Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bone Collectors Are Not Sociopaths

There are some misconceptions about bone collectors I'd like to clear up.

Some people think that because someone chooses to collects bones, dead animal/insect specimens, or even taxidermy that something "clearly" must be wrong with them.

Not true.

Speaking for myself, I do it because of my lifelong passion for science and nature. And I admit I've had a morbid curiosity since a child as well. Both, thanks to my father.

I've been collecting bones from the very young age of 7 years. I still remember the very first time I decided I needed the bones of something I found. It was a tiny dead turtle skeleton in an ant pile. In perfect, beautiful condition.

Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath or Psychopaths. Personality disorders are chronic psychological disorders, which can greatly affect a person's life.

A tell tale a sign of a future serial killer is a child who delights in torturing and killing animals. NOT one who keeps found bones because they find it interesting.

One big difference between Jeffrey Dahmer and myself is that I'd NEVER harm an animal for pleasure. I haven't even eaten meat beyond seafood for over 16 years now. Mostly because of what horrors factory farmed animals are put through.

By age 10, Dahmer was "experimenting" with dead animals, some of which he'd killed - decapitating rodents, bleaching chicken bones with acid, nailing a dog's carcass to a tree and mounting its head on a stake.

BONELUST - Video Still of Dog Head on Stake in the Backyard of Jeffrey Dahmer's Childhood Home in Bath, Ohio

Video still of dog head on stake in the backyard of Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio. (Still is from - Serial Killers: Profiling the Criminal Mind, 1994)

People who kill animals as adolescents often kill human beings not long after. Just as Jeffrey Dahmer did. I'm interested in seeing what happens to Tyler Weinman, the "Florida Kitty Killer", as an adult. But personally I hope he spends his remaining lifetime in jail and never gets the chance to kill again.

I don't share the personality characteristics of a sociopath. Believe me, I've unfortunately know at least a few.

When I was around 8 years old, a boy down the street was the only child in the neighborhood near my age. He showed frightening early signs in his personality of a sociopath. I remember coming over to his house and seeing him taking live lizards he had caught, cutting them open, filling them with live bees/wasps, and painting them fluorescent colors. Even at that age I knew there was something seriously wrong with him.

Studies have found that those killers who engaged in childhood acts of animal cruelty used the same method of killing on their human victims as they did on their animal victims. So I can only imagine what sort of bizarre serial killer he'd end up being.

His father let him shoot birds from their yard with a pellet gun. Which I also thought was very strange. Considering it was in a suburban neighborhood in Tampa.

I also was never a chronic bedwetter or obsessed with fire setting as a child. Those two things along with animal cruelty are three behavioral characteristics that are associated with sociopathic behavior. According to the Macdonald triad anyway.

So no worries, you can enjoy looking at my blog knowing I didn't torture or kill any animal in any way to get the bones for my collection.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gift Bones - Part 2

Much of my bone collection is found, prepped, and cleaned by myself. Some is bought, and the rest came as gifts from exceptionally understanding friends.

One of my earliest bone gifts is a painted deer hip bone from my friend Jason. I got it from him about 22 years ago. I love how it seems to double as a mask.

BONELUST - Painted Deer Hip Bone: Gift from Late 1980s 1

BONELUST - Painted Deer Hip Bone: Gift from Late 1980s 2

Earlier this year my niece, Liz, surprised me with bone gifts. Some misc animal bones, a pile of small mammal jaws retrieved from owl droppings, and a cat skull. I like to believe I've been a good influence on her...heh

BONELUST - Cat Skull Gift from Niece with Box (She Calls Me Ant Instead of Aunt & I Love It)

The cat was sadly hit by a car. She buried it, dug it back up, and glued the broken skull back together. I don't normally bury the road kill or hunted game I find. It can stain and rot the bones at a faster pace than using a "bone box".

BONELUST - Cat Skull Gift from Niece 2

But I think the distorted skull, missing part of the nasal cavity, and lack of row of teeth really adds to it. Plus the way the skull is stained really brings out the teeth.

BONELUST - Cat Skull Gift from Niece

My most recent gruesome gift is thanks to Amanda. She found this unknown bird species head on top of a car. I suspect that it was eaten by a larger predator bird by the way the back of skull and neck bones are exposed. I imagine as it ate the smaller bird, the head fell from the tree above.

BONELUST - Unknown Bird Species Head: Gift from a Friend

It could have been caused by a cat as well. But they don't normally carry a bird on top of a car to eat. Rather, they'd want it in a safe hiding place. And cats are know to eat bird and small mammal heads entirely.

Amanda came out to visit me where I was selling my photos recently, and presented me with this lovely package that looked like two blooming flowers.

BONELUST - Bird Head Package

Inside was this:

BONELUST - Unknown Bird Species Head in Gift Box: Gift from a Friend

As a "thank you" gift I gave her one of my dead bird prints. It may have been this one:

BONELUST - Dead Yellow-rumped Warbler 4

Thanks so much to Jason, Liz and Amanda for these uncommon gifts!

Stay tuned for more in this series of "gift bones" to come.