MULDER: You think this grave was unearthed by aliens, Agent Bocks?
BOCKS: It has all the telltale markings, don't you think? I mean, according to the literature.
MULDER: The literature?
BOCKS: Y'know. The way the hair and nails have been cut away. Sort of like they do in cattle mutilations.
MULDER: I hate to disappoint you, Agent Bocks, but this doesn't look like the work of aliens to me.
SCULLY: I've read about cases of desecrating the dead, but this is the first time I've seen one.
MULDER: Nothing can prepare you for it. It's almost impossible to imagine.
SCULLY: Why do they do it?
MULDER: Some people collect salt and pepper shakers. The fetishist collects dead things. Hair, fingernails... no one quite knows why. Though I've never quite understood salt and pepper shakers myself.
SCULLY: Sometimes you surprise me, Mulder.
SCULLY: You knew it wasn't UFO-related from the start?
MULDER: I had suspected as much.
SCULLY: Mulder, we flew three hours to get here. Our plane doesn't leave until tomorrow night. If you suspected, why -
MULDER: Vikings versus Redskins, in the Metrodome. Forty yard line, Scully. You and me.
SCULLY: (voiceover) A complete model or psychological profile of the death fetishist does not exist. Extrapolating from material on file at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, the compulsion is the result of a complex misplacement of values and a deviation from cultural norms and societal mores - often accompanied by extreme alienation from normal social interaction and traditional avenues for interaction with others. He is more likely to be white, male and of average to above average intelligence. Cases of fetishists with IQs over 150 have been documented. The progression of the pathology can be traced from the fantasy stage to the eventual acting out of fetishistic impulses, including opportunistic homicide.
Agent Mulder believes strongly that the suspect in this case is escalating toward this action. It is my opinion from reading these case files that death fetishism may play a stronger role than suspected in cases of serial murder. That once he begins to murder, it is the killing that draws attention away from a deeper motive. A motive which most people, including law enforcement professionals, dare not imagine. It is somehow easier to believe, as Agent Bocks does, in aliens and UFOs, than in the kind of cold blooded inhuman monster who could prey on the living to scavenge from the dead.
SCULLY: (voiceover) Death is a recorded event. For reasons natural or unnatural, when a body ceases to function, the cause of the effect can be clearly reconstructed. A body has a story to tell...
If the victim was strangled, an examination of the veins in the eyes will reveal this. If the victim was shot, entry wounds and gunpowder residue can be used to reconstruct the events leading to death and help to establish a possible motive. Body temperature, preferably the temperature of the spleen, is an accurate indicator of the time of death. As are rigor, livor and levels of sodium in the blood. If the body was moved, sand, small rocks, vegetable debris, even pollen can be removed and analysed to determine the location of the original crime scene and place the position of the body at the time of death. Extracutenous stains and residues can indicate the use of poison or toxins. Hair and fibres, slivers of glass, plastic, even insect casings can serve to recreate the circumstances under which death occurred.
It may be an irony only understood by those of us who conduct these examinations, who use these pieces to rebuild a narrative, that death, like life itself, is a drama with a beginning, middle and end.
BOCKS: I read your profile. Sounds like a guy who can't make it with women. Which would explain the hooker.
MULDER: The hooker was just convenient. This guy's not after sex. He's after trophies. His victim was a young attractive woman. The corpses he dug up were those of young women. Yet there's no evidence of any sexual activity. What fuels his need? What is important about the hair and fingernails to him? It's as if it's not enough that they're dead. He has to defile them. There's a deeper psychosis at work here. And anger toward women, possibly his mother.
TEACHER: ...the necessity of the story, the myth or the legend in a culture is almost universal. We think of myths as things that entertain or instruct, but their deeper purpose is often to explain, or make fanciful, wishes, desires or behavior that society would otherwise deem unacceptable. Myths often disguise thoughts that are simply too terrible to think about, but because they are conveyed in a wrapping of untruth - the story - these thoughts become harmless fiction.
Take, for example, stories that we recite for children, such as Snow White or Alice in Wonderland. The subtextural themes where the Queen orders "off with her head", or the prince wakens Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, are what Freud would describe as death/wish imagining.
SCULLY: You think you find a way to deal with these things. In med school, you develop a clinical detachment to death. In your FBI training, you are confronted with cases, the most terrible and violent cases. You think you can look into the face of pure evil. And then you find yourself paralysed by it.
SCULLY: I know these things. I'm conscious of them. I know the world is full of predators, just as it has always been. And I know it's my job to protect people from them. And I've counted on that fact to give me faith in my ability to do what I do... I want that faith back... I need it back.
MULDER: (voiceover) The conquest of fear lies in the moment of its acceptance. And understanding what scares us most is that which is most familiar, most common place... It's been said that the fear of the unknown is an irrational response to the excesses of the imagination. But our fear of the everyday, of the lurking stranger, and the sound of foot-falls on the stairs, the fear of violent death and the primitive impulse to survive, are as frightening as any x-file, as real as the acceptance that it could happen to you.