Augusta Wilhelmine Lehrke Gein (July 21, 1878 - December 29, 1945) was the mother of the infamous criminal Ed Gein also known as "The Mad Butcher". Gein was a deeply religious woman who was known for her extremely misogynistic outlook on the world which was influenced by the bible's (old testament) misogyny. Gein could ultimately be considered a leading contributor in her son's downward spiral into insanity.
She served as the inspiration for Norma Bates, the infamous mother of Norman Bates.
Gein, often characterized as that of a misanthropic and jealous person was known for her treatment of her son during his childhood. She often read him handpicked verses from the bible, specifically the old testament due to its heavily misogynistic approach. She also taught her son women were all whores and should be treated with hatred.
Gein's husband, an alcoholic died from his lifelong trouble with the substance in 1940 and her eldest son, Henry was killed in a fire while he and his brother were burning marsh.
This left Gein and her son alone were she controlled his outlook on the world. While at school, Ed was often characterized as a shy and socially awkward boy which his mother took advantage of.
In 1945, while Gein and Ed were visiting a man named Smith he was beating a dog to a bloody pulp. A woman inside his house confronted him in a state of distress and aggression. Augusta was noted to have been appalled at the incident by observers, but it seemed she was more disgusted with a woman commanding authority over a man, and referred to her as "Smith's hooch" a slang term meaning whore.
Gein died later that year and her son was left by himself. In 1957, after years of human trophy collecting and robbing graves of women buried in cemeteries near to his home, Gein murdered Bernice Worden and Mary Hogan, both of the crimes admitted to and was acquitted by reason of insanity. Many authors and media figures who have examined Ed Gein's life claim his mother played the biggest role in his psychopathic misogynistic actions.
- She was the inspiration for Norma Bates, the mother of Norman Bates, the main character of the legendary Hitchcock film, Psycho (1960).
- The relationship between Gein and her son may have been incestuous.
- She was believed to have been schizophrenic.