Medicine: Portrait of a Killer

On the 275-acre farm outside Plainfield, Wis. where George Gein was scratching out a living, the undisputed head of the family was his dominating wife Augusta. To her sons Henry and Edward, Augusta Gein railed ceaselessly about the vices of modern women—their short skirts, artificial hair waves, powder and lipstick. During heavy rains she would read to the family the story of Noah and the flood, prophesied another flood to wash out women's sins. She made no secret of her favoritism for her younger son. Eddie Gein (rhymes with wean) became a mama's...

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