Deviant by Harold Schechter


Murder Was the Least of His Crimes…The truth behind the twisted crimes that inspired the films Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs… From Harold Schechter, “America's principle chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers” (The Boston Book Review), comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, whose ghoulish crimes stunned an unsuspecting nation.The year is 1957. Photographs would show him across the country: a...

Details Deviant

Release DateOct 1st, 1998
PublisherGallery Books
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Biography, History, Horror

Reviews Deviant

  • Paul Bryant
    Harold Schechter is an author with Tourette's Syndrome - consider some of his book titles:Deranged!Depraved!Fiend!Bestial! Now imagine inviting Mr Schechter to dinner...."Ketchup!""Salt!""Mayonnaise!""Pickle!""Hideous!""Fiend!""Vile!"
  • Vicki Willis
    This is the kind of book that raises the hair on the back of your neck. A very chilling and gruesome retelling of Ed Gein's life. Starting back when he was child all the way to his death. It was horrifying and difficult to put down at the same time. Very engrossing and disturbing because of the effect on the town and society at that time. He, being the first of many killers, has a shock value of no other. A recommended read for anyone who enjoys ...
  • Lisa
    Mothers, be careful how you raise your boys, especially if you're an overbearing religious wackjob who thinks the best lesson she can impart is that all women are wanton, wicked and deserve to be punished as this could lead to a host of mental illnesses and some terrifying life choices on the part of your child...Ed Gein is infamous as the inspiration behind more than one of our cinematic bogeymen - Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of ...
  • Susanne
    I think I dated this guy.
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    'Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein' is one of those books almost all of you, my primarily gentle and, sad to say, mostly duplicitous readers, will deny having the stomach to read at all. Many of you already insist that books in the true-crime genre are beneath you, especially ones like this one, which describe the factual events of crimes so gruesome and insane most people will have nightmares after *not* reading, for sure, guaranteed. ...
  • Medhat The Book Fanatic
    This was one of the most disturbing books that I've read in a while!Deviant is a character-study of Edward Gein, the notorious killer, serial-ghoul, whose crime will always be memorable, mostly for the inspiration that it contributed to the making of Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs. The book was extremely well-written and very graphic that it drove me sick. Regardless of how it made me feel while reading it, I gotta say ...
  • Book Concierge
    The subtitle is all the synopsis anyone needs: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original “Psycho”.The residents of Plainfield Wisconsin were more than a little concerned when the owner of a local tavern disappeared in December 1955. She was a middle-aged woman with a no-nonsense attitude and a somewhat mysterious past, but who would want to kill her? Yet the evidence was clear: a pool a blood on the floor, a spent .32-caliber cartridge...
  • Karen
    I've always heard about Ed Gein and what he had done but never knew the details. This book not only gives details but also has little tidbits about other monsters I'd never heard about. When all is said and done Ed Gein was a sicko genius.
  • Laura Peden
    This book made me throw up a couple times. Shoe boxes full of vaginas, belts made of nipples, skin suits, decapitated corpse hanging in the room upside down and mutilated. A horrific true account of Ed Gein and his crimes. Make sure you have a strong stomach if you read/listen to this one.
  • M
    Maybe this book could be appeal to a certain audience, but this is written like a dime store novel instead of an informative exploration into the mind of what is possibly the most notorious killer that this nation has ever seen. Deviant is written like a tabloid article, when the subject should be thrilling enough to stand on its own feet.
  • Fishface
    Excellent study of the Midwestern serial killer -- the basis of the fictional characters Buffalo Bill, Norman Bates and Leatherface. Also played by Steve Railsback in a biopic, which should tell you a great deal. Proves that in America, anyone can become a big star if he has a low IQ and very weak personal boundaries.
  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    Unbelievable! I'll never complain about my neighbors again!
  • Brad
    I have to hand it to Harold Schechter. There are few in the true crime genre who can turn spin a creepy yarn the way he can. Deviant: The shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original "Psycho" is written more like a novel than an act of reportage. The reporting is still there, but Schechter is quite adept at hiding the reportage under a sneaky tale-telling voice, that sucks his readers in to the horror he's conveying and makes us want to reach the...
    After reading this I am simply floored. This is one of the best true crime books I have ever read. It gets into very vivid details on Geins and his crimes. I have to admit, part of the reason why I finally picked this book up from my bookshelf is because I went to see the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie (Which I liked). My liking of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies began when I was in my teens. It was later on that I learned that “Leather F...
  • Kim
    This book was originally recommended to me by a psychiatrist I worked with when I worked in mental health. It's the story about the original psychotic killer, Ed Gein, the basis for "Psycho" and "Silence of the Lambs"'s Buffalo Bill. I've actually read the same author's book on the serial killer H.H. Holmes so I expected it to be pretty good.I wasn't disappointed. This was generally an excellent telling of Ed Gein's life, his crimes, and the publ...
