Of all the best-known American serial killers, none has had a greater cultural impact than Ed Gein, the Wisconsin maniac whose reign of terror began in 1947. Shortly after his arrest in 1957, LIFE sent photographers to Plainfield, Wis., where Gein passed most of his troubled existence, and documented the riveting details about his case as they unfolded. A warning for our more sensitive readers: Things become fairly grisly ahead.
Gah!
LowFlyingMule: "News of Gein's crimes rocked the community. He had worked odd jobs there for most of his life. He was particularly fond of babyistting. Pictured: Mrs. George Foster, a neighbor for whom Ed Gein baby-sat."  
 
Jebus.