Clipped From Neenah Menasha Northwestern
WARMER Partly cloudy, not so cold tonight, low near 20. Sunny, warmer Wednesday, in 30s. Details on Page 14. m ^^ t Daily Northwestern Edition of the Oshkosfi T)ai1v Northwestern Associated Press, United Press and New York Times One Hundred Years Oshkosh, Wis,, Tuesday Evening, January 16, 1968 24 Pages Price 10 Cents Alleged Plainfield Slayer Gem Competent, Able to Be Trie Ed Gein, the P l a i n f i e l d farmer who 10 years and 10 days ago was committed to Central State Hospital i n Waupun after a gruesome pair of murders, has been declared competent to stand trial. This was announced late Monday by Waushara County District Atty. Howard Dutcher. Gein will be returned to Waushara County for a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. next Monday at Wautoma. Dutcher said he had been in- formed that Gein was com-, petent to stand trial in a telephone call from Circuit Judge Robert Gollmar of Baraboo. Judge Gollmar - was informed of Gein's competency by Dr. Edward F. Schubert, superintendent of Central S t a t e Hospital. Dutcher said he had talked with Assistant Atty. General William Platz after the call from Judge Gollmar and will be reviewing the files on the Gein case prior to Monday's hearing. Gein, who is now 61, was committed to the hospital on Jan. 6, 1958, by Judge Herbert A. Bunde. Judge Bunde made his ruling after testimony from psychiatrists from the hospital that Gein was not competent to stand trial. The bizarre Gein murder case, which caused a nationwide sensation, began to unfold on Nov. 16, 1958, when Waushara County Sheriff Arthur Schley went to the Gein farmhouse to investigate the disappearance of Mrs. B e r n i c e Worden, a Plainfield widow who operated a hardware store in Plainfield. Inside the trash-littered Gein The authorities at f i r s t house, he .found the d i s - membered body of Mrs. Worden hanging by the heels from the ceiling. Authorities later found parts of 14 bodies in the house or buried nearby. Under questioning. Gein later admitted that one of the bodies was that of Mrs. Mary Hogan, a Bancroft tavern operator who d i s- appeared Dec. 8, 1954. Gein admitted 'hat he had also killed Mrs. Hogan, but said the other bodies had come from graves he robbed. doubted Gein's story about the grave robberies, but changed their mind after opening two of the graves and finding the coffins empty. " Gein's attorney, W i l l i a m Belter of Plainfield, subsequently entered a plea of innocent by reason of insanity. Gein was ordered committed for tests at Central State Hospital on Nov. 22. A month later, the hospital psychiatrsits announced their finding that Gein was not mentally competent to stand trial. At the time, Plainfield resi- dents described Gein as a "not too bright" but harmless, mild- mannered man. He worked as a handyman and also did occasional baby-sitting. The fixation which led to the murders and grave robberies was described by a psychiatrist at the court hearing as an attempt to "bring his mother back to life by an act of will." Gein reportedly had a strong emotional attachment for his mother, who he had lived with until her death 12 years earlier. Gein, a bachelor, lived - alone after his mother's death. Gein has reportedly been a model patient since he was committed. Officials at the Waupun institution reported last November that his health was good and that he worked daily in the hospital's occupational therapy division. He has been in charge of the hospital's lapidary section, cutting and cleaning stones. "He seems content to live day by day," a hospital official had reported. "We've never had the least bit of trouble with him." The "House of Horrors" where the bodies were found burned to the ground one night about four months later. There was a strong suspicion at the time that the fire was caused by an arsonist, since there had been widespread rumors around Plainfield that the Gein farmhouse would be burned. Dutcher said the court would probably appoint an attorney to represent Gein. Belter is now an assistant district attorney and thus cannot represent Gein. Waushara County S h e r Virgil Batterman said he is not certain at this time when he will bring Gein back to Wautoma. Gein Could Be Free Man With the announcement that Edward Gein, the a l l e g e d mutilation slayer of two "women and grave robber of Plainfield, is mentally competent to stand trial, comes the realization that under American justice the 61- year-old handyman may once again become a free man. Gein was adjudged insane in Highway Traffic Toll Climbs to 31 By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A Jefferson County man died in an auto accident today raising Wisconsin's 1968 traffic fatality toll to 31 compared with 37 on the same date in 1967. Eugene Weide, 34, of Sullivan died early today when his car struck a tree beside a Jefferson County road near Watertown. 