Arturo Uruena

Professor Ramos

English 1B

13 December 2018

“It Puts The Lotion On The Skin”


At birth he was given the name Jame Gumb, And that isn’t a typo, his mother at birth misspelled his name on his birth certificate, he then later was given the name of Buffalo Bill the transsexual skin peeler. Growing up Jame didn’t have a good childhood in fact his mother was an alcoholic and he was put into foster care at the young age of 2. He would then be tossed around and mistreated by the foster care system which at the time had almost no real foundation in helping children. He then was adopted by his grandparents at age 10 whom according to the movie “ Silence Of The Lambs’ were not any better than the foster homes he was in. Jame was psychologically messed up he had an obsession with being a woman but could not receive the surgeries to accomplish it due to his inconsistent mental health. He then took it upon himself to kill unsuspecting woman by starving them in order for their skin to become loose and easy to peel off. He was known as Buffalo Bill and with all the women he killed he tried to make a woman suit out of their skin, he killed a total of 5 woman.

 The women didn’t really know what they were getting into each time. He was able to reach them by pretending to be hurt and in doing so he would then knock them out cold with a surprise attack, then taking them home to start his process of starvation. To the normal person he seemed like a person who just needed some help from an injury and as a result he was helped by several innocent women. Just because someone needs help doesn’t mean it’s legitimate, many people today will exploit the kindness of others in order for them to gain something in return. Jame on the other hand took it to whole different extreme to the point where one woman wasn’t enough and he had to go back for 4 more at least. This was the twisted and demented mind of Jame Gumb who did in fact have many contributors to why he might have ended up the way he did.


First reason that could have been a huge part was his mother being an alcoholic since birth, so much so that she misspelled his name on his birth certificate to later then be placed into foster care where life only kept getting darker. His childhood was a traumatic one and it seems due to that he was not all there in his head. Maybe the fact he lost his mother at an early age he always had a void of a woman and wanted to become one, somehow in his head he thought it would work. This seems to follow with Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Thesis)” with his Thesis VI Fear Of The Monster Is Really a kind of desire. Jame has a hatred and secret fear of not having what hes always wanted, a loving family, that void has haunted him his entire life to the point where his only way of becoming happy is through the misery of someone else which only creates a cycle of victims. His desire to be happy does not have any boundaries of sanity and disregards any human feelings. He is portrayed in this film by the actor with a sense of malice intent that pierces the audience’s attention.


As with many other serial killers their upbringing has had a huge impact on the way they perceive what is acceptable behavior among members of society, even knowing that there is something wrong with their actions it does not hinder them from progressing forward with their atrocious acts of violence. The second contributing factor to Jame Gumb becoming the person he became is due to all the different foster homes he moved to that did not care for him, furthering his hopeless despair of ever being accepted or loved by kind or genuine person. This did not exclude his grandparents whom at age 10 adopted him and put him through an equally hateful home where he was forced to work. All the while these horrible monsters commit these horrible acts not just one person is being affected by their actions as most of these victims have families and for the most part regular lives, many people are affected by one person in their day to day lives going missing. Some affected deeper than others, in the Berit’s paper “The Making Of A Serial Killer”   She states(2) “The causes of psychopathy remain a mystery. We don’t even have a satisfactory answer to the question of whether psychopathy is a product of Mother Nature or a feature of upbringing. “ There is no definitive cause to a person losing their sanity but there are many similarities in many cases involving males murdering women or helpless boys. What Berit means by that is that it’s impossible to say that because of certain events that took place in the early years of a child that it will indefinitely have a lasting effect on their mental health. (2)  “Most psychopaths are manipulative, aggressive and impulsive but these features far from always lead to criminal activity.”
   It usually takes a certain kind of person to fall for the tricks of the monster killers, as the victims usually have the same traits, such as having a great childhood and a great family support group. As if the two opposites attract each other in an unsettling manner causing the audience to view both points of view very clear. (1) Ebert “These parallel themes are mirrored by patterns in the visual strategy. Note that both Lecter in his prison cell and Buffalo Bill in his basement are arrived at by Starling after descending several flights of stairs and passing through several doors; they live in underworlds.” In the movie Silence Of The Lambs the FBI use a different serial killer whom is a cannibal to try and understand Buffalo Bill who is the infamous woman killer and skin peeler. Even though they are known for different acts of violence both shared similarities in the way they thought, without remorse for any human life.

This image portrays a scene from a movie where Buffalo Bill demands his caught slaves to apply lotion on their skin in order to remove it and it was nice and well taken care of. So when he did this to his victims

he would have nice pieces of moisturized skin for his perfect suit of skin. Thoughts like this can only be from a creative maniac whose lost all sense of reality and lives in a mental prison of undeniable pain and despair. (4) Crockett “On the other hand, thrill serial killers are pleasure-seeking persons who take their time to enjoy the act of domination and control over the victim. Sadistic torture and object penetration of the orifices of the victim are common. The focus is on the process of killing which distinguishes them from lust serial killers who continue to enjoy the kill and gain sexual pleasure even after the victim is dead. “  This comes to show how Buffalo Bill can easily be considered a thrill killer but he actually wants to keep a piece of his victims as trophies unto himself and his image of a glorious woman suit that will hide all his insanity and make him whole for the first time in his life.


 What really causes these killers to become monsters? Is it their childhood or lack of having a positive mother role model or themselves choosing to ignore reality screaming in their face that what they are doing is absolutely ludicrous and when discovered they will be judged and sentenced to what that state seems fair for their atrocious acts of violence towards innocent unsuspecting victims who fell into the trap of an intelligent serial killer. The truth is the answer only lies inside the twisted minds of these lunatics and even they don’t know what the truth is anymore they will probably have a outlandish lie up their sleeve to continue deceiving anyone trying to pry the bars of their mental prison.




                                             Annotated Bibliography


  1. Ebert, Roger. “The Silence of the Lambs Movie Review (1991) | Roger Ebert.”, Brian Grazer, 18 Feb. 2001, In this piece Ebert gives his professional criticism about silence of the lambs and how the entire movie was loaded with symbolic scenes creating an atmosphere of pure dark imagination. With his years of experience in the field he was able to capture all the secrets and tricks the director used I  the film.
  2. Brogaard, Berit. “The Making of a Serial Killer.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 2012,

In this paper the author states and shows how a killer’s brain might work. Nothing is definitive but many things have patterns such as the traits that many of these serial killers actually have and carry. Even though it cant be proven it is heavily speculated that this is true.

  1. Crockett, Zachary. “What Data on 3,000 Murderers and 10,000 Victims Tells Us about Serial Killers.”, Vox Media, 2 Dec. 2016,

On this website it allows us insight on the many different killers and the huge amount of victims that come from this. As much as 4 victims per each killer is more than enough to get anyone scared. Not all killers kill the same but they do have similar traits.

  1. Knight, Zelda G. “Some Thoughts on the Psychological Roots of the Behavior of Serial Killers as Narcissists: An Object Relations Perspective.” Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, vol. 34, no. 10, Dec. 2006, pp. 1189–1206. EBSCOhost,

This speaks on the mentality of killers and how they usually not dumb. They can be above average intelligence and display normal traits of everyday people but behind doors they are narcissists. Only wanting to exist in their own sick and twisted reality.