  • Bryn Dunham
    This is the story of the guy who inspired Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs. Like Dahmer, a little pitiful man named Ed Gein, raised by a dominant mother and abusive father, drifted into insanity after the death of his mother and proceeds to murder two women, rob the graves of several others and uses their body for multiple goulish ends. Easy read, well written, but overly simple; this book does not delve significantly...
  • Gene
    This book has so much significance for me. It happened only 60 miles from my home where I grew up, he was sent to Waupun Correctional facility where I lived after he was determined insane, and my Father worked at that facility. I visited that place many times with my father but don't remember seeing Ed Gein but I probably was shown him. This is a well written book detailing the happenings that was immortalized in the movie Psycho which was writte...
  • John
    Story - 4.5Narration - 4.6Very good listening! A large part of this book was devoted to various psychological analyses on Gein and was interesting.
  • Jlsimon
    This book goes over the crimes and adjudication of Ed Gein.One of the things that makes this case particularly interesting is that it was successfully adjudicated as an individual that was judged to be incompetent to stand trial. Gein was determined to not be able to distinguish between right and wrong, and unable to assist in his own defense. This hardly ever happens in a serial killing. In fact, although there are surely other cases that have b...
  • J. Pacheli
    As a result of my interest on famous serial killers, I came across this book. After previously having found a book about the famous cultist, Charles Manson, I wondered if maybe there was any piece of information about the killer that has always intrigued me the most: Ed Gein. I took the plunge and bought this book on Amazon. I must say that it's well written, no complicated language is used and the thread is awfully easy to follow. It definitely ...
  • Miriam Smith
    I love anything to do with gory serial killers, and this is about a true life one, which inspired the Pyscho, Texas Chain Saw Masacre and Silence of the Lambs.....need I say more? Sadly I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is very shocking and saddening for the victims and families involved, but I was engrossed and read in virtually one sitting which is very unlike me. Not for the faint hearted but would definetly recommend.
  • Dave Risner
    Definitely a good read for the unitiated. Schecter comes off a little boring describing Wisconsin and dropping the word "oddball" one too many times, but the people in that area at the time did the same.He's great at describing the atrocities committed, but can keep it all within the context of Gein being a terribly mentally ill man.Would recommend it to all!
  • Jenna
    What a strange little man. This was a fascinating and tough read. Even though there wasn't that much killing, it was all the other weird and unusual obsessions that really got under my skin. Plus, how is it possible that someone who was only proven to have killed 2 people, inspire some of the scariest and most iconic movie killers of all time!?! Incredible.
  • Sheri
    Horrible story about a pitiful man. Not only did Ed Gein confess to killing two women (though he was linked to more missing women), it was also discovered that he exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. His childhood was not a happy one, with a father, a violent man who died of alcoholism, and a mother who was domineering and verbally abusive. Ed adored his mother and when she died he ...
  • Scot Parker
    Deviant is a gripping story of true crime, an investigation into the history and mind of Ed Gein, one of America’s most notorious serial killers and the inspiration for Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs, and of course Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask.” This book is deeply disturbing and quite fascinating. It’s worth a read, but only if you’ve got a strong stomach.
  • Amy
    If you have a sick fascination with serial killers, as do I, this book will be intriguing, addicting, and incredibly creepy. Gein is said to have been an inspiration behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a favorite of many horror movie fans, including this one, which made the book all the more addicting.
  • Danielle N
    Writing a review for this will be a true challenge. But none the less, one to follow.
  • Rouxmia Bougas
    For all the fans of “Bates Motel”, the man that inspired Robert Bloch’s “Psycho”, Thomas Harris’s “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Did I get your attention? Yup, I thought so.So Ed Gein was not actually a serial killer, he murdered 2 middle aged women, but that doesn’t change that he was bat shit crazy.He grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father and bounded to his domineering mother since he was ...
  • Graham
    An excellent book by a new-to-me author that explores Ed Gein and the crimes he carried out in mid-century Wisconsin. I knew of Gein of old, of course, thanks to his influence in the horror genre - films like PSYCHO and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE wouldn't exist without little Eddie. Schechter's approach is purely factual, presenting a chronological narrative of what took place, adding in a few stylistic touches and a little mystery to good effe...
  • Tom Schulte
    I read the paperback in the 90s, shortly after it came out. I still think this a true crime classic and a picture of an exceptional individual. Exceptionally insane? Ghoulish? Devious? One thing that sticks out to me on this reading is how many of Gein's neighbors, etc. felt his insanity was a pose and that he succeeded in elevating his comfort level and stand of living by using his crimes to move out of a decrepit farmhouse where he dwelled alon...