Afterlife Inquiries / Ed Gein & True Crime

Hosted byRichard Syrett

Afterlife Inquiries / Ed Gein & True Crime

About the show

Sharing his more than three decades of research into the afterlife and paranormal phenomena, documentary filmmaker Daniel Drasin joined Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss how the continuity of human consciousness after death constitutes a legitimate area of scientific inquiry. Drasin thinks and speaks about death and the survival of consciousness in new ways, facilitating a clearer, more rational conversation about what awaits us all. He recalled his first UFO sighting, which took place near the Cloisters museum in New York City. "This object attracted my attention... when it stopped and reversed its direction instantaneously," he reported. He connected with ufologist John Keel about it, the two became friends, and he accompanied Keel on four of his trips to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, to speak with witnesses of Mothman sightings.

Drasin recalled another paranormal experience he had when he met and physically interacted with Keel's friend Joe, who they later learned had died two years earlier. "I had been skeptical... after meeting Joe and finding out that he had, in fact, materialized himself," he said. Drasin credited the incident with inspiring him to inquire about the afterlife. He talked about Mark Macy's concept of Instrumental Transcommunication, the use of technology to get in touch with spirits. "Experimenters who themselves have passed over show up in their colleagues' recordings and electronic equipment; this includes both audio and video technology," Drasin revealed. He also spoke about the photography of Robert Van Den Broeke, whom he visited in 2014, and set up a rigorous protocol to make sure there was no trickery. Van Den Broeke was able to produce four images, one of which had the profile of Drasin's father, he admitted.

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Dan Davies starred in the cult movie Ed Gein: The Musical, a bio about America's most deranged killer with the added satirical twist of song and dance. In an even more bizarre turn of events, a novel has been written based on the film by Donna Francart, who was a deputy coroner working medicolegal death investigations, involving suspicious, violent, unexplained or unexpected deaths. In the second half of the program, they spoke about notorious murderer Ed Gein, their projects about him, and why people are fascinated by true crime.

Francart explained her fascination with Gein was centered on how he became so depraved. "He was so emotionally and psychologically damaged," she said. According to Francart, Gein's mom sexually assaulted him and indoctrinated him to believe women are evil. "[Gein's mom] was pathologically religious," Davies added. Gein's father was an alcoholic who physically abused him, Francart continued, noting Gein was born with a lazy eye and a speech impediment, making him the subject of much childhood ridicule.

Davies admitted he was inebriated when he came up with the concept for Ed Gein: The Musical. He described Gein as one of the most monstrous killers in history. "When it gets to the level of depravity that he reached there's nobody," he suggested. Davies described Gein as a cannibalistic killer and grave robber who made furniture from the skin of his victims, would dance with corpses in the moonlight, and perform necrophilia with the freshly deceased females. "He was sexually attracted to them," Davies revealed, noting Gein likely desecrated 40 to 50 graves over the course of his life. "He robbed more graves than he was actually accused or charged of killing," Francart reported. He was only ever charged with two murders, she added.

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