Insanity defense: Six notorious cases when it worked


Ed Gein
ed gein.jpg
Gein was a role model of sorts, inspiring in whole or in part some of the most frightening figures in film history, including Norman Bates from Psycho, Leatherface from the Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. How? By digging up bodies from graveyards near his Plainfield, Wisconsin home and doing terrible things with the remains -- like making a belt from women's nipples, using a pair of lips as a draw string on a window blind, and constructing a lampshade from facial skin.

And also by killing people.

Gein ultimately confessed to murdering two women -- Mary Hogan in 1954 and Bernice Worden in 1957. After Worden's body was found strung up as if she was a deer, Gein was arrested, but he was subsequently found to be criminally insane and locked up in a mental health facility.

Eleven years later, authorities tried again, putting Gein on trial for Worden's murder. He was found guilty, but he was ordered to spend his life sentence at a mental hospital. He died in 1984, but his horrifying influence continues to linger to this day.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Bruco Eastwood found not guilty by reason of insanity in Deer Creek Middle School shooting."

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1 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg topcommenter

The insanity defense is as effective as prosecuting a police officer . Beyond rare !...

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