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Old 10-11-2017, 09:57 AM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Skin: Gein/Leatherface Deconversion

There are multiple heinous murderers who carried out the process of skinning their victims after killing them.

One such psycho was Ed Gein, 'The Butcher of Plainfield,' who gutted and skinned a woman he killed; Gein also used victim-skin to fashion himself ornaments and outfits.

In the iconic American psychological crime-thriller (and pseudo-horror) film The Silence of the Lambs, an incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer named Dr. Hannibal Lecter helps an idealistic young rookie-FBI agent named Clarice Starling pursue a ruthless and eerie American serial killer named 'Buffalo Bill' who targets obese women and then keeps them in his 'dungeon' for long periods of time before skinning and/or mutilating them.

The notion of keeping or transforming the bodies of victims for 'personal' reasons may reflect an intention to objectify the victim as some 'symbol/totem' of pedestrian 'contact.' In particular, skinning the victim seems to suggest an interest by the victimizer/killer to transform the visual appearance of the victim so as to make him/her seem basically like a 'Golem' of pain, suffering, and most of all humiliation.

After all, we wear cosmetics and moisturizers on our skin or suntan-lotion and consider the appearance of our skin as a testament of the presentation aesthetics of human bodies to normal civilization.

A killer who takes the time to skin victims obviously intends to convey that 'presentation' of the human body to 'normal civilization' is some 'face' of spiritual vanity, which explains why we see the fictional chainsaw-wielding cannibal Leatherface (from the iconic American horror-film franchise The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) often wearing a mask made out of the skin of his dead human victims!).

Leatherface obviously represents the psychological abnormality associated with a very eschewed perspective on the 'sensitivity' of human skin! Many criminal psychologists and film-critics alike have argued that Ed Gein was the real-life inspiration for the fictional Leatherface.

So how can we use 'skin-pathology' crime-fingerprints to evaluate the 'vanities' of civilization self-presentation psychology (e.g., suntan lotion)?

Such a question may help us better evaluate the links between criminality and intentionality (e.g., a serial killer who preys specifically on people at the beach wearing suntan lotion!).


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DR. LECTER: Why did you make a mask made out of your victims' skin?
LEATHERFACE: Pretty!!!
DR. LECTER: Pretty? Are you trying to 'resemble' your victims?
LEATHERFACE: Leatherface original!
DR. LECTER: I know you're 'unique,' but why do you want to look ugly?
LEATHERFACE: Ugly skin.
DR. LECTER: So you think skin is the 'hallmark' of beauty?
LEATHERFACE: Flesh and bone!!!
DR. LECTER: Correct; those are covered by skin --- a real marvel, no?
LEATHERFACE: Ugly!
DR. LECTER: In other words, you believe crime is ugly, and ugliness is 'natural.'
LEATHERFACE: Skin is ugly!!!
DR. LECTER: I suspect you targeted quite a few people based on 'skin color.'
LEATHERFACE: Maybe...

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Article: 14 Disturbed Killers Who Skinned Their Victims (ranker.com)


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  #2  
Old 10-20-2017, 03:33 AM
fudgetusk's Avatar
fudgetusk fudgetusk is offline
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I always thought it was about identity. Leatherface lacks a human persona so steals them. Maybe Hooper was saying that all our faces are masks which we hide all manner of evils behind. Serial killers are often normal looking. It's part of their trick. By wearing human faces Leatherface is attempting to trick us BADLY.

It could be about ugliness too. killers are often scarred etc. A symbol of their souls' ugliness. Leatherface is highly complicated therefore because he is attempting to hide his ugliness with something he finds beautiful(he even has a woman's face with make up-very symbolic of faked beauty) yet the effect is still ugly. He cannot hide his evil.

Maybe we should ask why Gein did it though, as Hooper obviously took the idea from him.

Did he want to make his mother alive again by pretending he was her?

Maybe Leatherface's mask are remorse. He has killed, because he was brought up to do that, but feels sad. So he tries to make them alive again by wearing them.

But then he wears the masks while killing more people. So he is including the people who provided the masks in the killings. He is saying "You are as bad as me."
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