Last year I got into a discussion at agnostic’s about the extent to which Ed Gein inspired Robert Bloch’s Norman Bates of Psycho fame. I referenced Bloch writing “The Shambles of Ed Gein” about the real case, but had been unable to find it online. I’ve finally read it and placed a transcription here. It was surprising to read that Bloch didn’t subscribe to any daily newspaper at the time, and thus got his info from word-of-mouth which just focused on murder & cannibalism rather than the more distinctive traits common to Ed Gein & Norman Bates. There wasn’t even an element of cannibalism in the movie, and the most distinctive thing about the real case to Bloch (murders happening in a small town community where everyone knows everyone’s business) isn’t given much focus in it either. As I haven’t read the book, I can’t say to what extent that differs (though I’ve hear the depiction of Norman is closer to middle-aged Ed than fairly young Anthony Perkins). So I’ll concede a bit to “Robert the Wise” on some of those similarities in character being mere coincidences, but as there are no first-hand accounts of Bloch saying Calvin Beck was an inspiration I am not willing to wholly concede.

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