skins and the family’s house decorated with human remains. In Silence of the Lambs, the character of Buffalo Bill, more importantly, dressed in the women-suit he fashioned from victims, is taken straight from Gein. Other inspirations can be seen in House of 1000 Corpses’ Otis Driftwood, and Garland Greene from Con Air.
What We Know So Far
Since he gained notoriety, Gein has appeared in media and even had a play written about him, but MGM+ struck out with the cherry on top. The four-part documentary series is going to tackle Gein’s upbringing and what led to his relationship with his mother, his grave robbings of the 40 or so times he claimed to have gone, the murders he committed leading to his arrest, and featuring never-before-heard recordings of the killer himself.
The series will be directed and executive produced by longtime true crime television showrunner James Buddy Day. Jill Latiano Howerton and Josh Kunau will also serve as executive producers. The head of MGM+ Michael Wright went on to share, “Psycho takes an in-depth look at not only the life of one of the most notorious serial killers of our time, but also explores the impact his crimes had on both the victims and our culture.” Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein is releasing this September through MGM+.
Psycho (1960) Official Trailer