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Werewolf Hunters, Serial Killers and Psychopathy: Is Gib Cain a Mass Murderer?

Altoz

Potential
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Nov 23, 2019
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When Gib Cain tried to hunt down Oz, the darker implications of what he was doing seemed to bypass the episode. Okay, so let's think about this. Why would someone want to specifically kill a werewolf? By nature, it would seem that werewolves are mostly conscious of the risk they pose to others if their wolfside is allowed to run amok, so they accept some form of voluntary constraint (Ozwolf gets himself caged beforehand , and so does George (Russell Tovey) in the UK version of Being Human, in which he plays a werewolf. When he ends up accidentally exposing Nina, his girlfriend, to lycanthropy, George is horrified. Granted, there are werewolves like Verucca (and Monroe, in the comics), but for the most part, werewolves seem to realise that letting their wolfside loose would harm others and therefore, they have a stong ethical obligation to keep it under firm control and restraint. So, given that most werewolves are committed to not harming non-lycanthropic humanity, what possible reason could there be for harming them in return? Endangerment of others certainlhy wouldn't fall into that category. given what I've described above.

Werewolf hunters seem to be few and far between, and I think I've worked out why. In order to be able to kill a werewolf, one has to be morally or cognitively blind to the fact that at the same time, one is also ending the life of the human being that werewolf is during daylight hours. Serial killers tend to fixate on specific aspects of their victim category (like lycanthropy?). In fact, as Gib Cain boasts of having killed other werewolves apart from his failed attack against Oz, that suggests that he is a serial killer, dedicated to dehumanisation and slaughter of a particular victim category ie (potential lycanthropes). Cain shows no remorse as well as lack of guilt for what he's done, and seems to justify his actions by the ;'need' to control others. Many serial killers are also methodical and organised - as Cain is when he hunts werewolves. Cain also fits the profile of a mission oriented serial killer, justifying his actions by rationalisation that as lycanthropes are a discernable group that 'might potentially threaten' others, it's 'okay' to hunt them down and kill them, even if they're between wolfmoon phases. Given that the use of silver ordinance would cause death by argentoxosis (silver poisoning) in his werewolf victims, Cain's exultation in doing so has some dark implications and significance as well. if he fired a silver bullet at a werewolf, the consequences would be slow agonising death as her or his body is poisoned by its hypersensitivity to concentrated silver lodged within their bodies. There's another disturbing question that occurs to me, quite apart from the prospect of how many werewolves Cain has already murdered. Exactly what is the extent of his dehumanisation of werewolves? Just how far would he go, and how far has he already gone? Would he quail at killing someone extremely young if they were a potential lycanthrope?
 

white avenger

white avenger
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I got the distinct impression that werewolves weren't all that common in the Buffyverse, and those few that we did see fell into one of two categories: either 1) they reveled in what they could do, and made little or no effort to control it, or 2) they saw it as the curse that it was, and tried in every way possible to keep the mayhem and death that they were capable of producing to a minimum, and whether they are the first kind or the second, they're only werewolves 3 or 4 nights out of the month. Cain never seemed to see that, or if he did, just didn't really care. He killed werewolves, but he didn't do it as much to rid the community of a dangerous predator as he did just for the thrill of killing it.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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We don't learn enough about Lycan behavior in the Buffyverse to make that judgement. And frankly, Cain's characterization barely rises above stereotype, so analysis is likely to prove incomplete. Werewolves are far more vicious than vamps, and the rate of infection us higher, so a case for killing the infective can be made. In fact, it's probably SOP.
 

thrasherpix

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I've read about the psychology of serial killers, and the differences between sociopaths and psychopaths, and things of that nature (and I've had personal experiences regarding them which I won't share the details of). Based on that, I don't think you're accurately describing serial killers (who tend to be charming, often see themselves as monsters and have been known to torment survivors of those they've killed, sometimes in glory of Satan or other fiend in their mind, and I could go on), but rather sociopaths (who often think they are right in their own mind, tend to have poor social skills, and are very different from psychopaths in many important ways, and under certain circumstances like in a war would be considered celebrated heroes as the term is rather arbitrary/subjective in some ways).

Also, we're not given his point of view. Maybe werewolves in general are quite different from Oz. That is, we can't judge all werewolves by our fuzzy feelings for Oz, and Cain could very well be a male version of Justine, only against werewolves instead of vampires. WE the audience know Oz and can therefore feel for him. He does not. He cannot be expected to act upon knowledge that we have, nor is there an alternative out there that he knows of.

Perhaps he was out hunting with a child of his (in case you don't know, teenage boys and also girls do go hunting with their father at times, even in California) and ran into a werewolf that he couldn't save his child from...or worse, he was able to chase it off but then was forced to kill his own child which broke him and sent him on a crusade using the skills he already had (with a few adaptations) to save others from knowing the same pain. He isn't thinking of Oz the person, he's thinking of slaughtered child, or the nightmare existence of said child he was forced to end, as just an example. The show doesn't show it so we can only guess.

For that reason I'm not going to say for certain that he was a true sociopath (or I'd say Justine was a sociopath before he was, but then I think we're all on a sociopath scale that can be brought out by traumatic events, or even just realizing consequences are unlikely). Because of how grey they made Spike and the fact that vampires can have their souls restored to them and that even those without a soul or a chip can find a way to exist in society without killing, one could make a similar argument about vampire slayers.

(On a side note, I did love how Riley suddenly saw what was being done to Oz as wrong because by then he'd gotten to know Oz as a person. From earlier dialog I don't think Riley would've worried about the implications of removing a "subterrestrial" from the community, just as the rest of the Initiative did not, who, btw, fit your description of being methodical, confident they were just, etc, than Cain did.)

Also, you act as if his being rare is a sign of him being a serial killer, yet other demon hunters are also rare. They're rare because most don't know about demons, most who do are going to have better sense than to hunt them (that includes werewolves), and those that hunt them aren't likely to survive that long given that demons are not only tougher in many ways, but generally expect to be hunted (by each other even if they're confident of the humans not knowing about them).
 

FaithLehane16

"Tact is not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
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Cain seemed to not care that werewolves are human 28 days a month. He obviously took pleasure in hunting them for sport. He kept their teeth for trophies. It's equivalent to humans hunting bears for sport.
 
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