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Die Ontwaking is based on the first book of the Abel trilogy, Abel se Ontwaking (translated into English as The Skin Collector), by well-known crime writer Chris Karsten. Abel’s deranged mind is an imaginary composite of the minds of some of the most notorious fictional serial killers, including Norman Bates, Sweeney Todd, Dexter, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger and, Jame Gumb, the serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs, who stalks females and skins them in an attempt to create a female skin suit. The primary inspiration for Abel, however, comes from real-life American murderer and body snatcher Ed Gein. Gein exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin.