I have recently watched The Silence of The Lambs. Near the climax of the story, there is a part when Agent Starling goes to Frederica Bimmel's room and opens a secret compartment in a musical box.

Jewelery Box

Then she examines the photos of Fredrica.

Camera shots

What is the significance of these photos in contributing to the overall plot, does it have anything to imply who took those pictures? Or does it lead to Jamie Gumb (aka Buffalo Bill)?

Edit: Starling already knew that Bimmel knew her killer before even reaching Frederica Bimmel's house. She and her friend Ardelia Mapps had discussed the significance of Lecter's words at the HQ itself.Jamie Gumb personally knew Frederica

  • youtube.com/watch?v=ZrBxOVX1Hoc
    – BCdotWEB
    Sep 30, 2020 at 12:28
  • @BCdotWEB so do you mean that Jamie Gumb coveted curvy girls? Or did he somehow obtain the photos himself?It rather seems like the kind of private photos for some select special friends. Sep 30, 2020 at 13:04
  • @AmarylisVaselaar He needed plump girls (curvy girls) because he would need them to lose weight fast so their skin would be loose, in order to use it to make his skin-suit. That was why he was having the senator's daughter put on the lotion and only giving her small amounts of food and water.
    – CGCampbell
    Sep 30, 2020 at 13:33
  • @CGCampbell so it implies that after seeing the photos, she realized his motive behind the fixation on curvy "roomy at the hips"kind of women? I am specifically asking the contribution of the photos to leading to Jamie Gumb? Would Starling have not found Jamie at Mrs.Lippman's house unless she saw the photos? Obviously she still would have ,because she got Mrs.Lippman's address from the friend of Frederica who works in a bank. Sep 30, 2020 at 13:43
  • 1
    I thought that the composition of the photos made Clarice realize that whoever took them was fixated on the girl's skin. This is an additional detail that clicked into place in the deductive chain that started with Lechter's hint that the killer was "coveting".
    – tbrookside
    Sep 30, 2020 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


IIRC, this is when Starling realizes that Bimmel likely knew her killer, as they were both tailors. It was while making contact with other local tailors that Starling spotted the Death's Head Moth at Gumb's house, and knew he was Buffalo Bill.

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    @jhonnybones No, Starling already knew that Frederica knew her killer when she and her trainee friend were discussing it in the HQ itself. That's what led her to ask Frederica's friend if she had any boyfriends or the sort . Sep 30, 2020 at 13:22

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