Saturday, 30 January 2010

Ed Gein

Ed Gein is one of the most interesting infamous killers, although i see him as more of a grave robber than a serial killer, as he took bodies from graves more often than he killed and was only really tried for one killing although there were probably more.
he was obsessed with his mother even though she treated him badly. When she died he wanted to be her, so he dug her up and along with other womens bodies tried to make a female body suit to wear. he inspired the films Psycho and The Texas chainsaw massacre.

When Searching his house, authorities found a number of items:

* Four noses
* Whole human bones and fragments
* Nine masks of human skin
* Bowls made from human skulls
* Ten female heads with the tops sawed off
* Human skin covering several chair seats
* Mary Hogan's head in a paper bag
* Bernice Worden's head in a burlap sack
* Nine vulvas in a shoe box
* Skulls on his bedposts
* Organs in the refrigerator
* A pair of lips on a draw string for a windowshade

These artifacts were photographed at the crime lab and then properly disposed of.

When questioned, Gein told investigators that between 1947 and 1952,while he was in "daze-like" states, he made as many as 40 nocturnal visits to three local graveyards to exhume recently buried bodies. On about 30 of those visits, he said he had come out of the daze while in the cemetery, left the grave in good order, and returned home empty handed. On the other occasions, he dug up the graves of recently buried middle-aged women he thought resembled his mother and took the bodies home, where he tanned their skins to make his paraphernalia. Gein admitted robbing nine graves, leading investigators to their locations. Because authorities were uncertain as to whether the slight Gein was capable of single-handedly digging up a grave in a single evening, they exhumed two of the graves and found them empty, thus corroborating Gein's confession.

Shortly after his mother's death, Gein had decided he wanted a sex change and began to create a "woman suit" so he could pretend to be a female. Gein's practice of donning the tanned skins of women was described as an "insane transvestite ritual". Gein denied having sex with the bodies he exhumed, explaining, "They smelled too bad." During interrogation, Gein also admitted to the shooting death of Mary Hogan, a tavern operator missing since 1954.

A 16-year-old youth whose parents were friends of Gein, and who attended ball games and movies with Gein, reported that he was aware of the shrunken heads, which Gein had described as relics from the Phillippines sent by a cousin who had served in World War II. Upon investigation by the police, these were determined to be human facial skins, carefully peeled from cadavers and used as masks by Gein.

On July 26, 1984, Gein died of respiratory and heart failure due to cancer in Goodland Hall at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. His gravesite in the Plainfield cemetery was frequently vandalized over the years; souvenir seekers chipped off pieces of his gravestone before the bulk of it was stolen in 2000. The gravestone was recovered in June 2001 near Seattle and is now in a museum in Waushara County.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Calvin Black

Calvin Black was a folk artist who lived in California's Mojave Desert and created more than 80 life-size female dolls, each with its own personality, function, and costume. He also built the "Bird Cage Theater," where the dolls perform and sing in voices recorded by the artist.

Possum Trot was a roadside attraction operated for more than twenty-five years by Calvin and Ruby Black. During the Depression, the Blacks, born and raised in the Deep South, headed to California to try their fortunes. In 1953, they moved to a parcel of land near Yermo that they had bought, sight unseen, through a magazine advertisement. Their land, as it turned out, was in the Mojave Desert on a desolate stretch of Highway 15. The Blacks, planning to take advantage of the growing popularity of car travel, opened a rock and mineral shop but did little business. To attract customers, Calvin created an evolving environment that eventually included a carousel and other wind-driven constructions, totem poles, a model train that stretched along the highway, and wooden dolls that posed in tableaux, drove carriages across the shop's roof, and kicked their legs and waved their arms.

