Re: RARA-AVIS: robert bloch based norman bates on woolrich?

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 09 Feb 2008

--- sonny <> wrote:

> but psycho and bloch are OT, sorry. i brought it up
> because of what i'd
> heard about woolrich and norman
Having looked into this for my series on Hitchcock, I can tell you that Robert Bloch is on the record as having based Psycho on newspaper reports of Ed Gein. It's one of the reasons that that Psycho is so tame in terms of the reality of Ed Gein whose exploits -- such as they were -- were not the fodder of family newspapers. The real and grisly and despicable story of Ed Gein wouldn't come out until years later. Yes, Woolrich had a bizarre relationship with his mother. But he didn't kill her and stick her in the root cellar. And neither did Ed Gein kill his mother
(Gein's, not Woolrich's). There's nothing to suggest that Bloch knew anything of Woolrich's relationship with Woolrich's mother. While there may have been any number of rumors, Nevins biography of Woolrich, First You Dream, Then You Die wasn't even published until 1982. So, whether OT or not, I doubt there is anything to this story.


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