Whether killers perform their heinous acts by the compulsions of their diseased minds,
or if they are forced into them by external pressures, has long been a matter of debate.
But for one killer, nature and nurture are inextricably linked.
Leatherface kills not from a desire to exert his will over others, to satisfy carnal urges, or even to quiet the voices in his head.
He kills because he is scared. Scared that others will hurt him;
scared that his family will be displeased with him, scared that their shared willingness to eat human flesh will be discovered.
He does as he is told, his family loves him and that is all that matters.
Outsiders are a threat, and threats need to be dealt with.
Like those kids that came into the house, uninvited. Walked in like they owned the place.
Looked around the house, trying to find out his family’s secrets, no doubt.
But Leatherface deals with them, protects his family, just as he’s been taught.
He is not just protector, he has many roles, and each role has its own face.
He serves dinner, cares for the family, dresses well when they eat.
His Grandpa and Ma used to care for them all, but Grandpa he is old now and she has been still for a while,
so Leatherface and his brothers had to take over.
Family is everything to him. Family is security and safety.
But, even though he did his best, one of the kids got away.
He tried to stop her, chasing after her as fast as he could, but she had help: another outsider, driving a truck.
The evil trucker killed his brother, ran him over like he was a possum.
In a fury, Leatherface leapt at him, the saw ready to avenge his family, but the trucker was too quick.
He knocked Leatherface aside and turned his own saw against him.
As he watched the outsiders driving away, the rage, grief and pain combined with the worry about what would happen to his family now.
They would surely return with the police, and the police would take his brothers, his Grandpa.
Without them, what would he do? Without their commands, he would wither and die.
As his world collapsed, Leatherface spun in circles, swinging the saw all around, trying to fight off the myriad external threats that surrounded him.
Then another feeling overtook him. It came from outside his vision, crawling over his skin with cold dread.
He realized that no matter what outsiders could do to him, there was something worse, something bigger that lived in the shadows.
He was filled with a terror unlike any he had ever felt before.
But it was almost comforting, like the fear he’d felt with his family. The fear of disappointing them.
He was brought to a place that was familiar but unknowable, and he instinctively knew what he had to do.
He couldn’t fail it, the way he had his family. Outsiders would come but he would use his skills to overcome any threats.
There would be screaming, but he could make the world quiet again.
Until the only sound remaining was the blessed howl of the saw.