Jame Gumb (aka Buffalo Bill) is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, and its 1991 film adaptation, in which he was played by Ted Levine.
Gumb murders overweight women so he can remove their skin to fashion a "woman suit" for himself. He considers himself transsexual, but is too disturbed to qualify for sex reassignment surgery. He becomes known as "Buffalo Bill" during his murder spree because of an off-color joke by Kansas City homicide detectives; upon discovering his first victim, one of the detectives remarks: "this one likes to skin his humps."
The novel reveals that Gumb was abandoned by his mother — an alcoholic prostitute who misspelled "James" on his birth certificate — and was taken into foster care at age two. He lived in foster home until the age of 10, after which he was adopted by his grandparents, who became his first victims when he impulsively murdered them at the age of 12. After being released from a juvenile facility when he was 19, he went on to serve in the Navy.
Gumb's modus operandi is to kidnap a woman by approaching her pretending to be injured, asking for help loading something heavy into his van, and then knocking her out in a surprise attack from behind. Once he has a woman in his house, he starves her until her skin is loose enough to easily remove. In the first three cases he leads the victims upstairs under the belief that they were to be offered a shower, and slips a noose around their necks and pushes them from the stairs, strangling them. In the case of the fourth victim, he shoots and skins her, places a Death's Head moth in her throat, and dumps the body. He is fascinated by the moths' metamorphosis, a process he wants to undergo by becoming a woman. In one of the film's more infamous scenes, he dances around with his penis tucked between his legs, wearing a silk cape which he flourishes like butterfly wings.
Read more about Buffalo Bill at Wikipedia ...
Official Site: MGM
Links: Wikipedia IMDB: Silence of the Lambs Flesh Farm:Silence of the Lamb