1958 by Circuit Court Judge Herbert Bunde and sent to the Central State Hospital a t Waupun for what could be the rest of his life. In announcing the 1958 decision, Judge Bunde said, "It is unlikely he will ever be at liberty again." Bunde said he relied on the opinions of experts who without equivocation declared Gein to be legally insane. Testimony about Gein's insanity came from two psychiatrists during a court hearing. According to Dr. Edward F. Schubert, Central State Hospital superintendent, the hospital "recently found significant changes in the mental status of Ed Gein which meet the criteria for his standing trial in Wisconsin." Describing Gein as having "kind of mellowed over the years," he explained that Gein had lost most of the paranoid psychosis he had originally. "Gein is aware of his surroundings," he said, "and of why he was hospitalized and the alleged incidents behind the hospitalization and coherently discusses his case with us which is all that is required to stand trial." Waushara County Dist. Atty. Howard Dutcher said he was told by Circuit Judge Robert Golmar about information from the state hospital of Gein's current mental condition. Dutcher said a court hearing is scheduled for Monday. Monday's hearing would consider Gein's mental competency compiled from studies conducted at the state hospital throughout the 10 years he has been confined. If he is found mentally competent a trial date would be set and Gein would be offered the benefit of counsel. He would be .offered the same trial procedures he was entitled to 10 years ago had he been capable of facing a judge and jury. If Gein ever does become a free man it appears unlikely his release would be soon coming about. His only hope for eventual freedom would be a verdict of innocent by reason of insanity at a future court trial. If the court reached such a decision Gein would be sent back to the state hospital and detained for an, undetermined length -of time. A separate hearing would consider Gein's future and determine that if he was released there would be no possibility of his sickness returning. Following Gein's committ- ment to the state hospital ten years ago Plainfield residents felt that the normal path of justice had been detoured m sending him to the mental hospital without a trial. The people felt Gein should have been declared guilty of his crimes before he was committed and then sent to the state hospital for treatment. In commenting on the legal rights of a prisoner, Judge Arnold J. Cane, Circuit Judge of Winnebago County, said that under the American judicial system a man accused of a crime has to have the intelligence and mental ability to cooperate with his counsel in his defense. It is impossible to offer a person a fair trial, unless he is mentally capable of offering assistance to both himself and counsel. If. Gein is found innocent by reason of insnity he would have the right to petition for a hearing one year after the verdict. If he failed to apply to the proper authorities for such a hearing at the end of a five-year period the state Nursing Approve Theda Clark For Use by WSU-0 Students Ed Gein would automatically schedule one. It is at such a hearing that Gein could eventually win his freedom or confinement continued for an indefinite period. The State of Wisconsin board of nursing has granted qualified approval to Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, Neenah, to function as an" extended unit for Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh, according to Dr. Helen E. Dorsch, dean of the school ot nursing at WSU-0. Theda Clark is the first medical unit to be approved as a clinical practice facility for the WSU-0 nursing degree program. Students accepted into the program -will . engage in practice at the hospital during summer and regular terms under the supervision of the university clinical staff, Dr. Dorsch said. It is expected that the first group of students will be assigned during the upcoming year. The WSU-0 school of nursing was authorized some time ago. Under the direction of Dr. Dorsch, a staff has been assembled and the program outlined. First courses will be offered during the upcoming semester. The initial group of students selected to enter the program will also be named next semester, Dr. Dorsch said. Candidates completing the program may earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree. There are now six members of the school of nursing staff with an anticipated membership of 11 by next year. The qualified a p p r o granted to Theda Clark followed an appraisal of facilities and staff by representatives of the state board.