Farmer hints he killed woman; police find 10 skulls

United Press

PLAINFIELD, Wis. -- Dist. Atty. Earl Killed announced today that recluse farmer Ed Gein, in whose home 10 human skulls were found, made a "partial admission" to the butcher slaying of a woman storekeeper.

Gein, who at one point curled his hands like claws and said, "I've been killing for seven years," told Kileen after 2 1/2 hours of questioning that he "could have killed" Mrs. Bernice Worden, 58, whose headless body was strung up by the heels in a lean-to on Gein's farm.


But Gein added, "I can't remember."

Kileen said a search of Gein's litter-strewn home turned up "five more skulls" hidden in boxes. Including the head of Mrs. Worden, Kileen said that "10 skulls now have been found."

"It appears to be a case of cannibalism," Kileen said.

A human heart was found in a pot on the stove in Gein's kitchen.

Gein was taken from the county jail at Wautoma shortly before noon under heavy guard. Authorities indicated he would be taken to a place where he claimed he dug up the skulls from graves.

Meanwhile, state crime laboratory technicians swarmed through the white frame farm house where Gein has lived alone since the death of his mother years ago.

Amid a clutter of crime magazines, old newspapers and bundles of his mother's clothing, investigators hoped to dig out clues to the identity of the skulls and bones found in the litter.

Gein, a hollow-eyed, round-shouldered bachelor of 51, was led from the county jail by state policemen, Kileen, Sheriff Arthur Schley and County Judge Boyd Clark.

Gein covered his face with his hands clad in bright red gloves as he left the jail and plodded through heavy snow to a waiting car. He wore faded green trousers, a cap and a jacket.

He was to be arraigned today on an unidentified felony charge pending further investigation.

Newspaper clippings about the disappearance or unsolved slayings of a number of Wisconsin women were found in Gein's house along with a child's clothing. Police said Mrs. Worden's disappearance Saturday from the hardware store she operated was similar to the unsolved disappearance three years ago of Mary Hogan, a tavern operator in nearby Pine Grove.

Portage County Sheriff Herbert Wanserski said Gein told a conflicting story and at one time said he "robbed graves" to get skulls and bones in the house.

Authorities said they found in the house belts which appeared to have been made of human skin. A human heart was in a pot on the kitchen stove.

Mrs. Worden's son, Frank, a deputy sheriff, said Gein had come into the hardware store Saturday and invited Mrs. Worden to go roller skating with him. He said his mother said she hadn't been skating "for years" and refused.

Worden sai d he then went out and returned to find the store spattered with blood and both his mother and the cash register missing.

Deer hunters later reported seeing Gein driving Mrs. Worden's pick-up truck. He was arrested at the home of a neighboring farmer.

Authorities said a trail of blood led them to a shed attached to the Gein farmhouse where they found Mrs. Worden's badly mutilated body hanging by the heels.

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