That’s Ed Gein, if you didn’t realize it. And the title of the article is facetious, as the man should not in any way be “celebrated,” despite his lasting and undeniable impression on pop culture. Gein was a cannibal, a necrophile, a graverobber, and a murderer. He was also certifiably insane, so in that respect he too was a victim. A sad, pathetic, even, little man, he was hardly formidable–unless he was coming at you from behind, or shot you from a distance. What made Gein so horrific a presence was the sheer depth of depravity to which his mind succumbed, and the actions to which this depravity led.
Gein skinned women and made “suits” out of their skins. Remind you on anyone? Buffalo Bill in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, maybe? Gein also made masks out of human faces. Leatherface, anyone? He even kept his dead mother’s mummified remains in his basement, just as did Norman Bates in PSYCHO. Of the three movie killers he inspired, Gein was the most like Bates. Unassuming, on the surface non-threatening. He was hardly the hulking engine of destruction that was Leatherface (he also never used a chainsaw), and unlike Bill, he preferred to get his victims from the local graveyards rather than hunting and killing human beings. Even so, in a twisted, bizarre sort of way, Ed Gein is deserving of his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not that I’m suggesting we should give him one. Again, we don’t want to celebrate his crimes. But neither can we factually deny just how large was the impression left on the world of Horror by this pitiable little maniac.