‘Silence of the Lambs’ House Could Make Some Noise for Animals Under PETA Plan

Home of Fictional 'Skin Suit' Maker Could Become Real-Life Empathy Museum for Animals Whose Skin Is Stolen From Them for Leather and Fur

For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2016

Catie Cryar 202-483-7382

The property at 8 Circle St. in Layton, Pennsylvania—the site where fictional serial killer Buffalo Bill killed women to make a suit from their skins in the film Silence of the Lambs—is still up for sale, so PETA sent a letter today to the real-estate agent handling it to explore giving the home another turn in the spotlight, this time as an empathy museum for animals who are killed and have their skin turned into leather and fur garments. In the letter, PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear,” points out that just as Buffalo Bill imprisoned, killed, and skinned his victims in the film, cows, rabbits, minks, and other animals face the same fate after a lifetime of being confined to severely crowded lots or tiny cages.

“While Buffalo Bill’s gruesome murders were fictional, in real life, millions of animals are scared out of their wits when captured, caged, and skinned, sometimes while they are still alive, as PETA videos show,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Turning the Silence of the Lambs house into an empathy museum would help people think about how all animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone and experience suffering and fear, just as we do.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to real-estate agent Diane Wilk follows.

January 27, 2016

Diane Wilk, Realtor

Dear Ms. Wilk:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to learn more about the property listed for sale at 8 Circle St. in Layton, Pennsylvania. Given that this is the spot where scenes depicting fictional serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs were filmed, we’re interested in the possibility of converting the home into an empathy museum for animals abused and killed so that others may wear their skins. If there are zoning restrictions in place, we’d be willing to ask the Perryopolis Borough to reconsider.

You may already be familiar with Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs: He imprisoned his victims, slaughtered them, and skinned their bodies to create a suit of flesh. Although Buffalo Bill is a fictional character, many victims today undergo similar experiences. Every year, millions of sensitive cattle, minks, rabbits, foxes, crocodiles, snakes, and other animals—including even dogs—are confined to severely crowded spaces and deprived of everything that is natural and important to them before they’re slaughtered for their skins.

We’re always looking for ways to draw attention to the violence inherent in the production of leather, fur, and other animal skins—which involves processes that would shock all but the most hard-hearted person. Cows are branded with hot irons, have their tails and horns cut off without painkillers, and are hung upside down, skinned, and bled to death for the production of leather gloves, jackets, and boots, and rabbits, minks, foxes, and other animals killed for their fur are beaten, strangled, electrocuted, and often skinned alive for fur coats and collars.

Turning The Silence of the Lambs house into an empathy museum for these victims would serve as a way to point out that all animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone, and just like us, they, too, experience fear and suffering and are capable of joy and love. With all the fashionable, comfortable, and warm vegan clothing available today, there’s no excuse for wearing bits and pieces of another individual’s skin. Do you think that the house could be turned into a local museum that inspires visitors to practice compassion with every piece of clothing that they buy? Please let me know your thoughts on this matter. Thank you.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind