Ed Gein lived a suppressive and introverted life on his family's farm, somewhat isolated with his frail older brother and dictatorial mother; a woman who taught him that sex was unclean, sinful and abomination to God (Ed Gein). His mother Augusta, viciously beat him with a belt whenever she thought he was committing and impure act. Despite the emotional and physical abuse, Gein adored his mother (Case File- Ed Gein). He called her a devout Christian and a saint. However, he had little adoration for his father who was unattached, verbally abusive man to the entire family. Then suddenly, Ed's entire family died off ( first his father, then his brother (in a mysterious accident that was later believed caused by Ed himself), and then his mother (who suffered a series of strokes)) (Case File- Ed Gein). Ed then ran the family's 160-acre farm by himself. Physically speaking, Gein was an average man with a regular build, brown hair and light eyes. He was simply seen as a shy, harmless and eccentric farmer. Some residents considered him "safe" enough to baby-sit their kids. However, he still missed his family and in his solitude, Gein began to withdraw from reality. .
Cognition was adequate and working in this man. He had the ability to acquire, store, and retrieve any knowledge and use it. He started reading medical dictionaries and female anatomical texts that lead to a first time interest in women since as a child Gein's mother insisted he remain unmarried, and forced in him the belief that women betray and leads families to separation. His newfound interest and acquired anatomy data lead to many sexually explicit necrophiliac activities (Ed Gein). Gein had a difficult time in making self-reliant decisions. His mother Augusta was very intrusive and domineering with an authoritarian parenting style. She expected the utmost respect and obedience from her children. Augusta refused any questioning which discouraged open communication and esteem development.