In November of 1968, Gein was convicted of murdering a central Wisconsin woman 11 years earlier…and then, the judge found him innocent by reason of insanity and had him sent back to a state hospital. Gein was a La Crosse native who had become notorious as a grave-robber who kept human body parts in his house. He’s credited as the inspiration for fictional killers such as Norman Bates in “Psycho” and Buffalo Bill in “The Silence of the Lambs.”
The infamous “Heidi” football game was played on November 17th. That day’s game between the Jets and the Oakland Raiders was running long, and NBC cut off the national broadcast right at 6 p.m., La Crosse time, to show a new TV version of the story “Heidi.” Only part of the country saw the last minute of the ball game, where Oakland scored two touchdowns in 9 seconds for a come-from-behind win. Outrage over the football blackout led to the policy of delaying Sunday night programs until all the ball games are through.
That same night on CBS, the Smothers Brothers introduced a surprise guest on their show…George Harrison. The Beatles guitarist bantered with Tom and Dick Smothers about network censorship of political views. Freedom of speech, by George…in 1968, yesterday in La Crosse.