Is the story in Texas Chainsaw Massacre based on a real event? The answer is a little bit complicated, and people are asking this question a lot more now that Netflix has put out a new version of the classic slasher movie that is meant to be a direct sequel to the 1974 version. (This means that it’s okay if you haven’t seen all the other Massacre movies.)
The first Texas Chain Saw Massacre (yes, “chainsaw” was written as two words in the 1974 classic’s title) said it was based on real events, but the truth is a bit murkier (and possibly even darker) than fiction. If you want to know if Texas Chainsaw Massacre is based on a true story, keep reading (if you dare). However, be aware that the information you are about to read is disturbing and likely to trigger many people.
Who is Texas Chainsaw Massacre Based on True Story?
Tobe Hooper, who made the movie Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has said that some of the murders and Leatherface’s famous skin mask were based on the murders of serial killer Ed Gein. Gein is thought to have killed people between 1954 and 1957, but he lived in Wisconsin, not in Texas.
“My relatives who lived in a town close to Ed Gein told me these horrible stories about lampshades and furniture made out of human skin and other things like that.
“A little bit of grave-robbing, I think,” said Hooper, who was born and raised in Texas. “Campfire stories” about Gein scared him as a child “But he didn’t know much about the real story of the killer.
Judge Robert H. Gollmar, who oversaw Gein’s trial, wrote a book about the case called Edward Gein: America’s Most Bizarre Murderer.
In it, he describes the horrible things that were found in Gein’s home, such as the heads, bones, and bodies of murder victims, human skulls, and masks, bowls, chair covers, leggings, and lampshades made of human skin.
Gein was a prolific grave robber, but he was only tried and convicted of two real murders. This makes it unclear whether the remains in his home came from bodies he stole from graves or from people whose bodies were never found.
Gein was found guilty because he was insane, so he spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.
People say that he was the model for the character of Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw. They also say that he was the model for Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.
Where Did the Chainsaw Massacre Actually Happen?
Gein’s crimes happened in and around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin. He was known as the “Butcher of Plainfield” in real life, but as far as anyone knows, he didn’t use chainsaws to kill anyone.
Elmer Wayne Henley is also said to have influenced Leatherface. Henley was a teenager when he and David Owen Brooks were hired by serial killer Dean Corll to help him lure, rape, and kill teenage boys. The group is often called “The Houston Mass Murderers,” and at least 28 boys were killed by them before Henley shot Corll and admitted to killing the other boys.
The group’s method of killing, on the other hand, reportedly never involved chainsaws. Instead, the killers chose to strangle their victims. At age 18, Henley was given six prison terms of 99 years each. Brooks, who was also given a 99-year sentence, died of COVID-19 in May 2020.
Is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Based on a Real Family?
The Sawyer family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre eats each other and kills people, but they are not based on any one group of real people. But, like Leatherface, Gein had a strange obsession with his mother. This was also a part of what made Norman Bates, the main character in Psycho, so strange.
Is Leatherface Based on a Real Person?
Even the skin mask that Leatherface wore was based on Gein. Kim Henkel, who wrote part of Texas Chain Saw Massacre with Gein, told Texas Monthly, though, that Gein wasn’t the only lurid muse.
“I did study Ed Gein, but at the same time, I was also interested in a murder case in Houston involving a serial killer named Elmer Wayne Henley. He was a young man who found people to date for an older gay man “Henkel thought back.
“I saw a news story where Elmer Wayne said, “I did these crimes, and I’m going to stand up and take it like a man.” Well, I thought it was interesting that he had this normal sense of right and wrong at that time.
He wanted everyone to know that he would do the right thing now that he had been caught. So I tried to give the characters this kind of mixed up sense of right and wrong.”
Who Was the Real Killer in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre?
A real Texas Chainsaw Massacre never happened. Gein and Henley are kind of like the murderous family in the movie series.
Is Ed Gein Still Alive?
Gein is dead, which is probably a good thing for the rest of us if we want to sleep at night. Gein died at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in July 1984. Henley is still alive, but until he dies, he will stay in prison.