Gein was arrested and taken to Wautoma County jail, where he initially denied everything, before eventually admitting having shot Bernice Worden with a rifle.
He claimed that most of the body parts in his house, estimated to total 15 different individuals, had come from corpses removed from the cemetery. Police were initially sceptical of this claim, but were forced to accept it when they exhumed the bodies in question and discovered that the corpses had indeed been mutilated, as Gein had claimed.
They were eager to tie Gein to four other mysterious Wisconsin disappearances, which included a child, a teenager and two men, but no remains from the farmhouse were ever matched to these victims. They did, however, find Mary Hogan’s remains, and Gein admitted to her murder as well.
During the course of the interrogation, sheriff Schley subjected Gein to a brutal assault, banging his head repeatedly against a brick wall, which rendered his confession inadmissible, but Gein was assessed by psychiatrists and, in any case, declared mentally unfit for trial at that time. He was committed to the Central State Hospital in Waupun, Wisconsin.
Locals were horrified by the litany of depravity carried out by Gein in their community, and his farmhouse suffered an arson attack on 20 March 1958, and was razed to the ground. His car was sold at auction, and toured State fairs, billed as the “Ghoul Car”, which made its entrepreneurial purchaser a healthy profit.