Calvin carved and painted the dolls, using fragments of redwood scavenged from fallen telephone poles for the heads and bodies and pine for the legs, arms, and noses. Ruby fashioned clothes for the girls from cast-off dresses and fabric found in the local dump. The Blacks' fifty-seven dolls became the center of their world, and Calvin devised a "Fantasy Doll Show" in a ramshackle building named The Bird Cage Theater. Inspired by his previous work in a carnival, Calvin composed entertaining songs, music, and dialogue that he warbled in a high-pitched voice. He installed tape recorders into the singing figures and attached moving rods to some of their arms and legs to make them dance. The childless couple lavished attention on their dolls, buying them perfume and jewelry from tips that visitors were encouraged to leave for their favorites.

to see a short film about Possum trot, go here,105

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Pictures taken by Kerry Hill, edited and aged by me, i dressed as something from Wisconsin Death trip and got some awesome shots and tried to edit them up to get a daguerrotype/tintype feel to them, i think they turned out pretty well, i love the corn field, really has a 'days of heaven feel'

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Wonderful Snow Day

We had more snow today than i think i've ever seen, went out in my new dress with my brother and a camera, he got some really great shots of me in the dress

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Southern Soldier Boy


Bob Roebuck is my sweetheart's name,
He's off to the wars and gone;
He's fighting for his Nanny dear,
His sword is buckled on,
He's fighting for his own true love;
His foes he does defy;
He is the darling of my heart,
My Southern soldier boy.

When Bob comes home from war's alarms,
We'll start anew in life;
I'll give myself right up to him,
A dutiful, loving wife.
I'll try my best to please my dear,
For he is my only joy,
He is the darling of my heart,
My Southern soldier boy.

Oh, if in battle he were slain,
I know that I would die,
But I am sure he'll come again
To cheer my weeping eye.
But should he fall in this our glorious cause,
He still would be my joy,
For many a sweetheart mourns the loss
Of her Southern soldier boy.

I hope for the best, and so do all
Whose hopes are in the field;
I know that we shall win the day
For Southrons never yield.
And when we think of those who are away,
We look above for joy,
And I'm mighty glad that my Bobby is
A Southern soldier boy.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Coal Miners Children

Children in bedroom of their home, Charleston, West Virginia. Their mother has TB. Father works on WPA

Coal miner's children and wife, Pursglove, West Virginia

Kentucky coal mining

Coal Companies provided housing for miners, here are some wonderful pictures
"my children will go, as soon as they grow, for there aint nothing here now, to hold them"

The L&N don't stop here anymore

I heard this incredible song on new years eve, sung by a wonderful singer, i had to find out more about it, here are the lyrics and a little about the history.
The Louisville & Nashville Railroad was born March 5, 1850. Between 1879 and 1881, through the purchase of track in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois, the L&N gained access to the coal fields of western Kentucky. One of the L&N's most important expansions came early in the 1900s, when the railroad pushed its tracks deep into the coal fields surrounding Hazard and Harlan in eastern Kentucky. One of the coal mine served was the Hazard Hollow at Hazard, Kentucky near Viper where Jean grew up. This song marks the closing of the Hazard Hollow mine and the fact that the trains not longer stopped there to haul away coal. The L& N is still operating.
song by Jean Ritchie

When I was a curly headed baby
My daddy sat me down on his knee
He said, "son, go to school and get your letters,
Don't you be a dusty coal miner, boy, like me."

I was born and raised at the mouth of hazard hollow
The coal cars rolled and rumbled past my door
But now they stand in a rusty row all empty
Because the l & n don't stop here anymore

I used to think my daddy was a black man
With script enough to buy the company store
But now he goes to town with empty pockets
And his face is white as a February snow

I never thought I'd learn to love the coal dust
I never thought I'd pray to hear that whistle roar
Oh, god, I wish the grass would turn to money
And those green backs would fill my pockets once more

Last night I dreamed I went down to the office
To get my pay like a had done before
But them ol' kudzu vines were coverin' the door
And there were leaves and grass growin' right up through the floor

pictures of Coal towns

texas children

thought i'd already posted this, but i can't see it, so i'll do it now, my painting, Texas children, partly inspired by the film 'days of heaven' and the amazing farm house in that, and the childrens costumes came from old american daguerrotypes with abit of artistic licence, ink and gouach

Friday, 1 January 2010

my painting of lady deadlocks last moments, from Bleak House, the most wonderful story, i did this as a present for a friend, its done in ink and gouach

The woman in Black appears in the moorland graveyard, a spur of the moment peice, done with ink and collage