I wanted to go see the headstone but I simply didn’t have the time. But then it wasn’t the real headstone from Ed Gein’s grave. *That* headstone is under lock and key at the local police station, according to rumor. The one you can actually see, if the Internet reports are accurate, is a second headstone that someone carved intending it to be a replacement for the original after it was stolen. (More on that in the following paragraph.) This second tombstone never rested atop the grave of Ed Gen, Wisconsin’s infamous cannibal/necrophilic/graverobber/murderer who served as the inspiration for Norman Bates, Leatherface, and Buffalo Bill in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. It is today located—again, if the Internet is telling us the truth—at a store Emerald City Collectibles near Janesville, Wisconsin, which isn’t too terribly far from Plainfield but *is* too far if one is on a schedule like I was. Reckon I’ll have to wait until my next trip up that way before I see the macabre relic.
As for the first tombstone, the original one, it was stolen around 2000 or 2001 by some wannabe music producer from Seattle named Shane Bugbee. When the cops busted him he tried to lie his way out of it by claiming the tombstone was merely a reproduction. After the authorities determined it was the real deal they sent it back to the cops in Plainfield. Though a local museum reportedly wanted the headstone, the cops chose instead to sit on it—unless they have secretly destroyed it. Personally I think they should have given it to the museum. People fascinated by Gein might go visiting the museum instead of skulking around Plainfield if they had.
Yeah, who am I kidding? I would have done both.