The Serial Killers Named Buffalo Bill

It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.”

That haunting line was made famous by the serial killer, Buffalo Bill. Not the historic character credited with the serial murder of tens of thousands of gregarious and benign bison, including 4,120 in one eighteen month period alone. No, it was uttered by the other famous (though in this case, make believe) multiple murderer of the same name: the nemesis in the story, The Silence of the Lambs.

Like his namesake, the old west bison slayer (forever immortalized with towns named after him and museums devoted to his memory), the fictional “Buffalo Bill” made a habit of objectifying his victims, using the pronoun “it” to depersonalize them in order to avoid any stirrings of conscience that might drift by. Both Buffalo Bills thought those they killed were beneath them and therefore unworthy of their concern.

The fictitious “Bill” was modeled in part after the real-life serial killer, Ed Gein, who, like most sport hunters, made trophies and souvenirs from his victims’ bones and skin.

It seems whether their victims are human or non-human animals, objectification and depersonalization play major roles in the psyches of hunters and/or serial killers.

7 thoughts on “The Serial Killers Named Buffalo Bill

  1. I really hate it when people call animals “it”. Maybe this is why. Senseless murder of any kind is wrong. And to be able to detach oneself from any connection or empathy is very scary. Hunters for some reason infuriate me more than other animal killers. Maybe it’s the pride they take in it. There is nothing to be proud of in hunting.

    • Good points, Patti, sport hunters don’t just kill out of need for nourishment, they do it with a sense of bravado. One of their favorite things about their sport is to be able to drive around town with an animal carcass tied to the top of their car or tossed in the back of their truck They have no empathy for the animals they kill, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

  2. Hunting is a COWARDS sport! I feel there is truly something wrng with a person who finds delight and enjoyment in the killing and suffering of any animals! Most animals suffer for hours if not days because a hunter didnt get a kill shot they just shit the animal and cause untold pain and suffering its disgusting!! Why is it that if you go out and kill and mame animals its called a sport, but if you so much as slap your own child (dont worry i dont lol) You go to jail?

  3. I visited his ranch for the first time several years ago and was something I always wanted to do as a child..When I got there to his ranch/home in North Platte Nebraska and I got out of my car the first thing I felt was a blast of invisible air filled with pain,hate,fear,sorrow and despair.I am very sensitive to all things paranormal.I have never gone back there since nor will I ever…

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