Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is still a few months out from being released, but that doesn’t stop my mind from thinking about it way too much. Not wanting to spoil the games main story and experience too much I’ve decided to analyze the trailers and demos in a different way. Just on the new antagonist family, The Bakers.
The Bakers are obviously an important element to the story of the upcoming Resident Evil, so where did they come from?
Are the Bakers inspired by America’s first serial killers the Benders?
Let’s start with the Benders a family of 4: Pa Bender, Ma (Alvira), John Bender Jr, and daughter Kate Bender. Whose recorded killings took place during 1870–1872.
Since this took place so long ago it’s difficult to know exactly what happened so there are slight variations of their history. I’m going to start off with a summary of the parts of the story that sound most likely to be true. I’ll go into the other possibilities later in the post.
Pa and Ma didn’t to talk in public much, but were known to have a thick accent. John Bender Jr was around 25 years old, and Kate around 23. Kate was a self proclaimed psychic, and would occasionally hold seances at their cabin.
The Bender family ran a grocery story and inn in Labette County Kansas. The grocery store and inn were run on one half of a large one roomed cabin, a canvas separating their living space from their business.
Their cabin was located off a path between two towns, so travelers would stop at the cabin for food, supplies, or a nights stay. After several travelers were noticed to have gone missing, the town held a meeting to discuss searching around. By the time the police and townsfolk had reached the Benders cabin during their search all of their personal possessions were gone, and their animals were noticeably unfed.
The cabin was empty, but a horrible stench behind the rooms canvas divider helped them to find a hidden floor door. The floor door led to a six feet deep dug out hole that contained large traces of coagulated blood. The search party checked under the house but found nothing.
There was a garden near the cabin with freshly turned dirt, and that’s where they found the bodies of 11 missing people and the body parts and remains of other unidentified people.
A majority of the victims were killed in the same fashion. They had all had their skulls crushed and throats slashed, all but one child victim who showed signs of having been buried alive.The crushed skull and throat slash pattern also matched a few bodies that were found along the near by paths.
The Benders would lure their victims in by having them stay for food, shelter, or to seek spiritual guidance from Kate. The person would be sat in a chair with their backs to the canvas divider. While distracted with food or by a member of the Bender family, usually Ma or Kate, while another Bender would be on the other side of the canvas to bash them in the back of the head with a hammer. The victim was then tossed into the hole in the floor where Kate would slit their throat.
Some variations to the story include spotting members of the Bender family carrying lanterns while burying a victim in their orchard. Even though Ma Bender wasn’t known to speak English in public much, she was said to be very mean, and become enraged if a person would not sit in their special seat. The brother of one of the victims stopping to stay a night at the cabin, and in his search for his brother there he found a locket suggesting that was the last place his sibling had been. He escaped in the middle of the night, returning the next morning with police, but the Benders had noticed he was gone and left over night never to be seen again.
The Benders weren’t actually blood family, well, not all of them. Only Ma and Kate Bender were related. Ma Bender (born Almira Hill Mark) was married a few times before, having had several children in her previous marriages. Those previous husbands were all killed by a blow to the back of the head. It was rumored that Ma Bender had also killed some of her children to keep them from reporting her crimes. Bender was just used as their family cover name.
The story of the Benders is so long and warped I could probably go on for hours, but it’s about time I get to comparing the two families.
Besides having similar names, the Bakers share a lot of similarities to the Benders.
There are 4 active Bakers shown via the trailers and demos: Jack, Marguerite, and Lucas Baker. The 4th is currently unnamed female prominently featured in the Kitchen demo. (There’s a 5th elderly person in a wheelchair also seen in some of the promotional trailers, but they don’t appear antagonistic (yet?), nor are they in the family photos.
This is obviously not Marguerite Baker. She’s much younger, is wearing different clothes, but is infected by the same or similar virus as the other members of the Baker family.
The Beginning Hour demo contains a VHS video titled “Derelict House Footage”, that leads into the Kitchen demo. The combined information of the demos suggest that Jack and or Lucas Baker were responsible for killing Andre Stickland, and knocking out Peter Walken and Clancy Javis.
Even though Peter and Clancy are seen getting killed by the unknown female in the Kitchen demo it’s unlikely that she had placed them there. She’s closer to zombie than person growling and really focused on killing. Though she is using a knife in the kitchen demo similarly to Kate, and not just teeth.
Jack and Lucas Baker appear more in control of their behavior.
While Marguerite was seen talking in the trailer, she’s becomes enraged when Ethan wouldn’t eat the special meal that was prepared for him.
Marguerite most likely wouldn’t have the temper to be able to handle sneaking around. Heck, she’s talking through out the Lantern demo as she stalks that demo’s protagonist, Mia. She also mentions another female during her pursuit of Mia.
Jack’s the one able to sneak up on people for a nice welcoming them to the family with his fists. Peter and Clancy were bound and left in a room for the mystery woman, not by her.
There’s also this photo from the Twilight demo update which a swapped out photo of a more recent Jack and Marguerite, to an older one showcasing a family of 4.
Much like the Benders, all Baker family members are involved with the atrocities but their actions are in the interests of the ladies of the family. Marguerite’s temper matches that of Ma Bender, and Kate was thought to be responsible for slicing the throats of the victims. The Kitchen demo was entirely about the mystery woman stabbing Peter and Clancy.
Let’s go back to Marguerite and the Lantern demo and some of the things she says while pursuing Mia.
“I’ll feed you to my babies and fertilize the garden with what was left” There was an assortment of body parts found in the orchard along with the 11 confirmed victims. None of the found body parts formed a complete person. If you consider how gruesome the family already was, it’s plausible that those missing parts were used by the Bakers, or served to one of their many unfortunate guests.
“What have I done to deserve this except open my home and feed you?” What are you running, Marguerite? A MURDER inn?
I’m kidding. The Bakers residence is hardly inviting enough for anyone to want to spend the night. The line just sounds like what an angry murderous innkeeper would say when a person refuses to sit into a guest of honor chair with a canvas behind them. However, a promotional image suggests that the Bakers have made murder a habit. It mentions that over 20 people have gone missing in 2 years. The time frame and number is also similar, The Benders murders took place from 1870-1872. With the 11 bodies found buried in their orchard, and the parts that were also found but didn’t make up a full person, it’s believed the Benders killed over 20 people.
That’s all for now. I’ll continue to add as new trailers are released, or if there are any demo updates.
I do think there’s a virus at play with the Bakers, this post is only to show why I think they may have been inspired by the Benders.
Share your thoughts in the comments!
I’ve played the Kitchen and Beginning Hour demos, watched the trailers, read the wiki’s and other various sites:
Bloody Benders – Wikipedia
Images from the Kitchen and Lantern demo were taken from SHN Survival Horror Network and TheRPGMinx videos.